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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Aims To Make Local Systems Sustainable, But Unlikely To Meet 30% Spending Target For Local Organizations, Devex Reports

Devex: Behind on 30 percent local spending target, USAID eyes ‘100 percent sustainability’
“…[Former USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah] set the ambitious target of channeling 30 percent of USAID’s mission program funding to local organizations by the end of fiscal 2015, nearly tripling the agency’s local spending share in just five years. … Now that Shah has left the stage and just months away from the end of fiscal 2015, will USAID meet its 30 percent local spending target on time? The agency’s just released fiscal 2014 data on USAID Forward suggests that USAID may well fall short of the goal post for now…” (Piccio, 6/22).

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UNICEF MDG 'Final Report Card' Shows Millions Of Children Will Fall Behind Without Greater Effort

News outlets discuss a new report from UNICEF, titled Progress for Children: Beyond Averages.

The Guardian: 68 million children likely to die by 2030 from preventable causes, report warns
“Almost 70 million children under five will die by 2030 from mainly preventable causes unless the world is bolder and more strategic about helping the poorest and most vulnerable young people on the planet, UNICEF has warned in a blunt final report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)…” (Jones, 6/22).

New York Times: UNICEF Report Describes Grim Trends for the Poorest Children
“…The report was described by UNICEF officials as its ‘final report card’ on whether children had been helped by the so-called Millennium Development Goals, a group of benchmarks established by the United Nations in 2000 for measuring progress in reducing poverty, hunger, child mortality, gender inequality, illiteracy, and environmental degradation by the end of 2015…” (Gladstone, 6/22).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Children must be at heart of new development goals: UNICEF
“…Despite global progress on achieving MDGs, unequal opportunities have left nearly 600 million children living in extreme poverty on less than $1.25 a day, many denied education, health care, and suffering from malnutrition, said UNICEF…” (Mis, 6/22).

U.N. News Centre: Millions of children will fall behind unless new U.N. development goals focus on most in need — UNICEF
“… ‘As the global community comes together around the Sustainable Development Goals [SDGs], we should set our sights first on reaching the children left behind as we pursued the MDGs,’ UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake writes in the foreword of the report Progress for Children: Beyond Averages, the agency’s final report on the child-related MDGs released late yesterday evening…” (6/23).

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WHO DG Calls On Commission On Ending Childhood Obesity To Create Recommendations, Policy Options

U.N. News Centre: If current trends hold, childhood obesity will hit 70 million by 2025, warns U.N. health agency
“Childhood obesity does not arise from lifestyle choices made by the child, the World Health Organization (WHO) said [Monday], stressing that the huge problem, especially in developing countries [is] on the marketing of sugar-rich non-alcoholic beverages, ultra-processed, energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods. ‘Childhood obesity can erode the benefits that arrive with social and economic progress,’ WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan told the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, which is meeting in Hong Kong. … She urged the commission to turn its findings and new thinking into further recommendations and menus of policy options…” (6/22).

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Climate Change Could Undermine 50 Years Of Gains In Global Health, Experts Say

Reuters: Climate change health risk is a ‘medical emergency,’ experts warn
“The threat to human health from climate change is so great that it could undermine the last 50 years of gains in development and global health, experts warned on Tuesday. … The report, commissioned and published by The Lancet medical journal, was compiled by a panel of specialists including European and Chinese climate scientists and geographers, social, environmental and energy scientists, biodiversity experts, and health professionals…” (Kelland, 6/23).

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Starvation Poses Threat During Pandemics, But Occurrence Difficult To Predict, Study Says

New York Times: Starvation Timetable in a Pandemic
“Starvation is a real threat during an extended pandemic, but it is very hard to predict when and where it will start, researchers report in an unusual new study. … Researchers at EcoHealth Alliance, a New York research group, used mathematical models to gauge the effects [of pandemics on starvation] under various scenarios. Their study was published this month in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences…” (McNeil, 6/19).

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CBC News Begins Series Examining Canada's Foreign Aid Focus On MCH

CBC News: 2015 Travers Fellowship series: Is Canada’s foreign aid focus working?
“…CBC News, supported by the R. James Travers Fellowship, looks at how Canada has made a difference on [development] goals, both financially and through its attempt to shift the focus of foreign aid, and looks at what comes next. The R. James Travers Fellowship, named for the late Toronto Star and Ottawa Citizen editor and columnist, each year provides $25,000 in financing for a significant foreign reporting project by a Canadian journalist. The CBC’s Laura Payton won the fellowship based on her pitch to look at Canada’s funding for maternal, newborn, and child health projects since 2010…” (Payton, 6/23).

CBC News: Saving women and children: How has Canada delivered?
“…What’s happening in [Paulina] Safari’s village in Tanzania is a sample of the work being done in 10 countries around the world that the Canadian government selected to receive the bulk of its aid. It’s also a unique case because of the accountability work the country’s president, Jakaya Kikwete, has committed to with [Canadian Prime Minister Stephen] Harper. Tanzania is just one part of the story, however. CBC News will take a closer look at the challenges of Canada’s international development throughout this week…” (Payton, 6/23).

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Sierra Leone Confirms 2 New Cases Of Ebola In Capital After 3 Weeks With No New Cases

Reuters: Ebola returns to Sierra Leone capital after three-week gap
“Sierra Leone has recorded two new cases of Ebola in Freetown in the past few days, disproving the assumption that the capital city had already defeated the deadly virus, officials said on Monday. … ‘This is worrisome because we had already closed all Ebola quarantine structures in Freetown since we had gone for weeks without a case,’ said Sidi Yahya Tunis, a spokesman for the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC)…” (Fofana, 6/22).

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Cholera Outbreak Kills 18, Infects At Least 170 In South Sudan

VOA News: South Sudan Suffers New Cholera Outbreak
“South Sudan has declared a cholera outbreak following the deaths of 18 people and at least 170 recorded cases in recent days. South Sudan’s Minister of Health Riek Gai Kok told reporters the outbreak began in crowded United Nations refugee camps in the capital, Juba, where tens of thousands of people have sought shelter from civil war…” (6/23).

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WHO Agency Says Certain Herbicides, Insecticides, Including DDT, Linked To Cancer

Reuters: WHO agency says insecticides lindane and DDT linked to cancer
“The insecticide lindane, once widely used in agriculture and to treat human lice and scabies, causes cancer, and has been specifically linked to non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also said that DDT, or dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, probably causes cancer, with scientific evidence linking it to non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), testicular cancer, and liver cancer…” (Kelland, 6/23).

Reuters: WHO unit finds 2,4-D herbicide ‘possibly’ causes cancer in humans
“A widely used farm chemical that is a key ingredient in a new herbicide developed by Dow AgroSciences ‘possibly’ causes cancer in humans, a World Health Organization research unit has determined. The classification of the weed killer, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, known as 2,4-D, was made by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)…” (Gillam, 6/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

USAID Deserves More Funding To Bolster Global Development Budget, Staffing

Foreign Policy: Why Is the United States Letting Its Best Foreign Aid Tool Fall Apart?
Christopher Holshek, senior fellow at Alliance for Peacebuilding

“…USAID’s own capacity is on the cusp of crisis: its staff is divided between veterans who are aging out and greenhorns, with too few in the middle. From the standpoint of national capacity, America has a development donut. And it’s a problem that so far has gone all but unnoticed by policymakers or the public. … The nation’s global development budget this coming fiscal year — covering Development Assistance, Global Health Programs, International Disaster Assistance, Food for Peace, Transition Initiatives, Complex Crises Fund, and organizational administration — will be somewhere around $22 billion, or about half what the Defense Department spends on petroleum, oils, and lubricants for all its equipment. That does not represent a serious investment in something that, as the president put it, demonstrates how America leads with ‘the example of our values.’ Development … is part of the core business of a country the world continues to rely on but now also more relies on the world, a business linked to peace and prosperity as well as to security…” (6/22).

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Congress Should Ensure Efficiency, Effectiveness Of U.S. Global Health Investments

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Healthy world: Congress must ensure that USAID works
Editorial Board

“…Reforms mandated by Congress — including a coordinated strategy and targeting of resources, as well as ongoing congressional oversight — are needed to ensure that USAID continues to work effectively to save impoverished children and mothers. … HR 1567, proposed by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., and approved unanimously in April by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, would require USAID to set clear, measurable, and transparent goals. It calls for a comprehensive and strategic approach to promoting agriculture-led economic development and reducing global poverty and hunger, especially for women and children. Dozens of anti-poverty and public health advocacy groups offered input on the bill, which is worth the full House’s support. It would mean better returns on U.S. investments in global health — returns measured by millions of lives saved and more stable communities and nations” (6/23).

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Opinion Pieces Examine Role Of Reliable Data In Development Progress

The Guardian: If we want to end poverty, we need to be able to measure it properly
Sabina Alkire, director of OPHI and professor at George Washington University

“…By pinpointing exactly how and where people are poor, national [multidimensional poverty indexes (MPIs)] enable governments to better target their resources and combat poverty more effectively through integrated and well-coordinated policy interventions. The [the Multidimensional Poverty Peer Network (MPPN)] hopes that the global and national MPIs will receive support at the U.N.’s conference on financing for development in Addis Ababa next month. It also hopes the MPIs will be recommended as indicators by the expert group that recently concluded its first meeting on the indicator framework in New York…” (6/22).

The Guardian: Why we shouldn’t get too excited about using big data for development
Paul Jasper, development economist and data specialist at Oxford Policy Management

“…In order to be truly transformative rather than just another fad, the so-called data revolution will have to deal with the following issues: 1. You can’t always get access to the data you need when you need it …; 2. Data can be used to spy on citizens or discriminate against consumers …; 3. Big data on its own doesn’t provide valuable insights …; 4. Millions of people still have no access to digital technology…” (6/22).

Devex: How reliable data can secure a healthy future
Jonathan S. Jay, attorney, bioethicist, and senior writer for Management Sciences for Health, and Ariella Rojhani, senior advocacy manager for the NCD Alliance

“…Transforming global health by 2030, as the SDGs intend to do, will require massive scale up in country capacity to collect timely, reliable data in a way that’s sustainable and aligned with global health priorities. If a newly launched health data initiative can win political momentum, it could help countries currently lagging to leap ahead and develop systems that meet not just today’s standards but the demands of 2030: health for all, at all ages…” (6/22).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

World Must Prepare Better For Infectious Disease Outbreaks, Expert Says

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: MERS: An outbreak reveals vulnerabilities, gaps, another chance to build appropriate responses
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses comments made by Dan Lucey, senior scholar at Georgetown University’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, on the Ebola and MERS outbreaks and outbreak preparedness (6/22).

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Post-2015 Development Documents Must Focus More On Women's Needs

BMJ Blogs: Marge Berer on the global strategy for women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health
Marge Berer, coordinator for the International Campaign for Women’s Right to Safe Abortion, discusses the draft document of the post-2015 development agenda and how “a far greater commitment to democratic representation of women’s proven needs is called for” in this and other draft development documents (6/22).

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Blog Posts Highlight Research Into New Drugs For Malaria, Other Diseases

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Research Roundup: a promising antimalarial and leishmaniasis vaccine, diagnostics for tuberculosis, and more
Kat Kelley, GHTC’s senior program assistant, highlights recent news in global health research, including the development of an experimental antimalarial drug and a potential leishmaniasis vaccine, clinical trials for new tuberculosis diagnostic tests, and research into pediatric-appropriate medicine dosages (6/22).

Humanosphere: New anti-malaria compound packs a big punch
Humanosphere reporter Tom Murphy discusses research on an experimental one-dose treatment for malaria that “can both kill the parasite and prevent [the disease] from spreading…” (6/22).

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