KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- U.S. President Obama Calls On Congress To Pass Zika Funding; Stalemate Discussed On Campaign Trails As Local Transmission Spreads In U.S., Puerto Rico
Agence France-Presse: Obama presses Congress for Zika funding as worries grow
“U.S. President Barack Obama called on Congress Saturday to step up funding to combat the Zika virus, warning that delay is putting more Americans at risk. Obama’s latest appeal, in his weekly radio address, came the day after the U.S. authorities expressed deepening worry about the spread of the mosquito-borne virus, urging that all donated blood be tested for Zika…” (8/27).
The Hill: Clinton sides with GOP on emergency health fund
“Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton vowed Wednesday to create a public health emergency fund that she says would have averted the yearlong fight in Congress over funding to combat the Zika virus. Clinton is endorsing an idea long supported by Democrats — and, more recently, by Republican leadership in Congress…” (Ferris, 8/24).
Roll Call: Despite Spending Feud, NIH Makes Do in Fight Against Zika
“Development of a vaccine to combat the Zika virus is on track for at least the next three or four months, despite the bitter congressional standoff over funding a response. But the scientist in charge of the effort said [August 17] the money is likely to dry up in December…” (Lesniewski, 8/18).
Roll Call: Zika Spending Stalemate in Congress Spills Over Into Campaigns
“Debate over how a divided Congress should respond to the Zika virus moved from Washington to the campaign trail in the first half of the summer recess, ranging from the presidential campaign to House contests…” (Shutt, 8/15).
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Declares Health Emergency in Puerto Rico Over Zika Virus
“The federal government on [August 12] declared a public health emergency in Puerto Rico because of the spread of Zika, saying the island’s pregnant women were particularly at risk because of the possible birth defects linked to the virus…” (Burton, 8/12).
- U.N. Secretary General Says Agency Has 'Moral Responsibility' To Assist Haitian Cholera Victims After U.S. Court Upholds U.N. Immunity In Compensation Case
Al Jazeera: U.N. admits role in deadly Haiti cholera outbreak
“The United Nations acknowledged on [August 18] that it played a role in the 2010 Haiti cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 10,000 Haitians and infected more than 770,000…” (8/19).
CNN: U.N.: We have ‘moral responsibility’ to help Haitian cholera victims
“In a major shift, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has indicated the United Nations is preparing to compensate for the cholera outbreak in Haiti that killed at least 10,000 people…” (Roth, 8/19).
Foreign Policy: U.N. Mulls Compensation for Victims of Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic
“…On [August 19], a U.N. spokesman said for the first time that the organization is mulling offering some form of compensation to victims of the disease that has sullied the reputation of the international organization and of the Nepalese peacekeepers who are believed to have introduced the disease into Haiti…” (Lynch, 8/19).
New York Times: U.S. Court Upholds United Nations’ Immunity in Cholera Suit
“A United States federal appeals panel has upheld the argument that the United Nations cannot be sued in American courts, dealing a setback in a class-action lawsuit brought on behalf of thousands of cholera victims in Haiti. The ruling by the three-judge panel in New York was released on Thursday, a day after a spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged for the first time that the United Nations played a role in the outbreak, which killed thousands of people…” (Katz, 8/18).
New York Times: U.N. Admits Role in Cholera Epidemic in Haiti
“…The deputy spokesman for the secretary general, Farhan Haq, said in an email this week that ‘over the past year, the U.N. has become convinced that it needs to do much more regarding its own involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.’ He added that a ‘new response will be presented publicly within the next two months, once it has been fully elaborated, agreed with the Haitian authorities, and discussed with member states’…” (Katz, 8/17).
NPR: U.N. Admits Role In Haiti Cholera Outbreak That Has Killed Thousands
“…A panel of experts appointed by the U.N. found that the strain of cholera that popped up in Haiti was ‘a perfect match’ for a strain found in Nepal. Nepalese peacekeepers were staying at the U.N. camp, and poor sanitation sent sewage from the camp into local waterways. In 2013, activists sued the U.N. over the cholera outbreak…” (Domonoske, 8/18).
NPR: Debate Continues Over U.N. Role In Bringing Cholera To Haiti
“…Critics of the agency say that the U.N.’s failure to take responsibility for the outbreak has been a public relations nightmare and an insult to the people of Haiti. The outbreak began in October of 2010. At that time, cholera hadn’t been reported in Haiti in more than 100 years…” (Beaubien, 8/18).
Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.S. judge upholds U.N. immunity in Haiti cholera case
“…In a decision late on [August 18], the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upheld a lower court’s January 2015 dismissal of a lawsuit brought by lawyers seeking compensation and a public apology for 5,000 Haitian cholera victims. ‘We have considered all of plaintiffs’ arguments on appeal and find them to be without merit,’ the U.S. appellate judges concluded…” (Moloney, 8/19).
Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.N. remarks on Haiti cholera a ‘groundbreaking’ step to justice, say lawyers
“Lawyers seeking compensation for Haitians killed or sickened by cholera that they blame on United Nations peacekeepers said the U.N.’s admission on Thursday of its possible involvement in the outbreak was a breakthrough in their legal battle…” (Moloney, 8/18).
U.N. News Centre: Citing U.N.’s moral responsibility, Ban pledges support to Haiti in overcoming cholera epidemic
“…Sustained efforts by national authorities and the international community have contributed to a 90 percent reduction in the number of cases since the peak in 2011. ‘However, eliminating cholera from Haiti will take the full commitment of the Haitian government and the international community and, crucially, the resources to fulfill our shared duty,’ the statement [from the secretary general’s spokesperson] explained…” (8/19).
U.N. News Centre: INTERVIEW: Funding to prevent cholera is crucial to advance development in Haiti — UNICEF’s Marc Vincent
“…Following the statement, the U.N. News Centre spoke with the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative for Haiti, Marc Vincent, for an update on the situation on the ground…” (8/19).
- Ahead Of November U.S. Presidential Election, Devex Examines Democrats', Republicans' Global Development Platforms
Devex: Where they stand: Democrats and Republicans on global development
“…How might either a Clinton or Trump administration take the ball forward on global development? Devex examined the official Democratic and Republican party platforms to find out. As might be expected, our analysis of the platforms reveals glaring differences in official party positions on the direction of the U.S. global development agenda…” (Piccio, 8/16).
- U.S. To Provide Nearly $138M In Additional Humanitarian Aid To South Sudan
The Hill: U.S. to provide $138M in aid to South Sudan amid humanitarian crisis
“The Obama administration on Monday announced a new aid package of nearly $138 million to South Sudan, as the planet’s youngest country struggles to confront a humanitarian crisis. … The new support includes nearly 58,000 metric tons of food and nutrition, the State Department said, as well as health supplies. More than 140 cases of cholera have been reported across the country, raising fears about a new outbreak…” (Hattem, 8/22).
- Yellow Fever Immunization Campaign Nears Completion In Kinshasa, WHO Says; Concerns Remain Over Wider Outbreak, Lack Of Vaccines
The Guardian: Fears of global yellow fever epidemic grow as vaccine stocks dwindle
“A last-ditch effort to prevent yellow fever spreading through Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and potentially developing into a global epidemic is to be launched using vaccines containing a fifth of the normal dose because the global stockpile is so low…” (Boseley, 8/16).
Reuters: Yellow fever vaccination drive in Congo’s capital hits target
“A vaccination campaign against yellow fever in Congo’s capital is almost complete, but the gains may be reversed by the looming rainy season and the spread of the disease to areas where people have not yet been vaccinated, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday…” (Ross, 8/26).
Washington Post: As globe-threatening yellow fever epidemic explodes in Congo, people ask ‘where is the vaccine?’
“…Unlike Zika (or Ebola, and other reemerging threats), there already exists a yellow fever vaccine — one that’s cheap, lifelong, and highly efficacious. But advancements in the yellow fever approach plateaued almost seven decades ago, when success against the infection suppressed transmission — and concern…” (Baumgaertner, 8/22).
- WHO, Partners To Launch 5-Nation Polio Vaccine Campaign Following Outbreak In Nigeria
Motherboard: Boko Haram Has Prevented Nigeria From Eliminating Polio
“…[N]ews broke on [August 11] that two cases of polio had been found in children living in the northern state of Borno, the birthplace of militant group Boko Haram. It was a setback for Nigeria’s program, but also a stark and sobering reminder that public health efforts, even if backed by millions of dollars and years of planning, can be quickly undone by violence. … Nigeria had been a tough country to treat even before Boko Haram, said Josh Michaud, associate director for global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation…” (Rao, 8/12).
New York Times: Polio Response in Africa to Be Fast, Difficult and Possibly Dangerous
“The counterattack against resurgent polio in Africa will be rapid, logistically difficult, and potentially dangerous, involving millions of doses of vaccine, thousands of vaccinators, and the health ministries and militaries of five countries, experts from the World Health Organization and other groups say…” (McNeil, 8/12).
Washington Post: WHO will vaccinate in five African nations after polio outbreak
“…Michel Zaffran, who directs the WHO’s efforts to eradicate the disease, said a six-round campaign of vaccinations for children younger than five would begin shortly in Nigeria’s northeastern Borno state and quickly expand to Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and the Central African Republic in coming weeks…” (Bernstein, 8/12).
- WHO, WFP Ramping Up Aid To Ease Food, Health Crises In Boko Haram-Hit Northeast Nigeria
Quartz: WHO is stepping in to ease a food and health crisis in Nigeria’s camps for Boko Haram victims
“Over the past year, Nigeria has made gains in the fight against Boko Haram, regaining territory and rescuing abducted citizens. But evidence of the terrorist group’s ruthless reign in the country’s northeast remains. Camps for displaced people who fled their homes in fear of being killed are overpopulated and lacking in amenities and food. Last month, Nigeria declared a ‘nutritional emergency’ in Borno, the state with the highest number of displaced people…” (Kazeem, 8/24).
Reuters: Without aid, 49,000 children will die this year in northeast Nigeria — U.N.
“Nearly half a million children around Lake Chad face ‘severe acute malnutrition’ due to drought and a seven-year insurgency by Islamist militant group Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria, UNICEF said on Thursday…” (Cropley, 8/25).
U.N. News Centre: U.N. sounds alarm as 4.5 million people need food aid in Boko Haram-hit northeast Nigeria
“…[The World Food Programme (WFP)] is scaling up its response, aiming to reach over 700,000 people with food and cash assistance in the coming months. This will include specialized nutritious food for 150,000 children under age five. WFP requires $52 million to continue providing life-saving assistance until the end of the year in northeastern Nigeria…” (8/23).
- Laboratory Testing Shortfalls Could Inhibit Reaching WHO 2020 HIV Targets, Study Suggests
International Business Times: WHO’s 2020 HIV Target May Fall Short Due To Flaws In Lab Services
“…The WHO hopes that by 2020, 90 percent of people living with HIV would know of their HIV status, 90 percent of those diagnosed would be receiving the antiretroviral therapy and 90 percent of those who had received treatment would achieve durable viral load suppression (a method to ensure that the viral load is undetectable). Laboratory testing is crucial to achieve this target. However, in a paper published Tuesday in the journal PLOS Medicine, researchers found that several labs around the world are incapable of performing the necessary tests either due to lack of reagents, equipment not installed or maintained properly, and poor or a lack of staff training. In some labs, machines remained broken as they weren’t covered by contracts to be serviced or fixed. This could result in the WHO missing its target…” (Pascaline, 8/24).
- New York Times Examines Return Of Malaria To Venezuela Because Of Black-Market Gold Mines
New York Times: Hard Times in Venezuela Breed Malaria as Desperate Flock to Mines
“…[Venezuela] is a society turned upside down, a place where educated people abandon once-comfortable jobs in the city for dangerous, backbreaking work in muddy pits, desperate to make ends meet. And it comes with a steep price: Malaria, long driven to the fringes of the country, is festering in the mines and back with a vengeance…” (Casey, 8/15).
- Guinea Worm Eradication Efforts Complicated By Infections Among Dogs, Experts Say
STAT: Guinea worm, on the brink of eradication, puts up a surprisingly stubborn fight
“The eradication of Guinea worm, thought to have been within grasp, is now at least several years away because of a major setback in the North African country of Chad, according to global health experts and others…” (Branswell, 8/26).
Washington Post: The world is closer than ever to eradicating Guinea worm
“…If the global eradication program, led by the Carter Center, succeeds, Guinea worm will be only the second human disease in history to be eradicated, after smallpox. But the final stage of an eradication program can be the most difficult. The biggest obstacle is that Guinea worm is infecting not just people, but also dogs…” (Love, 8/24).
- WHO Appoints Former N.Y. Mayor Michael Bloomberg As Global Ambassador For NCDs
Associated Press: Michael Bloomberg Named World Health Organization Ambassador
“Billionaire philanthropist and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has a new job — as global ambassador for the U.N. health agency with a mandate to help reduce deaths from prevalent diseases, traffic accidents, tobacco, alcohol, and obesity…” (Lederer, 8/17).
Reuters: WHO appoints former N.Y. mayor Bloomberg as global health ambassador
“…Bloomberg, who has a track record in public health policies such as tobacco control, soda taxes, and injury prevention, will work with national and local politicians to highlight the heavy economic and health burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), [the] United Nations health agency said…” (Kelland, 8/17).
- D.A. Henderson, Epidemiologist Who Helped Eradicate Smallpox, Dies At 87
New York Times: D.A. Henderson, Doctor Who Helped End Smallpox Scourge, Dies at 87
“Dr. Donald A. Henderson, a leader of one of mankind’s greatest public health triumphs, the eradication of smallpox, died on Friday in Towson, Md. He was 87…” (McNeil, 8/21).
NPR: Tribute: The Man Who Led The War To Kill Smallpox
“…An American epidemiologist, Henderson served as director of the World Health Organization’s Smallpox Eradication Program from 1966 to 1977, the year the last known case was found in Merca, Somalia. Henderson died on Aug. 19 in Towson, Md., from the complications of a hip fracture…” (Adams, 8/25).
STAT: In death of D.A. Henderson, credited with eradicating smallpox, the world loses an intellectual giant
“… ‘D.A. was a giant intellectually, he was a giant in his personality, and he didn’t shy away from controversy,’ said his friend Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Diseases Research and Policy. Dr. Bill Foege, a friend and colleague for over 50 years, agreed…” (Branswell, 8/21).
Washington Post: D.A. Henderson, ‘disease detective’ who eradicated smallpox, dies at 87
“…Later, he served as dean of Johns Hopkins University’s school of public health and as a science and bioterrorism adviser in three presidential administrations. But it was in the fight on smallpox — perhaps the most lethal disease in history and one that killed an estimated 300 million people in the 20th century alone — that he became known around the world…” (Langer, 8/20).
Editorials and Opinions
- Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss U.S. Zika Response
Washington Post: Zika is spreading in Florida, but Congress still hasn’t approved cash to fight it
“…Local governments and public health agencies are scrambling to control [Zika’s] spread, provide diagnostics, educate the public, and search for a vaccine. But instead of acting, Republican majorities in Congress have taken the emergency as another occasion to grandstand and squabble. After President Obama asked in February for nearly $1.9 billion in additional federal funding to fight the virus … a partisan fight broke out on Capitol Hill that stalled legislation. … Without the new money, the administration has been reprogramming existing funds intended for other vital public health purposes. The delays on Capitol Hill are evidence of deep dysfunction. … The money will be particularly important for vaccine development, which requires clinical trials that can be costly and take time. … Congress ought to be embarrassed for starving the Zika budget in a purely political tiff” (8/23).
Washington Post: We know how to fight Zika in Puerto Rico — but we aren’t giving women the tools to do it
Kristyn Brandi, fellow at the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and family planning fellow at Boston Medical Center
“…[W]e absolutely cannot make any strides in the fight against Zika without funding for family planning services. … Providing reproductive health services to those in Zika-affected areas is vital to protecting women’s and children’s health. … We know that contraception and abortion access will prevent more children from being born with serious abnormalities — so why aren’t we giving women and their doctors the tools they need? First, information needs to be more available so that women can make informed decision[s] about their reproductive health care. … Contraception should become more readily accessible to all women, regardless of income. Also, abortion should not have the roadblocks it currently has … Our representatives should accept that the need for abortion care will increase as Zika spreads further into the mainland United States. We have a responsibility to all of our citizens to make it easier to access the full spectrum of care and accurate information so that women … have everything they need in the fight against this virus” (8/22).
The Hill: Zika funding held back by politics
Thomas Gellhaus, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and Didi Saint Louis, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Morehouse School of Medicine
“…If we’re serious about addressing the Zika threat, we must fully fund comprehensive reproductive health care — so that all at-risk women who would like to avoid or delay their pregnancy may do so. … We urge Congress to return to Washington to adequately fund a response to Zika. Without this crucial support for women’s health, attempts to combat Zika will simply fall short. Any attempt to restrict the ability of women to avoid or delay pregnancy will make stopping the spread of Zika that much harder. It’s time for lawmakers to start acting in the best interest of public health. Our country depends on it” (8/22).
Wall Street Journal: The Zika Undercount and the Virus’s Growing Threat to Public Health
Ron Klain, external adviser to the Skoll Global Threats Fund
“…[M]ost women who have Zika do not have symptoms and so may not think about being tested; others become pregnant after being exposed and likewise may not focus on the need for testing. This means a high percentage of pregnant women exposed to Zika have not been tested, making the current confirmed case counts … almost certainly undercounts. … All of this speaks to the importance of mosquito control efforts and Zika vaccine research. … This growing threat to the public health, and its economic dimensions, are why bipartisan support is growing in Congress for a public health emergency fund to enable responses to future epidemics without having to wait for congressional action. But a fund to help address future public health crises will not address the Zika challenge we face now. … How much worse will this nightmare get before there is serious action to combat it?” (8/28).
- Editorials, Opinion Pieces Discuss U.N.'s Acknowledgement Of Role In Haitian Cholera Outbreak
New York Times: Dodging Accountability at the United Nations
“It shouldn’t have taken five years and a scathing report by an internal human rights watchdog for the United Nations to acknowledge that it bears responsibility for the cholera epidemic in Haiti sparked by its peacekeepers deployed after the 2010 earthquake. … When a new secretary general takes over next year, she or he should make it a priority to revamp the organization’s oversight entities and create a culture of accountability. … [T]he next secretary general could set a new tone on accountability by strengthening whistle-blower protection policies and shielding the Office of Internal Oversight Services from the pressures it has traditionally faced … In the meantime, when [U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon] unveils a new plan to curb the spread of cholera in Haiti, he should offer a formal apology, create a mechanism to compensate victims, and provide a detailed explanation of why it has taken the United Nations so long to confront inconvenient truths” (8/22).
Washington Post: The U.N. finally owns up to its role in Haiti’s cholera outbreak
“…Spurred by the report from Philip Alston, a New York University law professor who is a human rights adviser to the [U.N.], the U.N. is finally acknowledging its complicity in Haiti’s cholera crisis. Breaking a steely silence, a spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the New York Times that the organization ‘needs to do much more regarding its own involvement in the initial outbreak and the suffering of those affected by cholera.’ A new policy will be prepared after consultations with Haitian officials and other governments. … The reality, which the U.N. at last seems ready to accept, is that the organization must recognize its responsibility and renew its commitment to combat cholera in Haiti and strengthen the nation’s public health infrastructure, which the organization has previously pledged to improve, to little effect. That may be difficult and costly; the alternative was untenable” (8/18).
The Conversation: As the U.N. finally admits role in Haiti cholera outbreak — here is how victims must be compensated
Rosa Freedman, professor at the University of Reading, and Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham
“…This is the first time that the U.N. has acknowledged that it bears a duty towards the victims. It is a significant step forward in the quest for accountability and justice. … Experts, academics, ambassadors to the U.N., and former U.N. officials have long discussed what a political resolution to this situation might look like. We believe there are three crucial aspects to any resolution package. There must be financial compensation, efforts to prevent the spread of the disease, and a public apology. … Whatever form that package takes, it must be decided transparently. It must be victim-centered and ensure that justice is done and is seen to be done. … [T]here is some momentum brewing. It is crucial that is capitalized upon in a transparent, fair, and just manner” (8/18).
Washington Post: To make amends, the U.N. must provide funds to fight cholera in Haiti
Louise Ivers, senior health and policy adviser at Partners In Health
“…The U.N. can save lives, restore goodwill, and stabilize the country by financing a plan to control cholera in Haiti. The Haitian government, international agencies, and nongovernmental organizations, including Partners In Health, know how to eliminate cholera transmission in Haiti. Partners In Health supports an ambitious plan to interrupt and stop the spread of the disease using a combination of mass vaccination and household water treatment. If the U.N. follows words with financing, it will be taking very strong steps toward making amends to a country whose people it has harmed. We call on it to do just that” (8/26).
New York Times Magazine: The U.N.’s Cholera Admission and What Comes Next
Jonathan M. Katz, author and freelance journalist
“…The question is whether, absent a court or some other outside power, the United Nations and its members — particularly the United States — will choose on their own to spend the money and put in the effort to make things right again. So far they haven’t. The stonewalling has destroyed what was left of the United Nations’ reputation in Haiti, and has done the organization few favors in the rest of the world. Meanwhile, people in Haiti continue to die from cholera, infection rates continue to rise, and the damage to the country’s economy, social structures, and reputation goes unrepaired. … With Ban’s term winding down, and his mind on his legacy, does the subtle shift in his office’s language suggest a real reckoning is coming? Alston hopes so, for the sake not only of the Haitian people, but the whole of the United Nations as well. ‘A festering sore,’ he says in his report, ‘is much worse than a wound that is healed'” (8/19).
- Investing In UHC In Africa Will Help Lift Millions Of People Out Of Extreme Poverty
Global News Network Liberia: A path toward wealth and security: Investing in the health of Africa’s people
Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group
“…[U]niversal coverage of essential services requires a fundamental shift in the way health care is financed. [Universal health coverage (UHC)] means changing from a pay-as-you-go system … to pre-paying for health, which promotes prompt access when people are ill, and protects the poor. We need to put money directly in the hands of poor women, through cash transfer programs that offer universal health, education, and nutrition entitlements to these women and their children, and are strongly associated with inclusive growth. Donor assistance needs to more effectively support UHC expansion in countries. … We must continue to invest in what works — such as the scale-up of bed nets to protect people from malaria, the use of drones to deliver life-saving medical supplies to remote villages, and the deployment of thousands of new community health workers across Africa. We can harness this potential more systematically and ultimately create more jobs while delivering better health outcomes. With the right investments, we can save the lives of millions of people, help people lift themselves out of extreme poverty, and ensure that all people are healthier and live longer and more productive lives…” (8/26).
- International Community Must Become Better Prepared To Address Infectious Disease Outbreaks
New York Times: A Yellow Fever Epidemic Made Worse by a Vaccine Shortage
“…[D]onor countries like the United States, the WHO, and the countries at risk need to invest more and act faster when there is [a yellow fever] outbreak. Industrialized countries need to provide the money to come up with a faster [vaccine] production process and increased capacity to handle [vaccine shortages] and future epidemics. Similar investments are needed to improve the ability of local labs to quickly diagnose yellow fever and other infectious diseases. Controlling mosquitoes is critical, too. Simple steps like getting rid of standing water, removing garbage, using screens, and applying insecticides and insect repellents can reduce infection rates. Local and national governments need to take the lead on this, but the international community can provide support. Ebola, Zika, and now yellow fever have shown that infectious diseases do not respect borders and are a threat that countries need to face together” (8/20).
- U.S. Should Develop Strategy To Guide Biological Technology Research Efforts
Foreign Policy: Zika Is Just the First Front in the 21st-Century Biowar
James Stavridis, dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University
“…The United States needs to continue its research efforts [in biological technology], but, equally important, it needs to develop a coherent and cohesive biological strategy to guide those efforts. … There are three key components to preparing for the biological revolution. First, we need an international approach that seeks to limit the proliferation of highly dangerous technologies … and fosters cooperation in the case of contagion or a transnational biological threat. … Second, the American government’s interagency process must become more adept at addressing both the scientific advances and the security challenges emanating from the world of biological research. … Finally, all this will require a powerful level of private-public cooperation. … As citizens, both in the United States and globally, we spend far too much time focused on information and cyber-technologies. The weaponization of biology is coming, and coming quickly. And our ability to control that process — or not — will determine our destiny” (8/24).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Fact Sheet Examining PEPFAR's Role, Efforts
Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
This updated fact sheet examines the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and its role in addressing global HIV/AIDS, including treatment and prevention targets, results, funding, and challenges (8/17).
- U.S., Partners Working To End Violence Against Persons With Disabilities, Highlight As Human Rights Issue
U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: No Longer Silent: Violence Against Persons with Disabilities is an Issue of Global Human Rights
Judith Heumann, special adviser for international disability rights at the State Department, discusses the human rights impacts of violence against persons with disabilities, writing, “Violence against persons with disabilities has been ignored by too many for far too long. Today, we are moving to end it. Governments and civil society now recognize that abuse on the basis of disability is a form of discrimination. It’s time that we all recognize its harmful impacts. Violence against persons with disabilities denies them the inalienable human rights we all deserve; and we cannot afford to ignore it any longer” (8/18).
- African Development Conference Sees Commitments To Accelerate UHC On Continent
World Bank: Partners Launch Framework to Accelerate Universal Health Coverage in Africa; World Bank and Global Fund Commit $24 Billion
“Today at the Sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD-VI), African heads of state and partners vowed to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) in Africa. To help countries implement their health reforms, the World Bank and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria (Global Fund) committed to invest $24 billion in Africa over the next three to five years…” (8/26).
World Bank: Remarks by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim at the Universal Health Coverage in Africa Side Event
“…We believe that investing in universal health coverage is an investment in the future. That’s why we are announcing today that we will commit up to $15 billion dollars over the next five years to accelerate universal health coverage in Africa. Let me tell you three reasons why we so strongly support universal health coverage. First, UHC confronts poverty head on by protecting people from major disease outbreaks and from catastrophic health expenses. … Second, UHC accelerates inclusive growth. … And third, UHC stimulates the health sector and creates jobs. … It’s urgent that we increase our investments in universal health coverage. Doing so will lead to healthier lives and healthier economies…” (8/26).
- Global Fund Investments Critical To Scaling Up HIV Treatment, Achieving SDG Of Ending AIDS
Friends of the Global Fight Blog: #WhyNow: Fighting For An AIDS-Free Generation
John McMannis, communications manager at Friends of the Global Fight, discusses the importance of Global Fund investments, writing, “If we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal of ending the AIDS epidemic, we need to continue to scale up treatment programs and ensure that everyone who needs treatment has access. … Ensuring global health programs and partnerships, such as the Global Fund, are funded is the first step to making the goal a reality” (8/26).
- New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
This most recent newsletter includes a video discussing why young women and girls face disproportionate risks of HIV infection, as well as a new article from the fund’s Focus On series, which examines evidence showing “how better educating girls is one of the most effective ways to keep girls and young women HIV-free” (8/26).
- 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, published Issue 294 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features articles on various topics including an analysis examining inclusion of key populations in Global Fund and PEPFAR processes; a report suggesting there are gaps in malaria services provided to pregnant women in Cameroon; and an article on the Global Fund’s new online marketplace, wambo.org (8/17).