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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Record 65.6M People Displaced Globally, UNHCR's Annual Report Shows

BBC News: U.N. refugee agency: Record 65.6 million people displaced worldwide
“A record 65.6 million people are either refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced across the globe, the U.N. refugee agency said. The estimated figure for the end of 2016 is an increase of 300,000 on 2015, according to its annual report…” (6/19).

Deutsche Welle: U.N.: Record 65 million people displaced worldwide
“…The figures, which are released annually ahead of World Refugee Day on June 20, showed that more than 10 million of the world’s displaced people were uprooted from their homes in the past year alone. Some 3.5 million displaced people crossed international borders for the first time to become refugees…” (6/19).

Devex: What you missed reading UNHCR’s global trends
“…The statistics appear to shatter hopes that greater international engagement, political will, and solidarity could aid millions on the run. The rate of displacement is now equivalent to 20 people fleeing their homes every minute of every day. … For our expert community, Devex took a look beyond the statistics in the report to look at a few trends that you might have missed…” (Dickinson, 6/20).

The Guardian: One person forced to flee their home every three seconds by war and violence
“…According to the report, refugee numbers were the highest ever in 2016, at 22.5 million, with the majority of people coming from Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan. Half of all refugees were children. … The vast majority of displaced people, 40.3 million, left their home but did not cross the border of their country. Syria, Iraq, and Colombia — which has endured decades of conflict — had the largest number of internally displaced people…” (Ratcliffe, 6/19).

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Emergency Cholera Vaccine Supply Set To Arrive Soon In Yemen; Death Toll Reaches Nearly 1,150

IRIN: Exclusive: Largest ever stock of cholera vaccine headed for Yemen
“One million doses of an emergency oral cholera vaccine from a global stockpile have been approved for urgent use in Yemen, IRIN has learnt. It is the largest quantity ever deployed at once and is intended to help combat a deadly outbreak sweeping across the war-torn country. At the latest count, there were 167,000 cases and 1,146 deaths in Yemen, equating to a death every hour by the Vibrio cholerae bacteria…” (Stewart, 6/20).

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Number Of Diarrhea-Related Deaths Falling In Low-Income Countries But Rising In Wealthy Nations, Study Shows

NPR: A Good News Story About Diarrhea — With One Surprising Exception
“…[T]wo trends are clear, says an author of a new report: The number of deaths from diarrheal diseases is dropping dramatically in low-income countries — and ticking upward in wealthy nations. … Published this month in The Lancet, the study shows diarrhea-related deaths have declined about 20 percent from 2005 to 2015 for all ages to 1.3 million people, and 35 percent for children under five to about 500,000 children during the same time period…” (Chen, 6/19).

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British Microbiologist Crowdsources Efforts To Discover New Antibiotics From Environmental Samples

The Atlantic: Hunting for Antibiotics in the World’s Dirtiest Places
“…[Microbiologist Adam Roberts] decided to start where pharmaceutical chemistry had left off decades earlier: in the messy real-world settings where bacteria duke it out. He launched his campaign, called Swab and Send, in February 2015. For £5, participants got a sample tube, a mailing envelope, and an explanation of what Roberts wanted them to look for: a spot in the environment where bacteria were likely to be competing for nutrition and room to reproduce. He asked them to use their imagination. The less sanitary, the better…” (McKenna, July/August 2017).

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Microsoft-Developed Mosquito Trap Helps Researchers Capture Specific Insects

New York Times: The High-Tech Device That’s Like a Bouncer for Mosquitoes
“…The new traps, made by Microsoft, overcome one of the most frustrating aspects of insect surveillance: There are 56 species of mosquitoes in [Houston], and conventional traps suck in nearly all of them. Entomologists want only a few disease-carrying types, including Aedes aegypti, which carries Zika and dengue, and Culex quinquefasciatus, which spreads West Nile virus. … The Microsoft trap, by contrast, has 64 compartments, arrayed like studio apartments in a skyscraper. When an insect flies in, it crosses an infrared beam that reads the pattern of the shadows thrown by its buzzing wings, said Ethan Jackson, a computer scientist who leads Microsoft’s Project Premonition, which created the trap with advice from mosquito experts at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation…” (McNeil, 6/19).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Needs To Maintain Or Increase Foreign Aid Budget To Fulfill Security, Health, Economic Growth Targets

American Interest: Why We Need Foreign Aid
Stephen D. Krasner, senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Hoover Institution, both at Stanford University

“…The fundamental objective of our foreign assistance program should be security, health, and economic growth. These three goals are consistent with our interests and with the interests of elites in target states, even autocratic elites. … In addition to security, health, and economic growth there are two other objectives that American foreign assistance broadly understood can address. First, we can limit the impact of humanitarian crises. … Second, we might be able in some special circumstances to stop conflicts before they spread or mitigate their impact after they have taken place. … In our own self-interest, we should be providing more foreign aid, not less, as we refine our approaches to the many serious challenges that development aid, along with other policy instruments, addresses. Cutting the budgets of the State Department and USAID in such a massive way [as proposed in the Trump administration’s FY18 budget] would both crush morale and cripple crucial capabilities, making the United States less secure…” (6/19).

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Outgoing WHO Director General Reflects On Past, Future Challenges Of Agency

STAT: My decade leading the WHO: dirty fights and steps toward universal coverage
Margaret Chan, outgoing WHO director general

“…Going forward, I would like to see the WHO do more to address financing issues, both for its own budget and the health budgets of low- and middle-income countries. … The WHO needs to keep the world focused on responding to the growing number of crises caused by the triple blows of famine, armed conflict, and outbreaks of opportunistic diseases like cholera. Strong leadership at the WHO is needed to keep pushing back against severe health threats that have their root causes in non-health sectors. These include chronic diseases and climate change, as well as the rise of antimicrobial resistance, for which agricultural practices play a major role. Recent changes in the global poverty map are also important going forward: 73 percent of the world’s poor now live in middle-income countries. What happens to them when these countries lose their eligibility for financial support from the Global Fund and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, remain an unanswered question. I have been greatly encouraged by the commitment to universal health coverage of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, my successor as director general. At a time when policies in so many sectors are increasing social inequalities, I am pleased to see health lead the world toward greater fairness and security in ways that matter to each and every person on this planet” (6/20).

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Global Community Should Invest In Midwives

Project Syndicate: Midwives Deliver Lives
Jakaya Kikwete, former president of Tanzania and member of the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity, and Toyin Saraki, founder and president of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa

“…Worldwide, 350,000 more midwives are needed to bridge the gap between the health-care haves and have-nots. … Policies and funding to support midwife education, training, and regulation can produce up to a sixteenfold return on investment, because when midwives are involved in pregnancy and childbirth, mothers are less likely to require expensive emergency interventions such as caesarean sections. The fact that governments and civil society organizations have given midwives such short shrift is as surprising as it is disappointing. … To bring more attention to midwives’ unique role, the International Confederation of Midwives is gathering this week in Toronto, Canada, for its 31st Triennial Congress. … We cannot rest until we have addressed the millions of lives that are still lost each year in pregnancy, childbirth, and early life. That is why we are asking governments and donors around the world to give midwifery the attention that it deserves as a commonsense solution to a global health problem…” (6/19).

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Kenya Must Adopt Innovative Financing Solutions To Achieve UHC By 2030

Inter Press Service: Achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in Kenya through Innovative Financing
Siddharth Chatterjee, U.N. resident coordinator to Kenya

“…In its Vision 2030, Kenya committed to becoming a competitive and prosperous nation with a high quality of life for all its citizens by 2030. Investing in a quality health delivery system is enshrined in the Vision, an area in which the government has made considerable progress. Revamping the national health insurance scheme to comprise everyone capable of paying premiums, rather than only those in formal employment, has shifted the burden of health care costs from the individual to the collective by raising more money for health care services. Nevertheless, four out of every five Kenyans have no access to medical insurance. That is why Kenya needs to adopt more innovative ways of financing its health care system. … There is no one-size-fits-all health financing solution. And Kenya must continuously adapt in the face of rapid technological changes. … With its technological prowess, a hotspot for innovation, incredible entrepreneurial spirit, and enterprise, Kenya must be at the vanguard on the road to universal health care in Africa” (6/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. Congress Members Respond To Proposed Cuts To U.S. Foreign Assistance

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: Congressional Leaders Join Together to Support Diplomacy and Development
Jessica Mulligan, government relations manager at USGLC, highlights quotes from several Congress members responding last week to the administration’s proposed cuts to development assistance, global health funding, humanitarian aid, and international organizations (6/19).

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CGD's Amanda Glassman Summarizes Responses To Blog Post On WHO's Economics

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog/Views from the Center”: Where Does WHO Get Its Economic Advice? — Part Two
Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer, senior fellow, and Board secretary at CGD, writes, “My recent blog post on economics at WHO alongside Tony Culyer’s open letter to incoming Director-General Dr. Tedros generated great feedback and discussion. Below, you can find my views on some of the key points made, as well as WHO health economist Melanie Bertram’s response to the letter here.” Glassman concludes, “There is a serious problem in the way the WHO is doing business overall, and better economics is part of the solution” (6/19).

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Blog Post Examines Importance Of Pandemic Preparedness Among Poor Populations

Brookings Institution: Pandemics and the poor
Ben Oppenheim, senior scientific consultant with Metabiota and senior fellow and visiting scholar at the New York University Center on International Cooperation, and Gavin Yamey, director of the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health and professor of global health at Duke University’s Global Health Institute, discuss “why the poor are more vulnerable to epidemics and pandemics and what protections are required.” They write, “[P]andemic preparedness efforts must preferentially target the poor. This means doing at least four key pro-poor things: 1. Focus on countries with high disease burdens and high spark risk. … 2. Track progress in pandemic preparedness. … 3. Ensure equitable access to pandemic vaccines and medicines. … 4. Invest now for economic recovery from pandemics…” (6/19).

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CGD's Charles Kenny's New Book Examines Foreign Aid, Corruption, Development Measurements

Center for Global Development “Views from the Center”: Do Weak Governments Doom Developing Countries to Poverty?
Charles Kenny, senior fellow at CGD, writes, “When you read what economists have to say about development, it is easy to be disheartened about the prospects for poor countries. One big reason is that slow changing institutional factors are seen as key to development prospects. I’ve just published a CGD book that’s a little more optimistic: Results Not Receipts: Counting the Right Things in Aid and Corruption…” (6/19).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Recognizes World Refugee Day

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash features a piece by Global Fund Interim Executive Director Marijke Wijnroks, in which she writes, “On World Refugee Day, we should remember the best way to improve health and prevent new diseases from spreading is to meet the needs of the most vulnerable amongst us, especially those forced to flee their homes and cross national borders” (6/20).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. State Department Renews Commitment To Eliminate Sexual Violence In Conflict

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Recommitting to Combat Sexual Violence in Conflict
Recognizing the International Day to Eliminate Sexual Violence in Conflict on June 19, Betty Bernstein-Zabza, senior adviser and director of operations of the secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the State Department, writes, “Today, we renew our commitment to combat sexual violence in conflict, working with like-minded governments, civil society, and other partners internationally. Environments where sexual violence can occur — and can occur with impunity — threaten global stability and detract from our own efforts to strengthen national security. We must do better to provide women and girls the support that they need and deserve in the most difficult and dangerous conflicts around the world” (6/19).

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