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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

8 International NGOs Form Global Emergency Response Coalition To Raise Attention, Funds For Hunger Crises Worldwide

Devex: New coalition brings NGOs together for famine fundraising
“A group of eight international nongovernmental organizations are hoping that their unprecedented partnership will help draw attention and funds for the famine-like conditions endangering more than 20 million people across the globe. … CARE, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam, Plan International, Save the Children, and World Vision have created the Global Emergency Response Coalition, which will run a two-week fundraising campaign beginning on Monday. This marks the first time the organizations have worked together to raise funds…” (Saldinger, 7/17).

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Donors Commit $207M To UNFPA At London Family Planning Summit; Agency Needs Additional $700M Through 2020

Associated Press: $207 million pledged to U.N. population agency facing U.S. cuts
“The U.N. Population Fund, which has seen all funding cut by the Trump administration, says donors have committed $207 million to help expand family planning services and strengthen national health programs. But the agency, known as UNFPA, says it still needs $700 million for contraceptives and other family planning supplies for 2017-2020. International donors made the pledges Tuesday at a Family Planning Summit in London but the total wasn’t announced until late Thursday…” (Lederer, 7/14).

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The Guardian Examines Implications Of Trump Administration's Cuts To Global Health-Related Spending

The Guardian: Why Donald Trump is bad for the health of the world — in five charts
“…America has long been the world’s most generous bilateral funder of health care programs in the developing world. However, the Trump presidency has delivered a triple whammy: cutting aid budgets, defunding the U.N. Population Fund, and reinstating … the so-called global gag rule. The cumulative consequences over four years look ominous: millions of unintended pregnancies, thousands of unsafe abortions, tens of thousands of lives lost, and hard-won progress against diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis jeopardized. The following charts display some of the facts in play…” (Rice-Oxley et al., 7/17).

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New CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald Speaks With WSJ Regarding Agency's Priorities

Wall Street Journal: New CDC Chief Lays Out Priorities as Agency Faces Cuts
“The new director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said she will prioritize a wide range of public health issues, from fighting infectious disease to strengthening early-childhood development, as the federal agency faces potentially substantial budget cuts. In an interview at the end of her first week on the job, Brenda Fitzgerald said she would make a strong case for public health spending should the agency fall on tough times…” (McKay, 7/16).

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U.N. Event To Examine Access To Medicines In Context Of SDGs

Intellectual Property Watch: Event Looks At U.N. High-Level Panel On Medicines Access, SDGs And Policy Coherence
“An event on 17 July at the United Nations in New York will address the ‘U.N. Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Access to Medicines: Advancing Health-Related SDGs through Policy Coherence.’ The High-Level Panel issued its report late last year and has stirred numerous discussions about needed change to ensure developing countries can properly use international trade law to access medicines…” (7/15).

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Brazil's Government Must Do More To Prevent Further Zika Outbreaks, HRW Report Says

Forbes: How Brazil’s Zika Epidemic Highlights Women’s Every Day Plight — Human Rights Watch
“A new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report looks at the aftermath of the Zika epidemic in Brazil — and also holds disturbing lessons for the U.S. The group interviewed more than 180 people impacted by Zika, mostly women with affected babies and those who were still pregnant…” (Stone, 7/15).

The Guardian: ‘Poverty favors the mosquito’: experts warn Zika virus could return to Brazil
“… ‘The underlying conditions that allowed the outbreak to be so damaging have not been addressed and there is a vulnerability for future outbreaks,’ said Amanda Klasing, one of the report’s authors. She added that millions of people lack proper sanitation or fresh water, and women also need better information and access to contraception and safe abortion — which is illegal in most cases in Brazil…” (Phillips, 7/14).

USA TODAY: Brazil risks new Zika outbreak 3 months after end of health emergency
“…Brazil’s health ministry said in a statement Thursday that the administration has increased spending on improving basic sanitation and water facilities, along with budgeting more for health surveillance, including controlling mosquito populations…” (Toy, 7/15).

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Post-Ebola Sierra Leone Faces Challenges As Government Works To Restore, Improve Family Planning Services

The Guardian: End of Ebola sparks crisis for Sierra Leone’s teen mums
“…Just over a year since the country was declared free of Ebola, the government has pledged to prioritize fixing the dire state of maternal and sexual health services. One of its aims is to increase the proportion of women using contraceptives, from 23 percent to 33.7 percent by 2022. … Still, the country faces an uphill battle. When the Ebola epidemic began in 2014, social services collapsed and schools were closed for almost an entire academic year. As health teams focused their efforts on disease control, family planning services ground to a halt…” (Ratcliffe, 7/16).

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Digital Technologies Improving Access To Family Planning For India's Youth

Inter Press Service: Digitizing Family Planning: The Way of the Future
“Online shopping may have its pros and cons, but when it comes to buying products that have an invisible morality tag, it’s the safest possible option, believes Franklin Paul. One of India’s most vocal advocates for youth rights to sexual health, education, and products, Paul has spent over two years studying and introducing digital technologies to India’s rural youths. … Talking to IPS on the sidelines of the London Family Planning Summit held last week, Paul shared his personal experiences of talking to youths in the East Champaran district of Bihar, one of India’s most underdeveloped states…” (Paul, 7/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

President Trump's Sexual, Reproductive Health Policies Do Not Act In Women's Best Interests

New York Times: The Playboy President and Women’s Health
Michelle Goldberg, columnist for Slate

“…American women are being stripped of their sexual and reproductive autonomy not by a moralizing puritan but by an erotically incontinent libertine. … Poor women will bear the brunt of this administration’s policies on sexual and reproductive health, but millions more women will feel the pain as well. … This cumulative attack on women’s ability to control their reproductive lives would be infuriating no matter who presided over it. But there’s an extra shudder of degradation in losing reproductive rights at the hands of a lubricious playboy like Mr. Trump. Unlike longtime anti-abortion activists, Mr. Trump doesn’t bother pretending he’s acting in women’s best interests. … There is no veneer in this administration of ‘compassionate conservatism’ or of promoting a ‘culture of life.’ There is simply power and convenience: Mr. Trump doesn’t care about women’s health or rights, and it’s easy to outsource policy to the activists of the religious right who helped elect him…” (7/14).

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Reinstatement Of Trump's Travel Ban Represents An 'Assault On' Women

The Guardian: Why Trump’s travel ban hits women the hardest
Michelle Chen, contributing writer at the Nation and contributing editor at In These Times and Dissent magazines

“[U.S. President] Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ is a frontal assault on many universal human rights principles. But the latest temporary reinstatement of the order’s 120-day refugee ban — pending an anticipated October Supreme Court ruling — is already quietly undermining the most fundamental universal humanitarian rule: it puts women and children … last. … Women remain deeply vulnerable whether they are escaping military air raids or ‘safe’ in an official refugee camp overseas. … Moreover, they face ancillary gender-based human rights violations that tend to explode in conflict situations, including epidemics of sexual abuse and labor and sexual trafficking. … [E]ven if Trump’s ban is ultimately struck down, the administration and Republican Congress will continue to inflict disproportionate harm on refugee women. In May, … Trump enacted the ‘global gag rule’ … As Trump drives to harden the borders of terror war, he’s quietly expanding his assault on refugee mothers, sisters, and daughters — an invisible war on women that, tragically, knows no boundaries” (7/16).

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President Trump 'Not Truly Pro-Life'

Daily Beast: Donald Trump’s War on the Unborn
Jay Michaelson, legal affairs columnist at the Daily Beast

“Evangelical voters put Donald Trump over the top to protect the unborn, but he has declared war on them instead. For a start, the World Health Organization estimates that between 2030-2050, climate change will cause approximately 250,000 deaths every year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress. … That number is the tip of the climate change iceberg, however. … [T]he greatest human dangers from climate change will result from mass migration, as hundreds of millions of people — most of them poor — flee coastal areas and newly desertified regions, choking cities and straining food supplies. … And then the unknown number of people, born and as yet unborn, who will get sick because of newly lax or eliminated water pollution rules, smog rules, power plant emissions regulations, fracking regulations, and pesticide regulations. … Then there are the numbers that are harder to quantify. We will never know how many people will get sick because government funding for scientific research has been slashed, for example. Nor can we know the effects of Trump’s withdrawal from the international world order and the decline in U.S. global leadership. … In their hearts, religious conservatives must know that Trump is not truly pro-life…” (7/15).

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Foreign Aid Spending Could Be 'More Productive For Peace, Security' Than War

The Conversation: Aid not war — can foreign aid projects help improve national security?
Mick McKeown, reader in democratic mental health at the University of Central Lancashire, and Nicola Lowe, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Central Lancashire

“The overseas aid budget is coming under attack, both in the U.K. and the USA. But that shortsighted view does not take into account how working together to help communities suffering under the shadow of terrorism can actually help us combat extremism. Our research illustrated how money raised in north-west England changed the lives of people in north-west Pakistan by advancing nutrition and providing health care. … The initiative we worked on was a collaboration between a U.K.-based charity, the Abaseen Foundation, and its partner NGO in Pakistan. … An independent review of the project noted the ‘enormous impact’ it had in providing access to previously absent health services for marginalized peoples and — importantly — thoroughly engaging the support of the community to create a sustainable legacy. … Abaseen’s work represents an exemplar of the effective management of overseas aid funding. … A case can be made that spending on aid rather than war may be more productive for peace and security…” (7/14).

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To End AIDS Epidemic, Global Health Community Must Learn From Young People's Experiences

Huffington Post: Defeating HIV/AIDS Means Listening To Young People
Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and professor of global health

“…[A]dolescents and young people in [sub-Saharan Africa] are being left behind in the HIV/AIDS response. … [T]he global community desperately needs to understand and learn from young people affected by HIV. … The 2018 International AIDS conference in Amsterdam is a key opportunity to keep the momentum [of ensuring young people’s voices are heard] going as young people will be a focus at the event. If we are to reduce stigma, break down barriers to treatment and care, and provide services that are tailored to the reality of being a young person living with or at risk of HIV, young people need to play an integral part in research and policymaking. Bringing the AIDS epidemic to an end requires the global health community to work together and listen to those directly affected…” (7/14).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Physicians, Medical Organizations Must Publicly Condemn Hospital Bombardments, Demand Their End

BMJ Opinion: Kathleen Thomas: Hospital bombardment — the new weapon of war?
Kathleen Thomas, an intensive care doctor from Australia, discusses her experience witnessing the destruction of Médecins Sans Frontières’ Kunduz Trauma Centre in Afghanistan when it was hit by U.S. airstrikes on October 3, 2015. Thomas describes the “weaponization” of health care and the importance of public condemnation of the practice, writing, “If we remain silent about hospital attacks, we must acknowledge that we are complicit; and this new norm will continue to be tolerated. This makes the future of medical humanitarian work in conflict zones infinitely more difficult, if not impossible, creating an unbearable situation for our international colleagues and forsaking the needs of our patients…” (7/14).

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FT Health Discusses Family Planning Summit, Features Excerpts From Melinda Gates's Speech

FT Health: Family planning pledges more important than ever
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter discusses pledges made at the 2017 Family Planning Summit in London last week, as well as funding challenges. The newsletter features excerpts from a speech made by Melinda Gates during the summit and provides a roundup of other global health-related news stories (Jack, 7/14).

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