KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Debate Over U.S. Zika Funding Continues; NIH Official Warns Local Outbreaks Likely In Some American Regions

ABC News: White House, Congress Spar Over Funds to Combat Zika Virus
“The political battle over funding to stop the spread of the Zika virus appears to be at a standstill. The nation’s top health officials say they need nearly $2 billion to fight Zika, but the request is stalled in Congress, and now the White House and Republican lawmakers are shuffling the blame across Pennsylvania Avenue…” (Siegel et al., 4/15).

CQ News: Meeting on Zika Urged by House Democratic Appropriators
“House Appropriations Democrats requested Chairman Harold Rogers convene a special meeting on the Obama administration’s $1.9 billion request for an emergency supplemental appropriation to help combat the Zika virus, according to a letter publicized Friday…” (Mejdrich, 4/15).

The Hill: Fauci: Funding from Congress crucial to fight Zika virus
“Dr. Anthony Fauci from the National Institutes of Health on Sunday predicted locally transmitted cases of the Zika virus in the U.S. this summer and urged Congress to authorize more funding to fight it…” (Hellmann, 4/17).

Reuters: Local Zika outbreaks in United States ‘likely’: U.S. official
“…The United States has seen more than 350 cases of people who were infected abroad and then returned to the country but has yet to confirm a case where someone was infected within its borders. That is likely to change, said Fauci…” (Bartz, 4/17).

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World Begins Polio Vaccine Switch In Effort To Eliminate Disease

Deutsche Welle: WHO launches worldwide effort to completely eliminate polio
“More than 150 countries and territories launched a new effort on Sunday that health experts hope will lead to the complete eradication of the polio virus within the next year or two…” (4/17).

NPR: New Polio Vaccine Rolled Out In Massive Synchronized Worldwide Switch
“…The shift, which is expected to be completed by May 1, is the ‘largest and fastest globally coordinated rollout of a vaccine into routine immunization programs in history,’ according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative…” (Kennedy, 4/17).

STAT: ‘We have never been this close’: The campaign to eradicate polio takes a giant step forward
“…So between this past Sunday and May 1, all countries that use the oral polio vaccine developed more than 60 years ago must stop administering the current formula and replace it with a new version…” (Branswell, 4/18).

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Reuters Examines WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer's Decisions, Public Communications On Carcinogenic Substances

Reuters: SPECIAL REPORT — How the World Health Organization’s cancer agency confuses consumers
“…As a global authority on cancer — a disease that kills more than eight million people a year worldwide, with more than 14 million new cases appearing annually — [the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)] has enormous influence and commands much respect, even among its critics. Yet experts from academia, industry, and public health say IARC confuses the public and policymakers. Some critics say the way IARC considers and communicates whether substances are carcinogenic is flawed and needs reform…” (Kelland, 4/18).

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UNICEF, World Bank Create New Alliance Aimed At Prioritizing Early Childhood Development, Including Health, Nutrition

U.N. News Centre: UNICEF, World Bank urge greater investment in early childhood development
“…The two organizations said in a press release that they have established a new alliance that aims to make early childhood development a global policy, programming, and public spending priority, to give all young children access to quality services that improve their health, nutrition, learning ability, and emotional well-being…” (4/15).

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Rights-Based Approaches Needed To Reduce HIV Incidence Among Drug Users, UNAIDS Report Says

U.N. News Centre: U.N. report urges rights-based approach to reduce HIV infections among drug users
“Ahead of [this] week’s General Assembly special session on drugs, the United Nations agency leading the world’s HIV/AIDS response has released a new report, which warns that many countries are failing to reduce new HIV infections due to the absence of health- and rights-based approaches, particularly as regards drug use…” (4/15).

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WHO Urges Asian Nations To Halve Traffic Accident-Related Deaths By 2020

VOA News: WHO Presses Asian Countries to Cut Road Deaths in Half
“The World Health Organization (WHO) is pressing Asian countries to cut their road death and injury toll in half by 2020. A 2015 study from Chalmers Technical University in Goteborg, Sweden, covering 24 Asian countries encompassing 56 percent of the world’s population, says the total highway death toll for those countries is 750,000 per year with traffic accidents the leading cause of death for people under the age of 30…” (Corben, 4/18).

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African Development Bank President Speaks With Devex About Framing Nutrition As Economic Issue

Devex: Malnutrition — it’s the economy, stupid!
“…The dearth of finance ministers in the [World Bank spring meeting] discussion about agriculture and nutrition is a central challenge for another panelist, Akinwumi Adesina, who assumed the presidency of the African Development Bank last year. Adesina, a former minister of agriculture in Nigeria, says he wants to shift the conversation about nutrition from one of social service to one of economic necessity. … Speaking to Devex, he offered a glimpse into efforts emerging on the continent to ‘raise the game’ in the fight against malnutrition…” (Igoe, 4/18).

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Some West African Women Resort To Unsafe, Illegal Abortion Due To Strict Laws

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Strict laws drive West African women to dangerous, illegal abortions
“From crowded cities to far-flung villages, women with unwanted pregnancies across West Africa are resorting to clandestine and unsafe abortions — driven by shame, stigma, and restrictive laws. … Abortion in West Africa, a region with some of the world’s highest fertility, unsafe abortion and maternal mortality rates, is largely illegal — some countries permit it only to save the woman’s life while others allow it in cases of rape or incest…” (Guilbert, 4/18).

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Editorials and Opinions

Cash Transfers Should Be Considered As Cost-Effective Solution To Achieving SDGs

Project Syndicate: Unsustainable Development Goals?
Ngaire Woods, dean of the Blavatnik School of Government and director of the Global Economic Governance Program at the University of Oxford

“…To maximize the chances of success [in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] … every dollar channeled toward development [must be] used as efficiently as possible. This means rethinking the way aid is delivered and asking hard questions to the elaborate web of international agencies that deliver it, not least about the cost-effectiveness of their operations. … Cash transfers are an interesting case. The idea of giving money to the neediest is an obvious and powerful one. … Of course, not all aid can be replaced with cash transfers. But in some cases, such an approach offers the opportunity for huge efficiency gains relative to aid delivered through complex and costly institutions. … In a challenging global economic and geopolitical environment, achieving the SDGs will be possible only if we make the most of every multilateral development dollar. And that may mean giving many more dollars directly to those who need them” (4/14).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

World Bank Panel Explores Ways To Advance Development Financing

World Bank’s “Voices”: Bill Gates talks about ‘game-changers’ in financing development
Donna Barne, corporate writer at the World Bank, reports on a high-level panel discussion at a World Bank meeting on financing development held last week, writing, “The conversation … ranged from how to make development less risky so the private sector will invest, to the need for strong, transparent tax systems and financial inclusion, to how to fund the Sustainable Development Goals and the power of trade to reduce poverty.” The panel included Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates, U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan, Ghana Minister for Finance and Economic Planning Seth Terkper, and World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim (4/17).

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Additional $7B Over Next 10 Years Required To End Severe Malnutrition, Study Says

ONE Blog: Historic new analysis puts price tag on global malnutrition crisis
Eloise Todd, ONE’s global policy director, discusses a new report from the World Bank, Results for Development Institute, and 1,000 Days, which estimates “ending severe malnutrition worldwide will require an additional annual investment of $7 billion for the next 10 years,” as well as the launch of a ONE campaign “to mobilize its … members to urge their lawmakers to prioritize investments in basic nutrition programs” (4/17).

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Blog Post Explores Challenges Of Scaling Up Global Food Supply Chain

Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.: Growth opportunities and growing pains in a changing global food system
Alesha Black, director of the Global Food and Agriculture Program at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, discusses the global food supply chain and challenges of “unit[ing] rural food supply with urban food need” (April 2016).

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