KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

OECD Releases New Data On Development Aid

Devex: More aid spent through loans but LDCs see first ODA increase since 2010
“The volume of lending to developing countries by bilateral donors has increased by 13 percent compared to 2016, new figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revealed Monday. Overall, aid to developing countries fell slightly, by 0.6 percent, according to the 2017 data from the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee. … However, despite the increased proportion of aid being spent in loans, the DAC also revealed that the volume of aid going to the least developed countries increased by four percent to about $26 billion — the first time this figure has risen since 2010…” (Anders, 4/9).

The Telegraph: Britain only one in five countries to meet U.N. foreign aid target
“Britain is now one of only five countries to meet the U.N.’s foreign aid target, as even Germany failed to give 0.7 percent of its national income on overseas aid last year. The U.K., which is now bound by law to meet the pledge, gives nearly double compared to the average of all countries, new figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show…” (Mikhailova, 4/9).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Aid spending stagnates as rich countries shift focus from refugees to poor nations
“…Bilateral aid to the world’s poorest countries climbed four percent to $26 billion after years of decline; humanitarian aid rose by 6.1 percent to $15.5 billion. The report was published as aid spending has come under fire in some major donor countries. U.S. President Donald Trump has said he wants to cut the budgets for foreign aid and the State Department by [about] a third…” (Bacchi, 4/9).

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Media Outlets Examine U.S. Position Toward Taiwan, Country Efforts To Convince WHO To Invite Nation To WHA

CNBC: If the U.S. and China stop feuding on trade, the next clash could be over Taiwan
“…President Donald Trump has warmed to Taiwan via a series of recent actions including arms sales, the appointment of National Security Adviser John Bolton — who has taken a strong pro-Taiwan stance in the past — and encouraging visits between U.S. and Taiwanese officials. … Trump may next push for the island-nation’s participation in an upcoming meeting of the World Health Assembly, the World Health Organization’s decision-making body. The U.S. has supported Taiwan’s inclusion in the past, but with Trump’s pro-Taiwan team in place, ‘it is not unreasonable to see a more vocal and stronger effort this time around,’ said [Thomas Shattuck, research associate at the Foreign Policy Research Institute]…” (Chandron, 4/10).

Intellectual Property Watch: Special Feature: Blocking Taiwan From Joining WHO Affects Global Health Security, Officials Say
“…At the World Health Organization, China is allegedly successfully blocking Taiwan from participating in the annual World Health Assembly, and in a number of WHO technical meetings, officials say. Beyond the political dimension of the dissent between China and Taiwan, the situation may hurt the Taiwanese and global health security, Taiwanese officials said. … This year, new WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Dr. Tedros) has not yet invited Taiwan [to the WHA]. According to sources, a group of like-minded countries supporting Taiwan whose names are undisclosed, is trying to convince the WHO to invite Taiwan, so far without results…” (Saez, 4/9).

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Lancet Commission On Malaria Eradication Launches, Will Produce Roadmap For Efforts

Devex: Lancet Commission to develop first-ever roadmap for malaria eradication
“The Lancet Commission on Malaria Eradication launched Tuesday, bringing together 24 experts from around the world to develop the first-ever roadmap for malaria eradication. The new commission is a joint endeavor between The Lancet … and the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, with financial support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The 24 commissioners will develop a roadmap, to be published in The Lancet in 2019, with a detailed analysis of why and how to pursue malaria eradication, as well as maps and models outlining factors that could accelerate or block progress…” (Cheney, 4/10).

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Pakistan, Afghanistan Launch Polio Vaccination Campaigns

Reuters: Pakistan launches countrywide polio eradication drive
“Pakistan launched a nationwide polio vaccination drive this week to reach 38.7 million children and eradicate the paralyzing and potentially deadly virus in one of the last countries where it is endemic…” (Hassan et al., 4/9).

Xinhua News: Anti-polio campaign starts as fresh case found in Afghanistan
“Afghan officials will start a three-day anti-polio campaign Tuesday in the high-risk areas, as a fresh case of the infectious diseases has been confirmed in the country’s eastern Kunar province, a statement said Monday. … The campaign will cover more than six million children under the age of five, according to the statement…” (4/9).

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Women's Rights Groups In El Salvador Push To Relax Country's Abortion Ban

New York Times: They Were Jailed for Miscarriages. Now, Campaign Aims to End Abortion Ban.
“…As Latin America has moved slowly toward lifting restrictions on abortion, six small countries have maintained an outright ban, including in cases where the mother’s life is at risk. And no other country enforces that ban with the zeal of El Salvador. Yet now, women’s rights groups and their allies in congress believe they may be able to assemble a majority of votes to approve abortion under certain conditions. Two bills have been proposed in the legislature, opening up debate on the issue for the first time since the wholesale ban was passed two decades ago…” (Malkin/Palumbo, 4/9).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Good news: Tools for facing down anti-aid media attacks (Anders, 4/10).

EURACTIV: Ebola outbreak revealed failings of Guinea’s health system, helped to addressed them (Siali, 4/9).

SciDev.Net: Universal health coverage depends on solid data (Deighton, 4/9).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Force feeding burdens obese Mauritanian girls with diabetes, heart disease (Tabary, 4/8).

U.N. News: No one in Myanmar should be left behind on the path to a better future, stresses U.N. official (4/9).

Xinhua News: Maternity deaths toll reduced in Afghanistan: official (4/8).

Xinhua News: Kenya to increase domestic funding to tackle malaria (4/9).

Xinhua News: Uganda, WHO set up cholera isolation center (4/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Global Health Security Spending Necessary For Disease Outbreak Preparedness

RealClearPolitics: On World Health Day, Are We Ready for the Next Outbreak?
Reid Wilson, national correspondent for The Hill

“…Now, [money approved by Congress to address global health security, as part of emergency funding provided during the Ebola outbreak,] is running out and Congress has no plans to replace it. That oversight will put global health security — and with it, American national security — at risk… Without additional funding, the CDC will be forced to cut its global health security funding. … What worries public health professionals most is not a virus like Ebola or Zika. … Instead, what worries those public health experts is a disease that combines those worst traits: something that is deadly like Ebola and easily transmissible like Zika. That something is probably going to be a strain of the influenza virus. … Foreign aid is an easy and tempting boogeyman for fiscal hawks to target. But spending millions of dollars on global health security today could prevent or stem that next pandemic, saving billions of dollars and millions of lives — both foreign and American — tomorrow…” (4/7).

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Global Community Must Use Innovative Finance Mechanisms To Make Progress On NCDs

Devex: Opinion: We need new ways to fund NCDs. Development assistance isn’t enough.
Katie Dain, CEO of the NCD Alliance, commissioner on the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs, and co-chair of the WHO Civil Society Working Group on the Third High-Level Meeting on NCDs

“…[T]he current progress [on noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)] across the board is insufficient and won’t deliver on the [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)] target of reducing by one-third premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases by 2030. One of the key gaps in the response has been financing. We must go beyond the traditional narrative of the donor and recipient and look for innovative mechanisms and models of financing … This week in Copenhagen at the WHO Global Dialogue on Partnerships for Sustainable Financing of NCD Prevention and Control, we have an important opportunity to demonstrate that committing to NCDs and health is an investment — something that potential partners such as development banks, investment groups, and philanthropic foundations must see prior to becoming involved in the NCD response. The dialogue comes at a key moment in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres convening a High-Level Summit on Financing the Sustainable Development Goals in New York in June. Quite simply, we have got to be on the money in Copenhagen if we want to bend the noncommunicable diseases curve” (4/9).

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Gene Editing 'Holds Potential' To Address Global Health, Development Challenges

Foreign Affairs: Gene Editing for Good
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…Over the next decade, gene editing could help humanity overcome some of the biggest and most persistent challenges in global health and development. The technology is making it much easier for scientists to discover better diagnostics, treatments, and other tools to fight diseases that still kill and disable millions of people every year, primarily the poor. It is also accelerating research that could help end extreme poverty by enabling millions of farmers in the developing world to grow crops and raise livestock that are more productive, more nutritious, and hardier. … [I]f the world is to continue the remarkable progress of the past few decades, it is vital that scientists, subject to safety and ethics guidelines, be encouraged to continue taking advantage of such promising tools as CRISPR. … Used responsibly, gene editing holds the potential to save millions of lives and empower millions of people to lift themselves out of poverty. It would be a tragedy to pass up the opportunity” (4/10).

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Health Care Facilities Likely Collateral Damage In Ukraine's War

Washington Post: The war in Ukraine is more devastating than you know
Cynthia Buckley and Jarod Fox of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ralph Clem of Florida International University, and Erik Herron of West Virginia University

“…[O]ur research has documented that, as [Ukraine’s] hospitals and medical facilities are destroyed — perhaps even targeted — its citizens are being deprived of basic health care services, echoing Syria’s similar if larger crisis. … Were attacks on health care facilities deliberate? Our preliminary examination suggests that they haven’t been targeted. They appear to have suffered collateral damage, and have been hit by both sides. To draw conclusions about responsibility, one would need to employ the sophisticated open-source data and methods used to analyze the Syrian war damage. No matter who is responsible, the fighting has damaged not just health care services, but other civilian infrastructure such as housing, schools, and election facilities — while killing, terrifying, and displacing civilians…” (4/9).

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Sanitation Facility Construction, Provision Of Menstrual Products Encourage Dialogue About Menstruation Stigma

New York Times: Letter to the Editor: Combating Menstrual Stigma
Caitlin Gruer, program manager for water, sanitation, and health practice at Plan International USA

“[In ‘When Pads Can’t Fix Prejudice,’] Chris Bobel suggests that menstrual activism focuses disproportionately on providing hygiene products, instead of combating menstrual stigma. While I agree with 99 percent of her argument, she underestimates the role products can play in reducing stigmas. … I have seen firsthand how the provision of products, or the construction of sanitation facilities, opens the door to dialogue in places where it was firmly shut. Menstrual stigma is often so strong that local authorities balk when related programming is proposed. But they like infrastructure and technological fixes. So by offering new toilets and access to products, we gain permission to talk to girls, boys, parents, teachers, and the community about menstruation, stigma, and taboos…” (4/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Denmark Hosts WHO Global Dialogue On Financing NCD Efforts

WHO: Denmark hosts the WHO Global Dialogue on Partnerships for Sustainable Financing of Noncommunicable Disease Prevention and Control
“…Tackling [noncommunicable diseases (NCDs)] is a global priority, but despite this, investment is still lacking and action is needed to reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target 3.4 of reducing premature deaths from NCDs by one-third by 2030. In response, Denmark is co-hosting the WHO Global Dialogue in Copenhagen from 9 to 11 April 2018. … At the Dialogue in Copenhagen, delegates from WHO Member States, development agencies, United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations, academia, philanthropic organizations, and business associations will explore new ways to address the critical gap in financing for national NCD responses…” (4/9).

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Report Provides 3 'Key Actions' For Achieving Universal Health Coverage

Devex/Philips: Taking Action: The road to universal health coverage
This report from Devex and Philips provides “three key actions” to make progress toward achieving universal health coverage and reaching Sustainable Development Goal 3 (4/10).

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Bill Gates, Aliko Dangote Express Support For Nigeria's Polio Eradication, Routine Immunization Efforts

Global Polio Eradication Initiative: Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote Support Polio Eradication Efforts In Nigeria
During a meeting last month in Nigeria, Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Alhaji Aliko Dangote, president of the Dangote Foundation, “emphasized the need to eradicate polio, strengthen routine immunization, and improve primary health care” (4/9).

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April 2018 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The April 2018 WHO Bulletin includes articles on various issues, including an editorial on accelerating progress on civil registration and vital statistics, an article on cancer care in Africa, and a research study examining prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission in Malawi (April 2018).

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From the U.S. Government

PEPFAR Publicly Releases Program Results, Partner Performance Data, 2018 Annual Report To Congress

PEPFAR: PEPFAR Releases First-Ever Site-Level Program Results and Partner Performance Data to the Public
“Today, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) reached a new transparency milestone in the global HIV/AIDS response by publicly releasing program results and implementing partner performance data for more than 40,000 PEPFAR-supported facilities spanning all of its 35 country and regional programs. … PEPFAR also released its 2018 Annual Report to Congress, which celebrates PEPFAR’s extraordinary progress in transforming the global HIV/AIDS response and changing the course of the epidemic…” (4/10).

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President Trump To Appoint Kenneth William Staley As U.S. Government's Global Malaria Coordinator

White House: President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Appoint Personnel to Key Administration Posts
On Monday, President Trump announced his intent to appoint several individuals to key positions in the administration, including Kenneth William Staley, a consultant at McKinsey, to the position of Coordinator of U.S. Government Activities to Combat Malaria Globally (4/9).

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From KFF

Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Fact Sheet On Key U.S. Government Officials In Global Health

Kaiser Family Foundation: Key Global Health Positions and Officials in the U.S. Government
This updated fact sheet lists U.S. government positions and officials related to global health operations, including links to agencies and officials’ profiles, when available (4/9).

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