KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Administration Moves To Cut Foreign Aid To 3 Central American Countries To Address Illegal Immigration; Immigration Experts Say Move Could Backfire

Wall Street Journal: Trump Officials Try to Defend Plan to Cut Aid to Three Central American Nations
“Senior administration officials sought to defend President Trump’s proposal to cut foreign aid to three Central American countries he says are complicit in the flow of illegal migrants toward the U.S., following a wave of criticism that the move was counterproductive. Since the president’s remarks on Friday and a statement the following day from the State Department announcing the cuts to funding for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, the administration has provided little detail of how much would be cut and has declined to clarify how the president had the authority to do so. … Immigration analysts said the proposed cuts are likely to backfire and risk fostering the root causes of migration such as grinding poverty and widespread violence, as well as lawlessness that feeds government corruption and extortion by criminal organizations…” (Lubold et al., 3/31).

Additional coverage of the Trump administration’s plan is available from the Associated Press, NBC News, New York Times, and Washington Post.

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Red Cross Receives Waiver From Maduro Government To Begin Aid Deliveries To Venezuela

New York Times: Red Cross Granted Access to Deliver Aid in Venezuela
“The Red Cross said Friday it had received permission from Venezuela’s government and opposition to roll out one of the organization’s biggest global relief campaigns, signaling a possible easing in the dire humanitarian emergency gripping the country. The announcement amounted to the first tacit acknowledgment by the government of Nicolás Maduro that Venezuelans are suffering from lack of food and other basics. … The Red Cross said a diplomatic waiver granted by Mr. Maduro would allow it to begin delivery of medical supplies as soon as mid-April. … The Red Cross said its relief in Venezuela will not be linked to any political parties…” (Kurmanaev/Herrera, 3/29).

Additional coverage of the announcement is available from Reuters and Wall Street Journal.

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DRC Records 15 Ebola Cases In One Day; Treatment Center Reopens; Progress Being Made In Building Community Trust, U.N. Says

CIDRAP News: DRC Ebola total grows by 15; new antiviral clears hurdle
“An ongoing surge of Ebola cases in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) saw another double-digit rise [Friday], with 15 new cases, the health ministry said in its daily update. In other developments, a U.S. research team announced [last week] it has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance to use animal models in its development of remdesivir, one of the experimental treatments being used to treat patients in the DRC outbreak…” (Schnirring, 3/29).

Reuters: Ebola treatment center in Congo reopens after attack
“An Ebola treatment center located at the epicenter of the current outbreak in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has resumed operations after it was attacked last month, the country’s health ministry said on Saturday. The center run by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in the district of Katwa was set on fire on Feb. 24 by unknown attackers, forcing staff to evacuate patients. … ‘For now it is managed by the ministry in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF,’ [a health ministry statement] said…” (Mahamba/Jabkhiro, 3/30).

U.N. News: Ebola cases rising in DR Congo, but U.N. health agency cites progress in community trust-building
“… ‘No major security incidents’ have been reported in the last 10 days but the overall situation remains ‘fragile,’ WHO says — a reference to several recent attacks on Ebola Treatment Centers by armed groups. … WHO insisted, meanwhile, that efforts to encourage communities to participate more in countering Ebola, had been successful…” (3/29).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from the Associated Press, Homeland Preparedness News, and Reuters.

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Mozambique Records 1st Death From Cholera, More Than 500 Cases In Outbreak Following Cyclone Idai

Associated Press: Mozambique confirms 1st cholera death as cases above 500
“Mozambique’s cyclone-hit city of Beira has confirmed its first death from cholera, as the number of cases of the disease has jumped to 517. To control the outbreak, emergency clinics have been set up across Beira, a city of 500,000, said Mozambican national health director Ussene Isse, according to broadcaster TVM…” (Dube, 4/1).

Additional coverage of the cholera outbreak in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai is available from the Associated Press and Reuters.

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WHO, Partners Respond To Major Cholera Outbreak In Warn-Torn Yemen

Reuters: Killed by cholera, Yemeni doctor knew he was fighting ‘disastrous’ epidemic
“…Yemen is suffering its third major outbreak of the water-borne bacterial infection since the conflict broke out in 2015, causing the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis that has put 10 million people on the brink of famine. The disease is spreading like ‘wildfire,’ according to the United Nations which recorded 110,000 suspected cholera cases and 200 deaths in three months…” (al-Ansi, 4/1).

VOA News: Aid Groups Scrambling to Stem Cholera in Yemen
“…WHO and partners are scaling up operations to try to contain the spread of this deadly disease. They have set up 413 diarrhea treatment centers and oral rehydration centers in 147 priority districts. They are stockpiling emergency water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies. They say more than 400,000 people have received oral cholera vaccines in several districts…” (Schlein, 3/30).

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U.N. SG Tells Governments To 'Come With A Plan' To September Climate Summit, Cites WMO Report Showing Impacts From Warming Temperatures

Thomson Reuters Foundation: ‘Come with a plan,’ U.N. chief tells states ahead of climate summit
“U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres told governments to come to a September summit with concrete plans to boost climate action, as he released a flagship report on global warming by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Thursday. … A jump in the average number of people exposed to potentially lethal heat waves — some 125 million since the beginning of this century — exemplified climate change’s fast-expanding cost to public health, said Guterres. The world’s warming trend is expected to continue, with the past four years the hottest on record, said the WMO report…” (Malo, 3/28).

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World Bank's Annette Dixon Discusses Progress Of Human Capital Index In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: World Bank human capital index gathers momentum
“The number of countries working with the World Bank to improve their health, education, and social protection outcomes as part of the flagship human capital index has nearly doubled in the last six months, according to Annette Dixon, vice president for human capital at the development finance institution. … Dixon spoke to Devex about the impact the index has had so far and plans for the future…” (Edwards, 4/1).

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More News In Global Health

Borgen Magazine: Health Care and Disease in Sri Lanka (Sherrington, 3/29).

CNN: In world first, HIV-positive woman donates kidney to HIV-positive recipient (Scutti, 3/28).

Devex: Could Nigeria’s HIV rate be just half what was thought? (Adepoju, 4/1).

Devex: Q&A: Hewlett Foundation’s Ruth Levine on how donors can stop ‘undercutting chances of success’ (Cheney, 4/1).

Financial Times: Bill Gates: Mobilizing political leaders and donors (Jack, 3/31).

Financial Times: Impact investment universe grows to $502bn (Walker, 3/31).

Health Policy Watch: The Economist AMR Summit: ‘Broadening’ Stakeholders To Strengthen Call To Action (Branigan, 3/27).

Health Policy Watch: Access To Essential Medicines — Charles Gore Speaks About MPP’s Expanding Role (New, 3/25).

New York Times: Nepal Storm Kills Dozens and Injures Hundreds (Sharma, 4/1).

Political Analysis: Sierra Leone cleared of Ebola fund pilfering accusations (3/28).

TIME: ‘No Help Is Coming.’ How Devastating Floods Are Fueling Sexual Violence and the Spread of HIV in Malawi (Godin/Martin, 3/29).

Xinhua News: Fresh polio case identified in Afghanistan: official (4/1).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Lawmakers Must Commit To Ending Global AIDS

Idaho Statesman: Idaho’s U.S. lawmakers must help fight the global AIDS crisis
Ali Escalante, volunteer for the ONE Campaign

“…For nearly two decades, the U.S. has led the global push to eliminate AIDS in a bipartisan manner. … In his State of the Union address …, President Donald Trump put a needed spotlight on the AIDS crisis in the U.S. and beyond. However, for the past two years, the White House has proposed two major cuts to the global AIDS response. Pumping the brakes on years of steadfast investment in the Global Fund and PEPFAR would reverse our hard-fought progress at a time when we need to be keeping our foot on the gas. … Working in concert with PEPFAR, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria has been one of the most effective and efficient health organizations on the planet. In my meeting with [Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho)], I was greatly encouraged by his stated support for the Global Fund. I hope the rest of Idaho’s lawmakers will take a similar interest in preserving America’s leadership in the AIDS fight. We have come too far in the global battle to end AIDS, and it’s time for America to send another strong signal to the world that we aren’t stopping now” (3/29).

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Technological Innovations Could 'Revolutionize' TB Care, Help Achieve 'TB-Free World'

Devex: Opinion: The impact of the technology revolution on tuberculosis
Michael Reid, assistant professor of medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and researcher at the UCSF Center for Global Health Diplomacy and Delivery

“…There is … rising optimism that available technological innovations can solve many of the programmatic and logistical barriers that have hindered TB control efforts for the past 25 years. Highlighted in the ‘Building a tuberculosis-free world: The Lancet Commission on tuberculosis,’ released March 20, new technologies, both established and emerging, have the potential to revolutionize TB care for those that need it most. … To be maximally effective, digital innovation will need to be combined with other innovations to determine how TB services are delivered and funded. Nonetheless, if done well, advances such as these have great potential to improve TB programs and save lives. It is unacceptable that TB, a curable and preventable disease, is the No. 1 infectious disease killer in the 21st century. As the Lancet Commission underscores, new digital technologies are one of the surest ways to build a TB-free world” (3/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Health GAP Discusses Expansion Of Mexico City Policy, Potential Impact On HIV Services

Health GAP: Secretary Pompeo’s most recent expansion of the Global Gag Rule places access to HIV services for women worldwide further in peril
This release discusses U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement last week about the Mexico City policy, highlighting the potential impact on access to HIV services for women (3/28).

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UNFPA Explainer Provides Overview Of International Conference On Population And Development

United Nations Population Fund: Explainer: What is the ICPD and why does it matter?
This post provides an overview of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) and its role in advancing women’s reproductive health and rights, noting, “This November, governments, advocates, health organizations, women’s and youth activists, and others will gather in Kenya for the Nairobi Summit. There, they will seek clear commitments that will advance the goals of the ICPD and secure the rights and dignity of all. We know how to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of virtually all people. … What we are missing are the resources, political will, and commitments to achieve this goal. Without action now, this year, we may lose the momentum to realize these rights for all” (3/29).

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FT Health Interviews Founder, Managing Director Of Medicines Development For Global Health

FT Health: Sackler saga; health inequality: Ebola strikes again
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter features an interview with Mark Sullivan, founder and managing director of Medicines Development for Global Health, who discusses the organization’s efforts to address scabies, including research on the anti-helminth drug Moxidectin. The newsletter also provides a roundup of global health-related news stories (Jack, 3/29).

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April 2019 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The April 2019 WHO Bulletin features articles on various topics, including an editorial on substance use services for refugees, an article on efforts to implement universal health coverage in Kazakhstan, and research estimating the number of children and adolescents without access to surgical care (April 2019).

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