KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Climate Change To Increase Risk Of Conflict, Natural Disaster, Hunger, U.N. Report Says

News outlets discuss a new report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that says climate change will adversely affect health, food security, and economic and political stability.

Agence France-Presse: Climate change boosts conflict risk, floods, hunger: U.N.
“Soaring carbon emissions will amplify the risk of conflict, hunger, floods and mass migration this century, the U.N.’s expert panel said Monday in a landmark report on the impact of climate change…” (Hiyama, 3/30).

BBC News: Climate impacts ‘overwhelming’ — U.N.
“The impacts of global warming are likely to be ‘severe, pervasive and irreversible,’ a major report by the U.N. has warned. Scientists and officials meeting in Japan say the document is the most comprehensive assessment to date of the impacts of climate change on the world…” (McGrath, 3/31).

The Guardian: Climate change: the poor will suffer most
“Pensioners left on their own during a heatwave in industrialized countries. Single mothers in rural areas. Workers who spend most of their days outdoors. Slum dwellers in the megacities of the developing world. These are some of the vulnerable groups who will feel the brunt of climate change as its effects become more pronounced in the coming decades, according to a game-changing report from the U.N.’s climate panel released on Monday…” (Goldenberg, 3/30).

New York Times: Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come
“…The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations group that periodically summarizes climate science, concluded that ice caps are melting, sea ice in the Arctic is collapsing, water supplies are coming under stress, heat waves and heavy rains are intensifying, coral reefs are dying, and fish and many other creatures are migrating toward the poles or in some cases going extinct…” (Gillis, 3/30).

Reuters: Threat from global warming heightened in latest U.N. report
“Global warming poses a growing threat to the health, economic prospects, and food and water sources of billions of people, top scientists said in a report that urges swift action to counter the effects of carbon emissions…” (Sheldrick/Meyers, 3/31).

Washington Post: U.N. climate panel: Governments, businesses need to take action now against growing risks
“The world’s leading environmental scientists told policymakers and business leaders Sunday that they must invest more to cope with climate change’s immediate effects and hedge against its most dire potential, even as they work to slow the emissions fueling global warming…” (Mufson, 3/30).

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Number Of Confirmed Ebola Cases Grows In West Africa

News outlets report on the growing number of Ebola cases in West Africa.

Associated Press: Guinea reports Ebola death toll rises to 78
“Health authorities in Guinea are facing an ‘unprecedented epidemic’ of Ebola, an international aid group warned Monday as the death toll from the disease that causes severe bleeding reached 78…” (Diallo/Larson, 3/31).

Bloomberg News: Ebola Confirmed in Liberia as Guinea Death Toll Rises
“…The outbreak is the worst in seven years, and the first in Guinea, which has 122 suspected or confirmed cases and 80 deaths, the WHO said today…” (Bennett/Camara, 3/31).

Reuters: Scale of Guinea’s Ebola epidemic unprecedented: aid agency
“Guinea faces an Ebola epidemic on an unprecedented scale as it battles to contain confirmed cases now scattered across several locations that are far apart, medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières said on Monday…” (Samb, 3/31).

RTT News: E.U. Pledges EUR 500,000 To Help Contain Ebola Outbreak In West Africa
“In the wake of the recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, the European Commission has announced that it will provide EUR 500,000 to help contain the spread of the deadly virus in Guinea and neighboring countries…” (3/28).

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To Address Globalization, FDA Focuses On Transforming Into Global Health Organization

Roll Call: As Food and Drug Imports Increase, FDA Focuses on Becoming Global Health Organization
“The Food and Drug Administration is tasked with overseeing the safety and quality of most of the food, medical devices, drugs, biological products, vaccines, and cosmetics in the United States. But every year, more and more of those products come into the country from other nations. … This growth of imported products has been rapid and is expected to continue to increase. That is why FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg says the agency must transform itself into a global health organization…” (Ethridge, 3/31).

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Deutsche Welle Discusses Balance Between For-Profit Drug Companies And Public Health Needs

Zulfikar Abbany of Deutsche Welle interviews Adrian Hill of the Jenner Institute on the issues and challenges involved in balancing the needs of for-profit pharmaceutical companies with public health goals.

Deutsche Welle: Is profit more important than public health?
In this audio episode of Spectrum, Zulfikar Abbany of Deutsche Welle interviews Adrian Hill, director of the Jenner Institute, on “how drug companies weigh up profit and public health” (3/31).

Deutsche Welle: Balancing profits against public health in the search for innovative vaccines
“There is no cure and no vaccine for the Ebola virus, which has killed about 70 people in Guinea. Vaccine expert Professor Adrian Hill tells DW why some vaccines take time. It’s got to do with profit…” (Abbany, 3/31).

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Gates Says Economic Growth Linked With Women's Empowerment

LiveMint: Growing economies linked with women’s empowerment: Gates
“Countries will treat their women better if there is economic growth, Bill Gates, co-chair and trustee of global health think tank Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said on Monday. … He was answering a question about how to approach empowerment of women at a panel discussion at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute on Monday…” (Rao, 3/31).

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New U.N. Report Urges Proactive, Preventive Aid Approach

U.N. News Centre: Saving more lives requires abandoning broken, reactive approach to aid — U.N.
“Relief aid should anticipate and prevent — not just react and treat, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) declares today in a new report that challenges humanitarian and development actors to change the way they operate, and aims to kick-start an urgent global dialogue on preventing crises through effective risk management…” (3/31).

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Health Research Community Must Reorient Itself For Post-2015 Agenda

SciDev.Net: Health research re-orients to the post-2015 agenda
“No one yet knows exactly what the next generation of development goals will look like, but one thing is clear: health no longer enjoys the limelight thrown on it by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Instead, it looks set to be one of several areas of focus. By its content and its very title — ‘Generating knowledge for health; the post 2015 challenge’ — last week’s conference at the U.K.’s Royal Society of Medicine reflects the soul searching that comes with that shift in the global agenda…” (Makri, 3/31).

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New World Bank Agriculture Project May Jeopardize Food Security, NGOs Warn

The Guardian: World Bank’s new agriculture project threatens food security, warn experts
“A World Bank pilot project designed to measure and improve agricultural productivity will jeopardize food security in developing countries and create a ‘one-size-fits-all model of development where corporations reign supremely,’ according to a coalition of think tanks and NGOs…” (Jones, 3/31).

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Spread of Hunger, Displacement In South Sudan Is 'Alarming,' U.N. Reports

News outlets report on the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

U.N. News Centre: U.N. relief officials arrive in South Sudan amid ‘alarming’ spread of hunger, displacement
“Senior United Nations relief officials began a visit to South Sudan [Monday] to meet conflict-affected people and to review the ongoing response and needs amid a spiraling humanitarian crisis in the world’s youngest nation…” (3/31).

BBC News: U.N.: Over one million displaced by South Sudan conflict
“More than one million people have been forced from their homes by the ongoing conflict in South Sudan, the U.N. says. Of these, 803,200 have been displaced within the country, and another 254,000 have fled to neighboring countries, according to the latest U.N. report…” (3/29).

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Ugandan President Dismisses Western Aid Cuts At Rally Supporting Anti-Gay Law

News outlets report on a Ugandan rally supporting the country’s anti-gay law, at which President Yoweri Museveni dismissed Western aid cuts.

Associated Press: Uganda holds ‘thanksgiving’ event for anti-gay law
“President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has launched fresh condemnation of gays, saying they deserve punishment because homosexuality ‘is criminal and it is so cruel’…” (3/31).

Reuters: Ugandan president dismisses aid cuts at rally against gays
“President Yoweri Museveni told a rally of religious leaders, politicians and thousands of supporters on Monday that Uganda could live without aid that Western donors suspended or diverted in protest at an anti-gay bill that became law in February…” (Biryabarema, 3/31).

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Forbes Interviews Head Of Rotary International John Hewko

Forbes: John Hewko, Head Of Rotary, Explains Polio’s Legacy
Contributor Devin Thorpe interviews John Hewko, general secretary of Rotary International, “to discuss the end game strategy for completing the eradication of polio and the legacy the effort leaves behind.” The interview is available as a video file (3/29).

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The Telegraph Interviews WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin

The Telegraph: Meet Ertharin Cousin: the woman who feeds the world
“She’s friends with the Obamas. She rose from poverty to run the World Food Programme. And she plans to end global hunger in our lifetime. Meet Ertharin Cousin…” (Llewellyn-Smith, 3/30).

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Editorials and Opinions

Melinda Gates Discusses The Power Of Mothers

Huffington Post: Bring Every Good Thing to Our Children
Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation

“…Our desire to bring every good thing to our children is a force for good in the world. Whenever I travel in developing countries, I take time to meet with women in the communities I’m visiting. It’s a great opportunity to just listen. Women will tell me their hopes and dreams for their children. They want to be sure their kids are healthy and that they’re getting an education, because more than anything they want their children’s lives to be better than their own. Unfortunately, many of the women I meet don’t have access to high-quality health care and education for their children. If we can fill these gaps, we can truly unleash the power of mothers. When that happens, life will get better for literally hundreds of millions of people very fast” (3/31).

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Devex Publishes Opinion Pieces As Part Of 'She Builds' Campaign

Devex publishes two opinion pieces as part of its “She Builds” campaign.

Devex: Much has been done, but far from enough
Jan Mattsson, executive director of UNOPS

“Sustainable development and gender equality are two sides of the same coin. The international community cannot reach its 2015 Millennium Development Goals, nor the follow-on generation of sustainable development goals, without enshrining women’s rights into its practices and programs. … At UNOPS, we recognize that we need to do more, practically, on the ground. To this end, we adopted a framework for gender mainstreaming, using tools that ensure accountability towards gender-related aspects across the organization via reporting mechanisms. … Achieving gender equality doesn’t happen overnight, but we must strive towards it — and indeed step up the game — if we are to ensure sustainable development results that make a real difference for communities” (3/31).

Devex: Women’s futures under threat
Sophie in ‘t Veld, a Dutch member of the European Parliament, and Petra Bayr, the Social Democrat Party — SPÖ spokesperson for global development and a member of the Austrian parliament

“…[I]n order for women to be these builders of futures, they must be healthy. And women are exposed to a major potential threat to health that men are not — pregnancy. … Indeed, almost 800 women in the developing world die every day during pregnancy and childbirth — many as a result of unsafe abortion. … This is why the international community designated maternal health as a standalone Millennium Development Goal — and why the European Union contributed $120 million to maternal health in 2012. However, this E.U. funding may be threatened by an initiative called ‘One of Us.’ This initiative aims to halt all E.U. funds for any activities that involve the destruction of the human embryo. … As one of the leading international actors supporting family planning and sexual and reproductive health, the E.U. has a responsibility to stand up for these rights…” (3/27).

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'Development Impact Bonds' Can Drive Malaria Control Programs Forward

The Guardian: Malaria in Mozambique: trialing payment by results
Lily Han, investment principal with Dalberg Global Development Advisers, a private sector partner working to launch the Mozambique Malaria performance bond

“Malaria control programs in recent decades offer overwhelming evidence that integrated, sustained malaria-eradication protocols that cover prevention, diagnosis, and treatment achieve results. But two factors have kept the disease burden posed by malaria high in some of the most underdeveloped parts of the world: a lack of sustained financing and lack of coordination among interventions. This is exactly why malaria is such a prime target for applying development impact bonds (DIBs), a new way of attracting funding for development issues such as malaria…” (3/31).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Child Mortality Declining Worldwide, Although More To Be Done

In a guest post on Humanosphere, Katie Leach-Kemon, a policy translation specialist from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, writes, “The significant progress made against child mortality around the world over the last two decades is frequently cited as one of the biggest success stories of international development. Much more remains to be done, but it’s worth looking at what we know — and don’t know — about this propitious decline in child deaths.” She examines data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010), and she concludes, “In each update, scientists obtain more data and apply more advanced methods. When new child mortality estimates are released as part of the GBD Study 2013, it will be enlightening to see what the new data and improved methods reveal” (3/31).

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April 2014 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

The April 2014 issue of the WHO Bulletin features a public health news round-up, an article on improving breastfeeding rates in Indonesia, and an article on the challenges of eliminating vaccine-preventable diseases, among other articles (April 2014).

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