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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Liberia Confirms 2 New Ebola Cases In Woman, Child Who Recently Visited Guinea

Agence France-Presse: Liberia says latest Ebola fatality traveled to Guinea
“A woman who died of Ebola this week in Liberia, months after it was declared Ebola-free, had traveled to Guinea with her three children, one of whom is also sick, the health ministry said Sunday…” (4/3).

Associated Press: Liberia confirms 2nd new Ebola case, possibly from Guinea
“A second case of Ebola has been confirmed in Liberia months after the country had been declared free from transmissions, health officials said Sunday. The five-year-old son of the 30-year-old woman who died Thursday from Ebola has been taken to a treatment center in Monrovia, said Deputy Health Minister Tolbert Nyenswah…” (Paye-Layleh, 4/3).

Reuters: Boy tests positive for Ebola in latest Liberia flare-up
“…While the WHO said [last] week that West Africa’s Ebola outbreak no longer constitutes an international public health risk, there have been small flare-ups even after countries received the all-clear…” (Giahyue, 4/3).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. health agency reports new case in Liberia, as experimental vaccine used in Guinea
“…This latest case marks the third flare-up of the virus since Liberia was officially declared free of Ebola on 9 May 2015…” (4/1).

United Press International: Second Ebola case confirmed in Liberia
“…The initial investigation by health officials has identified at least 46 people who had close contact with the deceased woman. They are currently being monitored for symptoms” (Hays, 4/3).

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Experts Attending White House Zika Summit Urge State, Local Officials To Take Actions To Prevent Virus's Spread

CNN: Experts gather at CDC for Zika summit
“…The daylong gathering convened exactly 10 weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounded the alarm on Zika virus by issuing its first travel advisory. Four-hundred twenty-five local, state, and federal health officials and experts in maternal medicine and mosquito control spent the day at the agency’s headquarters getting the latest information and sharing ideas. An additional 2,500 people watched from afar via webcast…” (Goldschmidt/LaMotte, 4/1).

National Geographic: As Zika Advances, Can the U.S. Cope?
“…Scientists, political appointees, and public health experts urged [state, local and tribal officials, members of nonprofits, and representatives of private companies] to find a way to pull together groups who seldom have a reason to communicate: health departments, academic physicians, community well-baby clinics, birth-defect surveillance programs, mosquito-control workers, even garbagemen and gardeners…” (McKenna, 4/1).

New York Times: In Miami, Facing Risk of Zika With Resolve but Limited Resources
“…Scientists do not believe that the United States will have a runaway Zika epidemic, but most agree that mosquitoes here will eventually acquire it and that they could start infecting people, leading to local flare-ups…” (Tavernise, 4/1).

USA TODAY: White House convenes summit on Zika virus
“… ‘If we wait until we see widespread transmission in the United States, if we wait until the public is panicking because they’re seeing babies born with birth defects, we will have waited too late,’ said Amy Pope, the White House deputy homeland security adviser and deputy assistant to President Barack Obama…” (Szabo, 4/1).

Wall Street Journal: CDC Warns Local Health Agencies to Prepare for Zika Virus
“…Zika, which has been linked to severe birth defects in unborn children, is spreading already in U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and American Samoa, but it hasn’t been transmitted so far by mosquitoes within the 50 U.S. states…” (McKay, 4/1).

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Evidence Mounts For Microcephaly-Zika Link; Scientist Raises Concerns Over Potential Adverse Effects Of Zika Vaccine

New York Times: 5 Reasons to Think the Zika Virus Causes Microcephaly
“…[A] surge in microcephaly has been reported only in Brazil; a small increase was reported in French Polynesia, and a cluster of 32 cases is now under investigation in Colombia. For proof of the connection between infection with the virus and birth defects, scientists are waiting for the results of a large study of 5,000 pregnant women, most of them in Colombia. … Virtually all public health agencies already believe the virus is to blame for these birth defects and are giving medical advice based on that assumption. Here are the lines of evidence they cite…” (McNeil, 4/1).

Scientific American: Zika Vaccine Could Solve One Problem While Stoking Another
“When Thomas Monath, an expert on vaccines combating mosquito-borne diseases, thinks about developing an inoculation against Zika virus, he has a major concern: Guillain-Barré syndrome. … Mounting evidence suggests exposure to the mosquito-borne Zika is the culprit. Now that boost in Zika-linked Guillain (GBS) is stoking concerns that a vaccine designed to protect patients against Zika could inadvertently provoke more cases of the autoimmune condition…” (Maron, 4/1).

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Sanofi Program Aims To Provide 1M Filipino Children With Dengue Immunization

Financial Times: Sanofi to launch dengue mass vaccination program
“Sanofi will launch the world’s first mass vaccination program for dengue fever in the Philippines on Monday, bringing to fruition a 20-year development process in which the French pharmaceuticals group has invested €1.5bn [$1.7 billion]. One million Filipino schoolchildren are to be inoculated against the virus at a price of €20 [$23] a shot in a scheme that Sanofi hopes will be replicated across the swath of tropical and subtropical countries affected by the mosquito-borne disease…” (Ward, 4/4).

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Financial Times Special Report Discusses Maternal, Newborn Health In Countries On 3 Continents

Financial Times: Three Births
“The day a baby is born in the developing world will be the most dangerous of its life — and can be just as perilous for its mother. Amy Kazmin, Jude Webber, and Andrew Jack, FT reporters on three continents, follow the fates of three women and their babies…” (3/31).

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War-Torn Somalia Needs $105M Additional Aid To Prevent Starvation Among 1M People, U.N. Official Says

Agence France-Presse: Drought-hit Somalia at ‘tipping point’: U.N.
“The United Nations’ aid chief for Somalia begged for cash Thursday to stave off starvation amid intense drought affecting a million people and to pull the war-torn country ‘back from the tipping point.’ ‘Urgent action is required right now. If not, we risk a rapid and deep deterioration of the situation, as drought conditions may worsen in the coming months,’ U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia Peter de Clercq said, appealing for $105 million (92 million euros) for ‘life-saving’ aid for more than one million people…” (3/31).

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Financial Times Profiles Global Fund Executive Director Mark Dybul

Financial Times: The Global Fund’s Mark Dybul on the fight against global epidemics
“For a sense of Mark Dybul’s cosmopolitan life, one need only consider the dinner guests he recently hosted at his home in Lausanne, Switzerland. ‘We had a 30-year-old Iranian, a 28-year-old Moroccan, and people from France, Portugal, Spain,’ Dybul recalls. Dybul is executive director of the Global Fund, a private Swiss foundation that works to end epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria worldwide…” (Liu, 4/1).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Community Must Commit To 'Comprehensive Effort' To End TB

Project Syndicate: Winning the War Against TB
Melvin Sanicas, program officer and global health fellow at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…Given the enormous economic burden and widespread human suffering caused by TB, a comprehensive effort to tackle the disease is urgently needed. … The first step is to ramp up data-collection efforts. … Moreover, health care workers must expand efforts to prevent new infections and quickly treat fresh cases. … At the same time, efforts must be made to control the seedbeds of the disease, the latent infections that are the source of virtually all new cases of active TB. … To eliminate the disease globally, a better vaccine would be crucial. … Finally, any effort to eradicate TB must acknowledge that the disease is rooted in poverty and social exclusion. … By developing new tools — including rapid diagnostics, safe and shorter treatment of TB infection and disease, and an efficacious TB vaccine — strengthening health systems, and improving the living conditions of at-risk populations, we can neutralize one of humankind’s oldest killers…” (4/4).

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U.S. Lawmakers, Agencies Should Push For Formation Of Commission For Haiti Cholera Victims

Boston Globe: Truth and justice for Haiti
Editorial Board

“Victims of Haiti’s raging cholera epidemic got a glimmer of good news recently when a class-action lawsuit seeking recompense from the United Nations for its role in spreading the disease finally got a hearing in a New York courtroom. … The lawsuit was brought by advocates because most scientists believe that a U.N. peacekeeping force brought the disease with them when they arrived to help the country rebuild after the quake. … The United Nations, citing immunity to claims of damage, has stonewalled and never acknowledged responsibility. There are reassuring signs that the international community is shaking off its torpor on the issue … Even the United Nations’ own specially appointed experts reported to the body’s Human Rights Council that efforts to wipe out the disease have not taken hold, and recommended a commission on truth, justice, and redress for cholera victims. This stirring of support is heartening, but U.S. lawmakers and government agencies like the State Department should push for formation of such a commission now. They have a moral duty to lead the way, not follow — outside the courtroom walls” (4/4).

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Childhood Nutrition Must Include Access To Both Proteins, Micronutrients

Huffington Post: Have we Been Hooked on Micronutrients in our Search for the Solution to Stunting?
Klaus Kraemer, director of the Sight and Life Foundation, and Richard D. Semba, professor at Johns Hopkins University

“…[S]tunted children are in reality not receiving sufficient quality protein from their diet and this lack of essential amino acids means children will not grow normally even if they receive the necessary micronutrients. … Providing protein with sufficient levels of the essential amino acids will be a major challenge and will require substantial investment and innovations in the agricultural sector. The protein solution will also need to ensure the supply of … micronutrients if we are to avoid repeating our error. … After 40 years of what might be called ‘protein neglect,’ the time has come for the nutrition community to start talking about food rather than nutrients” (4/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Gender Equality Can Promote Economic Growth, Global Development Agenda

MCC Blog/Medium: To Promote Growth, Empower Women
Dana J. Hyde, CEO of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), discusses the role of addressing gender inequality in promoting the global development agenda, writing, “[S]uccessful integration of gender considerations at all levels of development improves [development] outcomes. Three lessons inform [the MCC’s] approach: First, policies matter. … Second, gender considerations need to be systematically integrated across all development sectors, including infrastructure. … Third, cultural norms have to support girls’ education and employment…” (4/1).

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CSIS Study Examines Global Health Partnerships, Presents 'Framework For Success'

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Global Health Programs and Partnerships
In this study, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president at CSIS and director of its Global Health Policy Center, and colleagues “emplo[y] surveys and key informant interviews to examine global health partnerships, and [present] a framework for success to guide the development of sustainable global health programs and partnerships with measurable, defined impact…” (4/1).

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PATH's Global Health Security Partnership Aims To Prevent, Detect, Respond To Disease Threats

PATH Blog: Prevent, detect, respond: avoiding the next pandemic
Tracy Romoser, communications officer and blog editor at PATH, discusses PATH’s new Global Health Security (GHS) Partnership, which aims to strengthen health “systems to identify disease threats early and prevent outbreaks from reaching a critical state” using three principles: prevent, detect, and respond (3/31).

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GHIT Fund Announces Investments In Malaria, TB Diagnostics, NTD Treatment

Global Health Innovative Technology Fund: GHIT Fund Announces New Investments, Including Innovative Malaria Vaccine Targeting Two Deadliest Strains of the Disease
The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund announced investments in two innovative malaria eradication tools, a new rapid diagnostic test that can identify active tuberculosis in HIV-positive patients, and efforts to develop new treatments for soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections and cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) (3/31).

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$26.2B In 2020 Needed To Meet Fast-Track Targets In HIV/AIDS Response

UNAIDS: UNAIDS announces lower price tag on investments needed to Fast-Track ending the AIDS epidemic
“Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, UNAIDS announced new investment needs to Fast-Track the AIDS response. The projected need of US$ 26.2 billion in 2020 is down from a previous estimate of US$ 30 billion. New findings suggest that the world can reach ambitious Fast-Track targets for preventing new HIV infections, AIDS-related deaths, and discrimination with fewer resources…” (4/1).

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