KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Saudi Arabia, UAE Donate Record-Breaking $930M To Yemen Aid Event; Some Analysts Question Motivation

IRIN: Record-breaking donation from Saudi Arabia, UAE sets stage for Yemen aid event
“A $930 million cheque has broken records for humanitarian fundraising in the run-up to a U.N. pledging conference for aid to Yemen, but the motivations behind it are being questioned. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are together picking up a third of this year’s $2.96 billion relief bill for what the U.N. has called ‘the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.’ But conflict analysts and human rights groups say Yemen’s needs wouldn’t be so intense if it weren’t for a war the two nations helped start, and how they fight it…” (Parker, 4/2).

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TB Advocates Hold Forum At Australia's Parliament House, Call On Politicians To Be Leaders In Efforts

Devex: What are the strategies to make 2018 the year for TB action?
“September is crunch time for governments to commit to action in fighting tuberculosis — a preventable and curable disease killing millions annually. The United Nations will convene a high-level meeting on TB, with the theme of the meeting entitled ‘United to end tuberculosis: A global response to a global emergency.’ … In Canberra, Australia, on March 27, TB advocates supported by the Australian TB Caucus, RESULTS Australia, and TB Forum descended on Parliament House to bring the story of TB directly to politicians, calling on them to be leaders in the fight against a disease that is preventable and curable…” (Cornish, 4/3).

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El Salvador Lawmakers Must Work Quickly To Pass Legislation To Legalize Abortion In Some Cases, Advocates Say

The Guardian: ‘It’s time-critical’: the race to overturn abortion ban in El Salvador
“Moves to overturn El Salvador’s ban on abortion could be thwarted unless lawmakers work quickly to push through changes before a more conservative group assumes office in May. … [A] bill proposed last August would legalize abortion in some cases. Salvadoran legislative deputies serve three years, and if the bill does not pass in the next month, it is doubtful the issue will be taken up by the incoming conservative majority. The total ban on abortion came into force in 1998…” (Welsh, 4/3).

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People With Disabilities In Haiti Working To Break Down Stigma, Barriers Following 2010 Earthquake

Global Press Journal: Haiti’s Earthquake Left Many Disabled — Now They’re Rebuilding a More Inclusive Country
“Haiti’s 2010 earthquake was a disaster on many levels for the small Caribbean country, and its effects are still being felt today: The earthquake ranks among the top causes of disability in Haiti. Part of recovering from the catastrophe means challenging the perception of disabled Haitians…” (Felicien/Ndahayo, 3/27).

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Last Mile Health CEO Raj Panjabi Delivers Global Health Day Speech At Johns Hopkins

Global Health NOW: Why Raj Panjabi Returned to Liberia for the Last Mile
“…[Raj Panjabi] went on to study epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health — where he returned last Thursday, March 29, and marked Global Health Day by sharing the story of why he went on to become co-founder and CEO of Last Mile Health…” (Myers, 4/2).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Q&A: How women are surviving as Yemen enters its fourth year of war (Lieberman, 4/3).

The Economist: Antibiotic use is rapidly increasing in developing countries (4/2).

Homeland Preparedness News: NIH study finds extra iron interferes with proteins that protect against malaria infection (Galford, 4/2).

U.N. News: U.N. food aid to benefit 60,000 people in earthquake-hit Papua New Guinea (4/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

Focusing On Strengthening Health Systems Instead Of Disease Eradication Alone Might Do More To Improve Global Health

Undark: The Enduring Appeal (and Folly) of Disease Eradication
Robert Fortner and Alex Park, both journalists

“…The concept of eradication is appealing. The simplicity of the idea makes it almost inarguable. Why set any goal for controlling a disease, or reducing its infection by a certain number, if — with enough money and effort — you can get rid of the disease forever? … [T]he ongoing and expensive struggle to cover the last mile suggests that there may be a point of diminishing returns. … [T]ruly improving global health may require us to shift our focus away from eradication alone, and to spend some time and treasure helping … nations to build robust health care systems so they can manage diseases that almost certainly will never fully go away. … [I]n limiting the focus to eradication alone, we overlook the fact that we can prevent malaria deaths with drugs we already have. Instead of setting our sights on ‘eradication’ of the disease, we should consider simply ‘reducing deaths’ as an alternative goal — and work to redirect global funding toward that end. Global health organizations, after all, can save many lives — though they would first have to accept a difficult fact: Malaria is not going away” (4/3).

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Addressing Effects Of Climate Change, Food Insecurity Critical To Global Health

New York Times: Letter to the Editor: A Food Crisis and Climate Change
Neal Keny-Guyer, chief executive of Mercy Corps

“The world is facing one of the largest food crises in more than 70 years, and climate change is only making it worse. Between 2030 and 2050, climate change could kill an additional 250,000 people every year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat stress. … We must address the urgent effects of climate change through a combination of international action, national policies, and strong local programs to build stronger, more resilient, and more peaceful communities” (4/2).

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Sewage Treatment, Access To Safe Water, Sanitation Represents 'Shared Priority' In Gaza

The Hill: Beating pandemic disease in Gaza
Gidon Bromberg, Nada Majdalani, and Munqeth Mehyar, co-directors of EcoPeace Middle East

“Addressing the impending humanitarian crises facing Gaza is critical. … Sewage treatment might not sound like a path to peace, but despite on-going border security and Jerusalem status issues, access to safe water and sanitation has become a shared priority for all parties. … The newly opened North Gaza Emergency Sewage Treatment (NGEST) plant promises a safer and healthier future for both Palestinians in Gaza and Israelis. … As the U.S. and international community looks toward progress in Mideast peace talks, it would do well to look to the pragmatic for success and recognize that water security is a potential game-changer. Measures being advanced in the U.S., including the Taylor Force Act and cuts to UNRWA, the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees, should be evaluated for unintended consequences that further erode water security…” (4/2).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

FHWC Blog Posts Recognize Health Workforce During World Health Worker Week

The Frontline Health Workers Coalition has published blog posts in recognition of World Health Worker Week, held April 1-7.

Frontline Health Workers Coalition: Our 2030 Vision for the Health Workforce
Rachel Deussom, technical director of the HRH2030 Program at Chemonics International, discusses ways to build the future health workforce and optimize the existing workforce through strategic health investments (3/29).

Frontline Health Workers Coalition: Nurses are fighting on the front lines in Lesotho — without proper autonomy
Semakaleng Phafoli, senior technical adviser for Jhpiego, discusses the role of nurses in Lesotho and how they have little authority to give patients proper care (3/30).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID's Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge Helps Baylor Team Develop Mobile Clinics For Disease Outbreaks

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Emergency Smart Pods – Transforming Containers into Modern Medical Clinics
Avery Waite, program analyst at USAID’s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact, discusses the work of Sharmila Anandasabapathy, professor of medicine in gastroenterology and director of Baylor Global Initiatives and the Baylor Global Innovation Center at Baylor College of Medicine, and her team, who have developed an Emergency Smart Pod that “can serve as an isolation unit for patient care during infectious disease outbreaks, such as the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa.” Waite notes Anandasabapathy’s team was “selected as one of 14 winners of USAID’s Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge, which aimed to provide health care workers on the front lines with better tools to battle the epidemic” (4/2).

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State Department Blog Post Recognizes Legacy Of Marshall Plan

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Celebrating the Anniversary of the Marshall Plan: A Legacy Remembered
This blog post discusses the legacy of the Marshall Plan and recognizes the 70th anniversary of its signing into law. The post notes, “The Marshall Plan also institutionalized and legitimized the concept of U.S. foreign aid programs, which have become an integral part of U.S. foreign policy. It remains one of the most successful foreign policy initiatives in U.S. history and a model of effective diplomacy…”

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