KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Releases Memo Arguing Republicans To Blame For Lack Of Zika Response Funding

The Hill: Senate Dems make Zika a campaign issue
“The campaign arm for Senate Democrats is hitting vulnerable GOP incumbents over the failure of Congress to reach a [compromise] on Zika funding before the seven-week summer recess. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) [released] a memo Monday arguing that the failure to [reach a deal before going on recess] ‘is perhaps the greatest sign yet that the Republicans, and their irresponsible penchant for reckless partisan obstructionism, are simply not working’…” (Carney, 8/8).

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Organizations, Governments Learning To Harness Power Of Data To Track Disease Spread, Respond To Outbreaks

Devex: We know more about epidemics than ever before. Now what?
“…As data sources have grown, so too has their potential to inform policy. Ebola provided an obvious example: If organizations and governments had known where and how quickly the disease was spreading, they could have positioned resources and communication strategies accordingly. … Organizations and governments are now expanding their information arsenals for tackling epidemics. But for now, both the data and the policy are playing catch-up to the speed of disease spread…” (Dickinson, 8/8).

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The Atlantic Examines Experimental Use Of Wolbachia Bacterium To Control Mosquito Populations

The Atlantic: How to Beat Dengue and Zika: Add a Microbe to Mosquitoes
“After 30 years of development, virus-beating insects are finally being deployed in megacities around the world…” (Yong, 8/8).

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Philippines Records Highest-Ever Monthly Total Of New HIV Cases, Prompting Advocates To Call For Action

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Record new HIV cases in Philippines prompt call for action
“The Philippines has posted a record number of new HIV infections, prompting campaigners to call on authorities to step up efforts to battle the potentially deadly disease. A total of 841 new cases were recorded in June, the highest ever monthly figure since the country’s first reported case in 1984, according to the health department’s latest statistics released this week…” (Yi, 8/9).

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At Least 40 People Dead In Remote Myanmar Measles Outbreak

New York Times: Myanmar Measles Outbreak Kills 40 in Remote Villages
“At least 40 people, nearly all of them children, have died from an outbreak of measles in a remote, impoverished region of Myanmar where there is little available health care, officials said on Saturday. More than 200 people have come down with measles since mid-July, when an epidemic swept through five villages in the mountainous Naga Self-Administered Zone of northwestern Myanmar…” (Nang/Paddock, 8/6).

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Nurses, Health NGOs Work To Educate Teen Girls About Contraception, Pregnancy In Sierra Leone

Broadly: The Women Battling the Post-Ebola Teen Pregnancy Epidemic
“…August 8 marks two years since the World Health Organization declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a public health emergency. These days, [Nurse Aminata] Fullah and other nurses are on the frontlines of another health crisis: teenage pregnancy. … Teenage pregnancy has long been a problem, but the recent Ebola outbreak saw a 47 percent jump in the number of teenagers getting pregnant, according to Save The Children, which trains nurses like Fullah to properly administer contraception and provide vital maternal health care services. The actual reason for the increase in teen pregnancy is a source of contention among the government, NGOs, community leaders, and the girls themselves. But everyone agrees it is a bad thing indeed…” (Whyte, 8/8).

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Ugandan Government Continues Crack Down On LGBTI Community

Associated Press: Uganda’s government vows to ‘suppress’ gay pride activities
“Uganda’s government said Monday it ‘will continue to suppress’ the public activities of homosexuals and that a rehabilitation program had been developed to allow them to ‘lead normal lives again.’ … A colonial-era law proscribes such sex acts ‘against the order of nature.’ Gay leaders say the LGBTI community faces discrimination, violence, and extortion…” (8/8).

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NPR Profiles NTD Researcher Peter Hotez As Part Of #NPRWormWeek

NPR: #NPRWormWeek: The Scientist Who’s Waging A War On Worms
” ‘Some diseases have Bono or Angelina Jolie as their champions, but hookworm has only Peter Hotez.’ That’s what scientist and pediatrician Peter Hotez said about himself in a 2010 book, The Imaginations Of Unreasonable Men. So he’s not … modest. But ask people in the world of global health about his work to end diseases caused by hookworm and other parasitic worms and they’ll agree with his self-assessment. ‘He almost single-handedly put these diseases on the map,’ says Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health at the Kaiser Family Foundation, a health policy research group. ‘His research and scientific expertise has made a global impact — not just in the U.S. but at the World Health Organization and elsewhere’…” (Gharib, 8/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

2 Years After WHO Declares Ebola International Emergency, Liberia 'Stronger And More Unified'

TIME: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: 2 Years After Ebola, Liberia Is a Changed Nation
Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of the Republic of Liberia

“…Liberia has not yet quite risen from the ashes [of the Ebola epidemic], but as our nation continues to rebuild, we have grown stronger in many ways. … We still need support, but with the [Ebola] emergency over, Liberia’s fate is no longer determined by a merciless virus. Our people are now better informed about the nature of infectious disease. We have made huge progress in regaining the trust of the people, perhaps more so than Liberia has seen for decades. … So, despite the incalculable suffering and horror we have endured, my belief is that we have ultimately emerged from this ordeal stronger and more unified. Today, as our nation grieves on this solemn anniversary [of WHO declaring Ebola an international emergency], we know that we have to take primary responsibility to heal ourselves [and] no one can help us to heal. But on the long road to recovery we will need continued partnership for rebuilding” (8/8).

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Knowledge, Support From Local Leaders, Communities Essential To Disease Outbreak Response Efforts

Washington Post: Two years ago, Ebola became a public health emergency. Here are 5 lessons for fighting Zika
Amy S. Patterson, professor of politics at the University of the South

“…My fieldwork [responding to Ebola] in Liberia this year yields five insights. 1. Communities have vital information in health emergencies. … 2. Traditional practices can be adapted to save lives. … 3. Religious organizations can be crucial players in health crises … 4. Communities took responsibility for themselves — and took action to slow and stop Ebola. … 5. If communities don’t trust the government, the government can’t act effectively. … As health experts look to combat other infectious diseases that cross international borders, such as Zika, they must think local. Public health officials need to consider how to bring in community leaders and to use traditional practices in culturally appropriate ways” (8/8).

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Improving Supply Chains Critical To Achieving Universal Health Coverage

Devex: Reaching the last mile: The future of medicine access for everyone
Edward Wilson, director of John Snow, Inc.’s Center for Health Logistics

“…Universal health coverage requires universal access to medicines, vaccines, and other health commodities. … But there’s still a long way to go, especially in reaching every person, every community at the last mile, in a way that saves lives, empowers communities, and builds resilient and equitable health systems. … Most of the people who lack access to medicines and vaccines today are either the most remote … or the most economically impoverished … Building supply chains for universal coverage — covering the last mile to each of them — requires innovation, creativity, commitment, and a willingness to bear the costs. … [I]t’s critical that we never lose sight of our goal; getting products to people. … Supply chains must be agile enough, smart enough, and resourced enough to respond to [their] needs” (8/8).

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Gender Equality, Women's Rights Critical To Sustainable Development

Inter Press Service: Sustainable Development in Africa Will Not Be Achieved Without Women’s Full Participation
Gina Din, founder and CEO of the Gina Din group

“…[T]he pursuit of gender equality is not just an abstract ideal, but a prerequisite for human progress. … There is need to give women power over their own bodies; the power to decide who and when to marry, how many children to give birth to and when to do so, the power to stay in school, and the opportunity to find employment. When a woman can effectively plan her family, she can plan the rest of her life. Protecting and promoting her reproductive rights … is essential to ensuring her freedom to participate more fully and equally in society. In its effort to change mindsets and include women as equal partners at the social and political table, UNFPA Kenya has become a key voice in the national discourse, engaging people across both the public and private sectors and mobilizing for more resources to be invested in broad gender equality programs. … The task at hand … is not to give women strength, but to give society new eyes to perceive the strength that they already possess in abundance” (8/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Blog Post Presents 6 Recommendations On Global Health For Next U.S. President, Administration

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Six Ways the Next U.S. President Can Do Better on Global Health
Lauren Post, a former program associate with CGD, and Amanda Glassman, vice president for programs, director of Global Health Policy, and senior fellow at CGD, write, “The next administration must … work to transform the U.S. approach to global health and global health security to protect the health of Americans here at home and ensure the long-term sustainability of U.S.-supported health gains abroad.” They discuss “six concrete recommendations” for the next president and administration (8/8).

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Blog Post Discusses Action Report Examining National HIV-TB Activities

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Underfunded tuberculosis programs often solely responsible for TB-HIV activities, report finds
Rabita Aziz, staff writer for “Science Speaks” and policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses a recently released report from Action, titled “From Policy to Practice: How the TB-HIV response is working.” Aziz writes the report “finds that national HIV programs often neglect World Health Organization recommendations for collaborative TB-HIV activities, and fail to develop adequate policy on such activities…” (8/8).

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