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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Health Care Organizations In South Africa Fear Cuts To U.S. Funding Through PEPFAR, Search For Other Sources Of Aid

U.S. News & World Report: In South Africa, Charity Begins at Home
“…[There are] deepening fears here [in South Africa] that U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration will follow through on its goals to cut back U.S. financial support … [for] PEPFAR — the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief — that … has been a key tool for AIDS prevention and treatment around the world, particularly in Africa. The financial uncertainty … is shared by many charities and nongovernmental organizations in South Africa that provide health care. It’s left many of them scrambling to find new sources of money, worried that their American benefactor will be less generous. … One alternative may come from China looking to ground its strategy of aid as diplomacy in Africa. It’s a move that represents a challenge to the United States’ own soft power ambitions…” (Ho, 4/16).

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British Prime Minister May, Bill Gates To Urge Commonwealth Leaders To Invest In Malaria Efforts; Mordaunt Pledges Extra Funding For Trachoma, Blindness

Devex: Commonwealth Summit launches in London amid concerns over LGBTQ rights, jobs
“Leaders from the 53 countries that make up the British Commonwealth arrived in London Monday for the biennial Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, where they convened 5,000 participants from a range of sectors, including government officials, members of civil society, and private corporations for a three-day summit to discuss the issues facing Commonwealth countries. The summit will proceed along four tracks: Women, youth, people, and business, and commenced with the launch of a number of new partnerships and initiatives…” (Anders, 4/16).

Reuters: U.K. pledges cash for Commonwealth education, urges malaria fight
“British Prime Minister Theresa May will pledge cash to help improve children’s education in the Commonwealth and call for a commitment from fellow leaders to tackle malaria on Tuesday. … May will speak alongside Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, also touching on the need to reduce malaria deaths, saying around 90 percent of Commonwealth citizens live in countries where the disease is endemic. Britain is already committed to spending half a billion pounds per year on tackling malaria, and May will urge fellow leaders to target a halving of malaria rates by 2023…” (James, 4/16).

The Telegraph: U.K. leads fight to eliminate blindness
“The U.K. is stepping up efforts to help eliminate trachoma, a painful bacterial infection that can lead to permanent loss of sight among some of the poorest people in the world. At this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London the U.K.’s international development secretary, Penny Mordaunt, has pledged an extra £20million to provide sight-saving antibiotics and surgery to people in 10 Commonwealth countries. … The money comes on top of a £360m pledge the U.K. government made last April to wipe out the world’s forgotten tropical diseases, such as trachoma, sleeping sickness, and leprosy…” (Gulland, 4/16).

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Devex Previews World Bank, International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings

Devex: What to expect at the World Bank Spring Meetings
“The World Bank Spring Meetings begin today in Washington, D.C., under a threatening cloud of international conflict that raises the stakes for an institution dedicated to marshaling a global commitment to ending poverty. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, entering the second year of his second term, will showcase the institution’s public face in a week of sessions highlighting the bank’s contribution to tackling global challenges of conflict and fragility, climate change, and health…” (Igoe/Edwards, 4/17).

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Experts Advocate To Include Aging, Dementia As Priority For 2019 G20 Summit

Forbes: Thought Leaders Want Alzheimer’s At The Top Of G20 Agenda
“Some of the leading experts on Alzheimer’s and dementia globally are asking the wealthiest countries in the world to put Alzheimer’s disease at the top of the 2019 G20 Osaka Summit Agenda. Thought leaders, researchers, and scientists from around the world last week released a Consensus Statement and Research Framework that outlines the urgent need to adopt Aging and Dementia as a theme of the G20 Summit next year, and puts forward recommendations on what exactly they want to see done about the disease that is fast becoming a global crisis…” (Jefferson, 4/16).

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Several Republican Lawmakers Argue Colombia Must Alter Drug Approval Criteria To Enter OECD

STAT: More GOP lawmakers urge U.S. trade officials to lean on Colombia over drug approvals
“Still more Republican lawmakers are urging the U.S. trade representative to require Colombia to change its laws governing drug approvals before supporting the country’s membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, an intergovernmental trade group. In a letter late last week, U.S. Reps. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) and Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.) argued that the Colombian government must alter a national development plan, because it differs from World Health Organization standards by tying marketing approval for approving drugs to pricing criteria, which they argue is not used by other OECD countries. There are three dozen countries in the group…” (Silverman, 4/16).

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Buruli Ulcer Reaching Epidemic Levels In Some Areas Of Australia; Researchers Working To Learn More About Disease Transmission

ABC’s RN Breakfast: Flesh-eating ulcer found in Africa is spreading rapidly in Australia, and reaching epidemic proportions in regions of Victoria
“…The Buruli ulcer is a rare tropical disease caused by bacteria related to leprosy and tuberculosis. This flesh-eating ulcer is commonly found in Africa but it’s rapidly spreading in Australia, with numbers increasing in regions of Victoria — leaving experts baffled and calling for more government funding to stop it…” (Kelly, 4/17).

Washington Post: Flesh-eating ulcer ‘epidemic’ hits parts of Australia. Scientists don’t have answers.
“The spread of a flesh-eating ulcer in parts of Australia is being described as a ‘rapidly worsening epidemic’ and, to make matters worse, researchers say they don’t know exactly where it comes from or how it is transmitted. … In 2017, there were 275 reported cases in Victoria, a 51 percent increase from 2016, [Daniel O’Brien, deputy director of the department of infectious diseases at Barwon Health in Victoria,] said. Additionally, the number of cases classified as severe have doubled in the last five or six years, he said. Victoria is one of the country’s most populous states, home to the city of Melbourne…” (Chiu, 4/17).

Additional coverage of this story is available from Bustle, CNN, The Guardian, and Newsweek.

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Establishing Relationships Between Donors, Local Partners Vital For Nutrition Program Success, Bangladesh Expert Says

News Deeply Malnutrition Deeply: In Bangladesh, International Donors Help Build a Domestic Focus on Nutrition
“…Bangladesh has recorded a significant drop in stunting rates for children under five years old in recent years — from 41 percent in 2011 to 36 percent four years later. This comes as international donors have guided Bangladesh’s increase in programs addressing malnutrition over this decade, according to experts, underscoring the role funders can play in getting nutrition on national agendas. But donors can’t do everything, said [Dr. Jahangir Hossain, the program director of health for CARE Bangladesh]. To sustain these programs, funders have had to develop relationships with government officials and agencies like his…” (Green, 4/16).

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Financial Times Special Report Focuses On Malaria Elimination Efforts

Financial Times: FT Health: Combating Malaria
“The extraordinary biological complexity of malaria may be a scientific challenge but it presents medical researchers with many potential opportunities to stop the disease in its tracks. But will they do so in time?” This special report includes 12 articles on various aspects of research, treatment, prevention, and financing of malaria (Multiple authors, 4/16).

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More News In Global Health

Agence France-Presse/Medical Xpress: Novartis to inject $100 mn into malaria drug research (4/17).

Associated Press: Nobel laureate blasts East Timor’s failure against poverty (Raimundos, 4/17).

BBC News: ‘Malaria killed my daughter, I’m protecting others now’ (Smith, 4/17).

CNN: Malaria parasites present in 23% of donor blood in some African countries, study suggests (Senthilingam, 4/16).

Devex: Aid workers must step up to stop ISIS discrimination in IDP camps (Welsh, 4/17).

Global Health NOW: Focus on Lives Transformed, Trust Those Closest to the Problem, and Restricted Funding Is “Bad Tequila” (Myers, 4/16).

PRI: Ireland’s strict ban on abortion could soon be a thing of the past (Bell, 4/16).

Reuters: Conditions worsening for Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar ahead of rains (Nebehay, 4/16).

SciDev.Net: Q&A: How to achieve universal health coverage in Africa (Rateng’, 4/16).

Science: Malaria infection creates a ‘human perfume’ that makes us more attractive to mosquitoes (Cornwall, 4/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

BUILD Act Has Opportunity To Create Coherence, Synergies For U.S. Development Finance

The Hill: Rethinking how we handle development finance
Brendan McBryde, managing editor for the Borgen Project

“Way back in July 2015, Center for Global Development researchers Ben Leo and Todd Moss revealed the new landscape of development finance. … [T]hey noticed two key deficiencies in traditional U.S. aid policy: ‘development dynamics are shifting rapidly from a donor-recipient aid relationship to win-win partnerships involving public and private actors’; and, ‘aid agencies typically are not positioned to address many pressing development priorities, such as expanding economic opportunities in frontier markets.’ … What Leo and Moss proposed as a remedy for these inefficiencies makes for prophetic reading: the creation of a full-service, self-sustaining U.S. Development Finance Corporation that delivers development results, advances U.S. foreign and commercial policy objectives, and reduces the federal deficit through modest operating profits. Now before the Senate, The BUILD (Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development) Act of 2018 does exactly that. … Any opportunity for coherence and synergy in the delivery of development finance should be welcomed, from the perspective of nations in need, companies with untapped potential, and the U.S. taxpayer” (4/16).

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Millennium Village Project Provides Lessons For SDG Achievement

The Lancet Global Health: Lessons from the Millennium Villages Project: a personal perspective
Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development, professor at Columbia University, and director of the Millennium Village Project

“…The [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] call for bold advances in living standards by 2030 … To achieve these bold goals, governments will need to implement integrated rural and urban development plans over a period of a decade or more, and to do so at all levels of government, from local communities to the national government. The lessons from the [Millennium Village Project (MVP)] are highly pertinent … [and] suggest the following key steps. (1) Set clear targets to 2030. (2) Identify key interventions and budgetary needs. (3) Form teams from national to local level prepared to work in an integrated manner. (4) Establish real-time information systems. And (5) don’t expect a quiet life! Rapid changes in technology, and even in geopolitics, will force considerable innovations, systems changes, and improvisation, between now and 2030” (May 2018).

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Engaging Youth, Policymakers Can Help Bring Sustainable Improvements For Child Well-Being Worldwide

Devex: Opinion: Sustainable change begins with listening
Anne Lynam Goddard, president and CEO of ChildFund International, and Leslie Gamero, country director for ChildFund International Honduras

“For 80 years, ChildFund International has worked to improve the well-being of children worldwide, evolving its approach according to children’s needs and the context they live in. … [I]t takes much more than the proverbial ‘village’ to create safe environments for children. Here are three things we’ve learned. 1. Participant voices have great power to guide, inspire, and affirm development work. … 2. Participation, both local and governmental, inspires ownership that then leads to scalability. … 3. Involving duty bearers promotes sustainability. Complementing talk with action multiplies the power of advocacy; with hands-on experience, policymakers can become believers. … It’s about behavior change, and it all begins with listening. We as adults have a significant role in influencing the behavior of children — when we change, they change. When we don’t change, it’s really difficult to expect a different type of society at the end of the day” (4/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

IFRC Publishes Resources On Community Engagement, Accountability Efforts During West Africa's Ebola Epidemic

The following resources present case studies on the IFRC’s efforts to address the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, documenting best practices and lessons learned.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: Epidemic ready: community engagement key in fight against Ebola (4/16).

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: Red Cross mobilizes 600,000 community members in fight against Ebola (4/16).

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Brookings Report Examines Revenue Streams, Profitability Of HIV Treatments

Brookings Institution’s “TechTank”: How profitable are HIV drugs?
Jake Schneider, research assistant, and Darrell West, vice president and director of governance studies and founding director of the Center for Technology Innovation, both at the Brookings Institution, discuss findings from their newly released report examining the estimated potential returns to private investors in antiretroviral therapies and the profitability of HIV drugs in various countries and regions. The authors offer several recommendations for how to overcome barriers to investment in emerging markets (4/16).

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