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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Development Partnership To Meet In Mexico; Group's Report Notes Mixed Results

The Guardian: Global partnership gathers in Mexico amid faltering progress and skepticism
“A gaggle of world leaders, diplomats, NGOs, corporate representatives, and think tanks will descend on a Mexico City conference center this week to continue their search for new solutions to old problems. According to the U.K.’s international development secretary, Justine Greening, the first high-level meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC), represents an ‘incredibly important opportunity’ to ensure that poor countries receive the skills and investment needed to end their dependency on aid. … The GPEDC’s own progress report — released at the beginning of April — conceded that the results were mixed…” (Jones, 4/14).

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Guinea Brings Ebola Outbreak Under Control; Vaccine Still Years Away

News outlets report on progress to contain and stop West Africa’s Ebola outbreak.

Agence France-Presse: Guinea Ebola outbreak under control: foreign minister
“Guinea’s Foreign Minister Francois Fall said on Monday the west African country had brought the spread of the deadly Ebola virus under control after more than 100 people have died…” (4/14).

HealthDay: As African Ebola Outbreak Spreads, Hopes for Vaccine Remain Years Away
“As a major outbreak of deadly Ebola virus spreads through the West African nations of Guinea and Liberia, public health officials are struggling to contain the horror-movie pathogen before it slips into neighboring countries. … But scientists say they are beginning to close in on ways to stop the virus…” (Thompson, 4/14).

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2 HPV Vaccine Shots, Instead Of 3, Sufficient For Cancer Protection, WHO Says

The Guardian: Two shots of HPV vaccine against cervical cancer enough, says WHO
“Reaching a greater number of girls in developing countries with the HPV vaccine that can prevent most cases of cervical cancer has just become more feasible. The World Health Organization’s expert advisory group said that two shots of vaccine against human papillomavirus (HPV), rather than the three doses currently recommended, will offer sufficient protection to girls so long as they have it before they reach the age of 15…” (Boseley, 4/14).

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The Atlantic Examines Factors Surrounding High C-Section Rate In Brazil

The Atlantic: Why Most Brazilian Women Get C-Sections
“…Brazil has a free, public health care system, but many of its wealthier residents — about a quarter of the population — use a private insurance scheme that functions much like the U.S. medical system. … The economics of private insurance certainly play a role, but culture is a big part of what drives the C-section epidemic here. … Women who have C-sections that are not medically necessary are at a greater risk of death, blood transfusions, and hysterectomies, a 2010 World Health Organization study found. The WHO has, until recently, recommended that C-sections be limited to only 15 percent of all births. But the rate in many other countries, including Brazil, is much higher…” (Khazan, 4/14).

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Pakistan To Administer Polio Vaccines At Security Checkpoints

Agence France-Presse/Gulf Today: Pakistan to use polio vaccine checkpoints in Taliban areas
“Pakistani officials said on Monday they would begin administering polio vaccines to children at security checkpoints in the country’s tribal belt to protect against Taliban attacks. The announcement was made at a ceremony to mark the launch of a three-day anti-polio campaign in the northwestern city of Peshawar, and is aimed at children from North Waziristan and other Taliban strongholds…” (4/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

International Community Must Do More To Help Restore Peace In CAR

The Washington Post published two opinion pieces regarding conflict and the resulting humanitarian crisis in Central African Republic (CAR).

Washington Post: Central African Republic needs immediate help
Ban Ki-moon, U.N. secretary general

“…Like its stranded airport refugees, [CAR] is in dire need of a ticket out of its misery. … With the support of the international community, the people of the Central African Republic can build a future of reconciliation and peace. I traveled to the country on my way to Rwanda for the 20th anniversary of the genocide. Before leaving, I told the leaders of the Central African Republic that they must heed the lessons of that epic tragedy, not repeat its mistakes. … As I saw in Rwanda, communities that have gone through massive national trauma can learn to live together once more in relative harmony. … The international community has an opportunity to help — and an obligation to act. Not tomorrow — today” (4/13).

Washington Post: In the Central African Republic, the only rule is terror
Michael Gerson, columnist

“…These efforts [by the U.N., France, U.S. and the African Union] have probably reduced the scale of atrocities in CAR — better than some of the historical precedents but far short of the need. Even with an expanded force of peacekeepers, much of CAR will remain ungoverned. The interim government headed by Catherine Samba-Panza is well intentioned and completely incapable. The civil service has gone unpaid for months at a time. It will be necessary to construct the rule of law — a system of effective police and working courts — from scratch. And a locally led process of religious reconciliation between Muslims and Christians will be the basis of any progress…” (4/14).

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MCC CEO Marks Agency's 10th Anniversary With 10 Lessons

The Hill: 10 Years, 10 Lessons: How to win the fight against global poverty
Daniel Yohannes, chief executive officer of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)

“…For over four years, I’ve had a front row seat on just how the Millennium Challenge Corporation, a U.S. government agency committed to fighting global poverty, has been fulfilling that responsibility. MCC’s approach should give Americans confidence that their tax dollars are being invested in ways that deliver concrete results for the world’s poor. As MCC marks its 10th anniversary, it is time to take stock of a new approach that demands greater accountability and transparency,” Yohannes writes, highlighting 10 lessons from MCC. “…Lessons like these that have defined the last decade of MCC’s work prove that there’s a right way for fighting poverty through robust standards of accountability and transparency. While Americans care about the plight of the world’s poor, they also care about not wasting money. Merging such values and interests is imperative for the world of prosperity and progress we all seek” (4/15).

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Foreign Aid Programs Can Boost Public Perceptions Of Donor Countries

Washington Post: Doing well by doing good: foreign aid improves opinions of the U.S.
Benjamin Goldsmith of the University of Sydney; Yusaku Horiuchi of Dartmouth College; and Terence Wood of Australia National University

“…A fundamental question … is whether helping the poor in recipient countries and bringing benefits to donor countries are ever compatible. In our recently published article in the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, we argue that they are indeed compatible when the benefit sought is enhanced international standing of the donor country, at least for certain types of aid programs. … [W]e show that a United States aid program specifically targeted to address the problems of HIV and AIDS — the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) — has improved perceptions of the United States among the public in recipient countries. … [O]ur theory is that in addition to its potential humanitarian benefits, a foreign aid program that is targeted, sustained, (perceived to be) effective, and visible can serve an important strategic goal for those countries that give it: fostering positive perceptions among foreign publics…” (4/14).

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U.S. Initiatives To Support Development In Africa Represent 'New Approaches'

U.S. News & World Report: Double Down on Helping Africa
Stephen Hayes, president and CEO of the Corporate Council on Africa

“…In each of his three stops during his 2013 trip, Obama announced a new initiative [— PowerAfrica, TradeAfrica, Young African Leaders Initiative, and Governance —] each unique from those of his predecessors. Yet the response was surprisingly muted, both in Africa and back home.  But many, including me, believe that the four initiatives were exactly what was and is needed to support development in Africa. The initiatives reflected a recognition that the U.S. needed new approaches to our relations with African nations, beyond traditional development aid. … Each new initiative focused on the very issues that have hindered African development, and each of the initiatives played to U.S. strength. Though as a financial package, they are modest in comparison to the announced development packages of China and Japan, the initiatives were designed to address some of the most fundamental changes that Africa has ever experienced. They focus respectively on the need for infrastructure in Africa, the need for greater regionalization for trade facilitation, the development of leadership in the public, private and civil society sectors, and the issues of overall governance of nations…” (4/14).

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Global Community Must Take Comprehensive Family Planning Approach To Help More People

Huffington Post: Holding the World Bank Accountable for Reproductive Health Commitments
Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan, a White Ribbon Alliance champion

“…To ensure that development is truly sustainable and to avoid far worse — to prevent a backward slide — we must do more for more. And we must do better. In two areas, at least, this urgent need for critical action and more proportionate investment stand out and these are newborn survival and health, and adolescents. … When women and their children live healthier, longer lives their families, their communities and ultimately their nations are made stronger, safer and more prosperous. Family planning is a key to unlocking the promise of this extraordinary human potential. A comprehensive approach to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health is proven in its success, urgent for further inclusive development, and essential if we are to uphold the dignity of those who uphold us…” (4/14).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Health Care Workers' Experiences 'Crucial' To Informing Global Health Diplomacy Efforts

The Health Affairs Blog features a post on global health diplomacy by former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a nationally recognized heart and lung transplant surgeon. “…I and other leaders have long recognized that the United States must seize the mantle of using global health as a vital diplomatic instrument to strengthen confidence in America’s intent and ability to bring long-term improvements to citizen’s lives among our partners. The fight for global health can be the calling card of our nation’s character in the eyes of the world. … I am so excited about the evolution of global health diplomacy. It is not a new concept, but a growing one, one that will change the way we interface with the world as a nation, and at the same time, improve the health of the global citizenry. Competing interests and potential conflicts threaten to sideline health diplomacy efforts, and the only way to keep making it work is to focus on the facts and keep identifying the most important needs. Funding for funding’s sake is a waste. That’s where our experiences as health care workers are so crucial. Our greatest role in global health diplomacy is to share our stories, and to offer guidance to lawmakers and NGOs to help them make the biggest difference with what resources they have” (4/14).

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Public-Private Partnerships Benefit Global Health, GAVI CEO Writes

In a post featured on PSI’s “Impact” blog, GAVI Alliance CEO Seth Berkley writes about the benefits of public-private partnerships in global health. “…One example of this public-private partnership model is my organization, the GAVI Alliance, whose mission is to save children’s lives and protect people’s health by increasing access to immunization in developing countries. Since 2000, GAVI has helped immunize more than 440 million children and prevent six million deaths in the process. … The GAVI model is designed as a sustainable approach that puts countries on track to self-sufficiency. If we — the public and private sectors — collectively seize the moment, we can accelerate progress toward a world where every child, everywhere, is fully immunized. And we all will be better for it” (4/14).

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Working Paper Examines Global Fund's Presence In China

The Council on Foreign Relations’ “Asia Unbound” blog discusses a working paper assessing the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s 10-year presence in China. Yanhzhong Huang, senior fellow for global health at CFR, writes, “The Fund’s money has played a vital role in boosting resources to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria in China. It has contributed to reduced growth in new HIV infections and significant drops in TB and malaria infections. And at the same time, the Global Fund has also helped bridge the normative gap between China and the global community in disease prevention and control, and, for the first time, enabled China’s civil society groups to formally participate in health policymaking. But for the many successes, the problems and challenges are equally glaring. In the absence of an exit strategy for emerging powers, the Global Fund runs the risk of seeing China repeat the Russian missteps in post-Fund disease prevention and control…” (4/14).

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Oxfam America Guide Debunks False Notions About U.S. Foreign Aid

In a post for “Mom Bloggers for Social Good,” Jennifer James, founder of the website and a member of Oxfam America’s Sisters on the Planet, discusses American notions on how much the U.S. spends on foreign aid each year. She notes, “In a survey conducted last year by the Kaiser Family Foundation with everyday, average Americans, only four percent knew that less than one percent of the federal budget is spent on federal aid. On average, survey respondents believed 28 percent of the budget is spent on foreign aid. … In an effort to educate more Americans about foreign assistance, Oxfam America recently launched its Foreign Aid 101 campaign. Utilizing an infographic-rich approach, Oxfam America attempts to show the history of foreign aid, where aid money goes, and why foreign aid does not go directly to corrupt governments…” (4/12).

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