KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Systematic Reviews For Development Programs

Devex: Can a tool for doctors ‘fix’ evidence-based foreign aid?
“…Now some major development institutions, led by the U.K. Department for International Development, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation or 3ie, a small Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, are leading the way in developing systematic reviews of development interventions — and the World Bank may soon follow their lead…” (Stephens, 4/21).

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U.N., Gates Foundation Sign MoU On Family Planning

Leadership: U.N., Gates Partner To Boost Family Health In Developing Countries
“The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have signed a memorandum of understanding to help increase access to family planning information, contraceptives, and services in developing countries, particularly for young people…” (Oluwarotimi, 4/19).

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Saudi Arabia Replaces Health Minister During MERS Outbreak

News outlets report Saudi Arabia relieves its health minister from office in midst of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) outbreak.

Associated Press: Saudi health minister sacked amid virus deaths
“Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah sacked the country’s health minister on Monday amid a spike in deaths and infections from the virus known as the Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS…” (Al-Shihri, 4/21).

Associated Press: Saudi Arabia reports 2 more deaths from MERS virus
“Saudi Arabia’s health ministry says two more patients who contracted a potentially fatal Middle East virus related to SARS have died as the kingdom detected 17 new cases of the disease…” (4/21).

Reuters: Saudi Arabia replaces health minister amid MERS virus fears
“Saudi Arabian King Abdullah removed Health Minister Abdullah al-Rabeeah from his post on Monday as the kingdom grapples with a worrying surge of new cases of the SARS-like Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)…” (4/21).

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HPV Vaccine Effective Among Women With HIV, Study Shows

New York Times: Cancer Vaccine Proves Effective in HIV Patients
“Vaccines against cervical cancer work well even in sexually active women with HIV, a new study has found. It also found that women who already have one or two strains of the cancer-causing virus can be protected against others…” (McNeil, 4/21).

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Water Shortage In Ugandan Resettlement Camps Causing Tensions

VOA News: South Sudan Refugees in Uganda Struggle with Water Shortages
South Sudanese refugees in Uganda “are not only battling homesickness and fear for the future of their country, but also tough challenges in the camp, including a chronic shortage of clean water that has led to tensions with the local community…” (Taban, 4/21).

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Tanzania To Employ Climate Data To Fight Malaria

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Better climate data could help Tanzania curb malaria
“Tanzania is enlisting climate data in a new approach to curbing malaria. Enhancing National Climate Services (ENACTS), a system established by the Tanzania Meteorological Agency in conjunction with the U.S.-based International Research Institute for Climate and Society, is designed to identify long-term drivers of the disease by compiling historical climate data and making it available for analysis by health policymakers…” (Makoye, 4/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Polio Eradication Would Be Worldwide Victory

Huffington Post: A Remarkable Achievement: 80 Percent of the World Now Polio-Free
Tom Frieden, CDC director

“I’m recently back from New Delhi where I attended meetings on global health security, tuberculosis, and HIV — and very importantly, participated in the World Health Organization’s event to certify Southeast Asia free of polio. … As we continue to eradicate polio nation by nation, it is a victory for the entire world. And when it is done, it will be the ultimate in equity and sustainability because it will be for every single child in the world and it will be forever” (4/21).

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Opposition To Abortion Prevents Gender Equality

Al Jazeera: In global health, abortion bears the scarlet A
Jill Filipovic, lawyer, writer, and a columnist at The Guardian

“…At its most basic level, abortion access allows women to be equal players in society. Surviving childbirth is a baseline, not a goal. There is no way for a society to achieve the real objective — full gender equality — without abortion rights. … Much of the opposition to safe and legal abortion originates in the United States — and it is both well organized and well funded. To push for women’s rights, advocacy and health organizations need real attention paid to the high cost of unsafe abortion. They need significant funding, greater resources, and stronger political will…” (4/21).

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More Data Needed On Food Prices, Number Of Hungry Worldwide

Bloomberg Businessweek: Have Higher Food Prices Actually Helped the World’s Poor?
Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development

“…For the last six years, many politicians, global leaders, analysts, and commentators (including me) have argued that higher food prices would push people worldwide into hunger and poverty. … The truth is there may be more than 800 million people going hungry worldwide, but there may be more — or a lot fewer. Until we have better data, our response to that problem will be based on guesswork and theories as much as on hard evidence of where there is a problem and what helps. And as far as we can tell, the global trend toward better nutrition and lower poverty continues unabated — despite rising costs for pizza and burritos…” (4/21).

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Consider Unintended Consequences Of Development Aid

Devex: The ‘butterfly effect’ in international development
Simone di Vicenz, program impact adviser for resilience at Christian Aid and program manager and monitoring and evaluation coordinator at the Living Earth Foundation

“It is said that a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world. … The ‘butterfly effect’ can easily be applied to international development, since setting up durable aid initiatives is a complex matter in which the best of intentions may not necessarily yield positive results. … Development is a constant learning curve and there is still some way to go, but we, along with other international agencies, are committed to ensuring that future intervention initiatives are as relevant to people’s real priorities — and therefore as sustainable and appropriate — as possible” (4/21).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

State Department, USAID To Launch 2014 QDDR

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will announce the launch of the review process for the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) on Tuesday. According to a State Department press release, “The 2014 QDDR will be the second iteration of the quadrennial strategic review begun under the leadership of former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton. It will guide the Department and USAID in becoming more agile, responsive, and effective in the face of traditional and emerging challenges as well as new opportunities” (4/21).

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Cooperation, Partnership Essential To Achieving Post-2015 Goals

José Cuesta, a development economist with the World Bank, writes in the agency’s blog about the post-2015 development goals. “The World Bank Group has explicitly stated that our new goals of eradicating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity cannot be achieved without institutions, structures, and processes that empower local communities, hold governments accountable, and ensure that all groups in society are able to participate in decision-making processes. In other words, these goals will not be within reach without a social contract between a country and its citizens that reduces imbalances in voice, participation, and power between different groups, including the poor,” he states (4/21).

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UNICEF, Global Fund Coordinate Efforts To Improve Maternal, Child Health

In a press release, UNICEF and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria announced a new agreement “to better coordinate efforts aimed at reducing the burden of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria and improving the health of mothers, newborns, and children. … Under the new agreement, the Global Fund and UNICEF will encourage governments and Country Coordinating Mechanisms to integrate packages of care and support for mothers and children, and to apply for Global Fund grants that align HIV, TB, and malaria programming with broader maternal, newborn, and child health efforts. UNICEF will support governments that wish to review and revise national strategies to strengthen this alignment and will help mobilize additional funding where necessary to purchase supplies and equipment for the care of mothers, newborns and children” (4/22).

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Report Examines Family Planning In Ethiopia, Including U.S. Engagement

The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) has released a report written by Janet Fleischman, senior associate, and Alisha Kramer, program manager at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, titled “Family Planning and Linkages with U.S. Health and Development Goals.” The report, which focuses on a CSIS-led delegation to Ethiopia, “outlines [the country’s] health extension program and how health extension workers are providing family planning education and services. The report also gives policy recommendations for future U.S. engagement on issues of family planning in Ethiopia, as well as lessons learned that can be applied in other countries” (4/21).

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Blog Examines South Africa's National HIV Survey

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog examines the South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behavior Survey, 2012, and other data related to HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The blogs states, “As the report notes, the survey’s findings, which point to a continued inequitable distribution of rates of new infections … will make the national strategic plan’s primary goal of halving new infections between 2012 and 2016 ‘extremely difficult to attain'” (Barton, 4/21).

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