KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global HIV/AIDS Efforts Must Be Sustained Or World Risks 'Losing Control Of The Epidemic,' Mark Dybul Says

Devex: World at risk of losing control of HIV and AIDS epidemic, PEPFAR architect says
“The HIV and AIDS epidemic could become uncontained if current funding trends continue, warned one of the founding architects of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. ‘We are, in my view, at highest risk ever of losing control of the epidemic since all of this began,’ Dr. Mark Dybul said at an event at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., on April 18. ‘Then, what do we do differently? How do we invest differently?’ Dybul’s words about the stark future of the HIV and AIDS epidemic came as the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington released a report about global health financing, which found that development assistance for HIV and AIDS has decreased annually by 5.4 percent since 2012…” (Welsh, 4/25).

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More Must Be Done To Address Malaria In Africa To Achieve Elimination, According To Experts

Devex: Global malaria elimination hinges on Africa, experts say
“As the world celebrates World Malaria Day 2018 under the theme, ‘Ready to Beat Malaria,’ some experts caution that progress could be reversed if more is not done to address the challenges in eliminating the mosquito-borne disease in Africa. According to the latest research by the World Health Organization, in 2016 nearly half of the world’s population was at risk of malaria. In total that year, 216 million cases of malaria were identified across 91 countries, an increase of five million over the year before. While places such as the European region documented no cases at all, some parts of Southeast Asia, Western Pacific, and sub-Saharan Africa saw an increase in numbers…” (Roby, 4/25).

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Malaria Vaccine Pilot Program To Begin This Year In Ghana, Kenya, Malawi

Al Jazeera: Ghana, Kenya and Malawi to pilot world’s first malaria vaccine
“Three African countries will soon start rolling out the world’s first malaria vaccine. Last year, more than 200 million people around the world were affected by the disease. Most of those cases were reported in Africa. Kenya, Ghana, and Malawi will be among the first nations to try out the vaccine. Al Jazeera’s Fahmida Miller reports from Kenya’s Kisumu county…” (Miller, 4/25).

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Number Of Malaria Cases Increases Significantly In Venezuela, WHO Warns

Al Jazeera: WHO: Venezuela malaria cases jump by 69 percent
“Health experts have warned that malaria cases in Venezuela jumped by an estimated 69 percent last year, expressing concern over the spread of the disease in the crisis-hit country and other parts of Latin America. The figure was released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday, on the eve of World Malaria Day. According to the U.N. health agency’s estimates, cases of malaria in Venezuela rose from to 240,613 in 2016 to 406,000 in 2017…” (4/24).

Reuters: Malaria on rise in crisis-hit Venezuela, WHO says
“…Venezuelan migrants fleeing the economic and social crisis are carrying the mosquito-borne disease into Brazil and other parts of Latin America, the U.N. agency said, urging authorities to provide free screening and treatment regardless of their legal status to avoid further spread. ‘In the Americas, it’s not just Venezuela. We’re actually reporting increases in a number of other countries. Venezuela, yes this is a significant concern, malaria is increasing and it’s increasing in a very worrying way,’ Pedro Alonso, director of WHO’s global malaria program, told a news briefing…” (Nebehay, 4/24).

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U.N. Agencies Call For Additional International Support For War-Torn Syria, Warn Continued Conflict Will Trigger More Suffering

U.N. News: U.N.-E.U. conference on future of Syria opens in Brussels with urgent call for international support
“With the conflict in Syria into its eighth bloody year and human suffering worsening by the day, the United Nations and partners on Tuesday made a major appeal for additional funds [at the opening of a two-day conference in Brussels, co-organized by the European Union, called Supporting the future of Syria and the region], as well as for reinvigorating the stalled U.N.-led Geneva talks…” (4/24).

VOA News: WFP: Battle for Syria’s Idlib Would Trigger Humanitarian Nightmare
“A senior World Food Programme official warns that a Syrian government offensive to wrest the besieged province of Idlib from rebel armed groups would be catastrophic and trigger a humanitarian crisis. Now that the besieged enclave of eastern Ghouta has fallen, Idlib remains the last rebel stronghold in Syria…” (Schlein, 4/24).

Xinhua News: WHO calls for increasing investment in health to protect lives in Syria
“The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday called for increased investments in health to protect the lives of almost 17 million vulnerable men, women, and children inside Syria and in five major neighboring countries. As the international community comes together in Brussels to show support for Syrians and for a political solution to the conflict, critical shortages, insecurity, and disrupted systems have left millions of people in need of health aid in the war-torn country…” (4/24).

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Research Shows Higher Number Of Attacks On Health Facilities In Syria Than Previously Estimated

NPR: Sheer Number Of Attacks On Health Facilities In Syria Shocks Researcher
“…The data, which appears Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, shows a total of 200 health care-related attacks in the governorates of Aleppo, Idlib, Homs, and Hama. [Rohini Haar, a public health researcher at the University of California, Berkeley,] and her team focused on these provinces because they include large, historically rebel-held cities — Idlib and Aleppo — that had already sustained a lot of violence. Over 2016 that averages out to more than one attack every other day, says Haar. … Although the new data exceeds other estimates of attacks on health care in northern Syria in 2016, Haar still thinks her results underestimate the total violence against medical facilities and workers…” (Wilhelm, 4/24).

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More Nations Must Prioritize Vaccinations, U.N. Says At Start Of World Immunization Week

U.N. News: Vaccines are protecting more children than ever, but millions still miss out on routine immunizations — U.N.
“At the start of World Immunization Week, the United Nations on Tuesday said that while vaccines are protecting more children than ever, more countries need to make immunization a priority, because more than one million children still die every year from vaccine-preventable diseases…” (4/24).

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More News In Global Health

BBC News: GM plant tech boosts malaria drug yield (Rincon, 4/24).

BBC News: Indonesian children marry despite outcry (4/24).

Devex: Q&A: WHO malaria director on rearming ourselves for the fight (Roby, 4/25).

Devex: Q&A: Malaria research efforts open a ‘window of opportunity’ (4/25).

Forbes: The One Thing Women And Girls In Crisis Need, That No One Wants To Talk About (King, 4/24).

GlobalHealthHub: On World Malaria Day, Sri Lanka celebrates country-wide eradication (Salzman, 4/25).

Newsweek: World Malaria Day 2018: Facts, Symptoms of Disease Carried by Mosquitoes (Glowatz, 4/25).

PBS NewsHour: Why a promising new approach to HIV prevention could lose funding (Boerner, 4/24).

SciDev.Net: Do no harm: A code to guide use of humanitarian drones (Ong, 4/24).

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Editorials and Opinions

When Transitioning Countries From Aid, U.S. Must Design Thoughtful Legacy Programs

Devex: Opinion: What comes after strategic transitions matters. Here’s why.
Connie Veillette, senior fellow for global food security and aid effectiveness at the Lugar Center and co-chair of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network

“USAID Administrator Mark Green has rightly declared that the mission of aid agencies, and I would add aid NGOs and other thought leaders, is to work ourselves out of business. To that end, he has initiated a process to transition countries off assistance, what USAID is calling the Journey to Self-Reliance. … Along with recommendations on principles that should guide transitions and metrics to track progress, Administrator Green asked the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Assistance to examine legacies (also called leave-behinds) that make up post-transition engagement. … Legacy programs should be specific to a country … Legacy programs can still address development challenges … Legacy programs need buy-in across the U.S. government … We have witnessed previous attempts to withdraw our aid from countries only to find ourselves needing to return for one reason or another. These do not always reflect failures in the transition process, but may signal a failure in choosing the countries from which to transition or a lack of careful planning for how we chose to transition. The properly designed legacy goes a long way to helping countries stay firmly on their journeys to self-reliance” (4/24).

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Opinion Pieces Recognize World Malaria Day, Discuss Efforts To End Disease

EUobserver: Time for E.U. to take charge of global health research agenda
Renate Baehr, executive director of the Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW); Hester Kuipers, executive director for Europe at the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI); Claire Wingfield, senior policy officer at PATH

“…Malaria still kills 445,000 people around the world, not to mention the burden of HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis, and other emerging threats. All of these problems will require new tools and research to solve them. Today the E.U. is at a crossroads for the future of its global health research agenda. … The E.U. has a critical decision to make. It could continue with business as usual, adapting Europe’s ambitions to reflect a new and uncertain political reality. Or, European leaders could seize upon a once-in-a-decade opportunity in 2018, building on what it has achieved so far to forge ahead with a new, radical research agenda that leverages the E.U. budget to tackle global societal challenges…” (4/25).

EURACTIV: The clock is ticking on malaria
Charles Goerens, member of the European Parliament for Luxembourg, member the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), and vice-chair of Friends of the Global Fund Europe

“…Malaria both causes and results in poverty. … A resurgence of malaria would take a very grim and tragic toll on the world’s most vulnerable and poorest populations. Scientists have been ringing the alarm bells, and international and health leaders are responding. … If the E.U. is serious about being a true global health leader, it must step up its financial and scientific support in the fight against malaria. This a question of leadership. Are European leaders ready to beat malaria? They can be…” (4/25).

Project Syndicate: Staying on Track to End Malaria
Harald Nusser, head of Novartis Social Business

“Ending an epidemic is a marathon undertaking, and in the case of malaria, we are nearing the finish line. But we will need to keep up the momentum. … [W]e need to listen to those on the front lines and heed their calls for a renewed commitment to ending malaria. By investing in next-generation tools and building sustainable health care systems, we can consign this disease to the history books once and for all” (4/24).

Devex: Opinion: 3 steps to set in motion Africa’s malaria data revolution
James Kananura Tibenderana, medical doctor and epidemiologist

“…For all the progress made, if we are to actually transform the rhetoric of ‘ending malaria for good’ into reality, we must harness the unfulfilled potential of innovation and research to eliminate this age-old scourge. … If, collectively, we can achieve these three steps — embrace innovation as key to the fight against malaria, understand the transformative impact of R&D investment, and act to mobilize resources and support for disease research — we will be closer to fulfilling the campaign message for World Malaria Day: ending malaria for good. Let’s get on with it” (4/24).

New York Times: The deadliest animal in the world
Nicholas Kristof, columnist, and Jessica Ma, editor, both at the New York Times

“…We need a major global push to fight malaria, with rich nations and poor nations working together to ensure that we don’t tumble backward — and to try to save the lives of kids … before it’s too late” (4/25).

Wall Street Journal: How Long Till the Final World Malaria Day?
Vas Narasimhan, CEO of Novartis

“…Based on my own experience working on malaria control and developing antimalarial treatments, I see three areas of focus: First, invest in research and development, particularly through nonprofit public-private partnerships like the Medicines for Malaria Venture or the Innovative Vector Control Consortium. … Second, expand access to affordable broadband internet in countries where malaria is endemic. … Third, optimize the use of tools available today. … Decisive action now can help wipe out this disease — and achieve one of history’s greatest health victories” (4/24).

Fox News: Jennifer Nettles: On World Malaria Day, no parent should watch their child die from a bug bite
Jennifer Nettles, singer/songwriter and member of Hope Through Healing Hands’ Faith Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide

“…The proposals for cuts to … the Global Fund [to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria], and how Congress responds, are deeply important. … We are a country dedicated to security, progress, and compassion. We lose these values among nations worldwide if we decide not to lead the world in funding and systematically enhancing programs to ‘end malaria for good’ as we have done for the last two administrations. Join me in calling your member of Congress today to encourage them to fully restore funding for the Global Fund … Because no parent should watch their child die from a bug bite” (4/25).

Devex: Opinion: Using innovation and technology to tackle malaria
Jamie Bay Nishi, director of the Global Health Technologies Coalition, and Renate Baehr, executive director of DSW

“…If we are to accelerate efforts to eliminate malaria by 2030, we need a smarter, data-driven way of fighting malaria … [I]f we want to set the revolution in motion, we need to take one, two, three steps to create momentum for the journey. Step 1: Invest in surveillance systems … Step 2: Improve the quality of data … Step 3: Strengthen the capacity of staff to collect, analyze, and utilize data … The data revolution is the missing piece of the puzzle in the fight against malaria in Africa. Finding it will unlock further progress on the continent and save thousands of lives” (4/25).

TIME: How to Wipe Out Malaria for Good
Erin M. Stuckey, epidemiologist and program officer with the malaria team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…As long as malaria persists, other challenges in health and human development not only go unresolved, but are exacerbated — perpetuating a cycle of disease, poverty, and conflict. Here are three things the world needs to do in order to make malaria a memory. 1. Develop and apply new mapping technologies … 2. Bring together unusual funding partners to innovate … 3. Target interventions to the places most at risk of malaria…” (4/25).

The Conversation: Fake drugs are one reason malaria still kills so many
Jackson Thomas, assistant professor and senior lecturer at the University of Canberra, and colleagues

“…Our research on the pharmaceutical industry has revealed that one reason for malaria’s continued virulence in the developing world is ineffective medicine. In fact, in some poor African countries, many malaria drugs are actually expired, substandard, or fake. … Ineffective malaria treatments — whether fake, substandard, or degraded — are also expensive for consumers and national health care systems. … According to the World Health Organization, repeated medical treatments due to ineffective drugs is estimated to cost to sub-Saharan African patients and health care providers as a whole about $38.5 million annually…” (4/24).

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Ending Polio Possible With Continued Support, Leadership Of European Union

Parliament Magazine: How the E.U. is leading the polio endgame
Sajjad Karim, member of the European Parliament and co-host of the Rotary Polio Eradication Champion award ceremony

“…With the continued support and leadership of the European Union in fighting polio, the eradication of a human disease for only the second time in history is within our sights. … On 25 April, the Rotary Polio Eradication Champion award ceremony will take place at the European Parliament, and the award will be presented to European international cooperation and development Commissioner Neven Mimica. This ceremony is an opportunity for Rotary and its partners (the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) to thank the E.U. for its continuing support of the historic effort to rid the world of polio and protect millions of children from death or life-long paralysis. … As we thank the E.U. in April, Rotary and its partners look forward to strengthening the partnership with the European Union and working together to achieve a polio-free world” (4/24).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

WHO, Partners Recognize World Malaria Day Theme, 'Ready To Beat Malaria'

WHO: World Malaria Day 2018: Ready to beat malaria
“WHO joins partner organizations in promoting this year’s World Malaria Day theme, ‘Ready to beat malaria.’ This theme underscores the collective energy and commitment of the global malaria community in uniting around the common goal of a world free of malaria…” (4/25).

WHO EMRO: World Malaria Day 2018: We are ready to beat malaria
“…In the Eastern Mediterranean Region, the number of malaria cases increased from 3.9 million in 2015 to 4.3 million in 2016 with 8,200 deaths. … On the occasion of World Malaria Day 2018, Dr. Jaouad Mahjour, acting WHO regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said that, ‘Although coverage of main interventions in endemic countries is increasing it falls short of universal health coverage targets. Humanitarian emergencies taking place in some countries are decreasing the capacity of malaria programs and insufficient resources in high-burden countries are among the main challenges’…” (4/25).

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Report Analyzes Factors Influencing Private Global Health R&D Investment

Brookings Institution’s “TechTank”: Assessing the challenges, opportunities, and investment options in global health R&D
Jack Schneider, research assistant at the Brookings Institution, writes, “As a part of the Brookings Private Sector Global Health R&D Project, the Evans School of Policy Analysis and Research (EPAR) at the University of Washington has published a paper assessing the constraints, opportunities, and investment options in global health R&D. … To help answer why there is a dearth of funding for global health R&D, the EPAR research team analyzed 132 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission 10-K annual reports. The team evaluated five potential barriers to investment: scientific uncertainty, policy and regulatory environment inhibitors, limited revenues and market uncertainty, high fixed costs and sunk costs, and imperfect markets…” (4/24).

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Roundtable Explores National Governments' Roles In SDG Implementation

Brookings Institution’s “Up Front”: A new type of leadership from national governments is essential for success of the SDGs
Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, chair of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD, and Anthony F. Pipa, senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at Brookings, offer key insights from a recent roundtable, co-hosted by the OECD-DAC and the Global Economy and Development program, during which DAC members shared “experiences in implementing the SDGs by leading whole-of-government efforts while mobilizing other stakeholders” (4/24).

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ACSH Fellow Explores Potential Impact Of Imposing Taxes On Cigarettes, Alcohol, Soda

American Council on Science and Health: Sin Taxes Go Global
Chuck Dinerstein, senior medical fellow at the American Council on Science and Health, discusses the debate over imposing taxes on cigarettes, alcohol, and soda, highlighting an article and editorial published in The Lancet on the impact of globalizing these taxes (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 focuses on World Malaria Day, recognized annually on April 25, and features a video on efforts to protect children from malaria in Niger and an article by Executive Director Peter Sands on the role of innovation and financial investments in efforts to end malaria (4/25).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 335 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter includes articles on various topics, including several articles previewing issues to be discussed at the Board’s May 9-10 meeting (4/25).

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From the U.S. Government

PMI Releases 12th Annual Report To Congress, Recognizes World Malaria Day

President’s Malaria Initiative: World Malaria Day — 2018
Recognizing World Malaria Day, PMI notes, “On this occasion, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, led by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented together with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), releases its Twelfth Annual Report to Congress, which describes the U.S. government’s financial and technical contributions to the global fight against malaria…” (4/25).

President’s Malaria Initiative: 2018 PMI Twelfth Annual Report
The report page introduction states, “With PMI support, hundreds of millions of people have benefited from protective measures and have been diagnosed and treated for malaria. The concerted efforts of host-country governments, donor governments, multilateral agencies, non-governmental organizations, and implementing partners have helped reduce malaria deaths by more than 60 percent, saving almost seven million lives and preventing more than one billion malaria cases between 2000 and 2015. PMI is working with partners to achieve the vision of a world without malaria, with countries at the helm of driving the progress forward…” (4/25).

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