KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S., African Union Sign Memorandum To Form African CDC

News outlets report on the signing of a memorandum between the U.S. and the African Union to create a disease control and prevention center in Africa.

CIDRAP News: U.S., African agreement formalizes creation of African CDC
“Top officials from the United States and the African Union (A.U.) today formalized a collaboration between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its African counterparts to create the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (African CDC)…” (Schnirring, 4/13).

HealthDay/U.S. News: U.S. Agrees to Help Launch ‘African CDC’
“…The African CDC is scheduled to launch later this year with the creation of an African Surveillance and Response Unit. This unit will include an emergency operations center that can coordinate and staff future health emergency responses on the continent, [a U.S. CDC] news release said. … Under the agreement, the U.S. CDC will provide technical expertise for the new African unit and advise on future development of the institution…” (Preidt, 4/13).

Reuters: U.S., African Union sign deal to form African disease agency
“…U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, chairperson of the African Union Commission, signed a memo of cooperation formalizing the collaboration between the African Union Commission and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…” (Steenhuysen, 4/13).

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Egypt Experiences Unexplained Increase Of Avian Flu Cases Since Fall

New York Times: Egypt’s Avian Flu Surge Lacks an Explanation
“Cases of H5N1 avian flu have been surging in Egypt since the fall. Egypt has now passed Indonesia as the country with the most human cases in total since the virus was first found in Hong Kong almost 20 years ago…” (McNeil, 4/13).

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Brazil's Dengue Cases Increased 240% In First Quarter, Health Ministry Reports

Xinhua News: More dengue fever cases in Brazil in first quarter
“Cases of dengue fever in Brazil have increased 240 percent in the first quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2014, the Health Ministry reported Monday…” (Wang, 4/13).

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Ebola Vaccine Trial Begins In Sierra Leone

New York Times: Sierra Leone: Ebola Trial Begins
“Researchers began vaccinating volunteers in Sierra Leone with an experimental Ebola vaccine in a study officially begun on Monday. The trial, the third to begin in the West African countries hardest hit by Ebola, is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Sierra Leone’s Health Ministry, and the University of Sierra Leone’s College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences…” (Fink, 4/13).

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Victoria, Australia, Moves To Repeal Law Criminalizing Intentional HIV Transmission

The Guardian: Victoria moves to repeal HIV-specific law criminalizing deliberate infection
“Victoria has moved to repeal a law making it an offense to intentionally infect another person with HIV. … It was Australia’s only remaining HIV-specific law that criminalized the intentional transmission of the virus … On Tuesday Victoria’s attorney general, Martin Pakula, said people living with HIV were entitled to equality before the law. … ‘This is about reducing the stigma and discrimination faced by people living with HIV, and in turn promoting equal protection by the law of all Victorians’…” (Davey, 4/13).

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Editorials and Opinions

Strong Targets, Effective Monitoring Vital For SDG Success, Promotion Of Sexual, Reproductive Rights

Devex: The post-2015 framework: A melting pot of targets and indicators, where to begin?
Marleen Temmerman, director of WHO’s reproductive health and research department

“…The Millennium Development Goals were a success because of the clear, simple monitoring framework, common for all countries worldwide. We need to have a similar monitoring framework for the SDGs. Although this would mean fewer indicators to be measured at a global level, countries can have national-level priorities in focus areas that represent wider issues around the key topics. In this context, we have to support countries in prioritizing [sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR)] within their national monitoring frameworks and to strengthen their capacity to measure and monitor established SRHR indicators…” (4/13).

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UHC Target In SDGs Must Balance Inequalities, Provide Access To High-Quality Care

Devex: UHC: A spoonful of sugar to ensure health care for everyone
Winnie Byanyima, executive director at Oxfam International

“…The inclusion of a target in the proposed Sustainable Development Goals to achieving universal health coverage — where all people are able to access high-quality health care without fear of falling into poverty — could have a momentous impact. … Achieving UHC requires balancing out the inequalities that distort people’s ability to access health care. If governments create health care systems that genuinely help everyone — including the poorest people — a UHC target within the new Sustainable Development Goals could inspire the improvement of millions of lives across the globe” (4/13).

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Educational Programs To Minimize Risk Behaviors Among Young People Needed For Global Progress Against HIV

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Generational shift threatens global progress against HIV
Anick Supplice Dupuy, executive director of PSI/Haiti

“…Haiti faces a new challenge in its drive to stamp out HIV: young people who are becoming increasingly blasé about the virus even as they become more sexually active, sometimes trading sexual favors for everyday items like a moto-taxi ride, cell phone minutes, or even for school uniforms. … In addition to boosting funding for education, it’s important that those working on HIV education keep in mind a key target population: parents. … If we can increase educational programs and persuade parents — in Haiti and around the world — to offer guidance and help to minimize risky behaviors then young people may stop seeing sex as a commodity and take better care of their health and their future” (4/13).

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Ebola Epidemic Will Have Lasting Effect On Health Of West Africans

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: Sierra Leone: How Ebola Forces Doctors to Turn Away Pregnant Patients
Erika Check Hayden, a reporter for the journal Nature

“…Because many health care workers treating pregnant patients with Ebola contracted the disease, pregnant women are finding it difficult to get even routine care. Researchers estimate that this will as much as double the maternal mortality rate — the percentage of women who die in childbirth — in the Ebola-affected countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. The epidemic has also disrupted malaria prevention programs and care for patients with HIV and has inflicted mental trauma that may last for years to come…”

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From the Global Health Policy Community

West African Nations Making Progress In Improving Access To, Use Of Modern Family Planning Practices

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Catching the Wave: Family Planning is Taking Off in West Africa
David J. Olson, a freelance consultant for Olson Global Communication, discusses access to contraception in West Africa and how initiatives like the Ougadougou Partnership are helping to promote modern family planning practices in the region (4/13).

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Center For Global Health Policy Report Discusses Opportunities, Challenges In Controlling HIV, TB In Tanzania

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Report from Tanzania: Attention to realities on the ground, criminalized populations, civil society needed to sustain HIV, TB responses
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses findings from a report on opportunities to control HIV and TB in Tanzania. The report specifically looked at the successes, challenges, and gaps in public health responses in Dar es Salaam, Mbeya, and Zanzibar (4/13).

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Electronic Communication, Monitoring Help Guinea In Efforts To End Ebola Epidemic

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: As Ebola Resurges in Guinea, So Do Government Efforts to Quash It
Kayode Odusote, chair of the Foundation for Sustainable Health Development, discusses his trip to Guinea “to help the Ministry of Health roll out mHero, a new communication platform that connects health workers to health officials, to each other, and to critical information through the basic mobile phones that most health workers already have” and “iHRIS, IntraHealth’s free, open source software that helps health sectors replace scattershot, paper-based filing systems with electronic personnel records and databases that are easier to share, manage, and update” (4/13).

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Champions Announce New Efforts To Ensure AIDS-Free Generation In Africa

UNAIDS: Champions come together to announce strengthened efforts for an AIDS-free generation in Africa
“The Champions for an AIDS-Free Generation gathered together [Monday] to announce new efforts to ensure that all children in Africa are born free from HIV and that children living with HIV have access to life-saving treatment. Since young people continue to be deeply affected by the epidemic, the Champions also announced that they will add adolescents and HIV to their portfolio of work…” (4/13).

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Blog Post Summarizes Recent News, Opinion On Global Health Disease Research, Outbreak Preparedness

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Research Roundup: research capacity building in Africa, lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak, and top health officials in the United States tell Congress to “think globally”
Kat Kelley, GHTC senior program assistant, discusses a new initiative to increase Africa’s research capacity, as well as two recently published opinion pieces highlighting the Ebola epidemic response and the value of U.S. investment in global health R&D (4/13).

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