KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. House Passes Resolution Calling For Continued Food Aid Support To, Peaceful Conflict Resolution In South Sudan

Devex: Congress backs famine relief, calls for political pressure on South Sudan
“On Tuesday night, the United States House of Representatives passed a near-unanimous resolution calling for continued U.S. engagement on the famine in South Sudan. The motion backs the provision of critical food aid, and calls for the U.S. government to exert even greater political pressure on the South Sudanese government to peacefully resolve an ongoing conflict as well as to guarantee the protection of civilians and aid workers…” (Saldinger, 4/27).

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U.K., U.S. Anti-Terrorism Laws Inhibiting Humanitarian, Food Aid Deliveries To Drought-Hit Somalia

The Guardian: Anti-terrorism laws have ‘chilling effect’ on vital aid deliveries to Somalia
“Strict British and U.S. counter-terrorism laws are discouraging humanitarian organizations from delivering vital emergency assistance to millions of people facing starvation and fatal diseases in drought-hit Somalia. Senior humanitarian officials say the laws, which target any individual or organization found to have materially assisted a terrorist group, exert a ‘chilling effect’ on vital assistance in areas of Somalia controlled by Islamic militants from al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida affiliate…” (Burke, 4/26).

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Liberian Vice President Boakai Supports Trump Administration's Proposed Cuts To Foreign Aid

Newsweek: Exclusive: Liberia’s Vice President Backs Donald Trump on Foreign Aid Cuts
“Liberia’s vice president has backed U.S. President Donald Trump’s plans to slash foreign aid, saying that the West African country ‘cannot continue living on handouts.’ Joseph Boakai, who is running to be president of Liberia in elections in October, says in an exclusive interview with Newsweek that he wants to fight corruption and improve infrastructure in the country to reduce its reliance on foreign aid…” (Gaffey, 4/27).

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Devex Highlights Takeaways From KFF/CSIS Event On Global Health Financing

Devex: 3 insights from World Bank’s Tim Evans on global health
“…[I]n the midst of uncertainties are opportunities for the global health community to rethink strategies, and explore how to more effectively use development assistance for health. At a Kaiser Family Foundation and Center for Strategic and International Studies-hosted event on the future of global health financing on Thursday, April 20, Devex picked up several insights from Tim Evans, senior director of health, nutrition, and population at the World Bank Group. 1. Catalyze domestic resource mobilization. … 2. Build a demand for health. … 3. Break out of a ‘public sector-only mindset’…” (Ravelo, 4/26).

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Social Inequalities, Rapid Urbanization Challenge Vaccination Coverage Of World's Children, UNICEF Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: World’s mushrooming cities pose big vaccination challenges: UNICEF
“Rapid urban growth poses a big challenge for efforts to vaccinate the world’s poorest children and increases the risk of rapidly spreading disease outbreaks, the head of immunization at the U.N. children’s agency said. A growing number of unvaccinated children live in city slums, where immunization coverage is limited, said Robin Nandy, principal adviser and chief of immunization at UNICEF…” (Zweynert, 4/26).

U.N. News Centre: Inequalities between rich and poor temper broad success of immunization — UNICEF
“…According to estimates, 19.4 million children around the world still miss out on full vaccinations every year. Around two thirds of all unvaccinated children live in conflict-affected countries. Weak health systems, poverty, and social inequities also mean that one in five children under the age of five is still not reached with life-saving vaccines. On top of this, persisting inequality between rich and poor children further exasperate the problem…” (4/26).

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Gates Foundation Official Discusses Steps Organizations Can Take To Prepare For Possible Cuts To U.S. Global Health Spending

Business Insider: Polio could make a comeback under Trump’s budget, Gates Foundation fears
“[T]he Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation still has concerns about [polio] making a comeback, particularly if the Trump administration’s budget cuts to foreign aid limit how much philanthropic bodies can work with the U.S. on public health projects in at-risk countries. Rob Nabors, director of U.S. policy, advocacy, and communications at the Gates Foundation, says the organization’s main role is offering data and best practices to countries so they can make smart health investments themselves. .. To avoid a backward slide in global health, Nabors points to a few safeguards that organizations can put in place…” (Weller, 4/26).

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Inexpensive Blood-Clotting Drug Reduces Postpartum Hemorrhage Among New Mothers, Study Shows

Humanosphere: Drug effective against leading cause of maternal death, study finds
“An inexpensive and widely available drug could save the lives of thousands of women who die each year from severe bleeding after childbirth — the leading cause of maternal death worldwide, according to new study…” (Nikolau, 4/26).

New York Times: Inexpensive Drug Prevents Deaths in New Mothers, Study Finds
“…In a major six-year trial involving over 20,000 women in 21 countries, researchers showed that tranexamic acid, a little-known blood-clotter invented in the 1960s, reduced maternal bleeding deaths by a third if it was given within three hours. It costs less than $2 a dose and does not require refrigeration…” (McNeil, 4/26).

NPR: Overlooked Drug Could Save Thousands Of Moms After Childbirth
“…About 1.2 percent of women who got tranexamic acid within three hours of a hemorrhage died, compared with 1.7 percent of the women who got the placebo…” (Doucleff, 4/26).

Reuters: Cheap blood drug could prevent thousands of maternal deaths in developing world
“…TXA, which is now an off-patent generic medicine, was originally invented in the 1960s by a Japanese husband and wife research team, Shosuke and Utako Okamoto. The drug is widely used to treat excessive blood loss from major trauma injuries…” (Kelland, 4/26).

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The Economist Examines Family Planning, Contraception Use In Nigeria

The Economist: The problems of family planning in Nigeria
“…Many Nigerian Muslims believe that pills and condoms are part of a Western plot to stop Muslims from multiplying. And in poor, rural areas, centuries of experience have taught people that having lots of children makes economic sense. … So the government in Kaduna, a majority-Muslim state north of the capital, Abuja, does not encourage people to have fewer children. That would be politically toxic. But it does offer free contraception, and suggest that women might wish to pause between pregnancies. … As recently as 2008, women in Kaduna expected to have 6.3 babies each over a lifetime. By 2013 this had fallen to 4.1, well below the national average of 5.7 that year…” (4/26).

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Editorials and Opinions

Trump Administration's Policies 'Harmful To Women'

Roll Call: Opinion: A Disturbing Trend Against Women’s Health
Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.), senior member of the House Financial Services and the Oversight and Government Reform Committees, and ranking House member on the Joint Economic Committee

“Despite the fact that most Americans want their leaders focused on creating jobs and boosting the economy, in his first 100 days in office, President Donald Trump has spent significant time and effort attacking women’s access to critical health care services and it is clear that women should expect even more harmful policies in the future. On January 23, 2017, … [President Trump] reinstated and expanded the global gag rule… If the president really wants to decrease the number of abortions, as he says he does, we need to be increasing the access to contraception, not reducing it. … This administration is pursuing an agenda that is both unrepresentative of the views of the majority of Americans and harmful to women in the U.S. and around the world. It is producing policies that are both unsafe and unsound. It is time for the president to try a little harder to live up to his grand campaign promise to be the best president for women and respect the views of the majority of Americans” (4/27).

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Advocates, Policymakers, Donors Must 'Stand Up And Resist' Trump Administration Policies That Disempower Women Worldwide

Huffington Post: Trump’s Anti-Woman Administration and his First 100 Days. The Time to Act is Now.
Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

“…Trump has done everything in his power to disempower women — their health, their well-being, their human rights. If the first 100 days are an indication of what to expect from this administration, the time is now for advocates, U.S. policymakers, and global leaders to stand up and resist. … From the discriminatory travel ban to an expanded global gag rule to budget cuts to State Department and USAID, [Trump’s] extremist policies should not stand unchallenged. An organized resistance must challenge the Trump administration from multiple angles. Researchers, journalists, and advocates must collect evidence and document the impact of these policies to inform policy solutions that repair harm. Congress must bolster their oversight role: gather support and build momentum among lawmakers to support a robust U.S. foreign assistance agenda that promotes global health and human rights. Advocates must create a united front across global health, development, and human rights to protest and mobilize support for the health and rights of women, girls, and other marginalized populations. … [A]ll donors must intensify their efforts to not only fill the funding gaps for sexual and reproductive health services, but to fund the research and advocacy agendas that are needed over the next four years and beyond. The time to stand up and resist is now” (4/27).

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G20 Nations Must Make More Effort To Prevent Disease Among Vulnerable Groups Within Own Borders

Devex: Opinion: G20 leadership on tackling disease would save lives and money
Alan Donnelly, executive chairman of Sovereign Strategy; Willo Brock, senior vice president of external affairs for the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development; and Claire Wingfield, senior policy officer with the advocacy and public policy program at PATH

“The world’s most deadly poverty related neglected diseases, or PRNDs, afflict millions of people living in G20 countries — the ‘Group of 20’ largest economies brought together to advance international economic and financial cooperation. … In light of this, we can no longer think of these as diseases of the developing world. It is critical that the G20 countries recognize this fact, and do more to address the health needs of vulnerable groups within their borders. … Agreement on the need for urgent action among G20 leaders in July would help to ensure that we are better prepared to deal with future health crises. … We also need a commitment from G20 members to steadily increase investments in health R&D, and pool their public health and scientific resources. … There is no excuse for tolerating a world in which millions of people — many of them in wealthy countries — die from treatable diseases because of market failure and political neglect. … A coordinated effort by the G20 countries would help eliminate two-thirds of the global disease burden…” (4/27).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Experts Pen Draft U.K. Election Manifesto On Global Development Containing 19 Possible Policies

Center for Global Development’s “Views from the Center”: What A U.K. Election Manifesto on Development Might Look Like: 19 Proposals from CGD
Ian Mitchell, senior policy fellow at CGD Europe, and colleagues developed a draft manifesto outlining their ideas for the U.K.’s role in global development, noting six possible reforms to transform the aid system, six ways to refocus current aid to increase its impact, and seven policies that describe the U.K.’s role beyond foreign aid (4/24).

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Humanosphere Examines Possible Implications Of Trump Administration's Proposed Foreign Assistance Cuts

Humanosphere: U.S. foreign aid: Few details amid reports of plan to cut and restructure USAID
Humanosphere correspondent Tom Murphy discusses the potential implications of funding cuts seen in a leaked budget document on the FY18 State Department and USAID budget, writing, “For now, there are more questions than answers. … when it comes to budget numbers, the administration will need cooperation from Congress to make any major changes to aid programs that have enjoyed long-standing bipartisan support…” (4/26).

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Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance's Global Immunization Efforts Critical To Children's Health, Economic Growth

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: A Chance at a Better Life, Thanks to Vaccines
Megan Guilfoyle, communications associate at USGLC, discusses Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s global efforts, writing, “Immunization efforts … impact entire communities — and the world at large. Healthy children serve as a catalyst for workforce productivity, allowing for countries like the U.S. to expand their goods and services to emerging markets overseas. … [I]t is in our economic and moral interest to prioritize global vaccination programs” (4/26).

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World Education's Nepal Country Director Discusses 2015 Earthquake Relief, Recovery

Humanosphere: Nepal’s long road to recovery 2 years after the earthquake
Joanne Lu, writer and editor at Humanosphere, speaks with World Education Country Director Helen Sherpa about the organization’s relief strategy and recovery efforts in Nepal since the 2015 earthquake (4/26).

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From the U.S. Government

AAP/CDC Project Aims To Help Pediatricians Immunize All Children

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Vaccines Work: Leaving No Child Behind — How Pediatricians Can Contribute to Global Vaccine Coverage
In a guest post, Louis Z. Cooper, past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), discusses global immunization coverage, noting that 19 million children worldwide do not receive vaccinations. He highlights the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) and a multiyear project of AAP and CDC aiming to create knowledge exchange and training among pediatricians in six priority countries. Cooper writes, “The public/private partnership of AAP and CDC builds on the collaborative foundation of GVAP. Its mission aligns with the core value of pediatrics, the inherent worth of every child. Working and learning with our global colleagues is reinforcing our collective commitment and can give the extra push to eradicate polio, measles, and rubella and to expand access to the still underutilized newer vaccines…” (4/27).

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From KFF

Kaiser Family Foundation Budget Summary Analyzes Global Health Aspects Of Draft FY18 State Department, USAID Budget Request

Kaiser Family Foundation: U.S. Global Health Funding in Draft FY18 Budget Request
This budget summary highlights global health-related funding contained in a draft document obtained by Foreign Policy presenting the Trump administration’s FY18 budget request for the State Department and USAID. According to the document, funding for global health programs would total $6.8 billion, a cut of $1.7 billion (-20%) below the FY16 level ($8.5 billion) (4/26).

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