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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Funding Increase For Public Health Emergency Preparedness Uncertain As U.S. Congress Explores Options

CQ News: Health Emergency Funding Boost Might Not Happen in Fiscal 2019
“The House Republican who oversees most discretionary federal health spending wants to boost funding for emergency preparedness and response in fiscal 2019 and beyond, he said at a hearing Wednesday. But Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole acknowledged an increase in those programs would have a lot of competition as Congress decides how to fund the government for next year. … [A]s Congress explores whether to increase funding to research and purchase new vaccines, treatments, and other medical products to prepare for outbreaks or health disasters, some lawmakers will continue to push instead for support of hospitals, labs, and other parts of the emergency-response system. … As those biodefense authorization bills are considered, lawmakers will likely debate whether they should set aside money for emergencies that may arise…” (Siddons, 4/18).

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Lancet Special Report Examines Controversy Over Sexual Harassment, Assault Allegations, Investigation At UNAIDS

The Lancet: Claims of sexual harassment and assault threaten U.N. agency
“The controversy over a high-profile investigation that examined allegations of sexual harassment and assault against a top official of UNAIDS has sent shockwaves throughout the international health community, as details emerge that the issue might have reached far more widely than official data indicate, in the midst of a culture of silence, intimidation, and fear. … A range of compliance reports and survey data suggest that harassment and sexual misconduct are burning issues of concern and recurrent problems, not only for UNAIDS, but also for the U.N. Secretariat, most U.N. entities, and U.N. partners…” (Zarocostas, 4/17).

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U.K., Senegal Meetings Bring Additional Commitments To Malaria Efforts, Provide Information About Spread, Control Strategies

CIDRAP News: Malaria meetings garner support, shed new light on spread
“Two major malaria conferences under way this week — one in London and the other in Senegal — brought new pledges of nearly $4 billion to curb the disease and new research on factors that are driving disease levels, such as conditions in conflict zones and contaminated blood supplies…” (Schnirring, 4/18).

Fortune: Bill Gates Is Pouring Another $1 Billion Into the Fight Against Malaria
“…The Gates Foundation will invest $1 billion through 2023 to fund research and development efforts to end malaria. It also pledged an additional 50 million pounds (approximately $70.9 million) to match the British government’s 100 million pound ($142 million) commitment to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced by Prime Minister May on Tuesday. The Gates Foundation also announced that it will support ZERO by 40, a new joint initiative of five crop protection companies to accelerate the development of innovative vector control tools to combat the spread of malaria…” (Bach, 4/18).

Reuters: Gates backs gene technologies in fight to end malaria
“…Speaking at the Malaria Forum conference in London, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist said that while gene editing raises ‘legitimate questions,’ that should not jeopardize exploration of tools such as CRISPR gene editing and so-called ‘gene drive’ technologies…” (Kelland, 4/18).

VOA News: Summit Urges Global Response to Malaria Resurgence
“…On the sidelines of this week’s London Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, Gates told delegates, including several African leaders, the fight against malaria must be stepped up. ‘If we do not keep innovating, we will go backwards,’ he said. ‘If we do not maintain the commitments that we are making here today, malaria would go back up and kill over a million children a year, because the drugs and the insecticides are evaded by the mosquito and the parasite’…” (Ridgwell, 4/19).

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Global Hunger Driven Primarily By Man-Made Conflict, Climate Change, U.N. Says

Xinhua News: Man-made conflict, climate change main drivers of global hunger, says U.N.
“The United Nations said Wednesday that the main drivers of hunger and malnutrition were man-made conflict and climate change and the protracted crises that followed. Global hunger had escalated by five percent in 2016, said Mario Arvelo, chair of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), while introducing CFS’s report on the main decisions and policy recommendations…” (4/19).

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Scientists Using Drones To Track Monkeys Following Rare Human Outbreak Of Macaque Malaria

The Guardian: Drones help fight surge in deadly malaria spread by monkeys in Malaysia
“Drones are being used to track monkeys deep in the Malaysian forests to understand better how the primates are passing a rare strain of malaria to humans. Malaysian Borneo has seen a surge in cases of ‘monkey malaria,’ a strain of the disease that normally only affects macaques, caused by the parasite Plasmodium knowlesi…” (Summers, 4/17).

Nature: Rare human outbreak of monkey malaria detected in Malaysia
“Several people in Malaysia have become infected with a species of monkey malaria parasite that, until recently, had been recorded in just one person outside of the lab. Although only a few cases have been detected, researchers are worried that the ongoing destruction of monkeys’ forest habitat is increasing the amount of contact between people and primates, providing more opportunities for infections to jump to people…” (Law, 4/16).

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Malawi On Course To Eliminate HIV, U.S. HIV/AIDS Researcher Jay Levy Says

Reuters: Malawi can eradicate HIV infections says U.S. doctor who discovered AIDS virus
“Malawi … is on course to eradicate the virus, Jay Levy who co-discovered the AIDS virus 35 years ago said. … [In a lecture at College of Medicine in Blantyre,] Levy cited the Malawian government’s efforts in increasing access to treatment, mother-to-child transmission interventions, and awareness on prevention and treatment as some of the steps that are helping to fight the disease…” (Phiri, 3/18).

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More News In Global Health

EURACTIV: Whose aid is it anyway? (Fox, 4/18).

Financial Times: How close are we to defeating malaria? (Symon/Jack, 4/18).

Global Health NOW: Opiophobia and High Costs: Untangling the Barriers to Palliative Care (Sutherland, 4/17).

The Guardian: From cattle herder to big pharma expert: one man’s fight to end malaria — podcast (Lamble et al., 4/18).

NPR: Chasing A New Way To Prevent HIV: Passive Immunization (Knox, 4/18).

Reuters: Congo government setting up fund to manage all aid donations (Mwarabu et al., 4/18).

SciDev.Net: China, India lead rise in global antibiotic consumption (Shaikh, 4/18).

USA TODAY: Women get their periods every month — and it’s incredibly expensive (Onyanga-Omara, 4/18).

Washington Post: Too Many Men (Denyer/Gowan, 4/18).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Secretary Of State Nominee Mike Pompeo Could Transform U.S. Approach To Addressing Global Hunger, Malnutrition

The Hill: Pompeo can lead the fight against global hunger and malnutrition
Lucy Martinez Sullivan, executive director of 1,000 Days

“…The nomination of Mike Pompeo to be U.S. secretary of State presents a critical opportunity to do away with the ‘business as usual’ approach to dealing with hunger and malnutrition. As secretary of State, Pompeo can lead the charge in transforming the U.S. government’s approach to the problem. First, he can reinvigorate the important role that the U.S. Department of State plays in advancing global food security. … Second, Pompeo can help shape the political and diplomatic solutions that are needed to break the vicious cycle of conflict and hunger and bring about lasting peace and stability. … Finally, as secretary of State, Pompeo has a chance to shine an international spotlight on how investments in nutrition and food security can secure more peaceful and prosperous futures. … It is my hope that Pompeo still sees the value of American leadership in the fight against global hunger and malnutrition and that if confirmed as secretary of State, he seizes the opportunity to contribute to a world in which families can feed themselves and children have the chance to reach their full potential” (4/18).

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Smarter Aid Can Help Fragile Nations Lift Populations Out Of Poverty

The Guardian: I’m proud I championed aid. But we must rethink how we do it
David Cameron, former U.K. prime minister and leader of the Conservative Party

“…[W]ith nearly 900 million people still living on less than $2 a day, the battle against global poverty isn’t over. And, while growth in countries such as China and India is lifting millions out of poverty, in too many of the world’s poorest countries, progress is completely stuck. A great many of these countries … are what are called ‘fragile states.’ … Estimates suggest that by 2030, half of the world’s poor will live in fragile states. We need to be frank: the global goal to eradicate extreme poverty within the next 12 years will never be met unless this problem is addressed. … For the past year I have been chairing the first ever Commission on State Fragility, Growth and Development, a joint venture between Oxford University and the London School of Economics. We have probed issues that many policymakers have previously avoided. And today, the commission publishes its findings. … We have to accept we have often ended up throwing good money after bad. But that is not a reason to stop aid; it is a reason to change the way we do aid. The report calls for a new type of realism in the approach towards fragile states. … Despite the obvious challenges of helping fragile states, I am confident for the future…” (4/19).

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U.N. Must 'Properly And Independently' Investigate Sexual Harassment, Abuse Allegations At UNAIDS, Other Agencies

The Lancet: Sexual harassment and abuse — the sinister underbelly
Editorial Board

“This week, The Lancet publishes a Special Report on allegations of sexual harassment and abuse at UNAIDS. The report suggests that UNAIDS has at best marginalized and at worst buried allegations of sexual harassment. … It is time to be honest about global health. … There is something particularly egregious about a field that is supposed to be based on principles of equity, human rights, and justice that has provided a cloak of protection against sexual harassment and abuse. Instead of being leaders in these areas, some of the principal perpetrators are from the global health community. … What really matters is that these and other allegations of harassment are properly and independently investigated by an independent authority so that justice is delivered for these women. … Zero tolerance should mean zero tolerance” (4/17).

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Barbara Bush Demonstrated Leadership, Compassion When Bringing Attention To AIDS Epidemic

Washington Post: Barbara Bush, a baby and breaking a shameful silence on AIDS
Jonathan Capehart, member of the Washington Post editorial board

“When the news alert of the passing of Barbara Bush hit my phone on Tuesday, my mind immediately went back to a 1989 photo of her cradling a baby. A grandmother holding an infant isn’t shocking. But when the grandmother was the new first lady and the child was suffering from AIDS, the photo spoke volumes. Not two months before Bush’s visit to an AIDS hospice in Washington, her husband, President George H.W. Bush, was inaugurated to succeed Ronald Reagan. The revered and loquacious Reagan was mute on the epidemic laying waste to gay men, African Americans, and other vulnerable populations. Barbara Bush broke that shameful silence with a hug and her voice. … In times of fear and national distress, the American people look to the president and the White House as much for leadership as for compassion. Bush demonstrated both with that visit. Don’t underestimate the power of her message or the example she set by doing something that was so controversial at the time. She saved lives that day by bringing attention to the ignored…” (4/18).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Brookings Senior Fellow Discusses USAID's Recently Released Redesign Plan

Brookings Institution’s “Up Front”: A first look at USAID’s redesign plan
George Ingram, senior fellow for global economy and development at Brookings, discusses various aspects of USAID’s redesign plan, which the agency recently made public. Ingram writes, “The proposed restructuring follows a certain logic as to policies and programs that should be connected and elevated. Ideas discussed in recent years within the agency and in relevant reports and public fora are featured, but in various areas the plan plows new ground” (4/18).

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Eurodad Manager Examines OECD's Preliminary 2017 ODA Figures, International Aid Targets

Eurodad: 2017 development aid figures: A half empty mixed bag
Jeroen Kwakkenbos, policy and advocacy manager at Eurodad, discusses OECD’s preliminary figures on 2017 Official Development Assistance (ODA) and international targets. Kwakkenbos writes, “Given the problems with ODA reporting the question arises: is it still worth maintaining this pot of money along with its 0.7 percent target? The answer is a resounding yes. The issue with ODA lies primarily in the fact that the methods to assess its quantity are not directly linked to the methods and principles that assess its quality” (4/19).

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Harvard Fellow Discusses Role Of Innovation In Expanding Primary Health Care, Achieving UHC

PLOS Blog’s “Global Health”: Innovative thinking is key to realizing UHC
Junaid Nabi, global health policy researcher and fellow in bioethics at Harvard Medical School, discusses the role and importance of exploring innovative technologies to expand primary health care services and achieve universal health coverage and other health-related Sustainable Development Goals (4/18).

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New Issue Of Global Health: Science And Practice Journal Available Online

Global Health: Science and Practice: March 2018
The March issue of the Global Health: Science and Practice online journal features pieces on various topics, including a commentary by Ariel Pablos-Méndez, professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center, and Mario C. Raviglione, professor at the University of Milan and director of the Centre of Global Health, titled “A New World Health Era,” as well as an analysis and several articles on family planning, injectable contraceptives, and sex education (March 2018).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash features an article on the Global Fund joining partners at the Malaria Summit London 2018 in a call to reduce malaria by one half across the Commonwealth of Nations over the next five years, as well as a video on the role of seasonal malaria chemoprevention in reducing malaria cases in children under five in Niger (4/19).

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Medicines Patent Pool Announces Appointment Of Charles Gore As New Executive Director

Medicines Patent Pool: The Medicines Patent Pool Governance Board Appoints Charles Gore As New MPP Executive Director
“The Medicines Patent Pool (MPP) Governance Board today announced the appointment of Charles Gore, founder and former president of the World Hepatitis Alliance, as new MPP executive director. … Mr. Gore brings to the MPP two decades of work as an advocate for hepatitis C patients and better treatment alternatives” (4/19).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Committed To Strengthening Health Systems, Increasing Access To Primary Health Services In Partner Countries

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Strong Health Systems Increase Access to Quality Health Care for All
Kerry Pelzman, deputy assistant administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, discusses USAID’s efforts to strengthen health systems and support access to primary health care services in partner countries, writing, “Ensuring healthy lives and promoting everyone’s well being takes innovative thinking adapted to the needs of local realities. USAID remains committed to work in partnership to deliver quality health services and reach the most vulnerable and underserved populations” (4/18).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

Kaiser Family Foundation, CSIS Co-Host Discussion On Current State Of Global HIV/AIDS Financing

Kaiser Family Foundation/CSIS: Global HIV/AIDS Financing Amidst Uncertainty
On Wednesday, April 18, 2017, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) Global Health Policy Center co-hosted a public discussion on the current state of financing for the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. The event also included the launch of the latest global health financing analysis by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). Sara M. Allinder, deputy director and senior fellow at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, opened the discussion, and Christopher J.L. Murray, professor and director of IHME, delivered a keynote address. J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, moderated a panel discussion including Murray; Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation; and Mark Dybul, professor and faculty co-director of the Center for Global Health and Quality at Georgetown University Medical School. A video of the event is available online (4/18).

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