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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

POLITICO Examines Former Secretary Of State Tillerson's State Department, USAID Redesign Efforts

POLITICO: Rex Tillerson’s $12 million army of consultants
“It was one of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s core goals: radically reshaping the State Department to make it leaner, cheaper, and modernized to the standards of a former private-sector CEO. Now that Tillerson has been fired, the vaunted ‘Redesign’ initiative he launched faces an uncertain future, but at least one clear legacy: around $12 million dollars spent just for private consultants who in some cases charged the State Department more than $300 an hour…” (Toosi, 4/5).

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Devex Analyzes USAID's 2nd Quarter 2018 Business Forecast

Devex: USAID’s business forecast: Insights from the second quarter of 2018 release
“The second quarter business forecast conference call and question and answer session, released by the United States Agency for International Development on March 29, provides new insight into how the organization is responding to budget insecurity as well as engaging the private sector to support the delivery of the aid program. With the new quarter release, Devex presents insight into how business forecasts have changed since 2015 through our analysis and interactive visualization…” (Cornish, 4/4).

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Analysts, Aid Workers Describe Mixed Feelings Over Saudi, UAE Donation For Yemen Relief Efforts

NPR: The Irony Of A $930 Million Donation To Help Yemen
“The U.N. has received one of the biggest donations for relief in aid history: $930 million to its Yemen Humanitarian Fund, which provides food, health care, and other vital services for the conflict-ridden nation. But there’s an ethical concern. It’s coming from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two countries that have helped fuel Yemen’s conflict…” (Gharib, 4/4).

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Taxes On Tobacco, Alcohol, Soda Can Help Reduce NCDs, Lancet Task Force Says

Bloomberg: Taxing Soda and Booze Can Spark Healthy Spiral, Experts Say
“…Taxing products such as soda, alcohol, and tobacco can steer consumers toward healthier choices and avert a ruinous tumble in which obesity fuels disease and medical costs push people further into poverty, data from countries ranging from Chile to India show. The analysis was published Wednesday in The Lancet medical journal…” (Paton, 4/4).

The Guardian: Tax sugar, alcohol, and tobacco to help the poor, say experts
“…[Experts] warn of the urgent need to check the spread of cancers, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other conditions caused or exacerbated by our lifestyles which have overtaken infectious diseases as the biggest killers of the modern age. Five papers published in The Lancet medical journal say these non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are having a big and growing impact in low and middle-income countries, following in the footsteps of affluent nations. Those countries have 80 percent of resultant deaths…” (Boseley, 4/4).

Intellectual Property Watch: Major Study Finds Taxes On Soda, Alcohol, Tobacco Help Curb NCDs; Study Restarts U.N. Momentum
“…[T]his report, with its set of five papers and ties to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), puts the issue back on the table and has the potential to reinvigorate and give direction to the global discussions. It comes in time for the late May annual World Health Assembly, and U.N. efforts on NCDs later this year…” (New, 4/5).

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Social Welfare Programs Help Prevent Extreme Poverty, World Bank Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Social welfare has lifted 50 million out of poverty, World Bank says
“About 50 million people have escaped extreme poverty because of social safety nets, from pensions to feeding programs, the World Bank said on Wednesday. Although more welfare programs are being introduced, including cash and public works, only 2.5 billion people worldwide are covered, despite their substantial contribution to a global goal to end poverty, it said…” (Malo, 4/4).

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TED Launches $250M 'Audacious Project' To Fund Change-Making Projects, Including Last Mile Health

Business Insider: TED has launched a $250 million project to model ‘what an IPO for the nonprofit world might look like’
“…Starting this year, TED is scrapping the annual [$1 million TED prize] for something even bigger: a $250 million initiative known as the Audacious Project. Backed by funders including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Dalio Foundation, the Skoll Foundation, and Virgin Unite, the project aims to deal with the fact that, as TED Curator Chris Anderson said, ‘Real change is expensive.’ The $250 million is spread out among seven recipients, who each presented TED with a detailed budget for their project, ranging from $30 million to $100 million. The nominees were chosen by TED this year, but the organization will allow the public to submit ideas starting next year. [Last Mile Health CEO Raj] Panjabi is one of the first recipients. The other six will be revealed at TED on April 11…” (Schwartz, 4/4).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Biggest U.K. aid organizations report gender pay gap in favor of men (Abrahams, 4/5).

Global Health NOW: 500 Million People Need Health Insurance? Call Indu Bhushan (Simpson, 4/3).

NPR: Advice To Parachuting Docs: Think Before You Jump Into Poor Countries (Silver, 4/4).

NPR: A Young Doctor Learns How Hard It Is To Give Health Care To Everyone (Matsui, 4/2).

Daily Princetonian: Former NIH director Harold Varmus speaks about how to improve worldwide health (Jiang, 4/5).

Reuters: Zambia withdraws military personnel deployed to fight cholera (Mfula, 4/4).

SciDev.Net: Reports of new HIV strain in the Philippines rejected (Arkin, 4/4).

STAT: Monkey study suggests Zika infection in infancy could cause brain damage (Branswell, 4/4).

STAT: SARS-like outbreak among pigs rekindles concerns virus could again strike humans (Branswell, 4/4).

Xinhua News: With world’s highest liver cancer rate, Mongolia fighting hepatitis (4/4).

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Editorials and Opinions

Political Leadership Needed To End 'War On Children' In Syria, Yemen, Worldwide

HuffPost: War In Syria And Yemen Prove We No Longer Care About Protecting Kids
Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa

“…The wars in Syria and Yemen are the acceleration of [a] loss of common consciousness. The lack of public outrage on a large scale today, when children are being attacked and when it is impossible to claim ignorance of what’s taking place, is a bleak indicator. The lack of effective political action is even worse. … In 1989, the World adopted unanimously the International Convention on the Rights of the Child. Where has that political leadership gone? … Those directly accountable for this war on children; those supporting conflict and extreme violence indirectly; those condoning or standing by are sweeping aside values and laws that bind our common humanity: rules and principles of international human rights and humanitarian law that protect children under all circumstances; obligations that States committed to respect decades ago. … UNICEF and the child protection community will continue making the voices of children heard, and tirelessly advocate for the sacred child protection principle to be respected. In absence of political leadership, what else is there that each of us can and should do? Our efforts on their own will never stop the war on children” (4/4).

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Nigeria's National Health Insurance Scheme, Other Health Insurance Programs Can Help Country Achieve UHC

Devex: Opinion: Only 1 percent of Nigerians have health insurance. Here’s how to change that.
Ifeanyi Nsofor, director of policy and advocacy for Nigeria Health Watch, CEO of EpiAFRIC, and a 2018 Aspen Institute New Voices fellow

“…[T]oday, only one percent of Nigerians have health insurance. … Universal health coverage, which entails providing effective access — including financial risk protection — to at least essential health care, is key to achieving the world’s Sustainable Development Goals. Spurred by these goals, momentum towards UHC is growing. It takes political will for countries to implement UHC. … Of course, [Nigeria’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)] cannot pay for all health care expenses. But it should make basic health services much more affordable for the majority of Nigerians, especially the poorest. A functional, fully funded NHIS, combined with other prepayment plans, such as health insurance, would save countless lives as people receive the care they need, and prevent financial crises. … The global push for universal health coverage can help Nigeria to turn the corner. And if Nigeria can help to show the way, real progress on African health will follow” (4/4).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post Discusses Opportunities, Challenges Of Polio Eradication

BMJ Opinion: Stephen A. Matlin: The polio dividend — opportunities and challenges
Stephen A. Matlin, senior fellow in the Global Health Centre at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies and adjunct professor in the Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London, discusses the opportunities and challenges related to eradicating polio worldwide (4/4).

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Scientific Journal 'Preprints' Offer Opportunity To Quickly Share Science During Disease Outbreaks

PLOS Research News: Pursuing Preprints, Preventing Pandemics: How pre-peer review posting can accelerate outbreak science
Beth Baker, journal media manager at PLOS, speaks with Michael Johansson, infectious disease expert and founder of Outbreak Science, about a new PLOS Medicine essay describing how “[p]reprints — scientific papers posted online prior to peer review — offer opportunities to share and discuss research rapidly and openly” and could accelerate outbreak science (4/3).

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Haiti Launches Diphtheria Vaccination Campaign With Support From PAHO/WHO, UNICEF, Other Partners

PAHO/WHO: Haiti launches campaign to vaccinate over 2 million children against diphtheria, with PAHO support
“In the coming weeks, more than 2.3 million Haitian children between the ages of one and 14 are expected to be vaccinated against diphtheria, a bacterial infection that causes throat inflammation and difficulty breathing and that in severe cases can lead to death. The diphtheria vaccination campaign was launched in mid March by Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) with support from the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO), UNICEF, and other partners…” (4/3)

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From the U.S. Government

Hank Tomlinson Named Director Of CDC's Division Of Global HIV & TB

CDC: Hank Tomlinson, PhD — Director, Division of Global HIV and TB
Hank Tomlinson will now serve as the director of the Division of Global HIV & TB (DGHT) at the CDC, “guiding the management of CDC’s global TB and HIV treatment, care, and prevention programs and the division’s 1,800 staff in 45 country offices and headquarters in Atlanta” (4/4).

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