KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Interactive Tool Examines Congressmembers' Voting Records On Foreign Aid-Related Legislation

Devex: As budget negotiations begin, here’s where U.S. Congress stands on foreign aid
“The United States Congress returns to Washington, D.C., this week after recess, faced with several key budget decisions that will impact whether President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to foreign aid will be carried out. … If foreign aid cuts are made in [the FY 2017] budget extension, it may signal what to expect when Congress debates and produces its 2018 fiscal year budget. … So where do decisionmakers stand on foreign aid and global development? Devex examined members of Congress’ voting records on foreign aid bills, as well as their past statements. This interactive tool lets you take a look at where they stand…” (Saldinger et al., 4/26).

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Devex Summarizes Key Takeaways From Recent NTD Meeting In Geneva

Devex: The Geneva Commitment on Neglected Tropical Diseases: Key takeaways
“Last week, scientists, investors, executives of pharmaceutical companies, and public health workers came together in Geneva, Switzerland, for a multi-day summit on tackling neglected tropical diseases, which culminated in the signing of the Geneva Commitment for the next stage of the fight. … Here are some of the key takeaways from the week. 1. The next stage of the fight: Integration … 2. New tools needed for vector control … 3. Drug donation versus development … 4. Financing the elimination of NTDs…” (Patnaik, 4/25)

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Global Health Experts Call For Greater Focus On Implementation Science, System Innovations During Skoll World Forum

Devex: A call for implementation science and systems innovation in global health
“…[Larry] Brilliant is chairman of the Skoll Global Threats Fund, to which philanthropist Jeff Skoll just announced he would give $50 million for a program focused on pandemics. Spanning smallpox, Ebola, polio, and threats that may be looming, his Ending Pandemics session at the Skoll World Forum made the case for strong health systems that provide not just for today but for the unknown and unusual threats we may face tomorrow. … [E]xperts tell Devex that pilots cannot turn into progress without implementation science, which examines why some of those innovations that work in the lab fail in the field. … This World Malaria Day and World Immunization Week fall during a time where much of the world seems to be turning inward, even as the global health community increasingly realizes the need to collaborate across borders and sectors to achieve progress, experts told Devex” (Cheney, 4/25).

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China Becoming Key Player In Global Health

Forbes: How China Is On Course To Unseat U.S. As The Next Leader In Global Heath
“Beijing and Washington have opposing views on nearly everything from North Korea’s nuclear development program to trade and development in the South China Sea. But one area of collaboration is emerging as a potential bright spot in what has otherwise devolved into a tenuous bilateral relationship: global health. … While the United States has historically had a strong role in providing vaccinations, reducing global deaths from measles, polio, and malaria, China is evolving from a receiver of aid and vaccinations to a provider…” (Dahl, 4/26).

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Undernutrition, Obesity Negatively Impacting Latin American Nations' Economies, Straining Health Services, U.N. Report Shows

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Obesity “frightening” in Latin America, driving disease and draining economies — U.N.
“More than two thirds of people living in Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico are overweight or obese, costing their economies tens of billions of dollars every year, driving rates of disease, and straining health services, a U.N. report said on Tuesday…” (Moloney, 4/25).

U.N. News Centre: Latin America loses billions of dollars to ‘double burden’ of undernutrition and obesity — U.N. study
“…The Cost of the Double Burden of Malnutrition, released [Monday], is the result of a partnership between the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) and calculates losses in productivity, health, and education in Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico…” (4/25).

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WHO Strategy To Eliminate Yaws Helped By Pharmaceutical Company Donation Of 40M Antibiotic Tablets

Financial Times: WHO steps closer to eliminating tropical disease
“…Almost 40 years [since smallpox eradication, the WHO] believes it can notch up a second victory by eliminating yaws, a neglected tropical disease that mainly affects children in the world’s poorest countries. The breakthrough in the fight against an illness that can lead to deformity and disability if left untreated, follows a pledge by Brazilian pharmaceutical company EMS to donate 40m tablets of the antibiotic azithromycin this year…” (Smyth, 4/25).

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Devex Interviews Peter Piot About 'Global Health 2.0,' Challenges To Research, Training

Devex: Q&A: Peter Piot on grand challenges in research, education, and training for global health
“As Peter Piot considers the future of global health, he has decades of experience to draw on, spanning back to before the term even existed. So when he talks about global health 2.0, as he did recently at an event at the University of Washington, people pay close attention. The director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who is widely known for his role in helping discover the Ebola virus before becoming the founding executive director of UNAIDS, emphasized a few shifts he hopes to see. … Here are highlights from his conversation with Devex…” (Cheney, 4/25).

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Last Mile Health CEO Raj Panjabi To Establish Community Health Worker Academy Using $1M TED Prize

Business Insider: A Harvard doctor just won $1 million for a project that could prevent the next deadly pandemic
“…Dr. Raj Panjabi just won the $1 million TED Prize for an idea that could dramatically increase the number of paid community health workers around the world. The prize is given each year at the TED conference in Vancouver, Canada, to make the recipient’s ‘big wish’ a reality. Panjabi is a physician at Harvard Medical School and the co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health, an organization that expands access to health care in remote areas through the hiring of professional community health workers. Panjabi tells Business Insider that he wants to ‘recruit and train the largest army of community health workers that’s ever been known’…” (Schwartz, 4/25).

NPR: What This Doctor Is Going To Do With His $1 Million TED Prize
“…Panjabi wants community health workers to learn more and do more, so he’ll use his TED money to start the Community Health Academy. It’ll be based in Liberia, where he lived until he was nine, with the goal of going global. Working with educational groups like edX and seeking additional funding, Panjabi wants to use technology to ‘modernize’ the education of community health workers. Instruction will be largely online, geared for the smart phones that are pretty much everywhere…” (Silver, 4/25).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Recognize World Malaria Day, Call On Global Community To 'End Malaria For Good'

Huffington Post: Prevention is Key to End Malaria For Good
Tedros Adhanom, minister and special adviser to the prime minister of Ethiopia, and WHO director general candidate

“…We must continue to invest in prevention tools in order to put all countries on the path toward [malaria] elimination. … The five principles outlined in [the Global Technical Strategy and Targets for Malaria 2016-2030] are what must guide our work forward — acceleration of efforts towards elimination; country ownership and leadership, with the involvement and participation of communities; improved surveillance, monitoring and evaluation; equity in access to health services; and innovation in tools and implementation approaches. Defeating malaria is absolutely critical to ending poverty, improving the health of millions and enabling future generations to reach their full potential. Today, and every day, let us recommit to ending malaria for good” (4/25).

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

“…[The Trump administration’s] proposals for cuts to [U.S. foreign assistance], and how Congress responds, are deeply important. … [W]hat would happen if Congress allowed for cuts to funding for PMI and the Global Fund, both initiatives Republicans and Democrats alike have solidly supported in recent years? … 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 [support] funding for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria…” (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 Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)

“… If we are serious about ending malaria for good, we need a diverse arsenal of new tools, including new preventive measures, rapid, affordable diagnostic tools, better treatments, and an effective vaccine. But developing these tools requires strong, sustained investment, and right now, funding from donor governments is failing to match ambition and need. … Politicians in Europe and the U.S. need to know that investments in global health R&D deliver significant returns, both in lives saved and economic impact. … 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…” (4/25).

Huffington Post: What’s Missing From Our Mission To End Malaria?
Bernabe Yameogo, director of the Global Fund Unit; Magalie Nelson, health adviser; and Erika Silva, health adviser, all at Plan International Canada

“…In order to end the malaria epidemic in our lifetime, we must also strive to end gender inequality and advance women’s rights and status within communities. Despite progress made, women continue to pay a heavy tribute. … As we mark World Malaria Day, let’s amplify the voices and experiences of women and adolescent girls, too often on the frontlines of this disease, and responsible for bearing the burden of its life-threatening impact. … Together, we can create a world where not only the malaria epidemic is eradicated, but its roots in gender inequalities and discrimination too. The theme of World Malaria Day 2017 is End Malaria for Good. This is not an impossible goal, but to achieve it, women and girls must be a part of the solution” (4/25).

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U.S. Congress Should Maintain Funding For Foreign Assistance Programs

Houston Chronicle: Natsios: Maintaining foreign aid keeps ‘America First’
Andrew Natsios, executive professor at Texas A&M University and director of the school’s Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs

“…President Trump should … reset his administration’s budget priorities and roll back the draconian cuts [to U.S. foreign assistance]. Cuts of this magnitude will require the cancellation of entire programs and the closing of the offices and missions that carry them out. Under the proposal, the United States would no longer be able to fund programs that help refugees remain protected in their home countries, that fight pandemics — such as Zika and Ebola — before they come to the United States, and that address state fragility and failure that attracts terrorist networks. … [E]vents around the globe are bound to have a magnified impact on our prosperity and way of life. International affairs spending — which represents [less than] one percent of the federal budget — is a cost-effective way to advance our interests. I urge my fellow Texans, Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, to work with our congressional delegation to provide no less than current-level funding for the State Department and America’s foreign assistance programs” (4/25).

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Cutting Foreign Aid Could Incentivize Countries To 'Take Charge Of Their Own Future'

Quartz: I’ve worked in foreign aid for 50 years — Trump is right to end it, even if his reasons are wrong
Tom Dichter, anthropologist

“…[D]evelopment aid ought to be less about money and more about collegial discourse, with ‘us’ admitting that we really have very few answers. … [I]f the goal of development aid to poor countries is to be met, our agencies need to become smaller, not larger; we need to take a back seat and ‘do’ less. Indeed someday soon, we need to prepare to go out of business. No industry wants to hear this, but aid … was meant not to last. … [I]f aid is cut — even for the wrong reasons — to those nations where the evidence of its ineffectiveness goes back decades … there is a good chance that at least some of these countries will have a real incentive to take charge of their own future” (4/21).

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Strengthening Health Systems Through Partnerships, Innovation, Data Key To Africa's Health

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN): Dangote, Bill Gates: We are Hopeful About Africa’s health
Aliko Dangote, CEO of the Dangote Group, and Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…Underlying [our global health] efforts is our belief that strengthening health systems is the key to breaking the cycle of extreme poverty and disease — and kick-starting a virtuous cycle of health, productivity, and prosperity. In our work together, we have learned a few important lessons. First, improving the health of communities depends on a successful partnership between government, communities, religious and business leaders, volunteers, and NGOs. … Second, we must keep innovating to speed up progress. … Last, accurate and reliable data is central to any effort to improve health. … We know that strengthening health systems takes time and diligence. We are optimistic that Africa can achieve the future it aspires to. That future depends on people working together — across national borders and across socioeconomic strata — to build the better world we all want” (4/25).

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Immunizations Save Lives, Increase Economic Productivity

Devex: Opinion: Embrace the facts — not the myths — about vaccines
Flavia Bustreo, WHO assistant director general for family, women’s, and children’s health, and vice chair of the board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…Immunization is actually one of the most incredible scientific innovations, and has contributed hugely to preventing deaths — mostly of children — and to dramatic rises in life expectancy and economic development. Every $1 invested in immunization returns an estimated $16 in health care savings and increased economic productivity. … [W]e need to push much harder to increase immunization coverage — which has increased by only one percent globally since 2010 — for all vaccine-preventable diseases … There are a number of reasons for this. In some countries, consistent supply and cold storage are persisting challenges. In other cases, vaccines are available but myths around them discourage parents from immunizing their children. We need to bust myths and promote the benefits of immunization more widely. Here are five key facts about immunization. Fact 1: Immunization through vaccination is the safest way to protect against disease. … Fact 2: It is always best to get vaccinated, even when you think the risk of infection is low. … Fact 3: Combined vaccines are safe and beneficial. … Fact 4: There is no link between vaccines and autism. … Fact 5: If we stop vaccination, deadly diseases will return…” (4/26).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CSIS Podcast Examines Global Health Financing, Recent Lancet Studies On History, Future Of Funding Landscape

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Take as Directed”: The Current State of Global Health Financing
Steve Morrison, senior vice president at CSIS and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, speaks with Joseph Dieleman, assistant professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, about two research articles published last week in the Lancet, a policy report and a technical report on health financing. Morrison and Dieleman discuss the current state of global health financing and the future landscape (4/24).

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State Department, USAID Both Needed To Perform Diplomacy, Development Tasks, Respectively, Expert Says

Brookings Institution: A guide for Secretary Tillerson: Let State focus on diplomacy, USAID be accountable for assistance
George Ingram, a Brookings senior fellow for global economy and development, discusses recent rumors of restructuring involving the U.S. Department of State and USAID, writing, “Any foreign affairs restructuring must be undertaken carefully and strategically, guided by an understanding that development and diplomacy are distinct disciplines with distinct expertise and with distinct but interlocking objectives. Both are required to achieve our national interest. They need to inform and coordinate with the other, and each needs to be allowed to focus on its primary mandate.” Ingram describes the differences between the agencies, concluding, “It is time for the Department of State to be allowed to focus on its core function of diplomacy and USAID to be held accountable in an open and transparent way for the management of development programs” (4/24).

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Former U.S. Ambassadors To U.N. Send Letter To Congress Urging Continued Financial Support For U.N. Agencies

U.N. Dispatch: Nearly Every Living Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Just Signed This Letter to Congress
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of the U.N. Dispatch, writes, “Nine former United States Ambassadors to the United Nations, who served under both Republican and Democratic presidents, wrote to key members of Congress [Tuesday] urging them to maintain American financial support for the United Nations and its agencies. … The letter comes at a key time. The White House released a budget request that would substantially reduce American support for diplomacy and development, including programs at the United Nations. That budget is now being debated in Congress and this letter sends a (bipartisan) message that the United Nations, despite its flaws, deserves American support…” (4/25).

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Blog, Other Posts Recognize World Malaria Day, Discuss Progress, Efforts To Eradicate Disease

Friends of the Global Fight Blog: World Malaria Day 2017: Inspiring advocacy in the fight against malaria
This blog post highlights a panel discussion at the Nothing But Nets Leadership Summit on the U.S. role in malaria prevention and treatment efforts. Panelists included Chris Collins, president of Friends of the Global Fight; Irene Koek, senior deputy assistant administrator in USAID’s Global Health Bureau; and Busiku Hamainza, epidemiologist at the National Malaria Control Center in Zambia. Jen Kates, vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, moderated the discussion (4/25).

PLOS Blog’s “Speaking of Medicine”: Malaria Prevention: Tackling the Gaps in Reaching the Hardest-to-Reach
“Estrella Lasry, tropical diseases adviser at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), describes the challenges of combating malaria in populations isolated by geography or violence” (4/25).

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: A Malaria-Free Generation Is Within Our Reach
Megan Rabbit, communications manager at USGLC, discusses malaria progress, writing, “[T]his World Malaria Day — which falls during World Immunization Week — we have extra cause for celebration: scientists are in the process of developing a highly promising malaria vaccine. With vaccinations anticipated to begin in Africa next year as a part of the World Health Organization’s pilot program, the world is on the precipice of gaining another powerful tool in the fight against malaria” (4/25).

Tropical Health Matters: Malaria Day 17 Years Later: Documenting and Investing to End Malaria
Bill Brieger, professor in the health systems program of the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University, highlights past World Malaria Day themes and writes, “[T]hese themes emphasize the importance of access to malaria interventions, documenting that access, [and] using the data to stimulate more investment ultimately leading to an end (elimination) of malaria. … Looking at the Malaria Day themes around investing, we know that unless one can show investors results, it will be difficult to ‘End Malaria for Good'” (4/23).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Project’s goal: End malaria for all
In a guest post, Brittany Iskarpatyoti, gender research adviser at MEASURE Evaluation, discusses the importance of addressing gender in anti-malaria programming and policies (4/23).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: On World Malaria Day we’re reading about a disease that highlights health system and service gaps, and why that matters more than ever
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” highlights several recent documents discussing global malaria efforts, including a CDC blog post on malaria eradication; a MEASURE Evaluation report on continuous medical education for health workers; an article discussing documented malaria cases in the U.S.; and an article on “how climate change, as well as poverty and municipal neglect in some of the most vulnerable regions, are fueling the threats posed by mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S.” (4/25).

BioMed Central: ACT now: anti-malarial market complexity one decade after the introduction of artemisinin combination therapy — evidence from sub-Saharan Africa and the Greater Mekong Sub-region
“…This series provides a comprehensive contemporary view of anti-malarial markets across several countries in [sub-Saharan Africa and the Greater Mekong sub-region], examining current levels of access to quality-assured first-line treatments and malaria diagnostics, and documenting the persistence of other non-first line medicines. This evidence serves as a benchmark for public and private sector initiatives that have aimed to scale up access to first-line treatment and confirmatory testing. Evidence can guide future strategies aimed at improving malaria case management and for accelerating progress towards malaria elimination…” (4/25).

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From the U.S. Government

PMI Releases 11th Annual Report To Congress, Saying Malaria Efforts Represent Global Health 'Best Buy'

President’s Malaria Initiative: Eleventh Annual Report to Congress
To mark World Malaria Day on April 25, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative released its 11th Annual Report to Congress, which describes the U.S. government’s contributions to the global fight against malaria. According to the report’s executive summary, “Fighting malaria is a ‘best buy’ in global health, creating opportunity and fostering growth and security, especially among the poor. … The U.S. Government, through PMI, is a key partner in the global fight against malaria, working together with host country governments and the broader malaria partnership to maintain the momentum for malaria elimination and the achievement of the bold vision of a world without malaria” (April 2017).

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PMI Working With Zambia To Reduce Burden Of Malaria

USAID/Medium: Lifting the Burden of Malaria
Chris Thomas, communications lead for the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative, discusses how PMI is working with Zambian government and health officials to reduce malaria transmission and diagnose and treat cases in the country. The post contains several videos showing Zambians’ malaria prevention efforts supported by the U.S. (4/24).

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From KFF

Kaiser Family Foundation, CSIS Event Examines Future Of Global Health Financing

Kaiser Family Foundation: The Future of Global Health Financing Amid a Changing Policy Landscape
On Thursday, April 20, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies hosted a policy briefing to discuss the current state of global health financing and the future landscape, with a panel of leading experts. Joseph Dieleman, assistant professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, presented new findings on financing for global health from IHME’s latest report and two new articles in The Lancet, and was followed by a discussion with panelists: Tim Evans, senior director of health, nutrition and population at the World Bank Group; J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center; and Christopher J.L. Murray, professor and director at IHME. Jen Kates, vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation moderated the discussion (4/20).

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Kaiser Family Foundation Fact Sheet Examines U.S. Engagement With Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. & Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
This updated fact sheet examines Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, its global immunization efforts, and U.S. engagement in the partnership (4/25).

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