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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global Health, Foreign Policy Experts Express Concern Over Trump Administration's Proposed Budget Cuts To Global HIV/AIDS Programs

CBS News: AIDS experts fear Trump budget cuts could impact HIV/AIDS fight
“After President Trump announced a ‘hard-power’ budget plan that prioritizes defense spending over diplomacy and foreign aid, the United Nations programs combating HIV and AIDS recently released some promising news. … Meanwhile in Paris, HIV/AIDS specialists from around the globe gathered for the 2017 biennial world conference. Experts trumpeted global strides in curbing the HIV/AIDS epidemic but worried that HIV could once again flourish around the world if the Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts to HIV research and treatment in the world’s poorest countries come to fruition…” (Alemany, 7/31).

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Few Nations Have Undergone External Evaluations Assessing Disease Outbreak Preparedness, Report Shows

New York Times: Only Six Nations Have Evaluated Readiness for Global Pandemic
“…Just three wealthy countries — Finland, Saudi Arabia, and the United States — have gone through two external evaluations of their readiness to face pandemics, one for human diseases and one for animal outbreaks, the study found. As of last April, only three poor countries — Eritrea, Pakistan, and Tanzania — had undergone both evaluations and had described how they planned to find the money to rectify their weaknesses. The unusually concise and crisp report, ‘From Panic and Neglect to Investing in Health Security,’ was written by experts from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the African and Asian development banks, and finance officials from various governments…” (McNeil, 7/31).

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Breastfeeding Mothers Need More Support In All Nations, WHO/UNICEF Report Says

Huffington Post Australia: Breastfeeding Mothers Aren’t Getting The Support They Need
“Despite the undisputed benefits of breastfeeding, both mothers and children around the world are failing to receive the support they need, a new report has shown. ‘The Global Breastfeeding Scorecard,’ commissioned by UNICEF and the World Health Organization in collaboration with the Global Breastfeeding Collective, evaluated 194 nations and found support for breastfeeding to be severely lacking across the board…” (Blatchford, 8/1).

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U.S., European Reports Examine Antibiotic Use, Drug Resistance

CIDRAP News: CDC antibiotics report calls for all-out stewardship efforts
“A new federal report on antibiotic use and stewardship in the United States stresses the need for an all-hands-on-deck approach, calling on all stakeholders to commit to stewardship efforts…” (Roos, 7/28).

CIDRAP News: European report ties drug resistance to use in humans, animals
“A new joint report from European public health agencies suggests a positive association between antimicrobial consumption and resistance in both humans and food-producing animals — and it highlights the need for prudent antimicrobial use in human and veterinary medicine…” (Dall, 7/31).

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Some Experts Question Motives Behind West African Governments' Pledge To Increase Family Planning Spending To Cut Birth Rates

Quartz: West African governments want to cut population growth in half, but for whose benefit?
“…[O]n July 22, West African politicians took a new and unusual step to curb population growth themselves. At a conference on health and family planning in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West African parliamentarians committed to allocate five percent of national budgets to family planning programs in order to cut birth rates in the region down to three children per woman by 2030, down from 5.6 children currently. … But it’s never been clear cut that high population growth is really an impediment to development, particularly for Africa…” (Penney, 8/1).

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Guardian Podcast Examines Tanzania's Health Care Reforms, Potential Impact On Economy

The Guardian: Without health, people have nothing’: Tanzania seeks a political salve — podcast transcript
“Backed by Graça Machel and her fellow Elders, the Tanzanian government is introducing health care reforms that could revitalize its economic prospects. Lucy Lamble investigates…” (7/31).

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Swaziland Health Official Discusses Country's Progress On Controlling HIV, Scaling Up Treatment In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: How Swaziland got on track to contain the world’s highest HIV prevalence
“Dr. Velephi Okello arrived at last week’s International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Science with big news. The deputy director of health services at Swaziland’s ministry of health was presenting the findings from a new survey showing that the country — which has the highest adult HIV prevalence in the world — is on track toward epidemic control. … Okello spoke to Devex about the significance of the recent findings and how Swaziland achieved them…” (Green, 8/1).

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Last Mile Health CEO Raj Panjabi Discusses Efforts To Train Liberian Community Workers In NYT Interview

New York Times: Dr. Raj Panjabi Goes the Last Mile in Liberia
“Dr. Raj Panjabi, 36, is a co-founder and the chief executive of Last Mile Health, a charity that brings medical care to some of the most remote corners of Liberia. … We spoke for three hours at his offices in Boston…” (Dreifus, 7/31).

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Editorials and Opinions

Wider Use Of Vaccines Could Help Address, Prevent Antibiotic Resistance

STAT: Vaccines are part of the solution to the emerging crisis of antibiotic resistance
Bruce Gellin, president of global immunization at the Sabin Vaccine Institute

“…[I]n the context of the global trend in antibiotic resistance, we have been undervaluing all that vaccines offer to both individuals and communities. … Vaccines help prevent the rise of antimicrobial resistance by reducing the use — and misuse — of antibiotics. … But the benefits don’t stop there. Vaccines have a unique quality among health interventions by benefiting both the individuals who are vaccinated and the larger community. … Slowing the rise of antibiotic resistance requires immediate, collective action. To ensure that once common infections don’t become deadly, we must preserve the effectiveness of existing antibiotics by ending misuse and overuse. At the same time, expanding access to vaccines can slow the development and spread of so-called superbugs. After all, it hardly matters how ‘super’ these bacteria are if we can prevent them from infecting people in the first place” (8/1).

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Community Health Workers Could Help Developing Nations Achieve Universal Health Coverage

New York Times: Sending Health to Rural Ghana via Traveling Medics
Andrew Green, freelance foreign correspondent

“…Ghana is one of numerous countries turning to [community health workers (CHWs)]. … In Ghana, the government has long relied on local volunteers to deliver health care services to those who live far from the nearest facility. But … now the Ghanaian government has begun to pay CHWs. Other countries have attempted similar initiatives, but the scale and the speed of Ghana’s effort make it distinctive. If it succeeds, it could signal a path toward universal health programs for other countries. … [A]s governments move to introduce paid CHWs, they must consider how they will maintain those programs. … There have been some problems. While the government has agreed to pay the CHWs’ salaries, funding gaps remain. … [I]t remains unclear whether the new administration will be as committed to the program as [the former Ghanian president] was…” (8/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

WHO, UNICEF Launch Global Breastfeeding Collective

WHO: Breastfeeding is not a one-woman job
In this commentary, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake recognize this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, discuss the importance of breastfeeding, and announce the launch of the Global Breastfeeding Collective, which calls “on governments, donors, and other stakeholders to advance policies and programs to enable more mothers to breastfeed” (8/1).

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University Professors Discuss Impacts Of Mexico City Policy In World Politics Review Interview

World Politics Review: How the World Has Responded to Trump’s ‘Global Gag Rule’ on Abortion
“…In an email interview [with WPR], Scott L. Greer, professor of global health management and policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Sarah Rominski, research assistant professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School, discuss the effects of the [Mexico City] policy and how the world has responded…” (7/31).

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U.S. Relationship With South Korea Could Serve As Model For U.S. Foreign Assistance

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: From Aid to Trade: How South Korea is a Model for U.S. Foreign Assistance
Sung Lee, deputy policy director at USGLC, discusses the impact of U.S. foreign assistance in South Korea, writing, “American economic investment and humanitarian aid produced considerable dividends by helping to build the foundation for the economic transformation of South Korea, which has since [the Korean War] become America’s sixth largest trading partner. … U.S. foreign assistance not only helped South Korea’s transformation into America’s trading partner — South Korea is now itself a donor of foreign assistance” (7/31).

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From the U.S. Government

Mapping, Geospatial Data Help Advance Global Health, Development Efforts

Millennium Challenge Corporation Blog: Mapping for Sustainable Development: MCC Hosts Its First-Ever Mapathon
Jon-Christian McCahill, MCC program officer for Data Collaboratives for Local Impact, discusses the role of maps in addressing global health and development challenges, and highlights the MCC’s first-ever mapathon. He writes, “The mapathon was hosted by Data Collaboratives for Local Impact (DCLI), a program led by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), to increase the capacity of country-based individuals, communities, and organizations to use data that contributes to programming to fight HIV/AIDS and address other development challenges. … Geospatial data is a tool that enables policymakers to make better decisions and is helping to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals faster and more cost effectively” (7/25).

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