KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

21 Nations, Including 6 African Countries, Could Eliminate Malaria By 2020, WHO Says In Report Marking World Day

Agence France-Presse: Six African nations could be malaria-free by 2020: WHO
“Six countries in Africa, the continent where malaria is most widespread, could be free of the disease by 2020, according to a WHO report published Monday to mark World Malaria Day…” (4/25).

Deutsche Welle: More than 20 countries could be malaria-free by 2020
“… ‘WHO estimates that 21 countries are in a position to achieve this goal, including six countries in the African Region, where the burden of the disease is heaviest,” the U.N.’s health body said in a statement on Monday marking World Malaria Day…” (Winter, 4/25).

VOA News: Report: Six African Nations Could be Malaria-free by 2020
“…The six countries in Africa that could be rid of malaria by 2020 are Algeria, Botswana, Cape Verde, Comoros, South Africa, and Swaziland. … While the outlook is promising, the group cautioned that nearly half of the world’s population — around 3.2 billion people — are still at risk of contracting malaria…” (4/25).

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Devex Examines How Innovation, Cooperation Among NGOs, Donors Making Progress To End Malaria

Devex: Putting the pieces together for malaria eradication
“…Vertical interventions that target specific problems and channel resources toward them can work, as the world has seen with the near eradication of polio. But solutions for malaria must be horizontal by nature … Global health experts disagree about whether eliminating malaria is possible. For the Gates Foundation, a malaria free world is the only acceptable end goal… (Cheney, 4/25).

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Financial Times Report Examines Latest Developments In Malaria Treatment, Prevention In Asia, Africa

Financial Times: Combating Malaria
“Malaria kills more than 400,000 people a year, most of them children in Africa. New weapons are arriving to aid the fight against it, notably a vaccine that could protect millions from infection. [In nine articles,] FT correspondents look at the latest developments in Africa and Asia, plus updates on funding and the progress made by science in countering a still formidable disease…” (Multiple authors, 4/25).

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In Opinion Piece, U.S. Presidential Candidate Clinton Calls On Congress To Approve Emergency Funding For Zika Response

The Hill: Clinton blasts GOP for inaction on Zika funding
“Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton is pressuring GOP leaders in Congress to approve more funding to fight the Zika virus, as the threat of the disease grows in the U.S. ‘Congress must immediately act and provide needed emergency funds so the president and his administration have all the tools they need to address Zika both here and abroad,’ Clinton wrote in an op-ed in El Nuevo Dia, written in Spanish…” (Ferris, 4/22).

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WHO To Raise Vaccine Awareness During World Immunization Week Through Regional Events, Campaigns

Deutsche Welle: U.N. health body calls for closing the immunization gap
“…During World Immunization Week, held from April 24 to 30, the U.N.’s health body wants to remind adults and children that a simple shot can prevent [many] diseases … To do so, the World Health Organization (WHO) has scheduled a series of regional events and vaccination campaigns to showcase successes and highlight areas where global efforts need to focus…” (Winter, 4/24).

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Financial Times Health Report Examines Vaccine Research, Development, Funding

Financial Times: FT Health: Vaccines
“In today’s connected world, where outbreaks of infectious disease can spread faster than ever, scientists and health workers are under pressure to develop vaccines to fight new threats like Ebola and Zika. Innovation and cooperation will be needed to beat the next pandemic…” The special report features seven articles, as well as a video, podcast, and slide show, examining several aspects of vaccine development (Multiple authors, 4/25).

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G7 Ministers Pledge To Promote Agricultural Innovation, Investment For Food Security

Bloomberg: Innovation, Investment Needed for Food Security: Ministers
“Ministers from the Group of Seven nations agreed Sunday to promote agricultural innovation and investment as farmers face the twin challenges of an aging workforce and extreme weather at a time when global food demand is increasing…” (Takada, 4/24).

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U.N. Special Session On Drug Policy Should Have Taken Greater Public Health Approach, Some Health Experts Say

ABC News: Some Health Experts Lukewarm on U.N. Drug Policy Meeting
“A growing movement to make international drug policy more of a public health issue, versus a criminal justice matter, was central to [last] week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting on international drug policy. The U.N. General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS), which focused on drug policy, has pushed for a greater public health approach to drug policy, although some experts said they had hoped the assembly would go even further…” (Mohney, 4/22).

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UNITAID Deputy Executive Director Speaks With EurActiv About ROI For Health Spending In Developing Countries

EurActiv: UNITAID: Health spending in developing countries brings a ‘five-fold return’
“Access to new treatments for the big pandemics in Africa has improved, thanks to falling prices, and the ending of medical patents, Philippe Duneton told EurActiv France. Philippe Duneton is the deputy executive director of UNITAID, an international organization which aims to facilitate access to treatments against AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis in low-income countries. UNITAID is in great part financed by a solidarity levy on airline tickets. Duneton spoke to Cécile Barbière…” (4/25).

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Editorials and Opinions

Public Health Threat From TPP Agreement 'May Be Overblown'

Washington Post: A healthy agreement
Editorial Board

“…No argument against the proposed [Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)] trade agreement packs more emotional punch than the claim that the deal would be bad for people’s health — and even result in avoidable deaths — both in the United States and in the 11 other signatory nations. The argument, repeated most recently in a letter to Congress … is that the TPP would unduly extend U.S. patent and intellectual property protections for the pharmaceutical industry, thus driving up prices for lifesaving medicines. … [T]he biggest compilation of information so far suggests that trade deals do not drain national drug budgets and that the public health threat from the TPP may be overblown. … As it happens, the Obama administration struck a compromise on the issue and the results were not as protective of the U.S. drug industry as the industry would have liked. The United States and the world need medical innovation, but it costs money … to develop a drug. One way to spur investment is to offer innovators a temporary government-guaranteed monopoly on commercial exploitation. Fundamentally, critics are quarreling with that system as much as with the trade deal itself…” (4/24).

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U.S. Should Continue To Invest In Universal Access To Clean Water

Huffington Post: Investing in Water, Investing in Earth, Investing in Ourselves
Hari Sastry, director of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources

“…To achieve [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) six, which is ensuring universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030,] and other SDGs, we will need strong support for foreign assistance resources in FY 2017 and beyond. We will also need to work with the private sector, civil society, academic institutions, donor countries, and developing countries themselves to mobilize resources and form collaborative partnerships with a diverse array of stakeholders. … From fiscal commitments that support the SDGs to awareness raising activities …, the United States is proud to join the international community in addressing the global fresh water crisis. Recognizing that water permeates everything, we commemorate Earth Day by reminding ourselves that an investment in our global community is not only the right thing to do, but it is ultimately an investment in our collective future on this blue planet” (4/22).

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Reforms, Partnerships Critical To Addressing Malaria Drug Resistance

Huffington Post: A Race Against Time to Check Malaria Resistance
Philippe Douste-Blazy, under-secretary general of the U.N. and chair of UNITAID

“…Urgent reforms as well as stronger partnerships can ensure that new products [to control malaria] reach those in need, at prices that are affordable. … The threat of insecticide resistance is one of the main challenges to future progress in the fight against malaria. Unless more effective insecticides are made available, we run the risk of considerable reversals in the fight against malaria. Millions of long-lasting insecticide nets are distributed every year. With new chemicals, these nets can continue to be game-changers well into the next decade. We face a race against time to save more lives. We cannot win without encouraging innovation, strengthening collaboration with the private sector, and with greater public funding” (4/22).

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Disaster Risk Management Critical To Achieving Sustainable Development

The Guardian: The world’s humanitarian burden is too big. How can we lessen it?
Robert Glasser, head of disaster risk reduction for the U.N., and Stephen O’Brien, undersecretary-general for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

“…Sustainable development cannot be achieved unless we roll back the tide of economic loss suffered by developing countries that find themselves at the mercy of biological and natural hazards, often driven by climate change. … Progress has to be made in substantially reducing economic losses [from these disasters], particularly in least developed countries where there is entrenched poverty, increased exposure, and low capacity to manage weather forecasting and early warning systems. The world needs to embrace the Sendai framework. More than anything this means a change in emphasis from managing disasters to managing the risks that are driving those disasters. We need more local and national disaster risk management plans in place to avoid the creation of new risk by promoting compliance with building codes, proper land use, environmental protection, and poverty reduction…” (4/25).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Issue Briefs On U.S. Funding For Programs Impacting Women, Family Health

Kaiser Family Foundation: U.S. Government Funding for Women and Family Health
The Kaiser Family Foundation released a series of issue briefs and an overview on U.S. funding for programs that address women and family health, including international maternal and child health (MCH), which include immunization activities; international family planning and reproductive health (FP/RH); and international nutrition. “The … papers examine U.S funding for each of these sectors. They look at funding trends over time, the top country recipients of aid, the share of funding provided to the sector within the larger U.S. global health funding portfolio, and the role of the U.S. as a donor in the context of overall donor support…” (4/25).

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Marking World Malaria Day, Blog Posts Discuss Efforts To Eliminate Disease

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: The ‘Ride’ To Eliminating Malaria In Haiti
Michelle Chang, director of Malaria Zero, a CDC-led collaborative initiative aimed at eliminating malaria in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, writes, “As we celebrate World Malaria Day, my experiences in Haiti can highlight hard-won achievements which are even more precious in a challenging environment. But at the same time, they also serve as a sobering reminder of what’s left to do…” (4/22).

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: It’s Past Time for a More Holistic Response to Malaria
“On World Malaria Day 2016, Estrella Lasry of Médecins Sans Frontières calls for a more holistic approach if we are to make more than a dent in the malaria burden in areas most difficult to reach…” (4/23).

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: As the World Focuses on Zika, Malaria Continues its Deadly Toll
Elaine Roman, the Malaria Team lead for USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program, writes, “USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program, the President’s Malaria Initiative, and other partners are increasing measures to dramatically reduce the number of cases of malaria,” and discusses those efforts (4/22).

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USAID Continues To Invest In Global Immunization Efforts

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Saving Lives Today, Saving Costs Tomorrow: Why USAID Invests in Immunization
Katie Taylor, USAID’s deputy child and maternal survival coordinator and deputy assistant administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, recognizes World Immunization Week and discusses USAID’s global immunization efforts, including the agency’s work with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Taylor writes, “USAID’s work helps ensure that health workers have the capacity to deliver safe and effective vaccines in a timely manner. … We collaborate with country governments to develop sound immunization policies, strategies, and guidelines” (4/24).

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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 recognizes World Malaria Day by including a video on Zimbabwe’s insecticide-spraying teams, a report on the disease’s impact in West Africa, and an article on how soccer player and malaria survivor Samuel Eto’o is using the sport to raise awareness about malaria prevention (4/25).

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