KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

White House Launches Initiatives Examining Correlation Between Climate Change, Public Health

ABC News: Obama says Climate Change’s Impact On Health Is Personal for Him
“…The science of climate and its effect on health is indisputable, the president said. … [ABC News’ chief health and medical editor, Dr. Richard] Besser’s interview with the president comes on the heels of a White House announcement earlier in the week setting out a series of initiatives to deal with the impact of climate change on the well-being of Americans…” (Neporent, 4/8).

Associated Press: Obama says climate change is harming Americans’ health
“Global warming isn’t just affecting the weather, it’s harming Americans’ health, President Barack Obama said Tuesday as he announced steps government and businesses will take to better understand and deal with the problem…” (Lederman/Pickler, 4/7).

Washington Post: The White House wants to explore how climate change makes you sick
“President Obama launched an initiative Tuesday aimed at highlighting the connections between climate change and public health, bringing both medical and data experts to the White House this week…” (Eilperin, 4/7).

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President Obama Briefed On Shrinking Ebola Epidemic, As WHO Reports Lowest Weekly Case Numbers In Nearly 1 Year

The Hill: Obama briefed on receding Ebola epidemic
“President Obama was briefed Wednesday on the diminishing Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the first time the White House has publicly addressed the disease in several weeks. Obama met with a team of health and national security advisers in the Situation Room on Wednesday to discuss ‘what more can be done to get to zero Ebola cases in West Africa,’ according to a brief summary of the meeting provided by the White House…” (Ferris, 4/8).

Reuters: 30 new Ebola cases, lowest weekly figure in nearly a year — WHO
“Thirty confirmed cases of Ebola were reported in West Africa in the past week, the smallest number in nearly a year of the worst-ever outbreak of the deadly fever, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday. ‘This is the lowest weekly total since the third week of May 2014,’ the WHO said in its latest update…” (Nebehay, 4/8).

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PBS NewsHour Examines Grand Challenge To Design Products To Protect HCWs From Ebola

PBS NewsHour: Fashioning a better Ebola suit with sewing machines and chocolate syrup
“In the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, medical professionals taking care of patients have been among the most vulnerable to infection. The NewsHour’s Mary Jo Brooks reports on a challenge [set forth by USAID and Johns Hopkins University] to design a new Ebola suit that could help prevent the spread of the deadly disease…” (4/7).

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2 Experimental Ebola Vaccines Show Promise In Primate Trials

CIDRAP News: Second-generation Ebola vaccines show promise in animal study
“Two candidate Ebola vaccines developed as possible next-generation products fully protected monkeys immunized with a single dose against experimental infection with the strain responsible for West Africa’s outbreak, researchers reported [Wednesday]…” (Schnirring, 4/8).

New York Times: 2 New Ebola Vaccines Pass Important Early Test, Researchers Say
“…The vaccines have not yet been tested in people, but safety trials in healthy volunteers will probably begin early this summer, said Thomas W. Geisbert, an Ebola expert at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and the senior author of a report published on Wednesday in the journal Nature…” (Grady, 4/8).

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WHO Launches Global Registry Of Medical Response Teams For Humanitarian Crises

Agence France-Presse: WHO sets up emergency rapid response network
“The World Health Organization launched a new network of rapid response medical teams Wednesday to react to humanitarian crises across the globe…” (4/8).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. agency kicks off registry of vetted medical emergency teams, drawing lessons from past crises
“With global crises on the rise, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) [Wednesday] announced that its new registration system will enable it to build a global roster of foreign medical response teams ready to deploy in response to tsunamis, typhoons, floods, and outbreaks, such as Ebola and cholera…” (4/8).

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Australia's Foreign Aid Cuts Largest Among Developed Countries In 2014, OECD Figures Show

Australian Associated Press/The Guardian: Australia’s foreign aid cuts among the biggest in developed world
“Australian foreign aid cuts were some of the hardest among developed countries last year, and the world’s poorest are bearing the brunt. But Australia was not alone: OECD figures show 15 member countries reduced foreign aid in 2014 as many grappled with domestic debt. Australia was among the worst, cutting aid by 7.2 percent to 0.27 percent of gross national income (GNI) and dropping from 13th to 14th in OECD rankings…” (4/9).

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Funding From Public, Private Sector Crucial For Successful Post-2015 Development Agenda, U.N.'s Ban Says

U.N. News Centre: At thematic debate, U.N. chief urges efficient private sector funding for post-2015 development
“…Delivering the opening remarks to the U.N. General Assembly’s Informal Interactive Hearing for the Third International Conference on Financing for Development [Wednesday], the Secretary-General [Ban Ki-moon] told the gathering of delegates and private sector professionals that channeling both public and private sector cash flows into sustainable development initiatives would be ‘crucial for securing an ambitious post-2015 agenda’…” (4/8).

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South Asian Nations Pledge To Make Region AIDS-Free By 2030, As India Extends Assistance To Help Eradicate Polio

PTI/Economic Times: India extends support to make SAARC nations polio-free
“India today extended its assistance to [South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)] nations in making the region polio-free and said that it will share its best practices to help the countries achieve the goal. Chairing the 5th meeting of health ministers of SAARC nations, Health Minister JP Nadda stressed on the need for the nations to work together in promoting public health, prevent disease, and universalization of health coverage…” (4/8).

PTI/Economic Times: SAARC nations pledge to free region of AIDS by 2030
“SAARC nations today pledged to combat AIDS collectively to free the region of the ‘dreaded’ disease by 2030 while India extended its assistance to its neighbors to make them polio-free by sharing its best practices. Health Minister JP Nadda, after chairing the 5th meeting of health ministers of SAARC nations here, said a ‘cohesive’ group in the health sector has been developed which has a better ‘one to one relation’ and has a resolve that SAARC becomes a healthy region…” (4/8).

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U.N. Calls For $111M To Fund Humanitarian Activities In North Korea

U.N. News Centre: U.N. calls for $111 million to address urgent humanitarian priorities in DPR Korea
“The United Nations [Wednesday] called for some $111 million to fund its humanitarian operations in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DRPK) in 2015, covering activities in food and agriculture, health and nutrition, and water and sanitation…” (4/8).

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International Community Has Taken Major Strides Toward Eradicating Polio Since Salk Vaccine Debut 60 Years Ago

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Sixty years later, recalling the Jonas Salk polio ‘miracle’
“Sixty years ago this coming Sunday, the Salk polio vaccine was declared ‘safe, effective, and potent,’ an announcement cheered with the fervor of a national holiday. … While there are still three countries where transmission of polio has never been interrupted — Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan — great strides have been made elsewhere since 1955, when 600,000 around the world were infected with poliomyelitis…” (Linn, 4/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

Though 'Fine-Tuning' Warranted, SDG Development Process Should Be Lauded

The Economist: Worthy of support
Amar Bhattacharya, senior fellow at the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution, and Homi Kharas, senior fellow and deputy director of the program

“…The question is whether the 17 goals and 169 targets in the draft [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] are an ambitious response to global challenges or an unwieldy mess. We believe that while fine-tuning can be done, it is important not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The SDGs are worthy of support. … It is important to appreciate the political process that has led to this draft. Like all democratic processes, the result may be messy and leave many dissatisfied, but it reflects compromise and a desire for consensus. At a time when so much of the world is caught up in divisions and conflict, a truly global effort to create a better life for all and a sustainable future for our planet is a cause to celebrate not denigrate” (4/8).

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Ebola Outbreak Brought Partners Together To Respond To Crisis, Providing Lessons For Future Epidemics

Huffington Post: Ebola and the Accidental Consortia
Julia Barnes-Weise and Ana Santos Rutschman of the Innovation Technology Policy Lab at Duke University

“The global response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak was unusual. Mobilization of key players was relatively fast and once they entered the game these players — and the groundbreaking web of partnerships that emerged — accelerated the development and deployment of Ebola vaccines in unprecedented ways. … From the depths of a devastating disease, an unplanned case study in overcoming a disconnected system to deal with global health crises has emerged. The success of and learnings from these alliances of parties … provides a path, that, along with more focused and consistent resources behind [them] in the future, provide more effective parameters for fighting future global epidemics” (4/7).

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INGO, Private Sector Partnerships Can Generate Innovative Solutions For Lasting Impact

Devex: New consensus challenging us to ’embrace previously unimaginable possibilities’
Carolyn Miles, president and CEO of Save the Children and co-chair of the Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network

“…Over the past decade, Save the Children has engaged in strategic partnerships to address persistent development challenges in unconventional ways. … The possibilities for INGO and private sector partnerships are vast, but as global challenges shift, INGOs must continue to shift their approach as well. Uniting with the private sector, we can create a leadership model for achieving lasting impact for millions of the world’s most vulnerable girls and boys and by transforming children’s lives now, we change the course of their future and ours” (4/8).

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WaterAid America Calls On Governments To Commit To Providing WASH In Health Care Facilities

Huffington Post: The Basics of Maternal Health: Taking a Stand for Clean Water and Hygiene in Health Facilities
Lisa Schechtman, director of policy and advocacy at WaterAid America

“…WaterAid, as part of our new Healthy Start Campaign, is joining the International Day for Maternal Health and Rights by calling on the world’s governments to commit to providing water, sanitation, and hygiene in health care facilities. We believe that no new health care facility should be built without WASH, and that existing ones must have water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities added in. We believe that hygiene promotion should be a part of health care workers’ mandates, and that all households should have the water and soap they need to wash their hands, dishes, and all the other things we all desire to keep clean. Last but not least, we believe that no woman should ever have to give birth in an environment that doesn’t have a toilet, safe drinking water, and soap on the premises…” (4/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Investing In Next Generation Of Scientists Will Ensure Sustainability Of Progress Made On Eliminating NTDs

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: Training the Next Generation of Scientists from Disease Endemic Countries Should be a High Priority in Disease Elimination Efforts
“Serap Aksoy, co-editor in chief of PLOS NTDs, comments on the importance of training young scientists in the Tropical Infectious Disease community…” (4/9).

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Symposium Explores Global Cancer Care Research

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Creating a Roadmap for Global Cancer Care
Katey Peck, a program coordinator and research assistant at CSIS, discusses “the 2015 Symposium on Global Cancer Research in Boston. Co-hosted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH), the gathering took place on March 25, prior to the start of the 6th Annual CUGH Global Health Conference…” (4/8).

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Botswana Ministry Of Health Using Open-Source Software Tools, Data To Strengthen Health Workforce

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: Botswana Is Building a Strong Health System by Focusing on Health Workers
Alex Collins, program officer for CapacityPlus at IntraHealth International, and Sarah Dwyer, communications manager at IntraHealth International, discuss how Botswana’s Ministry of Health is using iHRIS — a suite of free, open source software tools used in 20 countries — in order to “strengthen the availability and use of health workforce data…” (4/8).

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Complex Factors Surround Implementation Of Self-Testing For HIV In Low-Income Countries, Analysis Shows

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Self-testing for HIV in low-income, high-incidence countries could save money, could improve outcomes … but it’s complicated, analysis finds
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses an analysis by Valentina Cambiano of the University College of London and others, titled “Assessment of the Potential Impact and Cost-effectiveness of Self-Testing for HIV in Low-Income Countries,” and recently published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases (4/8).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has published Issue 263 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features 12 news articles, including pieces on Executive Director Mark Dybul’s report to the Board, the Office of the Inspector General’s 2014 report, and outcomes of the 33rd Board meeting (4/8).

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