KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Secretary Of State Nominee Pompeo Answers Questions About Development Issues At Hearing

Devex: Development takes a back seat in Mike Pompeo nomination hearing
“In a five-hour nomination hearing on Thursday, Mike Pompeo, the nominee to be the next U.S. secretary of state, didn’t say much about foreign aid, but did provide some indications about his beliefs and approach to foreign policy issues. … Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat from New Hampshire, asked Pompeo about a number of those concerns, particularly about his commitment to women’s issues. … Pompeo, in response to a question from [Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)], said that he will look into the administration’s decision to stop funding to the United Nations Population Fund, and that if he is convinced that there is a lack of evidence to justify the decision, he will look into restoring funding. … Among the other issues raised were democracy promotion and engagement on humanitarian aid in specific regions, notably Latin America and Africa…” (Saldinger, 4/13).

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U.K. International Development Secretary Mordaunt Praises Nation's Commitment To Overseas Aid

Daily Mail: Britain should be ‘proud’ of the country’s £14billion aid bill, says new foreign aid minister Penny Mordaunt
“…[Mordaunt] underlined her commitment to the target of spending 0.7 percent of national income on foreign aid, currently £14billion a year. … Mordaunt said: ‘We have a moral duty to both the people we seek to help, and those who enable us to do so, to provide the best value for money and the most positive impact for every single pound we spend’…” (Martin, 4/12).

Devex: DFID to partner with U.K. finance sector to support development
“…Mordaunt also promised that her department would reflect ‘the priorities of the people,’ in a speech that tried to move beyond recent negative media coverage of the aid sector and linked development work back to British national interests. … Mordaunt also promised ongoing humanitarian assistance where it was needed; a stronger role in leading the fight against disease and ill-health; protections for citizens overseas who are vulnerable to crime and extremism; and efforts to foster new partnerships ‘to share ideas and creativity’ across donor and recipient countries…” (Hargrave, 4/12).

The Guardian: Penny Mordaunt hails U.K. aid as a shield against crime, poverty, and terrorism
“U.K. aid is a shield against pandemics, organized crime, poverty, and terrorism, and an example of British values, Penny Mordaunt, the international development secretary has said. … Speaking at the Wellcome Collection in London, … Mordaunt promised better collaboration between government departments and tools that will allow the public to track the progress of initiatives. She also said that a new partnership with the City of London would bring down the barriers to trade and unlock investment for emerging markets in Africa and Asia…” (Ratcliffe, 4/12).

The Telegraph: Taxpayers should be able to see in real time what U.K.’s foreign aid budget is spent on and if it works, says International Development Secretary
“…Penny Mordaunt admitted that there was a ‘lack of trust’ among the public regarding the way money was being spent in the wake of a sex abuse and harassment scandal which hit the charity sector earlier this year. She said the public had the right to know ‘what, where, how, and why’ money was allocated and if it achieved the desired results as she committed the government to greater transparency…” (Maidment, 4/12).

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Global Wild Poliovirus Cases Reach Lowest Level In 2017, Gaps In Surveillance Remain, Report Shows

CIDRAP News: Polio trends promising, but surveillance gaps linger
“In 2017, the number of global wild poliovirus (WPV) cases sank to its lowest level, and though surveillance markers are improving in many countries, remaining gaps mean that progress is fragile, according to a new snapshot that looked at trends for 2016 and 2017. Experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported their findings [Thursday] in the latest edition of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)…” (Schnirring, 4/12).

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U.N. Launches Road Safety Trust Fund To Address Traffic-Related Injuries, Deaths In Developing Countries

Devex: U.N. launches new fund on road safety, as deaths continue to climb
“A new United Nations trust fund on road safety launched Thursday, in a bid to address the growing number of road traffic injuries and deaths in developing countries. … The road safety fund — which received a kickstarter donation of $10 million from the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society, a foundation that contributes to road safety efforts — will work to refocus national road safety budgets and unlock additional country and city investment…” (Lieberman, 4/13).

U.N. News: U.N. launches initiative to improve road safety worldwide
“…According to the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the organization’s development arm in the continent, which is also the secretariat for the Trust Fund, every $1,500 contributed to the fund could save one life; prevent 10 serious injuries; and leverage $51,000 towards investments in road safety…” (4/12).

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U.N., Partners Urgently Request $111M In Humanitarian Funding For DPR Korea

U.N. News: DPR Korea: U.N. says $111 million needed to provide life-saving aid, tackle malnutrition
“The United Nations and its partners are urgently requesting $111 million in humanitarian funding to assist millions of people in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including children whose growth has been stunted because they are not getting enough to eat…” (4/12).

Wall Street Journal: U.N. Appeals for Aid to North Korea as Donations Drop
“…Donors shouldn’t ‘let political considerations get in the way of providing continued support for humanitarian assistance,’ said the statement from Tapan Mishra, the U.N. resident coordinator in Pyongyang. The U.N. appeal follows warnings in years past about falling donations and desperate humanitarian need in North Korea. Pyongyang’s missile launches and a nuclear test in the past year have led to greater isolation and several new rounds of sanctions…” (Cheng, 4/13).

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More News In Global Health

CNN: Malawi cholera outbreak kills 30 (Adebayo, 4/12).

NPR: Yellow Fever Encroaches Megacities, Straining Global Vaccine Supply (Beaubien, 4/12).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: ‘Silent, invisible’ malnutrition seen as threat to generations in Congo (Peyton, 4/13).

U.N. News: South Sudan: U.N. migration agency and partners reach more than 140,000 people with vaccination campaigns (4/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Health Actors Must Align Efforts, Understand Priorities To Address Health Challenges

New England Journal of Medicine: The Blind Men and the Elephant — Aligning Efforts in Global Health
Ranu S. Dhillon, faculty member in the Division of Global Health Equity, and Abraar Karan, internal medicine resident, both at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School

“…Debates over which health issues to prioritize mask fundamentally different perspectives on why global health efforts should be pursued in the first place. … These perspectives animate different sets of actors with different areas of focus. The security perspective maintains that it is in their own interest for high-income countries to support global health in order to safeguard their citizens and economies from disease threats. … The development perspective posits that global health is essential for ensuring a productive workforce, social solidarity, and protection against impoverishing medical costs. … The human rights perspective contends that health equity is a universal human right and is integral to the creation of just societies. … So which perspective should drive global health efforts? … Too often … opportunities to collaborate are missed and efforts remain fragmented. … A more pragmatic way to align global health action might be to delineate actionable issues that incorporate key priorities from each perspective and around which the range of actors can integrate their activities. … [I]n order to meet the challenges of the moment and move forward on strong footing, organizations engaged in global health can find pragmatic ways to bring their efforts into alignment. If they fail to do so, we will continue to fall short of the potential that is within our grasp” (4/12).

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International Community Must Work Together To Protect Health Care In Conflict Situations

The Lancet: Protecting health care in armed conflict: action towards accountability
Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Canada’s minster of health, and colleagues

“…Global attention to unlawful attacks on health care, including reporting on incidents and identification of the long-term consequences for the civilian population and the health care systems of affected countries, has grown recently. But this attention has yet to translate into effective protection of health care on the ground. … Critical as they are, accountability efforts need to be complemented by other actions that mobilize new partnerships and provide needed support to health providers facing the unimaginable burden of coping with violations [of international humanitarian law (IHL)]. … We must not be complacent; attacks on health care must not become the new global norm in armed conflict. We need to work together to ensure that IHL is upheld, health care is protected, affected populations are supported, and accountability for any such violations is pursued” (4/14).

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Analysis Examines Global Fund's Suspension Of Grants To North Korea

Washington Post: North Korea has a big tuberculosis problem. It’s about to get worse.
Jeremy Youde, student in global health and international relations at the Australian National University

“A Bloomberg News report this week warned of the threat of North Korea’s ‘other weapon’ — tuberculosis. In February, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria announced that it would suspend grants to combat tuberculosis and malaria in North Korea by June 30. Global Fund officials stress that they hope to resume funding to the country in the future, and North Korean officials have implored the Global Fund to maintain its funding on humanitarian grounds. … 1. Why did the Global Fund suspend grants in North Korea? That’s a good question — and there isn’t yet a clear answer. … 2. What is the scope of the Global Fund’s operations in North Korea? Compared with those in other countries, North Korea’s Global Fund programs are relatively small. … 3. Are TB and malaria big problems for North Korea? In a word, yes — the TB situation is particularly alarming. … 4. What will happen when the Global Fund grants end? … Suspending the grants risks creating medical and humanitarian crises. … 5. Is the Global Fund’s decision political? Maybe — it’s hard to separate any issue involving North Korea from broader international relations concerns…” (4/12).

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Aid Effectiveness Metrics Should Be Considered In Allocation To LDCs

The Conversation: Why the world’s poorest countries don’t always get the foreign aid they need
Willem Fourie, associate professor at the Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership and coordinator of the South African SDG Hub at the University of Pretoria

“Foreign aid, or official development assistance, is controversial. The expectation is that it should benefit the most vulnerable countries but this is not always the case. … Traditional bilateral aid to Africa continues to decline despite the fact that 34 of the countries on the continent are classified as least-developed countries — the so-called LDCs. … This … can be explained with reference to the complexity of [donors] balancing self-interest, need, and merit. But this doesn’t answer some fundamental questions such as, what are the limits to self-interest? Shouldn’t need and merit [of recipient countries] be more important than self-interest? And finally, should need, merit, and self-interest be the only criteria? The Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation has provided some direction in this regard by emphasizing a fourth criterion: effectiveness. … So far, aid effectiveness is receiving wide support from both developed and developing countries, including regional organizations like the African Union. Going forward, metrics that quantify the effectiveness of aid will be very helpful not only for understanding current aid distribution patterns, but also for influencing future aid allocation” (4/12).

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African Governments Must Take Action To Prevent Potential Obesity Epidemic

Devex: Opinion: 3 government interventions to get a head start on the obesity epidemic in Africa
Tom Arnold, chair of the Irish Convention on the Constitution, member of the International Food Policy Research Institute’s advisory board, and director and governor at the Irish Times

“…Africa is … suffering the paradoxical double burden of modern malnutrition. While millions starve, the continent is on the cusp of an obesity epidemic. … African governments still have time to get ahead of this crisis with urgent, targeted policy interventions. They must learn from the mistakes made in the U.K. and other countries and regulate the content of processed food and associated advertising campaigns. 1. Educate people through information campaigns … 2. Start transforming health care systems now … 3. Scale up policies that work … Several African governments have been successful in tackling undernutrition by putting it at the top of their political agenda[s] and creating broad partnerships across departments that bring in private sector players. … It is crucial that Africa’s obesity epidemic is recognized and tackled in a similar way” (4/12).

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Local Employees Vital To Data Collection Efforts Should Be Recognized, Adequately Compensated

Devex: Opinion: The hustle for data: Side gigs that change science, policies, and lives
Lauren Carruth, medical anthropologist

“…As the World Health Organization celebrates the Sixth Annual World Health Worker Week this month, we must also advocate for improvements to the working conditions, legal protections, and compensation packages for the legions of informal and temporary workers that make research and data collection possible for global organizations, including the WHO. Around the world, opportunities to help with data collection offer a relatively lucrative side gig for many people … Local staffers — who are often themselves aid beneficiaries and residents of impoverished and crisis-affected communities — are vital to the implementation of health and humanitarian aid programs and policies, as well as to the needs assessments, demographic and health surveys, food security studies, clinical research, randomized control trials, famine early warning systems, disease surveillance systems, donor appeals, and monitoring and evaluation protocols that inform these programs and policies. … Their knowledge and expertise make these projects happen. It is time that they were recognized, compensated adequately, and fully integrated into professional aid and research industries” (4/12).

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El Salvador Must Reform Abortion Ban To Support Efforts To Reduce Maternal Mortality

The Conversation: The unspeakable cruelty of El Salvador’s abortion laws
Lisa Kowalchuk, associate professor at the University of Guelph

“…In El Salvador, the clock is ticking towards a May 1, 2018, deadline for reform that would decriminalize abortion in two situations: When the life of the pregnant woman is in danger and when an underage girl (but not an adult woman) becomes pregnant through rape. … As an admirer of this government’s goals and achievements in health care, I am struck by a contradiction: It has made genuine efforts to reduce maternal mortality but during most of its nine years in office, it has failed to challenge a law that may actually increase it. … [W]hatever legislators decide in the coming days, a broad social movement for fundamental justice on this issue has created momentum for change that will not likely subside” (4/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Study Examines Availability, Accessibility Of Long-Acting Reversible Contraceptives In 3 African Countries

PSI’s “Impact”: Shifting Into High Gear on FP2020 Goals — The Critical Role of Implants and Other LARCs
Katherine Thanel, lead behavioral health planner at J&M Global Solutions, discusses results from a market survey that examined “market composition, trends in product availability, and pricing” of family planning methods, including long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs), in three study countries: Ethiopia, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Thanel concludes, “As we approach 2020, it is imperative that investment in LARCs, especially implants, is prioritized” (4/10).

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CGD Fellow Addresses Questions Regarding MCC Regional Programming Authority

Center for Global Development’s “U.S. Development Policy”: MCC Gets Authority for Regional Programming
Sarah Rose, policy fellow with CGD, discusses the U.S. Congress’s passing of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and Millennium Challenge Act Modernization Act, which, once signed, “will give MCC the long-awaited authority needed to pursue regional programming more effectively.” Rose addresses the complexities of such programming compared with bilateral efforts, and asks several questions the agency should answer (4/12).

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Friends Of The Global Fight Timeline Outlines Milestones, Future Opportunities In HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria Efforts

Friends of the Global Fight: Timeline: Past and Future Milestones in the Fight Against AIDS, TB and Malaria (1998-2030)
“As part of its new report, ‘At the Tipping Point: U.S. Leadership to End AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria,’ Friends has created [a] timeline to capture both past milestones in the global fight against the epidemics and future opportunities to end the world’s most deadly infectious diseases for good. The timeline, like the report, emphasizes U.S. leadership, highlighting major advances and achievements, as well as ideas for moving progress forward between now and 2030…” (4/12).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash features a paper in which “Ralf Jurgens, senior coordinator for human rights at the Global Fund, and co-authors, describe how the Global Fund is making a greater commitment to promoting and protecting human rights and gender equality,” and a new piece in the Focus On series, which discusses “how the Global Fund is investing in efforts to align community systems and responses with formal health systems to maximize impact and build resilient and sustainable systems for health” (4/13).

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Experts Highlight Penny Mordaunt's Speech On Vision For U.K. International Development

The following pieces discuss a recent speech by U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Penny Mordaunt outlining her vision for DFID and international development.

ONE: Penny Mordaunt’s ‘New Development Offer’: The good, the not-so-good, and the missing (Greenhill, 4/12).

ODI: Penny Mordaunt: five ways the U.K. can deliver renewed global leadership (Thier, 4/11).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Announces Nearly $67M In Additional Humanitarian Aid To DRC

U.S. Department of State: United States Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
“Today, the U.S. government announced nearly $67 million in additional humanitarian assistance for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) at the DRC Humanitarian Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland. With the assistance announced today, the United States is providing food, protection, shelter, health care, and other urgent aid for vulnerable Congolese and refugees in the DRC…” (4/13).

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MMWR Report Provides Global Poliovirus Surveillance Data From 2016-2017

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Surveillance to Track Progress Toward Polio Eradication — Worldwide, 2016-2017
“…This report presents poliovirus surveillance data from 2016-2017, with particular focus on six countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) and 20 countries in the African Region (AFR) that reported [wild poliovirus (WPV)] or circulating [vaccine-derived polioviruses (VDPVs)] during 2011-2017…” (Gardner et al., 4/13).

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