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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Making Progress On Malaria But More Prevention, Treatment Coverage, Funding Needed, WHO Report Says

Deutsche Welle: WHO sees progress in fighting Malaria — but a lot more needs to be done
“The World Health Organization’s annual World Malaria Report brings hope but with a warning. The disease remains an acute threat to public health, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa…” (12/13).

The Guardian: Progress on malaria deaths at risk without big boost in funding, U.N. warns
“Real progress in driving down infections and deaths from malaria will be at risk if substantially more funding is not forthcoming, according to the latest annual report on the epidemic…” (Boseley, 12/12).

Los Angeles Times: The world could wipe out malaria. A new report shows why that isn’t happening
“…WHO officials said a lack of funds for malaria control posed ‘a serious challenge’ to combating the disease. In 2015, malaria funding totaled $2.9 billion, just under half the annual target set for 2020. The United States is the largest international funder, accounting for about a third of donations…” (Simmons, 12/12).

Reuters: Fight against malaria hampered by flatlining funds: WHO
“…[W]hile deaths from the disease have fallen dramatically in the past 15 years — since 2000 malaria deaths in Africa have dropped by 62 percent — to 429,000 in 2015, there are big gaps in progress, with the poorest countries faring the worst. Sub-Saharan Africa carries a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden and last year was home to 90 percent of malaria cases and 92 percent of malaria deaths…” (Kelland, 12/12).

TIME: There Were More Than 200 Million New Cases of Malaria in 2015, WHO Says
“… ‘We are definitely seeing progress, but the world is still struggling to achieve the high levels of program coverage that are needed to beat this disease,’ Dr. Pedro Alonso, director of the WHO Global Malaria Program, said in a statement…” (Chan, 12/13).

VOA News: WHO Reports Strong Progress in Fighting Malaria, Warns of Big Funding Gaps
“…[Alonso] says progress is being hampered by a lack of funds. ‘The last five years we have seen no increase in the level of funding, be it from international donors or domestic funding from the affected countries themselves,’ said Alonso. ‘We are not on [target] to achieve our goals unless we increase the amount of resources made available for the fight against malaria’…” (Ridgwell, 12/12).

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President-Elect Trump Picks ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson As Secretary Of State; Nominee Likely To Face Senate Questions About Russian Ties

Bloomberg: Trump Picks ExxonMobil’s Tillerson as Secretary of State
“ExxonMobil Corp. Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson will be nominated as President-elect Donald Trump’s secretary of state, setting up a potential confirmation battle with U.S. lawmakers who have questioned the oilman’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin…” (Jacobs/Wadhams, 12/13).

New York Times: Rex Tillerson, Exxon CEO, Chosen as Secretary of State
“…In the past several days, Republican and Democratic lawmakers had warned that Mr. Tillerson would face intense scrutiny over his two-decade relationship with Russia, which awarded him its Order of Friendship in 2013, and with Mr. Putin. … Mr. Tillerson’s stake in Russia’s energy industry could create a very blurry line between his interests as an oilman and his role as America’s leading diplomat…” (Shear/Haberman, 12/12).

POLITICO: Trump taps Tillerson for secretary of state
“…Tillerson … has no formal government experience but spent years running ExxonMobil’s extensive international operations…” (Dawsey, 12/13).

Wall Street Journal: Donald Trump Chooses Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State
“…Mr. Trump’s secretary of state will have to navigate a host of high-stakes foreign policy challenges across the globe. The country’s top diplomat also will be tasked with carrying out Mr. Trump’s vision for the U.S. role on the world stage, which is so far not entirely clear…” (Nicholas/Lee, 12/13).

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António Guterres Sworn In As Next U.N. Secretary General

New York Times: António Guterres, Sworn In as U.N.’s Next Leader, Must Factor Trump Into His Plans
“António Guterres took the oath of office on Monday to become the next secretary general of the United Nations amid a rise in nationalist movements around the world and what he called a loss of confidence in institutions, including the one he will take over in January…” (Sengupta, 12/12).

Reuters: Portugal’s Guterres sworn in as next U.N. secretary general
“…Guterres, 67, will replace Ban Ki-moon, 72, of South Korea on Jan. 1. Ban steps down at the end of 2016 after two five-year terms. Guterres was Portugal’s prime minister from 1995 to 2002 and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees from 2005 to 2015…” (Nichols, 12/13).

U.N. News Centre: Taking oath of office, António Guterres pledges to work for peace, development, and a reformed United Nations
“… ‘The United Nations needs to be nimble, efficient, and effective. It must focus more on delivery and less on process; more on people and less on bureaucracy,’ said Mr. Guterres after taking the oath of office at a ceremony before the 193-member U.N. General Assembly. … Mr. Guterres then highlighted three strategic priorities for the organization: working for peace; supporting sustainable development; and reforming its internal management…” (12/12).

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Multilateral Health Programs Receive Top Ratings On U.K. Aid Agency Report Card

New York Times: British Officials Issue a Report Card on Aid Organizations
“In a ‘value for money’ assessment released this month, Britain’s foreign aid agency gave top ratings to three organizations to which it donates: the World Bank; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. … Each aid organization got two grades: one for how well its mission matched the government’s goals, and one for ‘organizational strength,’ a measure of clarity of purpose, transparency, and efficient use of donations to get results. Those focused on health did best…” (McNeil, 12/12).

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On 70th Anniversary, UNICEF Says Conflict Reversing Gains For Children In Middle East, North Africa

U.N. News Centre: Conflict threatens decades of progress for children in Middle East, North Africa — UNICEF
“Although countries across the Middle East and North Africa have made major strides in protecting children’s rights and wellbeing since the inception of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) 70 years ago, conflict risks reversing these gains for 157 million children in the region…” (12/12).

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2.2M Children Need Urgent Care In Yemen, With 462K At Risk Of Starvation, UNICEF Report Says

Al Jazeera: UNICEF: One child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen
“More than 400,000 children are at risk of starvation in Yemen, with nearly 2.2 million in need of urgent care, according to the U.N. children’s agency UNICEF…” (12/12).

Deutsche Welle: U.N. agency reports 2.2 million Yemeni children hungry and in need of care
“UNICEF said on Monday that at least 462,000 children were suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) — which means they were extremely underweight for their height … This is an increase of almost 200 percent since 2014…” (12/12).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Child malnutrition at ‘all time high’ in Yemen: U.N. agency
“…At least one child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen because of malnutrition, diarrhea, and respiratory tract infections, the agency said…” (Whiting, 12/12).

U.N. News Centre: Malnutrition among children in Yemen at ‘all-time high,’ warns UNICEF
“…According to UNICEF, Yemen’s health system is on the verge of collapse, with less than a third of the population having access to medical care, and more than half of the health facilities are non-functional…” (12/12).

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Africa Must Break Complacency, Invest In Agriculture To Feed Its Population By 2050, Report Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Africa must act now if it is to feed itself in 2050: scientists
“Africa will be able to grow enough cereals to feed its growing population by 2050, but only if it breaks a culture of complacency and starts now to invest more in agriculture, scientists said on Monday. Sub-Saharan Africa currently imports about 20 percent of its cereal needs, and this could rise to at least 50 percent by 2050, researchers said in a report published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences…” (Whiting, 12/13).

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U.N. Inaugurates Water Capture, Distribution System In Haiti As Part Of Cholera Efforts

U.N. News Centre: U.N. inaugurates water project in Haiti benefiting 60,000 people as part of fight against cholera
“Sandra Honoré, the special representative of the secretary general (SRSG) for Haiti and head of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), inaugurated on 8 December a water capture and distribution project in the town of Merger, an hour outside of the Caribbean nation’s capital Port au Prince…” (12/12).

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Scientists, Experts Working To Catalog Unknown Viruses In World

STAT: Finding the world’s unknown viruses — before they find us
“…[T]he Global Virome Project … has proposed cataloging nearly all of the unknown viruses lurking in nature around the world. In a nutshell … experts want to search out mystery threats before they find us. The idea has been around for a while and is supported by individual scientists and organizations including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the non-profit EcoHealth Alliance, HealthMap, ProMED, and the epidemic risk firm Metabiota. Now support for a global push may be picking up momentum, as scientists and health organizations find themselves repeatedly called upon whenever new threats arise…” (Branswell, 12/13).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.N. Must 'Take Concrete Steps' To Eradicate Cholera In Haiti, Compensate Affected Families, Communities

Washington Post: The United Nations comes clean(ish) on cholera in Haiti
Editorial Board

“More than six years after a brigade of U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal introduced cholera in Haiti, triggering an epidemic that has killed at least 10,000 and sickened many more, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has finally uttered the word ‘sorry.’ … The glacial rate at which the United Nations grasped its moral responsibility for having wreaked a public health disaster in the Western Hemisphere’s most impoverished nation has tarnished the institution. … What is critical now, as U.N. officials have acknowledged, is that the organization take concrete steps to make amends, namely by leading a public health blitzkrieg to eradicate the disease in Haiti and by making reparations, to victims’ families, their communities, or both. … [M]oral accountability demands a sustained effort to wipe out a disease that has caused so much suffering in that country. … Under Mr. Ban’s successor, former Portuguese prime minister António Gutteres, who takes office Jan. 1, the United Nations has every incentive to press ahead both to heal Haiti to the extent possible and to restore its own moral standing” (12/12).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Supports Ebola-Affected Communities In Rebuilding Health Centers

USAID’s “Frontlines”/Medium: After Ebola, Health Centers Rebuild Trust with Their Communities  –  Literally and Figuratively
Beatrice M. Spadacini, senior communications adviser in USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, discusses USAID’s efforts to help Ebola-affected communities in Guinea and Sierra Leone rebuild their health centers “while encouraging communities to take ownership of the process and driving demand for services” (November/December 2016).

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