KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

GPEDC Meetings Outline Need For More Effective Development Cooperation

News outlets report on the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) meeting, which took place in Mexico City this week.

Devex: Civil society concerns as global partnerships meeting ends in Mexico
“Masked civil society representatives took the stage briefly on Wednesday at the closing plenary of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation’s first high-level meeting, which focused on the role of the private sector in development…” (Saldinger, 4/17).

Inter Press Service: Civil Society Wants More Influence in New Development Agenda
“Making international cooperation more effective requires a civil society with greater influence in the negotiations of the development agenda that the world’s governments are to adopt in 2015, civil society representatives said at an international meeting in Mexico…” (Godoy, 4/17).

CivilSociety.co: DFID announces U.K.’s first development impact bond
“The U.K. is to launch the first development impact bond — an international version of the social impact bond — International Development Secretary Justine Greening has said. … Greening will launch the new bond to invest in the prevention of deadly sleeping sickness in Uganda while attending the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation summit in Mexico…” (Mair, 4/17).

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GAO Report Examines USAID's Push For 'Local Solutions'

Devex: Afghanistan, Pakistan programs skew USAID’s progress on ‘local solutions’
“A new report from the Government Accountability Office raises fundamental questions about U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah’s drive for ‘local solutions’ to pressing development challenges. Chief among them: What are local solutions, how is USAID keeping track of them, and are they more effective that ‘non-local’ solutions?…” (Igoe, 4/17).

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Continued Violence In S. Sudan Exacerbating Humanitarian Crisis, Food Insecurity

News sources report on continuing violence and the resulting humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

Agence France-Presse: Gunmen storm S. Sudan U.N. base, wound dozens of civilians
“Gunmen stormed a U.N. base in South Sudan Thursday, wounding dozens of civilians from a rival tribe in an ‘unprovoked’ attack before peacekeepers fought them off, the U.N. said. U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon condemned the assault in the war-ravaged town of Bor which also left two peacekeepers wounded, warning any attack on UN troops constitutes a war crime…” (Wudu, 4/17).

Al Jazeera: South Sudan on brink of famine: U.N. chief
“The U.N. has given warning that up to a million people could face famine in conflict-torn South Sudan unless there is immediate action, with rebels taking control of oil rich areas and threatening the capital, Juba…” (4/17).

The Guardian: South Sudanese find peace in Ethiopia as rains near and war continues
“…Thousands of people have died and more than a million have been displaced in the clashes. Aid agencies are warning of an impending humanitarian crisis…” (Davison, 4/18).

Humanosphere: 3.7 million in South Sudan face severe hunger crisis
“…Fighting in South Sudan since December is responsible for displacing more than one million people from their homes. The upcoming rainy season is a vital time for food security because it is when crops are usually planted. It is also the period when food stocks from the previous harvest season begin to run out…” (Murphy, 4/17).

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U.N. Documents Show Syrian President's Efforts To Cut Off Food Supplies To Rebel-Held Areas

Foreign Policy: Exclusive: U.N. Docs Expose Assad’s Starvation Campaign in Syria
“Internal United Nations documents show modest improvements in the delivery of desperately needed food inside rebel-controlled areas of Syria. But the documents also point to a mass exodus of Syrians into areas controlled by President Bashar al-Assad in part because the dictator is the only reliable source of life-sustaining food…” (Hudson, 4/17).

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Ebola Death Toll Rises In West Africa

News outlets report on the rising death toll from West Africa’s Ebola outbreak.

Associated Press: West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has claimed 137 lives
“The World Health Organization says an Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has claimed 137 lives. The disease, typically found in Central or East Africa, has infected people in Guinea’s remote forests, its capital and in neighboring Liberia…” (4/17).

Reuters: Death toll from Guinea Ebola outbreak rises to 122
“The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in Guinea has risen to 122, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, a sharp increase from a previous figure of 108…” (4/17).

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Health Officials On Alert As MERS Case Detected For First Time In Malaysia

News outlets report on the spread of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) to Asia, where a case has been detected in Malaysia.

Associated Press: Spate of Mideast virus infections raises concerns
“A recent spate of infections from a frequently deadly Middle East virus is raising new worries about efforts to contain the illness, with infectious disease experts urging greater vigilance in combating its spread…” (Schreck, 4/17).

Bangkok Post: M’sia quarantines villagers over MERS virus
“Malaysia has quarantined 64 people in a southern village after one of its residents become the country’s first person to die of a respiratory illness that is spreading from the Middle East, local media reported Thursday…” (4/17).

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The Lancet Examines Violence Against Health Care Workers

The Lancet: Tackling violence against health care workers
“…Physical violence against nurses and other medical workers has become an endemic problem in health care. In addition, nonphysical assaults, such as bullying and sexual harassment, are also common. Although some countries are beginning to address the problem, much remains to be done to encourage reporting of incidents and to prevent them from happening in the first place…” (Nelson, 4/16).

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Activists Challenge El Salvador's Anti-Abortion Laws

The Guardian: El Salvador: meet the women who dare to challenge the anti-abortion state
“El Salvador has one of the world’s strictest abortion laws, with abortion a crime even when a woman’s life is at risk. Human rights activists say this has created a system of persecution in the country’s hospitals as well as its courts, where any woman — and particularly a poor, young woman who loses her baby — is suspect…” (Provost, 4/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

Safe, Clean Water Can Be 'Source Of Hope And Life For All'

The Hill: Water and the Angel of Death
Rev. Otis Moss, senior pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago

“…[W]ithout safe water and sanitation, a whole host of global ills cannot be cured — malnutrition, poverty, food insecurity, gender inequality. Not even peace can be achieved when some have and others don’t have something as basic to life as water. … Water has the power to transform. So do we. Which means water, the source of all life, must be more than a symbol in our faiths. It must be a call-to-action. Access to safe water is an Exodus from a lifecycle of poverty and sickness. There is no better time than now, with spring rains and renewal, Passover’s flight to freedom, Lent’s reflection and sacrifice, and Easter’s celebration, to ask ourselves if we have the moral will and vision to make safe water the source of hope and life for all…” (4/17).

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Investment In WASH Efforts 'Essential' To Achieve Post-2015 Development Goals

The Lancet: Water and sanitation: addressing inequalities
“… Access to safe water and sanitation is essential to all development outcomes across the life course. It ensures healthy growth and prevention of water-borne and food-borne diseases causing diarrhea, which contributes to stunting in children. Contaminated and stagnant water also contribute to the global burden of trachoma, and vector-borne diseases. … Beyond direct health outcomes, investing in water and sanitation is essential to achievement of post-2015 sustainable development goals…” (4/19).

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Health Warnings On Cigarette Packages In China Should Convey Stronger Message

The Lancet: Cigarette packaging in China — not going far enough
“A WHO report, Tobacco Health Warnings in China: Evidence of Effectiveness and Implications for Action, published on April 8, summarizes evidence on the effectiveness of China’s written health warnings on tobacco packaging. It concludes that China failed to comply with Article 11 of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), which defines packaging and labeling of tobacco products. … National implementation [in China] should require health warnings containing graphic images of diseased organs — which convey a powerful message. Tobacco companies in China should be forced by law to strengthen the health warnings on tobacco product packaging. People in China deserve no less” (4/19).

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Global Community Must Address Mental Health, Epilepsy

Huffington Post: The True Price of Mental Health and the Low-Cost Solution
Olivia Davies, development officer at BasicNeeds

“[There is] a distinct lack of funding or recognition for the vast problem of mental illness and epilepsy in low- and middle-income countries. This is a travesty, really, considering that of the 450 million people suffering from mental illness and epilepsy in the world, over 75 percent of them live in the developing world. … [U]ntil we trumpet mental health and epilepsy on the global agenda, developing countries may never be able to fully pull themselves out of the legacy of debt that these illnesses leave behind…” (4/17).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Discusses Future Of Development Assistance For Global Health

Writing in the Health Affairs Blog, Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of Global Health & HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, discusses findings from a new analysis by Dielemen et al. on global health funding. Kates notes the analysis raises “important questions about the future for policymakers, particularly those in donor governments and international institutions who have in large part put a premium on addressing global health as part of development over the past decade. While it appears that the global health funding revolution is likely over, policymakers will increasingly be confronted with the challenge of addressing the unfinished business of HIV, TB, malaria, MNCH, and other areas — and ensuring that their health investments are lasting — in an era of fiscal constraint (for them and for recipient countries) even as newer challenges, such as NCDs, rise on the global agenda” (4/17).

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USAID Adviser Says Food Shortages Could Be Threat By 2050

Science 2.0 speaks to Fred Davies, senior science adviser for USAID’s Bureau of Food Security, about the threat of global food shortages in the coming years. According to Davies, “Food issues could become as politically destabilizing by 2050 as energy issues are today. … [R]esource limitations will constrain global food systems … [and t]he increases currently projected for crop production from biotechnology, genetics, agronomics, and horticulture will not be sufficient to meet food demand” (4/17).

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Not All Imams In Senegal Oppose Family Planning

Citing the publication of a March 15 Washington Post article on controversy surrounding a family planning program and religious leaders in Senegal, Cheikh Seck, the project director for IntraHealth International’s Senegal Urban Health Initiative, and colleagues write in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, “[T]he article presents a one-sided and stereotypical view of the reality of family planning in Senegal. It quotes one imam (or Muslim religious leader) and uses a few scattered quotes to suggest that all, or even most, Islamic leaders in Senegal are against family planning. This is not true. … We want the world to know that we get it. We need to advance with the times to make sure that Senegal is not left behind” (4/17).

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Motorbike Couriers Speed Lab Sample Delivery In Malawi

Owen Nyaka, a member of the Key Correspondents Network supported by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, writes in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog about how the “Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) plans to work with motorcycle couriers Riders for Health to expand the laboratory samples transportation network in Malawi.” He notes, “The Ministry of Health has endorsed Riders for Health, an organization which identifies trains and manages motorcycle couriers to collect and return samples on specific routes. The model is working well in Rumphi, Mzimba South, and other districts in the northern region of Malawi…” (4/17).

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Blog Highlights Global Health Publications, Campaigns

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog highlights a new publication from AVAC examining pre-exposure prophylaxis to reduce the risk of HIV infection; updates from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria about its new funding model; a commentary on new U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx; and a campaign from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation aimed at showing the importance of mothers (Barton, 4/17).

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