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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. House Subcommittee Hearing Addresses Food Insecurity Crises In Middle East, African Nations

VOA News: U.S. Congressional Leaders Look for Answers to Africa’s Food Insecurity
“…On Thursday, … three experts testif[ied] before the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee meeting on the ongoing food crisis in Yemen and the African nations of Nigeria, South Sudan, and Somalia. Labeled the worst food crisis since World War II, an estimated 28 million people now need humanitarian assistance. In all four countries, drought or climate challenges are being exacerbated by war…” (Solomon, 6/16).

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BRICS Countries Can Lead Global Efforts To Meet Hunger-, Poverty-Related Goals By 2030

Inter Press Service: BRICS to Lead World’s Efforts to Eradicate Hunger, Poverty by 2030
“With the clock ticking toward the 2030 deadline for meeting the international goals to eradicate hunger and poverty, five of the world’s most important emerging economies are well-positioned to take a leading role in helping to achieve these objectives, according to the United Nations. The five countries, known collectively as the ‘BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), form an important economic block, the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on June 16 reported…” (6/16).

U.N. News Centre: ‘BRICS’ countries well placed to help lead global efforts to tackle hunger — U.N. agency
“…These five countries … form an economic block that accounts for more than 40 percent of the world’s population and over 20 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP). Together, they produce more than one-third of global cereal production, with Russia becoming the largest wheat exporter in the world…” (6/16).

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Cholera Continues To Spread In War-Torn Yemen, Where Humanitarian Efforts Face Access Challenges

Al Jazeera: Who is to blame for the cholera outbreak in Yemen?
“The United Nations (U.N.) describes the unprecedented cholera outbreak in Yemen as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster. … The Saudi-led coalition has closed the main airport and prevented many human rights workers from entering the country. So, is the Saudi-imposed blockade complicating aid efforts?…” (6/18).

NPR: Cholera Ravages Yemen
“…Over the past six weeks, more than 124,000 suspected cholera cases have been reported. To put this in perspective, there were only 172,000 cases reported globally to the World Health Organization for all of 2015. To be fair, many cholera cases go unreported each year, but by any standard the current outbreak in Yemen is huge…” (Beaubien, 6/16).

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Funding Shortage Could Shutdown Projects Supporting 9M Children Affected By Syrian War, UNICEF Says

U.N. News Centre: UNICEF-backed projects for millions of children in Syria on verge of being ‘cut off’
“Programs supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to assist more than nine million children in Syria and neighboring countries are on the verge of being cut off due to a critical funding shortage. … UNICEF appealed for $1.4 billion for its emergency operations in 2017 inside Syria and in neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. To date, UNICEF has received less than 25 percent of its funding requirements…” (6/16).

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At Least 750K Children In Eastern Ukraine At Risk Of Losing Access To Safe Drinking Water After Hostilities Damage Infrastructure, UNICEF Warns

U.N. News Centre: Ukraine: 750,000 children at risk of losing access to safe drinking water, warns U.N.
“With the recent escalation of hostilities damaging vital water infrastructure in eastern Ukraine, at least 750,000 children are at imminent risk of being cut off from safe drinking water, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned [Friday]…” (6/16).

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Financial Times Special Report Examines Efforts To Prevent, Treat Elephantiasis In India

Financial Times: Race to zero: India’s fight against elephantiasis
“Household by household, person by person, an army of health workers is fighting to rid India of an ancient and disfiguring disease…” (Kazmin, 6/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

Reaching Men, Fathers With HIV Services Critical To Accelerating Progress Toward Controlling Epidemic

Huffington Post: Healthy Fathers And Men Help Build Healthy Communities
Deborah L. Birx, U.S. global AIDS coordinator and U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy

“…On this Father’s Day, PEPFAR celebrates the fathers … and the millions of men around the world playing vital roles in ensuring their own health, the welfare of their families and societies, and our collective efforts to control the HIV/AIDS pandemic. … PEPFAR is deeply committed to reaching men with HIV prevention and treatment services … Today and every day, we applaud the fathers and other men who are accessing HIV services, embracing gender equity, stopping the cycle of sexual and gender-based violence, and supporting their daughters — and all adolescent girls and young women — to stay in school, find employment, and live HIV-free lives. By reaching men and fathers … with HIV services and empowering them as healthy role models for their families and communities — together, we are accelerating progress toward controlling the HIV/AIDS pandemic” (6/16).

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Global Health Funding Represents 'Essential Investment' For U.S. Global Health Security

Baltimore Sun: President’s budget would leave U.S. more vulnerable to global health security threats
Tom Inglesby, Anita Cicero, and Jennifer Nuzzo, all faculty at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

“…Cuts to global health security programs in the president’s proposed budget … are a drastic move in the wrong direction. … The proposed budget would cut … CDC’s Global Health programs, including cuts to Global Disease Detection and other programs that train and prepare countries to diagnose and respond to emerging diseases, and to the Global Immunization Program. … Critically important U.S. global health security initiatives are now threatened as well. Global health funding at USAID and the State Department would be cut by more than $2 billion … largely in the form of reductions to programs responding to leading global health killers: HIV, TB, and malaria, among other serious diseases. The world-renowned PEPFAR program … would shrink … Taken together, all of these programs have saved millions of lives and are building the capabilities that are needed for early warning of and rapid response to major new epidemics. Congress should recognize the extraordinary benefits these programs bring to security, health, and U.S. diplomacy and should provide steady funding for them, at minimum consistent with [the] FY17 level of support. It’s an essential investment for this country, and for the world” (6/16).

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More Political Will, Investment Needed To Support Midwife Training, Regulation

Devex: Opinion: Invest in midwives to improve global health
Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, former president of the United Republic of Tanzania, and Toyin Ojora-Saraki, founder of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa

“…[I]f all women gave birth with a midwife in a facility capable of providing basic emergency care, it is estimated that 56 percent of maternal, fetal, and newborn deaths could be prevented. That’s a million lives each year. So why are midwives still chronically underfunded and undervalued by governments and society at large? … Midwives offer an affordable, practical solution to improving community health outcomes, so it is baffling that midwives lack the political will and support from leaders around the world who claim to protect women and children. … We therefore call on all governments that value their citizens, and all citizens who value their families, to enact policy and dedicate funding to midwives. With the right support, regulation, and training, governments can give midwives the resources they need to save lives before, during and after a woman gives birth, and to enrich the medical profession as a whole…” (6/19).

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Rwanda Must Continue To Strengthen Health System With Decreasing Reliance On Global Fund

New Times: How to leverage partners’ money in strengthening a country’s health system
Yvan Butera, general practitioner at the Rwanda Military Hospital

“…Rwanda’s visionary approach to the use of Global Fund money for strengthening its health system has been effective in meeting health-related development targets and allows the government to look ahead toward strategies for maintaining a resilient health system independently. We should, now, usher in the era of a progressive shift en route to locally funded health programs. … Unlike most countries, Rwanda … used [Global Fund] money to strengthen its entire health system. … With this approach, Rwanda was able to achieve the health-related [Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)] through financial inputs of the Global Fund. … Looking forward, these gains should be kept, improved, and sustained with decreasing reliance on the Global Fund. It is through a resilient health system owned by the country, public-private partnership, and local inter-sectorial partnerships that the health system can be sufficiently strong” (6/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

FT Health Discusses Polio Eradication Efforts, Features Interview With Gates Foundation CEO Sue Desmond-Hellmann

Financial Times: FT Health: Beware donor disillusionment
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter discusses polio eradication efforts and features an interview with Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The newsletter also provides a roundup of other global health-related news stories and a “Chartwatch” section highlighting a Kaiser Family Foundation report examining the potential impacts of proposed reductions in U.S. global health spending (Jack/Dodd, 6/16).

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WHO Announces Decision To Develop New Essentials Diagnostics List To Complement Existing Essential Medicines List

WHO: WHO to develop Essential Diagnostics List
“The 20th WHO Model List of Essential Medicines was published on 6 June this year, with a number of important new additions, including a recommendation by the Expert Committee on the Selection of Essential Medicines that WHO develop an Essential Diagnostics List (EDL). Based on that recommendation, WHO has begun to lay the ground for the preparation of the list, which will become an important contribution to Universal Health Coverage (UHC)…” (6/15).

Global Health Technologies Coalition: GHTC welcomes creation of WHO Essential Diagnostics List
“…This decision by WHO follows a global advocacy campaign led by researchers at McGill University, University of Michigan, [Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC)], FIND, and other organizations, urging WHO to establish an EDL to complement the existing [Essential Medicines List (EML)] and guide countries in procuring diagnostics needed to enable safe and appropriate use of medicines on the EML…” (6/15).

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China's Efforts To Develop Anti-Ebola Drugs Illustrate Opportunities, Challenges In R&D, Ensuring Global Health Security

Council on Foreign Relations’ “Asia Unbound”: A Tale of Two Anti-Ebola Drugs
Yanzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses China’s experience developing experimental anti-Ebola drugs, writing, “[T]he story of China’s efforts to develop anti-Ebola drugs is illustrative of the opportunities and challenges we face in ensuring global health security. … Unfortunately, intellectual property issues remain an insurmountable hurdle for China to … serve as a real leader in [global health security]. New norms and rules will be needed to balance public health and intellectual property considerations in pursuing and promoting global health security” (6/16).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.