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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Democratic Presidential Nominee Clinton Calls On Congress To Reconvene In Special Session To Approve Zika Funding

The Atlantic: Hillary Clinton to Congress: Come Back to D.C. and Fund Zika Research
“Hillary Clinton has a message for congressional Republicans: Get back to work. At a Florida campaign stop on Tuesday, the Democratic presidential nominee urged members to return to Washington and pass additional funding for Zika, which public-health officials confirmed last month has spread locally in the Miami area…” (Kelly, 8/9).

CNN: Clinton: Congress must return to fund Zika fight
“…In remarks after the tour [of the Borinquen Medical Center], Clinton insisted Republican leaders in Congress … call for a special session to either craft a bipartisan compromise bill to provide funding for fighting the disease or to pass legislation that stalled before lawmakers left Washington for a seven-week recess last month…” (Merica/Lee, 8/9).

The Hill: Clinton calls on Congress to pass Zika bill ‘immediately’
“… ‘I am very disappointed that the Congress went on recess before actually agreeing on what they would do to put the resources into this fight,’ Clinton said during a Tuesday visit to a health center in Miami, where there have been a number of recent cases of Zika transmitted by mosquitoes…” (Sullivan, 8/9).

POLITICO: Clinton calls out Congress on Florida Zika outbreak
“…The former secretary of state said the failure of Congress to act does ‘a grave disservice’ to the many medical professionals on the front lines trying to keep the virus from spreading…” (Kim/Bustos, 8/9).

USA TODAY: Clinton calls on Congress to return, address Zika funding
“…As of early August, there have been more than 1,800 cases of Zika confirmed across the U.S. The Wynwood neighborhood of Miami that Clinton visited is where the first cases of local transmission have been detected…” (Przybyla, 8/9).

Washington Post: Clinton urges GOP congressional leaders to take emergency action on Zika
“… ‘I would very much urge the leadership of Congress to call people back for a special session and get a bill passed,’ [Clinton] said…” (Gearan, 8/9).

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HHS Secretary Burwell Warns Of Dwindling Zika Funds In Letter To Congress

The Hill: Health chief warns Congress: Zika funds quickly running out
“Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell is warning that administration funds to fight the Zika virus are quickly running out. In a letter to congressional Republicans sent Monday, Burwell points to a range of responses that will be impaired if Congress does not provide new funding. The letter comes as Democrats and Republicans point fingers at each other over who is to blame for the lack of Zika funding…” (Sullivan, 8/9).

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Zika Spreading Quickly In Puerto Rico But Prevention Efforts Challenged By Mistrust, Complacency

NPR: Puerto Rico’s Efforts To Stop Zika Are Hampered By Mistrust, Disease Overload
“Puerto Rico has more reported cases of Zika than many other places in the region, and the number of cases continues to rise. Unfortunately, Zika is just one of the island’s many problems…” (Beaubien, 8/10).

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Zika Possibly Linked To Birth Disorders Other Than Microcephaly, Small Study Suggests

The Guardian: Zika virus could be linked with ‘whole spectrum’ of disorders
“A study by scientists in Brazil that suggests a possible link between the Zika virus and rare, but severe, joint deformities in babies has led experts to warn that the virus could be linked to a host of other problems in babies, some of which might only become apparent as they get older…” (Davis, 8/9).

Reuters: Study details possible link between Zika and severe joint condition
“…In an analysis of seven cases of children with joint deformities, the researchers said the abnormalities — a condition known as arthrogryposis — could be a result of Zika’s effect on the developing baby’s motor neurons, cells that control the contraction, or relaxation of muscles. In all the cases, the mother also had either documented Zika infection, a Zika-like rash during pregnancy or had given birth to a baby with an abnormally small head…” (Kelland, 8/9).

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2M People In Aleppo, Syria, Without Running Water; U.N. Urges Humanitarian Pause In Fighting To Fix Electrical System, Deliver Medical Supplies

Newsweek: Two Million People in Aleppo Don’t Have Access to Running Water: U.N.
“The humanitarian crisis is escalating in the Syrian city of Aleppo, as two million people have lost their access to running water…” (Westcott, 8/9).

NPR: 2 Million Residents Of War-Ravaged Aleppo Now Without Running Water
“…The United Nations is calling for an immediate halt to the fighting and at minimum a two-day weekly humanitarian cease-fire to allow for the city’s water and electrical systems to be repaired…” (Domonoske, 8/9).

Reuters: U.N. urges Aleppo ceasefire to repair water system, stem outbreaks
“…Access is needed to deliver food and medical supplies and for technicians to repair electricity networks that drive water pumping stations, which were heavily damaged in attacks on civilian infrastructure last week…” (Nebehay, 8/9).

U.N. News Centre: As temperatures soar and taps run dry in war-ravaged Aleppo, U.N. warns of looming ‘catastrophe’
“…Immediately following his closed-door briefing to the Security Council on the ‘horrific’ humanitarian situation in Aleppo, U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien told reporters that the fighting is ‘raging’ in Syria’s second city where two million people are now living in fear of besiegement…” (8/9).

Xinhua News: No more water for war-ravaged Aleppo: UNICEF
“… ‘Children and families in Aleppo are facing a catastrophic situation. These cuts are coming amid a heat wave, putting children at a grave risk of waterborne diseases,’ said UNICEF’s representative in Syria, Hanaa Singer, in a statement. ‘Getting clean water running again cannot wait for the fighting to stop. Children’s lives are in serious danger,’ she added…” (8/9).

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Poor Sanitation, Lack Of Access To Clean Water Increase Risk Of Disease Outbreaks In Sierra Leone, Liberia, WaterAid Says

Agence France-Presse: S. Leone, Liberia risk Ebola-like outbreaks from poor sanitation
“Sierra Leone and Liberia risk new deadly epidemics akin to the impact of the Ebola virus due to lack of clean water and hygienic conditions in most homes, an NGO warned Tuesday. WaterAid said the two provisions were the ‘first line of defense’ against infectious diseases but needed to be put into place before outbreaks began…” (8/9).

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WHO, Partners Continue Yellow Fever Vaccination, Prevention Efforts In Angola, DRC

U.N. News Centre: Measures to control yellow fever still needed despite drop in number of cases — U.N. health agency
“The United Nations health agency and its partners are continuing their programs against yellow fever outbreaks even though the epidemic, first reported in January 2016, appears to be declining, with no new cases confirmed in the last six weeks. The U.N. World Health Organization expects that more than 17 million additional people will be vaccinated in Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo before the rainy season starts in September…” (8/9).

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Guinea Worm Eradication Efforts Hampered By Infections Among Dogs, Scientists Say

NPR: Why The World Isn’t Close To Eradicating Guinea Worm
“…[N]ow it looks like Guinea worm might not need people, says Mark Eberhard, a scientist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who just got back from Chad to assess the dog situation. ‘It looks like dogs can drive infections, too.’ And so to eradicate Guinea worm, the world has to wipe out the worm not only in people but also in dogs…” (Doucleff, 8/9).

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Al Jazeera Examines HIV Prevention Efforts To Redefine Men's Roles In Swaziland

Al Jazeera: Swaziland and HIV: Redrawing what it means to be a man
“…The scourge of HIV/AIDS during the 1990s and 2000s means that half of the population of Swaziland are children and almost a third of adults have HIV. But a strong notion of male pride and a sense of duty to provide for others, means many men conceal their HIV status and continue to work even when unwell. The men also stay away from health clinics, which tend to be female-centered, where they could get a diagnosis and treatment. As a result, while more women contract HIV, more men die as a result of it…” (McNeish, 8/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

Investing In Global Development, Food Security Initiatives Important For U.S. National Security

The Hill: Global development initiatives — why it matters
Sylvain Roy, president and CEO of Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA)

“…[W]hy should the United States invest in supporting global development while we are facing many urgent needs domestically? How do we justify spending money abroad to address the world’s food security needs when so many pressing issues need to be addressed within our own country? The answer is simple. … First, in the most pragmatic sense, helping others in the world to produce a dependable supply of food enhances America’s national security. … Second … improving the ability of smallholder farmers to move beyond subsistence farming helps elevate whole communities. … Third, helping to fund the training of farmers to adopt better agricultural practices … helps improve quality along the food value chain … Fourth, providing agricultural technical assistance … creates a two-way exchange. … Finally, there is the matter of our moral responsibility. … Those are only five reasons. But there are many more. That is why it is imperative to continue to include international development efforts — like those the Global Food Security Act will fund — as a ‘key pillar of American foreign policy’…” (8/9).

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Expanding Access To Family Planning Critical To Health Of All People

Huffington Post: When There’s No Olympic Opt-Out: Reproductive Rights In The Time Of Zika
David Fleming, PATH’s vice president of public health, and Milka Dinev, regional adviser for the Latin American and Caribbean Forum of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition

“…Empowering women to control their reproductive outcomes is a critical, highly effective strategy for preventing the most damaging effects of Zika, and it’s something we can do right now. … [T]he benefits of expanding access to voluntary, rights-based family planning extend beyond Zika. When women and girls can take charge of their reproductive health, it yields exponential gains — improving their lives as well as the health, productivity, and prosperity of their families and communities. Epidemics always expose inequity, with the poor and marginalized paying the highest price. … [I]t’s incumbent upon all of us to make sure men and women in Zika-affected areas have the same power to protect their families [as those with more resources have]” (8/9).

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Partnerships To Train Frontline Workforce Can Help End Malnutrition

Devex: A silver medal’s not good enough when it comes to nutrition
Carolyn MacDonald, nutrition director and founder of the Nutrition Center of Expertise at World Vision International

“…[T]he current human capacity to implement evidence-based nutrition interventions is glaringly insufficient. There are limited professional training programs in countries with the highest burden of malnutrition. … Having seen the success of these courses in equipping practitioners from national to local levels, we are reaching out to funders and partners to scale them up. Partnering … with regionally and nationally competent institutions enables a coordinated and systemized capacity-strengthening approach that will reach the front lines. … Imagine the impact on the children around the globe if the world invested … in ending malnutrition, and, at the same time invested in a coordinated and systematic equipping of the workforce to make that vision a reality. That would increase the return on investment. That would change the game” (8/9).

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Lack Of WASH Access, High Number Of Stunted Children Highlight India's Inequality, Poverty

The Guardian: India’s poor sanitation is damaging millions of children. There’s no excuse
Rose George, author

“…[T]here is too much about modern India that is not fair. Modern India has a massive middle class …, economic growth that makes market economists salivate, and the third largest number of billionaires. It also has 250 million people with zero assets. … And, as … a new report by WaterAid reveals, it has more stunted children than any other country. … Half of all cases of malnutrition are linked to diarrhea, says WaterAid. If a child experiences five or more cases of diarrhea before the age of two, he or she may be stunted. Beyond that age, ‘the effects are largely irreversible.’ … Do we have to wait for this generation to grow up before we stop tolerating the current levels of inequality and poverty? … [T]he poverty on the other side is not only unfair and unacceptable, it’s fixable” (8/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Fund Executive Director Reflects On Last 16 Years Of AIDS Response

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s “VOICES”: The Next 16 Years
Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, reporting on the International AIDS Conference recently held in Durban, reflects on advances made in response to the AIDS epidemic within the last 16 years. Dybul writes, “AIDS 2016 … shone a light on the uncertainty in the future of the HIV response. … A report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS issued ahead [of] AIDS 2016 shows that donor government funding to support HIV efforts in low- and middle-income countries fell for the first time in five years in 2015. … But there was hope from the conference as well. … It will be much harder to make the quick progress and impact we made in the last 16 years. But today, we have an advantage over 2000: we now have the knowledge and tools to end HIV, TB, and malaria as epidemics…” (8/4).

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WHO To Convene Expert Review Group To Examine Links Between Hormonal Contraceptive Methods, Risk Of HIV Infection Among Women

WHO: Hormonal contraception and the risk of HIV acquisition in women
“The World Health Organization will convene an expert review group later in 2016 to examine the links between the use of various hormonal contraceptive methods and women’s risk of HIV acquisition. The expert review group will assess whether current WHO guidance needs to change in the light of a new review of data, published in AIDS on 9 August 2016, which was commissioned by WHO…” (8/9).

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