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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Ebola Vaccinations Begin Among Health Workers In DRC; Conflict Complicating Prevention Efforts

Associated Press: Ebola vaccinations begin in Congo’s latest deadly outbreak
“Ebola vaccinations began Wednesday for Congo’s latest outbreak of the deadly virus that has already claimed at least nine lives…” (Maliro/Petesch, 8/8).

Deutsche Welle: Ebola vaccinations begin in DR Congo to combat latest outbreak
“…An experimental vaccine is being used after it proved successful during its first wide-scale usage during the recent outbreak in Equateur Province…” (Mules, 8/8).

The Guardian: Congo turmoil means Ebola vaccinators will need armed escorts, experts warn
“Armed escorts will be required to protect vaccination teams as they battle to contain Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the World Health Organization has warned…” (Boseley, 8/8).

Reuters: Congo starts vaccinating health workers against Ebola
“… ‘Around 40 health workers are expected to be vaccinated today [Wednesday]; by end of the week, once all the necessary steps are in place, vaccination of community contacts and their contacts will commence,’ WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said…” (Mahamba et al., 8/8).

Washington Post: Ebola is spreading again in Congo — this time in an active war zone
“…This is Congo’s 10th Ebola outbreak since the 1970s, and some health officials are worried it might be the hardest to contain. The new outbreak is centered on a thickly populated stretch of Congo’s eastern border with Uganda — an area that is also the epicenter of decades-long clashes between dozens of militias that have forced millions into squalid refu­gee camps…” (Bearak, 8/8).

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The Intercept Examines Trump Administration's, Former Obama Adviser's Work On TB Drug Patent Language In U.N. Draft Declaration

The Intercept: Trump Administration Siding with Former Obama Aide at U.N. to Protect Industry Profits
“The Trump administration, fresh off its battle against breastfeeding at the United Nations, is once again pressuring countries to revise a U.N. public health resolution, this time focused on tuberculosis. The U.S. is seeking to remove language asserting the legal right for developing countries to override drug industry patents and license low-cost versions of otherwise expensive TB medicines, arguing over the wording of a draft declaration for a high-level meeting on tuberculosis scheduled to take place in September. But in this effort, the administration has an unlikely ally: a former Obama administration senior adviser who has criticized Trump…” (Dayen, 8/7).

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South Africa Brokers Deal To Cut Price Of TB Drug Bedaquiline As Nations Prepare For U.N. High-Level Meeting

Devex: South Africa strikes deal on new TB drug as WHO revisits guidance
“The World Health Organization could soon start promoting a new tuberculosis drug that is now more affordable after South Africa brokered a deal with a pharmaceutical company to slash the price by half. WHO had previously issued guidance limiting the use of the breakthrough drug bedaquiline, but told Devex it is looking to revise this in the wake of new evidence about its effectiveness in treating people with drug-resistant TB. The news comes as countries prepare to meet in New York for the first United Nations high-level meeting on TB in September, which advocates hope will translate into increased political commitment to eradicating the infectious disease…” (Edwards, 8/9).

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U.S. Ambassador To U.N. Haley Announces $9M In Humanitarian Aid For Venezuelans In Colombia

ABC News: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley visits Venezuela border, announces $9 million in humanitarian aid
“The United States on Wednesday announced nearly $9 million in aid to help those fleeing the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, days after Venezuela’s president said the United States was home to financiers of what he has called an attempt on his life. The United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, made the announcement during a visit to Colombia’s border with Venezuela, which Venezuelans have for months crossed in search of food, work, and health care…” (Gittleson, 8/8).

McClatchy: Ambassador Haley to announce $9 million in U.S. aid for Venezuelans in Colombia
“…Haley led a U.S. presidential delegation to Colombia this week for the inauguration of the new Colombian President Ivan Duque Marquez on Tuesday. She then traveled to the border to ‘get a first-hand look at how Venezuela’s humanitarian crisis is affecting the region’…” (Ordoñez, 8/8).

Reuters: U.S. to give Colombia $9 million to help Venezuelan migrants: Haley
“…Speaking in northern Cucuta, which borders Venezuela, Haley said the funds would go toward water sanitation, health needs, sterilization and medicines, and ‘things like that to really help the Venezuelan people’…” (Cobb/Ellsworth, 8/8).

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U.N. SG Nominates Michelle Bachelet As U.N. High Commissioner For Human Rights

New York Times: Michelle Bachelet, Ex-President of Chile, Picked as Next U.N. Rights Chief
“The leader of the United Nations said on Wednesday that he had picked Michelle Bachelet, a prominent women’s rights advocate and the first woman to serve as Chile’s president, to be the organization’s next top human rights official…” (Gladstone/Sengupta, 8/8).

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Argentina Senate Rejects Bill To Legalize Abortion In First 14 Weeks Of Pregnancy

The Guardian: Argentina senate rejects bill to legalize abortion
“Argentina’s senate has rejected a bill to legalize abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. Lawmakers debated for more than 15 hours and voted 38 against to 31 in favor, despite the fact opinion polls showed the bill had strong public support…” (Goñi, 8/9).

New York Times: Argentina’s Senate Rejects Bill Legalizing Abortion
“…Proponents of the bill — which would have allowed abortions during the first 14 weeks of pregnancy — had hoped Argentina would begin a sea change in reproductive rights in a largely Catholic region where 97 percent of women live in countries that ban abortion or allow it only in rare instances…” (Politi/Londoño, 8/9).

Washington Post: Argentina’s Senate rejects bill legalizing abortion during the first 14 weeks of a pregnancy
“…Although the bill failed, abortion law in Argentina could still change. Most senators rejected the measure as too broad but left the door open to future versions. The administration of President Mauricio Macri is also considering a measure that would decriminalize abortion in the penal code, so that women who have one would not face the threat of jail time, according to the Argentine news outlet Clarin…” (Radwin/Faiola, 8/9).

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Expected Syrian Government Attack On Idlib Province Could Displace 700K People, Worsen Humanitarian Crisis, Health Agencies Warn

Newsweek: Northwestern Syrian Offensive Could Displace 700,000 People, Health Agencies Warn
“An expected Syrian government attack in the country’s northwestern Idlib province could displace over 700,000 people and lead to a dire humanitarian situation. The ‘Health Cluster Bulletin’ report, which is published by health-focused humanitarian groups and spearheaded by the World Health Organization, said that aid workers were preparing for increased aid demands…” (Moritz-Rabson, 8/8).

Reuters: Health agencies warn Idlib offensive could uproot 700,000 Syrians
“… ‘Increased hostilities are expected in the northwest in the coming period, to result in displacements of 250,000 to over 700,000 people in Idlib and surrounding areas,’ the report said. ‘This will cause an increased need for humanitarian assistance to the new vulnerable and host communities, especially emergency health services’…” (Miles, 8/8).

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IRIN To Increase Reporting On Local Humanitarian Responses, Begins With Coverage In Philippines

IRIN: IRIN to increase reporting on locally driven humanitarian responses
“IRIN is enhancing our coverage of indigenous and locally driven responses to humanitarian emergencies and disasters, an effort made possible with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation…” (8/8).

IRIN: From evacuee to humanitarian: aid goes local in conflict-torn Marawi
“Until 23 May 2017, Samira Gutoc had been a human rights activist and a resident of Marawi, a lakeside city on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao. But when Islamist militants barricaded themselves in the city center last year, igniting a fierce five-month battle with the army, Gutoc found herself thrust into a new role: humanitarian worker…” (Bruer, 8/8).

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More News In Global Health

CNN: Scourge of superbugs killing Malawi’s babies (Davies, 8/8).

CNN: Faced with falling birth rates, China urges citizens to have more babies (Griffiths/Wang, 8/8).

Devex: Challenges facing SDG 2030 deadline for safe water and sanitation (Cornish, 8/9).

Reuters: Nigeria approves $150 mln World Bank loan to fight polio (Onuah/Ohuocha, 8/8).

Reuters: Campaign on fistula brings renewed hope for rural Nigerian women (Achirga/Johnston, 8/8).

SciDev.Net: Crisis in Venezuela threatens region’s measles-free status (Leighton, 8/9).

U.N. News: ‘Well-being of two million’ in Gaza at stake as emergency fuel runs dry: U.N. humanitarian coordinator (8/8).

VOA News: Oral Cholera Vaccination Campaign in Yemen Falls Short (Schlein, 8/8).

Xinhua News: Over 900 people infected with dengue fever in NW Myanmar in 7 months (8/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

Decriminalizing Abortion In Argentina Would Offer Health, Quality Of Life Benefits To Women, Girls

Inter Press Service: The Legalization of Abortion in Argentina will Benefit Thousands of Women
Nelly Minyersky, lawyer and family law specialist, writing for Amnesty International

“…[In Argentina,] criminalization of abortion (Art. 86 of the Criminal Code of the Nation) constitutes a flagrant violation of a plethora of rights that are legitimately ours and which are enshrined in the National Constitution and Human Rights Treaties. … The draft Law on Voluntary Termination of Pregnancy is an enormous step forward in the recognition of women’s autonomy. It accepts the principles of bioethics, which are based on express recognition of human dignity as a founding principle. It completely decriminalizes consensual abortion up to and including week 14. … Approval of this law … will offer health and quality of life benefits to thousands upon thousands of girls, teenagers, and women. We must not be afraid when debates result in an extension of rights, and in full equality before the law and in life” (8/8).

Argentina’s senate rejected the draft law. Additional coverage can be found here.

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From the Global Health Policy Community

In Letter, Hope Through Healing Hands Members Urge U.S. Congress To Maintain Funding For Global Fund

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Faith-based coalition sends letters to Congress to champion the Global Fund
“136 members of the faith-based coalition Hope Through Healing Hands, founded and chaired by former Senator Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), sent letters to the chair and ranking member of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees and Subcommittees on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPS) thanking them for their leadership in maintaining robust funding for the Global Fund. Friends of the Global Fight partners with Hope Through Healing Hands to bring members of the faith-based community to Washington to voice their support with policymakers for funding of global health programs…” (8/8).

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OSF Post Discusses Implications Of Decriminalizing Sex Work, Expanded Mexico City Policy For HIV/AIDS Efforts, Women's Health, Rights

Open Society Foundations’ “Voices”: The Fight to End HIV Is Also a Fight for Women’s Rights
Julia Greenberg, director of governance and financing at the Open Society Public Health Program, discusses the implications of decriminalizing sex work and the expanded Mexico City policy for HIV/AIDS efforts and the health and rights of women. Greenberg writes, “[W]e must challenge the laws, stigma, and discrimination that undermine health and human rights and we must pull no punches. If we fail, the fight to end AIDS threatens to become a victim in the ideological war being fought against women around the world” (8/8).

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Stigma, Discrimination Remain Challenges To Progress On HIV/AIDS, IntraHealth Manager Says

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: One Major Reason the AIDS Epidemic Isn’t Going Away
Lindsey Freeze, brand and creative services manager at IntraHealth International, discusses the challenges of stigma and discrimination in efforts to make progress on HIV/AIDS. Freeze writes, “Investing in strategies to eliminate institutional practices that cause shame, fear, and distress in medical settings and educating health workers on privacy, cultural sensitivity, and psychosocial support would pay dividends across the spectrum of care. … Science is on the side of anyone fighting HIV stigma. We just have to get the word out” (8/8).

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Educating Girls Necessary To Preventing HIV, Friends Of The Global Fight Intern Says

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Back to School: Educating Girls to Fight HIV
Aria Vyas, intern at Friends of the Global Fight, discusses the role of education in preventing HIV among girls. Vyas notes, “A quality education is essential for children, but for girls at risk of HIV/AIDS, it is a necessary and lifesaving measure. … A formal education gives girls valuable and relevant information that allows them to make informed decisions that reduce their risk of becoming infected with HIV. … If we want women to have a seat at the table, we need to help girls get a desk in the classroom…” (8/8).

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Investing In Adolescent Health Could Help Africa's Youth Reach Potential

FIGO: Empowering Africa’s young women
Jennifer Crago, director of communications, advocacy, and publications at FIGO, discusses the importance of investing in adolescent health in Africa. Crago writes, “Young people are sub-Saharan Africa’s greatest asset, but it is only through investing in their lives, including in their sexual and reproductive health and rights, that the potential of Africa’s young people, and the potential for the continent to be a strong, united, and influential global player and partner, will be realized” (8/9).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Official Discusses U.S. Efforts To Promote Global Human Rights

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Charting a New Path to Promote Global Human Rights
Kevin E. Moley, assistant secretary of state in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs at the State Department, discusses the U.S. stance on human rights, writing, “[T]hese past weeks have marked an important point of departure for the United States. Far from signaling a diminished role in promoting human rights, our withdrawal from the [U.N.] Human Rights Council, coupled with the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, makes clear the U.S. intent to invigorate its global leadership on fundamental rights and freedoms” (8/8).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF, CSIS To Host Briefing August 10 On Major Outcomes Of AIDS 2018; Event To Be Livestreamed

Kaiser Family Foundation/Center for Strategic and International Studies: August 10 Event — AIDS 2018: What Happened and What’s Next?
At 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday, August 10, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) will hold a briefing to assess the major outcomes of the 2018 International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2018), held from July 23-27 in Amsterdam. The discussion will touch on the latest scientific developments; the current funding climate for the AIDS response; and other major developments to the field emerging from the conference. In addition, panelists will look ahead toward the AIDS 2020 conference. For those who cannot attend in person, the event will be streamed on Facebook Live (7/27).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.