KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Bank Executive Board Unanimously Approves David Malpass As Group's Next President

New York Times: David Malpass, Trump’s Pick to Lead World Bank, Is Approved
“David Malpass, President Trump’s pick to be president of the World Bank and a longtime critic of the influence wielded by the bank and other multilateral institutions, was unanimously approved by its executive board on Friday. Mr. Trump nominated Mr. Malpass, the Treasury under secretary for international affairs, in February. … He succeeds Jim Yong Kim, who stepped down abruptly in January to join an investment firm…” (Hsu, 4/5).

Wall Street Journal: Trump Nominee Malpass Selected as Next World Bank President
“…Mr. Malpass … will take office on April 9, just in time for a gathering of the world’s finance ministers and central bankers in Washington for the spring meetings of the bank and the International Monetary Fund. The confirmation by the bank’s directors was all but assured as no other candidate emerged to challenge Mr. Malpass in the two months since the U.S. announced his candidacy…” (Zumbrun, 4/5).

Washington Post: Trump nominee wins job to run World Bank
“…In a message to World Bank staff on Friday, Malpass sought to reassure skeptics who have called out his and the White House’s critical remarks on multilateral institutions. Malpass also repeated his intention to focus the bank’s attention on the neediest nations, a priority that could cause friction with the World Bank’s more affluent borrowers, including China…” (Whalen, 4/5).

Additional coverage of the approval of David Malpass as World Bank Group president is available from Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, Reuters, and TIME.

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U.S. Secretary Of State Demands Russians Stop Assistance To Venezuelan Leader Maduro; Report Calls For U.N. To Declare Humanitarian Emergency

Fox News: Pompeo on Venezuela Crisis: ‘The Russians Must Leave and Maduro Must Go’
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded that the Russians cease their assistance in propping up Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro. Pompeo told ‘Fox & Friends’ that Maduro, a protege of the late socialist icon Hugo Chavez, ‘must go.’ ‘The Russians must leave,’ he said, noting that the Kremlin is supporting the Maduro regime as the once-rich nation descends into economic and humanitarian chaos…” (4/5).

The Guardian: U.N. urged to declare full-scale crisis in Venezuela as health system ‘collapses’
“The U.N. must officially declare a full-scale humanitarian emergency in Venezuela after the ‘utter collapse’ of the health system, experts have said. Warning of the return of infectious diseases and rising levels of malnutrition and infant and maternal death, a report published [last] week by Human Rights Watch and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health calls on the U.N. secretary general, António Guterres, to declare a ‘complex humanitarian emergency’…” (Hodal, 4/5).

Additional coverage of the HRW/JHSPH report is available from NPR and VOA News.

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Media Outlets Continue Coverage Of Reaction To Trump's Decision To Cut Aid To Central American Nations

Christian Science Monitor: Why Central American aid cuts could mean more migration, not less (Eulich, 4/4).

The Hill: Mulvaney: Trump ‘absolutely’ could still cut off aid to Central American nations (Budryk, 4/7).

Reuters: U.S. aid helped Guatemalan farmers stay rooted to their lands (Castillo/Solomon, 4/5).

TIME: Trump’s Cuts to Central American Aid Won’t Slow Migration (Hennigan, 4/5).

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DRC Ebola Outbreak Continues To Grow; Strain From 2017 Outbreak Discovered As Novel Variant

CIDRAP News: 2017 DRC Ebola event tied to novel strain as current outbreak grows
“A new analysis of a 2017 Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that occurred in a remote location and was limited to 16 cases involved a novel variant of the virus and was probably triggered [by a] single spillover, according to a new study. In other Ebola developments, World Health Organization (WHO) vaccine advisors this week recommended that lactating women and babies older than 6 months be included in the Ebola ring vaccination campaign, and the DRC’s health ministry [Friday] reported 10 more cases…” (Schnirring, 4/5).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from Agence France-Presse (2), NPR, and Xinhua News.

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Hunger Threatens Mozambique Following Cyclone Idai, Cholera Outbreak

Associated Press: After cyclone and cholera, Mozambique now battles hunger
“Mozambique’s first disaster was a cyclone. The second has been cholera. Now hunger could be the third. The raging floodwaters that left a large part of central Mozambique a vast inland sea are draining away, laying bare a severe lack of food for the months ahead…” (Anna, 4/8).

Additional coverage of the impacts of Cyclone Idai in Mozambique is available from the Associated Press and NPR.

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Cholera Outbreak In Yemen Spreading; AP Examines U.N.'s 2017 Blocked Efforts To Distribute Vaccine Within War-Torn Country

Al Jazeera: Yemen’s cholera outbreak kills over 300 people
“Cholera is making another comeback in Yemen. Suspected cases have doubled during the past month, with warm, wet weather, and a health care system that has been devastated by war, creating perfect conditions for the illness to spread. Al Jazeera’s Katia Lopez-Hodayan reports” (4/6).

Associated Press: As cholera raged in Yemen, warring factions blocked vaccines
“…The AP’s examination of the efforts to fight [cholera] in Yemen drew on confidential documents and interviews with 29 people, including aid officials previously based in the country and officials from health ministries run by both the Houthi rebels and the internationally recognized government in the south. Almost all of these individuals — including six relief and health officials who say the Houthis were responsible for cancellation of the 2017 vaccine shipment — spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of retaliation…” (Michael, 4/8).

VICE News: Another cholera outbreak is threatening Yemen, and doctors say it could get worse
“Yemen is staring down its third major cholera outbreak in four years, according to the United Nations, which puts the number of suspected cases in March at double that of previous months. The recent spike has invited early comparisons to 2017’s outbreak, when more than 1 million suspected cases of cholera were reported. And the situation could still get worse, doctors and aid officials warned, pointing to a health care system pushed to the brink by years of war and crippling blockades…” (Ibrahim, 4/6).

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WHO DG Tedros Says Health Is Human Right, Not Privilege, In World Health Day Message

U.N. News: ‘Health is a right, not a privilege’ says WHO chief on World Health Day
“The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has marked World Health Day, which falls on Sunday, with a reiteration of the U.N.’s stance on health: that it is a fundamental human right, not a privilege. Speaking at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, during an event to launch the day, the WHO chief said that all people deserve access to health services, ‘when and where they need them, without financial hardship’…” (4/7).

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New York Times Examines Drug-Resistant Infections In Video, Series Of Articles

New York Times: Revenge of the Bacteria: Why We’re Losing the War
“Bacteria are rebelling. They’re turning the tide against antibiotics by outsmarting our wonder drugs. This video explores the surprising reasons…” (Bracken et al., 4/6).

New York Times: In a Poor Kenyan Community, Cheap Antibiotics Fuel Deadly Drug-Resistant Infections
“Overuse of the medicines is not just a problem in rich countries. Throughout the developing world antibiotics are dispensed with no prescription required…” (Jacobs/Richtel, 4/7).

New York Times: A Mysterious Infection, Spanning the Globe in a Climate of Secrecy
“The rise of Candida auris embodies a serious and growing public health threat: drug-resistant germs…” (Richtel/Jacobs, 4/6).

New York Times: What You Need to Know About Candida Auris
“C. auris is a mysterious and dangerous fungal infection that is among a growing number of germs that have evolved defenses against common medicines. Here are some basic facts about it…” (Richtel, 4/6).

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CDC Foundation Podcast Examines Global Health Challenges

Washington Post: Engaging talks about disease outbreaks, drug resistance, disabilities and global health challenges
“How can people tackle the world’s thorniest health challenges? From journalism to activism to philanthropy, there are plenty of ways to change the course of human health. A new podcast, ‘Contagious Conversations,’ shows how. The show is produced by the CDC Foundation, an independent nonprofit group that mobilizes the private sector to help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to protect public health. The podcast’s first season is available now…” (Blakemore, 4/6).

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More News In Global Health

Al Jazeera: Nigeria’s medical brain drain: Health care woes as doctors flee (Abang, 4/8).

Al Jazeera: Five years after West Africa’s Ebola pandemic: Where are we now? (Chinwada, 4/6).

The Guardian: Paul Kagame orders release of women and girls jailed over abortion in Rwanda (Okiror, 4/5).

Inter Press Service: Safeguarding The Health of People and Planet Through Food (Yakupitiyage, 4/6).

New York Times: Flooding Displaces Tens of Thousands in Iran. And More Rain Is Forecast (Specia, 4/6).

NPR: 1st Living HIV-Positive Organ Donor Wants To Lift ‘The Shroud Of HIV-Related Stigma’ (Martin/Bowman, 4/6).

South China Morning Post Magazine: In Indonesia, LGBT communities viewed as a moral threat — condemned by religion and, increasingly, by law (Merigo, 4/7).

The Telegraph: From horror to health: How Rwanda rebuilt itself to become one of Africa’s brightest stars (Newey, 4/7).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: After floods drench eastern Zimbabwe, water shortages parch Harare (Mukeredzi, 4/7).

U.S. News & World Report: Mosquitoes Pose Potential Health Threat at U.S.-Mexico Border (Newman, 4/5).

Xinhua News: WHO urges efforts for universal health coverage in Africa (4/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Must Commit To Fully Funding Global Fund

The Hill: World Health Day: It’s time to fight preventable disease
Tom Hart, North America executive director of the ONE Campaign

“…[A]s we mark World Health Day, April 7, we must recommit to fighting preventable disease around the globe. One of the best tools we have at our disposal to end these terrible diseases is the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. … Last week, before the House Appropriations Committee, even Secretary Pompeo acknowledged that the Global Fund is one of the most effective investments for taxpayers. … This year at the State of the Union, President Trump pledged to ‘defeat AIDS in America and beyond.’ However, just weeks later, he proposed a budget that would cut America’s commitment to [the] Global Fund. … Winning the fight against preventable diseases like AIDS, TB, and malaria is possible. But getting there requires our leaders to continue America’s strong support for programs like the Global Fund that are helping save millions of lives” (4/7).

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Trump Administration's Women's Empowerment Efforts Undermined By Expansion Of Mexico City Policy, Opinion Piece Says

The Hill: Our First Amendment rights are under assault with the global gag rule
Jonathan Cohen, director of the Public Health Program at Open Society Foundations, and Kavita N. Ramdas, director of the Women’s Rights Program at Open Society Foundations

“On Wednesday, White House adviser Ivanka Trump announced she is planning a trip to Africa to promote a global women’s initiative she is leading. … As Ivanka embarks on her plan to help support women in Africa, the Trump administration is simultaneously dismantling women’s health and rights in the very same countries Ivanka will be visiting. Just last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took steps to dramatically expand the implementation of the Global Gag Rule [otherwise known as the Mexico City policy] — a policy that prohibits foreign nongovernmental organizations who receive U.S. federal aid [for global health] from performing or providing information on abortion. … The new move goes beyond any previous interpretation by other administrations, restricting ‘gagged’ organizations from funding groups that provide abortion services and information, even though those organizations don’t get any U.S. aid. It’s not only an outrageous overreach of an onerous policy that forces organizations to either stay true to their mission and turn down funding from the U.S. government, or comply with a policy that compromises their mandate — it underscores the antithetical programs coming out of Trump’s White House in the guise of women’s empowerment and advancing prosperity for marginalized communities. … Research shows that without access to basic reproductive health care, women can’t thrive economically. … As a funder that champions open democratic values and human rights, [Open Society Foundations] will not be gagged, nor will we stand by as the vibrant movements we support are attacked…” (4/7).

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Opinion Piece Outlines 5 Priorities For New World Bank President David Malpass

Devex: Opinion: 5 priorities for the World Bank’s new leader
Masood Ahmed, president of the Center for Global Development

“Despite critical commentary about his professional credentials and commitment to the multilateral system, David Malpass has been elected unopposed as the next president of the World Bank. … To win the support of all his 189 members, Malpass must now unambiguously endorse the bank’s role in helping the world meet five challenges. … First, he must prioritize support for Africa’s development and integration into the world economy. … Second, he must help middle-income countries make the right development choices. … Third, he must target the people affected by fragility, conflict, and violence. … Fourth, Malpass must look beyond borders. Whether it is preparing for the next pandemic, dealing with climate change, managing the ever-increasing flow of displaced people, establishing an international tax regime that limits avoidance through tax havens, or coping with the regulatory and ethical challenges posed by artificial intelligence and other technological advances, action will need to be coordinated across countries and regions. … Finally, he must make sure that the bank is an active player in the debate on development best practice for the 21st century. … Malpass must clearly demonstrate that he understands the bank as a zone of mutual interest, where — with the earned trust of its shareholders — he can advance a global agenda that will benefit all” (4/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Fully Funding Global Fund Must Be Global Priority, ONE Campaign Says

ONE Campaign: Hope, horror, and health security: our fight against killer diseases
Agnes Nyamayarwo, nurse and activist, and Jamie Drummond, co-founder and chief strategy officer, both at the ONE Campaign, discuss the importance of fully funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, writing, “To continue this lifesaving work, the Global Fund now needs a minimum of US$14 billion at its Replenishment Conference in Lyon, France this October. … Whether we do or don’t raise these funds must be a global priority for us all…” (4/5).

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PAI Analyzes Potential Impact Of Expanded Mexico City Policy On U.S. Global Health Assistance, Other Donors' Funding

PAI: Trump-Pence Administration’s New, Expansive Global Gag Rule Interpretation Explained: This Time with Pictures
This post provides an overview of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s most recent announcement interpreting the language included in the standard provisions of the Mexico City policy and provides visualizations of the policy’s potential impact on U.S. global health assistance (4/5).

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FT Health Discusses WHO Data Highlighting Health Inequalities, Features Interview With Bill Gates

FT Health: WHO maps out health inequalities
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter discusses data from the recently released World Health Statistics 2019, which highlights the prevalence of health inequality worldwide, and features an interview with Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who discusses the foundation’s activities inside and outside global health. The newsletter also provides a round-up of global health-related news stories (Dodd/Jack, 4/5).

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Brookings Experts Discuss Role Of Improved Data In Reducing Global Hunger

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: Are we reducing hunger in the world?
Homi Kharas, interim vice president and director, and Lorenz Noe, senior research analyst, both for Global Economy and Development at the Brookings Institution, discuss the role of improved data in understanding trends in global hunger, writing, “It is heartening to see a recognition of the data quality problem, but no entity has the authorization to ensure that matters improve. … Our proposal is simple. There should be a technical working group to propose ways of improving the coverage, quality, and timeliness of outcome data on hunger” (4/5).

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CSIS Releases April 2019 Issue Of Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Global Health Policy Center Monthly Update
In the April 2019 CSIS Global Health Policy Center Newsletter, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of CSIS and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center (GHPC), highlights recent publications, podcasts, and past and upcoming events hosted by CSIS, including a new policy primer on global nutrition; a podcast episode in which Morrison speaks with Lena Sun, national health reporter for the Washington Post, about the anti-vaccination movement and its implications for public health; and an upcoming event held at the Kaiser Family Foundation launching the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s 2019 Financing Global Health report (April 2019).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Secretary Of State Mike Pompeo Discusses Expanded Mexico City Policy In Interview

U.S. Department of State: Interview With Catherine Hadro of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly
This press release highlights an interview by Catherine Hadro of EWTN Pro-Life Weekly with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who discusses details regarding his recent announcement related to the expanded Mexico City policy (4/3).

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