KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Ugandan Court Invalidates Country's Anti-Homosexuality Law

News outlets report on the Ugandan Constitutional Court’s decision to invalidate the country’s anti-gay law.

Agence France-Presse: Uganda court scraps new anti-gay law
“Uganda’s Constitutional Court on Friday overturned tough new anti-gay laws that had been branded draconian by rights groups, saying they had been wrongly passed by parliament…” (8/1).

Associated Press/New York Times: Ugandan Court Invalidates Anti-Gay Law
“A Ugandan court on Friday invalidated an anti-gay bill signed into law earlier this year, saying the measure is illegal because it was passed during a parliamentary session that lacked a quorum…” (8/1).

BBC News: Uganda court annuls anti-homosexuality law
“Uganda’s Constitutional Court has annulled tough anti-gay legislation signed into law in February. It ruled that the bill was passed by MPs in December without the requisite quorum and was therefore illegal…” (8/1).

Deutsche Welle: Uganda Constitutional Court strikes down anti-homosexuality law
“The panel of judges in Uganda’s Constitutional Court declared the country’s anti-homosexuality law invalid on Friday. It cited improper parliamentary procedure in its ruling. In December, the speaker of parliament allowed the bill’s passage despite several objections from lawmakers. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni then signed it into law in February…” (8/1).

The Independent: Uganda court strikes down tough anti-homosexuality law as ‘null and void’
“Uganda’s constitutional court has struck down an anti-homosexuality law punishing gay sex with long jail sentences, on the basis that it was passed during a parliamentary session lacking a quorum…” (Saul, 8/1).

NPR: Court In Uganda Throws Out Anti-Gay Law
“A court in Uganda has thrown out a controversial law that punished acts of homosexuality harshly, including with life in prison…” (Peralta, 8/1).

Reuters: Ugandan constitutional court strikes down anti-homosexuality law
“Uganda’s constitutional court struck down on Friday an anti-homosexuality law that punishes gay sex with long jail sentences, citing procedural irregularities in the way the legislation was enacted…” (8/1).

TIME: Uganda Court Throws Out Anti-Gay Law on Technicality
“Uganda’s Constitutional Court invalidated the country’s controversial anti-gay law Friday, finding that the legislature violated its own procedural rules when passing the bill earlier this year…” (8/1).

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Human Rights, Ebola Possible Topics Of Discussion At Upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit

News outlets report on potential topics of discussion for the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit that is scheduled to take place in Washington, D.C., next week.

Devex: Will LGBTI policy be discussed at all at U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit?
“…LGBTI advocates are asking whether the invitations [to both the Ugandan and Nigerian presidents to attend the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit] are a contrary display to the U.S. stance on LGBTI rights, and lament that the issue of anti-gay discrimination in Africa does not officially sit on the agenda alongside trade and investment for the summit in Washington, which will serve to create stronger U.S.-Africa ties with more than 40 African leaders…” (Rogers, 8/1).

Inter Press Service: Human Rights Low on U.S.-Africa Policy Summit
“As the White House prepares to host more than 40 African heads of state for the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, civil society actors from the U.S., Africa, and the international community are urging the Barack Obama administration to use the summit as an opportunity to more thoroughly address some of Africa’s most pressing human rights violations…” (Hotz, 7/31).

Reuters: Ebola to be discussed at Washington summit next week: U.S. official
“The spread of the deadly Ebola virus and assistance for affected countries will be discussed during an African summit in Washington next week, a senior State Department official said on Thursday…” (7/31).

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Birx Allays Fears Among Kenyan Activists, Officials That U.S. Plans To Cut PEPFAR Funding

Standard Digital: U.S. dispels fears that it will cut HIV/AIDS funding to Kenya
“The Barack Obama administration has allayed fears that it was slashing funding for fighting the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Kenya through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx dispelled the fears raised by civil societies, health officials, and persons living with HIV/AIDS over reduced support for drugs like ARVs…” (Ohito, 7/30).

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U.S. Issues Travel Advisories, Plans Vaccine Trial Amid Worsening West African Ebola Outbreak

News outlets report on U.S. government reactions to the West African Ebola outbreak, including the issuance of travel advisories and plans for a vaccine trial.

Associated Press/ABC News: U.S. Warns Against Traveling to Ebola-Hit Countries
“U.S. health officials on Thursday warned Americans not to travel to the three West African countries hit by an outbreak of Ebola…” (Stobbe, 7/31).

CQ HealthBeat: U.S. Steps Up Response to Ebola Outbreak, Issues Advisory
“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden said Thursday that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is worsening and that his agency is sending dozens more workers to the region in response, as well as issuing an advisory against non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone…” (Reichard, 7/31).

Reuters: U.S. advises against non-essential travel to countries hit by Ebola
“…In a conference call with reporters, Frieden said the United States is joining the World Health Organization and others in escalating efforts to fight Ebola. He estimated that it could take at least three to six months to get the outbreak under control…” (Steenhuysen, 7/31).

Reuters: U.S. government seeking to test Ebola vaccine on humans: reports
“The U.S. government will begin testing on people an experimental Ebola vaccine as early as September, after seeing positive results from tests on primates, according to media reports on Thursday…” (Dobuzinskis, 7/31).

USA TODAY: NIH to launch early Ebola vaccine trial in September
“…Results from the study should be available by January, [Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,] said. If the vaccine proves safe and effective, Fauci said he expects that it could be given to health workers in affected African countries sometime in 2015…” (Szabo, 7/31).

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WHO, West African Nations Announce $100M Plan To Combat Ebola

News outlets report on the announcement of a $100 million plan to fight Ebola in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: African leaders to launch $100m Ebola battle plan
“The head of the World Health Organization and presidents of the West African countries suffering the world’s worst-ever Ebola outbreak met in Guinea on Friday to launch a $100 million emergency response…” (Bah, 8/1).

New York Times: African Leaders and WHO Intensify Effort to Combat Ebola Virus
“The leaders of West African nations ravaged by the worst known outbreak of the Ebola virus were set to meet on Friday with the head of the World Health Organization to introduce a $100 million plan to deploy hundreds more medical professionals in support of overstretched regional and international health workers…” (Nossiter/Cowell, 8/1).

Reuters: WHO launching $100 million plan to combat Ebola
“The World Health Organization is launching a $100 million response plan to combat an ‘unprecedented’ outbreak of Ebola in West Africa that has killed 729 people out of 1,323 infected since February, the U.N. agency said on Thursday…” (Nebehay, 7/31).

WHO: WHO Director-General, West African presidents to launch intensified Ebola outbreak response plan
“…The Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response Plan in West Africa identifies the need for several hundred more personnel to be deployed in affected countries to supplement overstretched treatment facilities. Hundreds of international aid workers, as well as 120-plus WHO staff, are already supporting national and regional response efforts. But more are urgently required…” (7/31).

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Media Outlets Cover Various Aspects Of West African Ebola Outbreak

Listed below are recent news stories regarding various aspects of the worsening Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Americans With Ebola To Be Evacuated To U.S.
ABC News: Two Americans With Ebola to Be Flown Back to U.S.
ABC News: Ebola-Stricken Doc Gives ‘Experimental Serum’ to Coworker
Politico: Ebola patient expected at special unit at Emory Hospital
Reuters: Ebola patient coming to U.S. as aid workers’ health worsens

Nations Step Up Emergency Efforts
Agence France-Presse: East Africa boosts anti-Ebola measures
Agence France-Presse: U.K. border staff unprepared for Ebola outbreak: union
IRIN: Rising Ebola cases strain health workers
IRIN: Ebola — softly, softly on bush meat
New York Times: Emergency Efforts in Africa to Contain Ebola as Toll Rises
Scientific American: Ebola Outbreak “Worsening” in West Africa

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Food Insecurity Continues To Worsen In South Sudan As Funds Decline

News outlets report on the worsening food security situation in South Sudan.

Agence France-Presse: Tutu plea to world leaders: Don’t forget South Sudan
“South African Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu on Thursday urged world leaders focused on conflict in the Middle East and Ukraine not to forget the ‘ghastly suffering’ in South Sudan…” (7/30).

IRIN: Briefing: South Sudan heads towards famine
“More than a third of South Sudan’s population is at risk of severe food insecurity as a result of the ongoing conflict, and the international community, NGOs, and local organizations are sounding the alarm over an impending famine…” (7/31).

U.N. News Centre: Food insecurity in South Sudan set to deepen as funds dry up, warns U.N. agency
“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned today that food insecurity continues to deepen in South Sudan as funding for life-saving assistance dwindles…” (7/31).

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U.N. Calls For Renewed Emergency Funds To Address Food Shortages In Sahel

The Guardian: Refugees and patchy rains trigger new Sahel hunger crisis
“About $100 million of funding is needed from international donors to pay for food security programs in the Sahel, the U.N. has warned, as more than 20 million people continue to face shortages…” (Anderson, 7/31).

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U.N.-Backed Summit Calls For Enhanced Donor Commitments To LDCs

U.N. News Centre: At U.N.-backed summit, least developed countries urge enhanced partnerships, aid commitments
“At the closing today of a conference in Cotonou, Benin, ministers, senior government officials, and United Nations representatives called on donor countries to fulfill their commitments and go even further, by allocating at least 50 percent of their overseas development assistance (ODA) and ‘aid for trade’ disbursement, to the world’s least developed countries (LDCs)…” (7/31).

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Drug-Resistant Malaria Found In Border Regions Of SE Asia; Experts Bid To Stamp Out Disease

News outlets report on efforts to combat drug-resistant malaria found in border regions of Southeast Asia.

Deutsche Welle: Threat from drug-resistant malaria is ‘immense’
“Drug-resistant malaria parasites are spreading across Southeast Asia, a new study found. Oxford University’s Elizabeth Ashley, who led the study, tells DW the mutation poses a major threat to advances in malaria control…” (Dominguez, 7/31).

The Guardian: Malaria experts bid to stamp out disease before parasite becomes drug resistant
“Some of the world’s leading malaria experts are advocating a radical plan to try to stamp out the disease before resistance to the newest and best drugs used to treat it grows too widespread…” (Boseley, 7/30).

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Life Expectancy In South Africa Rises To 61.2 Years Due To ARV Program

Agence France-Presse: South Africa’s life expectancy jumps to 61.2 years
“Life expectancy in AIDS-hit South Africa has shot up sharply over the past decade, thanks to life prolonging antiretroviral (ARVs) treatment, latest estimates from the country’s statistics agency showed Thursday…” (7/31).

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Project In Nepal Addresses HIV Issues Among Migrants In Region

SciDev.Net: View on Migration: Anti-HIV measures that cross borders
“…Prabodh Devkota is senior regional project director of humanitarian charity CARE International’s EMPHASIS (Enhancing Mobile Populations’ Access to HIV and AIDS Services, Information and Support) project. Headquartered in Nepal, EMPHASIS was set up in 2009 to address the HIV vulnerability of migrants moving between Bangladesh, Nepal, and India…” (Mathers, 7/31).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S.-Africa Leaders' Summit Should Focus On Establishing Maternal, Child Health Plan

The Hill: Concentrate on Africa’s Children
Mark Shriver, senior vice president for strategic initiatives with Save the Children, and Tanzania President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete

“…The U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit on August 5 and 6 offers an opportunity to boldly commit to prioritizing maternal, newborn and child survival in Africa. The good news is that there is such a bold plan. It is called Accelerating Action in Africa (AAA) and it is designed to dramatically accelerate the reduction of preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths in Africa … We ask that President Obama join with African leaders at the Summit to launch an international ‘Action Tank,’ a group comprised of the brightest minds … who will be well equipped to tackle this unique challenge and design a truly innovative 21st century idea that solves a problem — not just tinkers with it. Presidential initiatives like this have been set up before and they have achieved incredible results. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has provided life-saving treatment for more than six million people…” (7/31).

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Momentum Generated In Achieving MDGs Must Not Be Wasted

Devex: 500 days: Make them count
Charles Lyons, president and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

“Five hundred days sounds like a long time, but compared with 15 years, it is the blink of an eye. And in fewer than 500 days we will reach Dec. 31, 2015, the target date of the Millennium Development Goals. … As we look to 2030, we cannot be satisfied with the progress we’ve made, no matter how improbable it seemed 15 years ago. In the twilight of the Millennium Development Goals, we have generated momentum and we must not waste it. Over the next 500 days, we must work harder than ever to raise awareness and strengthen the resolve of the global community so that we accomplish even more over the next 15 years. What we are able to achieve and express as a global community in these next 500 days may very well define thousands of days to come. Let’s make them count” (7/31).

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Lessons From Three Countries In Africa On Preventing, Treating HIV/AIDS

New York Times: On AIDS: Three Lessons From Africa
Tina Rosenberg, author and Pulitzer Prize winner

“…[W]e’re interested in what separates success from failure. We’re especially interested in positive deviants — the people, places, and institutions that are doing much better than others with the same resources. What are they doing that others are not? And what can we learn from that? In honor of the AIDS conference, I’m looking this week at three different — and surprising — positive deviants, countries that are doing very well on some aspect of fighting AIDS.” These countries include Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Malawi (7/31).

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VMMC Scale-Up In Africa Will Help Reach AIDS-Free Generation

Huffington Post: A Lesson in Health: Scaling Up Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision
Leslie Mancuso, president and CEO of Jhpiego

“…[M]ore than one million men and youth in sub-Saharan Africa … have chosen to protect themselves and reduce their lifetime risk of contracting HIV by participating in Jhpiego-supported VMMC [(voluntary medical male circumcision)] programs. This is a significant milestone that contributed to the U.S. government’s goal of providing 4.7 million men with access to this safe and effective procedure that reduces female-to-male HIV transmission by approximately 60 percent and could avert an estimated 3.4 million new infections. … Combined with other critical prevention tools, the scale-up of VMMC is providing men with lifelong, increased protection from this devastating epidemic and pushing the pace of change toward creating an AIDS-free generation in our lifetime” (7/31).

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India Needs 'Investment In Waste-Treatment Infrastructure'

Huffington Post: Poor Sanitation: The Startling Link to Childhood Malnutrition
Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin chair in water research at Michigan State University

“…To help ensure a brighter future for India’s youth, the nation requires an investment in waste-treatment infrastructure, including toilets and waste-water treatment. Disinfection must play a role to lower disease risks. To achieve this, India will need professionally trained operators and engineers, chemists, microbiologists, doctors and nurses trained in public health, and managers to implement universal sanitation…” (7/31).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Birx, Farmer Speak At White House World Hepatitis Day Event

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Birx, Farmer: Global AIDS lessons can inform, equip hepatitis response
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, recaps a White House World Hepatitis Day event at which Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx and Partners In Health Co-founder Paul Farmer spoke (7/31).

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Germany Increases 2014 Contribution To Global Fund

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund Welcomes Germany’s Increased Contribution
“The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria warmly welcomed a decision by the German parliament to increase Germany’s contribution to €245 million for 2014 in the budget for this year, reaffirming a strong commitment to global health…” (7/31).

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CSIS 'Critical Questions' Piece Discusses Ebola Outbreak

Center for Strategic & International Studies: West Africa’s Galloping Ebola Crisis
In a “Critical Questions” piece, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, answers several questions regarding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa (7/31).

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PLOS NTDs Examines Challenges Around Acute Chagas Disease

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Acute Chagas Disease: New Global Challenges for an Old Neglected Disease
Daniela Andrade and Walderez Dutra of the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais in Brazil, and Kenneth Gollob of the National Institute for Science and Technology in Tropical Diseases, discuss the global challenges of acute Chagas disease in this review piece (7/31).

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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 248 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter includes articles on the 20th International AIDS Conference and possible Global Fund revenue streams, among others (7/31).

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