KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

GPEDC Meeting Opens In Mexico City With Calls For Renewed Partnership

News outlets discuss the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) meeting taking place this week in Mexico City.

Devex: GPEDC high-level meeting opens in Mexico City
“Over 1,500 heads of state, government officials and leaders from international development organizations, businesses, civil society and foundations gathered on Tuesday in Mexico City to open the first high-level meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation…” (Santamaria, 4/16).

Devex: GPEDC told to push traditional donors, ‘nudge’ new ones on transparency
“…One of the items on the agenda is transparency — and on that issue the way forward is obvious, according to David Hall-Matthews, director of Publish What You Fund, a London-based nonprofit that advocates for more and better information about aid…” (Patton, 4/16).

The Guardian: Global alliance warns of no end to poverty unless countries pull together
“The fight to end poverty is at ‘a critical juncture’ and will require greater collaboration and stronger political will, delegates at a high-level meeting in Mexico have warned…” (Jones, 4/17).

U.N. News Centre: In Mexico, Ban urges renewed global partnership for development in address to aid forum
“With the deadline for the globally agreed development targets fast approaching, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called for a renewed global partnership to advance sustainable development and a life of dignity for all…” (4/15).

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U.N., Aid Agencies Ask for $274M To Help CAR Refugees

News outlets report on relief agencies’ pleas for additional humanitarian aid funding for Central African Republic (CAR).

New York Times: Central African Republic: Aid Sought for Those Fleeing Unrest
“The United Nations refugee agency said Wednesday that it was working with 14 other humanitarian relief groups to seek $274 million in emergency donations to support the swelling population of refugees fleeing violence in the Central African Republic, one of Africa’s most dysfunctional countries…” (Gladstone, 4/16).

Reuters: ‘Broke’ U.N. agency pleads for help in Central African Republic
“Inter-communal violence is tearing Central African Republic apart but the conflict is not getting the attention, or aid, needed to save huge numbers of lives, the head of the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Wednesday…” (Miles, 4/17).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. and partners seek emergency funds to aid civilians fleeing Central African Republic
“United Nations humanitarian agencies and their partners today launched a joint appeal to donors to fund emergency operations in support of the growing number of people who have been fleeing the conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR) since last December…” (4/16).

VOA News: U.N. Seeks Millions to Help CAR Refugees
“Fifteen United Nations and private humanitarian agencies are appealing for $274 million to fund emergency aid for people fleeing violence in the Central African Republic…” (Schlein, 4/16).

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U.S. Spends Billions On HIV Treatments Worldwide

Healthline: U.S. Pumps Billions of Dollars into HIV Care Worldwide
“…[W]hat does it cost to keep so many people alive as well as clamp down on a public health crisis across the globe? And how is greater access to [antiretroviral therapy (ART)] being financed? The United States is footing a large part of the bill…” (Heitz, 4/15).

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Australia Commits Additional Funds For Humanitarian Aid In S. Sudan

Australian Associated Press/The Guardian: Australia commits extra $7.8m humanitarian aid to South Sudan
“Australia will provide an extra $7.8 million for South Sudan communities confronting the dire humanitarian crisis. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said that would take Australian aid to South Sudan to $50 million…” (4/11).

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Rape Prevention Program In Kenya Reduces Sexual Assaults, Study Shows

Reuters: Rape prevention program cuts sexual assaults in Kenya
“Self-defense and empowerment classes designed to arm girls with tools to prevent rape reduced sexual assaults among Kenyan students, a new study shows…” (Cohen, 4/16).

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Equatorial Guinea Reports 2 Polio Cases After 15 Years Of Being Disease-Free

NPR: Polio Hits Equatorial Guinea, Threatens Central Africa
“Health officials are worried. After being free of polio for nearly 15 years, Equatorial Guinea has two cases of the disease. … The outbreak is dangerous, in part, because Equatorial Guinea has the worst polio vaccination rate in the world: 39 percent…” (Beaubien, 4/17).

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Additional MERS Cases Detected In Middle East, Asia

News outlets report on additional cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) detected in the Middle East and Asia.

Agence France-Presse: Saudi reports new MERS death, infections in Jeddah
“A Saudi man has died of MERS in the western city of Jeddah, where authorities have sought to calm fears over the spreading respiratory illness, the health ministry said Wednesday. The ministry said five more people were infected with the Middle East respiratory syndrome, including two medics, all in Jeddah…” (4/16).

Associated Press: Malaysia reports first Asian death from MERS virus
“A Malaysian man who went on a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia has become the first death in Asia from Middle East respiratory syndrome, while the Philippines has isolated a health worker who tested positive for the deadly coronavirus…” (4/16).

Associated Press: Filipino positive for MERS virus home from UAE
“A Filipino health worker who tested positive for the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus has arrived home from the United Arab Emirates, Philippine officials said Wednesday. It’s the first known case of the deadly virus in the country…” (4/16).

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Ebola Virus In West Africa Is New Strain, Study Says

News outlets reference a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggesting the Ebola virus in West Africa is a new strain.

Associated Press: Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain
“The Ebola virus that has killed scores of people in Guinea this year is a new strain — evidence that the disease did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations, scientists report…” (Marchione, 4/16).

VOA News: New Ebola Strain Causing West Africa Outbreak
“…[Researchers] confirmed that [the Ebola virus] is a member of the Zaire species, which kills most of its victims. Strains of that virus have caused outbreaks previously in Gabon and the Democratic Republic of Congo. But this virus is a new strain, a previously unknown sister in the Zaire family…” (Baragona, 4/16).

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IRIN Analysis Examines Prospects Of Eliminating Extreme Poverty By 2030

IRIN: Analysis: Can the world really end poverty by 2030?
“The slogan ‘make poverty history’ has been used by development pundits and pop star philanthropists for years. Now, in a bid to turn words into deeds, it is being discussed as a universal global target to be met within a generation…” (4/17).

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Public Health Advocates Seek Lower Prices For Hepatitis C Treatments

Nature: Hepatitis C drugs not reaching poor
“…Three decades after wrestling to lower the cost of AIDS drugs (prices fell from about US$10,000 per patient per year in the 1990s to less than $100 in the mid-2000s), [public health researchers] are once again asking how expensive life-saving medicines can be made affordable for patients…” (Callaway, 4/15).

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Editorials and Opinions

New Global AIDS Coordinator Can Deliver On Vision Of AIDS-Free Generation

GlobalPost: New U.S. global AIDS coordinator has a roadmap to eliminating the disease
Latanya Mapp Frett, vice president-global at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America

“… Early this year, the Obama administration nominated Deborah Birx as the next U.S. global AIDS coordinator and first woman to assume the role. … In this position, Birx will oversee the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest commitment a nation has ever made to combat a single disease. … With the possibility of an AIDS-free generation within our reach, this is an exciting time to be working on global HIV/AIDS and welcoming a new leader in this effort. Getting there will require programs that reach key populations… It will also require a comprehensive approach to prevention and treatment, smart policy choices, and scaled-up resources both for HIV/AIDS and global health overall. We hope that the new U.S. global AIDS coordinator does everything in her power to deliver on that vision” (4/16).

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Country Ownership, Accountability Critical For Effective U.S. Development Policy

Devex: Charting a way forward on U.S. development policy
George Ingram, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-chair of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network (MFAN); Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children and MFAN co-chair; and Connie Veillette, senior fellow at the Lugar Center and MFAN co-chair

“…Since MFAN’s founding, we have seen the administration and Congress take actions to improve development policy and practice, and make U.S. assistance dollars work smarter. On April 16, with the launch of our new policy paper ‘The way forward: A reform agenda for 2014 and beyond,’ we both reflect on past achievements and humbly recognize there is much more work to be done. … We urge the administration and Congress to work together to institutionalize the important reforms that have already been introduced and continue to push forward on strengthening country ownership and accountability…” (4/16).

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E.U. Must Stand Firm Against Initiative That Could Threaten Sexual, Reproductive Health

EurActiv: The E.U. must stand firm against ‘One of Us’
Sirpa Pietikäinen, member of the European Parliament (MEP) in the European People’s Party

“A European Citizens Initiative (ECI) by a group called ‘One of Us’ could severely impact E.U. development funding for maternal health if it is successful. … This initiative seeks to ban all E.U. funds for any activities which involve the destruction of the human embryo. … The proposal is totally at odds with E.U.’s longstanding development aid policy and threatens the viability of approximately $120 million in E.U. development aid that is currently spent each year to protect maternal and reproductive health. … Therefore, at the European Parliament today, we expect the European Commission and MEPs to stand up for women and their rights. We expect them to re-affirm their support for the MDGs and for sexual and reproductive health around the world. We expect the Commission to reject this initiative — an initiative that is inimical to the founding ideals of the European Union” (4/16).

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Promoting Gender Equity Will Break Down Barriers To Contraceptive Use

Huffington Post: Re-Examining the Global Barriers to Reproductive Freedom
Robert Walker, president of the Population Institute

“…[I]t will take more than expanded access to contraceptive services to ensure that all women are capable of spacing or limiting their pregnancies. So long as a woman’s reproductive freedom is constrained by her husband’s opposition, religious prohibitions, or misinformation, she will not be fully capable of exercising that freedom. And because reproductive choice is so important to a woman, her family, and her community, the empowerment of girls and women — a high priority in its own right — takes on added importance” (4/16).

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Multi-Sector Partnerships Essential To Address Nutrition, Hunger In Development Goals

Huffington Post: Partnerships Are Essential to Addressing Nutrition and Post-2015 Development Goals
Marc Van Ameringen, executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition

“…[P]artnerships are essential in mobilizing support and investment to address malnutrition globally, and it is critical that the new sustainable development goals reflect this priority. … As we look to the new sustainable development goals, it is important not only that food and nutrition security be recognized as an important priority, but that they also reinforce successful multi-sector partnerships like [the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement] and the backbone structures that makes them effective” (4/16).

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China Should Follow WHO Recommendations To Use Explicit Warnings On Cigarette Packages

New York Times: China and the Toll of Smoking
“The World Health Organization released a report last week urging China to use graphic warnings on cigarette packages to fight the tobacco epidemic. It is a sensible and effective idea that China should heed. … The simple warning label currently on Chinese cigarette packages says only that smoking is hazardous to your health. Large, clear warnings and images on cigarette packages would be far more effective” (4/17).

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Campaigners Remain Skeptical Over Nestlé's Infant Formula Marketing Policy

The Guardian: Campaigners remain unpersuaded by Nestlé’s baby milk marketing policy
Oliver Balch, freelance writer specializing in the role of business in society

“… The Swiss firm [Nestlé] certainly espouses the ‘numerous benefits’ of breast milk and provide tips on breastfeeding. Yet its official infant formula policy falls short of the WHO code, campaigners maintain. … After more than 30 years, campaigners still aren’t persuaded by Nestlé’s baby milk marketing policy. No amount of auditing will change that. A clearer public commitment is what they want” (3/17).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CDC Foundation, George W. Bush Institute Partner To Address Global Cervical Cancer

“The CDC Foundation and the George W. Bush Institute [Wednesday] announced a new partnership to help stem the tide of cervical cancer in low- and middle-income countries based on a $3.6 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation,” according to a CDC Foundation press release. In an article written for the foundation’s blog, Charles Stokes, president and CEO of the CDC Foundation explains, “We know that central to advancing public health is not only defining and monitoring a problem but also strengthening the data and tools to address it. The CDC Foundation is pleased to work with the global partners for this effort that will help improve the lives of women in low- and middle-income countries” (4/16).

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Blog Examines Reaction To Changes In U.S. Food Aid Policy

A post on the SOS Children’s Villages blog examines recent changes to U.S. food aid policy, noting, “Reforms to farming policy in the USA could have a major positive impact on how the country provides food aid to countries in crisis.” The blog includes reaction from several key players in the field and concludes, “No doubt all parties will now be looking towards the future of this new piece of legislation and what it will mean for people inside and outside the USA” (4/16).

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People In African Countries Among Most Morally Opposed To Contraception

Michael Lipka, assistant editor at the Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project, writes in the center’s “Fact Tank” blog about a recent Pew Research Center survey of people in 40 countries examining views on contraception. “Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, and Senegal ranked among the nine countries with the most moral opposition to contraception. In Nigeria and Ghana, roughly half or more of each population said that contraceptive use is morally unacceptable (54 percent and 52 percent, respectively). Out of the 40 countries surveyed, only Pakistan (65 percent) had a higher rate of opposition…” (4/16).

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Children Receive Less Effective Diarrhea Care In Private Sub-Saharan African Hospitals

“Children in sub-Saharan Africa who suffer from diarrhea are receiving lifesaving treatment at a lower rate when visiting private hospitals as compared to public ones. Closing that gap would save an estimated 20,000 lives each year,” development blogger Tom Murphy writes in a post on Humanosphere. Murphy examines the findings of a study published this week in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene that looked at the diarrhea treatment received by 19,000 children in 29 African countries, from 2003 to 2011 (4/16).

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PLOS Article Highlights Innovative TB Case Detection Projects

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog examines an article published in PLOS ONE highlighting projects and new approaches aimed at increasing TB case detection. The blog notes, “The gains yielded by those projects [funded through the Stop TB Partnership’s TB Reach] show what added funding and ‘fresh thinking’ can accomplish, says a release from Stop TB Partnership announcing the results” (Barton, 4/16).

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