KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Development Organizations Assessing Potential Relationship Between Aid, National Security Under Trump Administration

Devex: If Trump ties aid to national security, will NGOs stand on principle?
“…On one hand, development organizations want it known that they contribute to U.S. national security by supporting stability in unstable parts of the world — and that Congress should fund them to do so. On the other hand, organizations working to fight poverty and save lives don’t want to be seen as just a ‘soft power’ tool at the Pentagon’s disposal. Some fear the next administration will make that balancing act even more difficult…” (Igoe, 12/15).

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Devex Presents Possible Candidates For USAID Administrator Under Trump Administration

Devex: 8 possible picks for Trump’s USAID administrator
“…[U.S. President-elect Donald] Trump has been quiet so far about what he has in store for the U.S. government’s foreign aid agencies. While many in the U.S. development community hope for the best, they are also keeping a close eye on Trump’s pick for the U.S. government’s top development job. … Trump’s choice of whom to nominate for the role could reveal a lot about how his administration will position foreign aid within a broader foreign policy architecture — and what U.S. development cooperation might look like for the next four years. Here are eight possible picks for the Trump administration’s USAID chief…” (Igoe, 12/14).

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U.K. Parliament To Review 0.7% Foreign Aid Spending Requirement, Prime Minister's Spokesperson Says

Independent: Theresa May set to cut 0.7% foreign aid spending commitment, Downing Street signals
“Britain’s foreign aid budget is likely to be cut in the next parliament, Theresa May signaled [Tuesday]. The law requiring 0.7 percent of gross national income to be spent on aid will be reviewed before 2020, the Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said…” (Merrick, 12/13).

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Zika Affected Fetuses, Newborns Of About 6% Of Infected Pregnant Women In U.S., Study Shows

Reuters: Birth defects seen in 6 percent of Zika pregnancies: U.S. study
“Roughly six percent of women in the United States who were infected with the Zika virus during pregnancy had fetuses or babies with birth defects, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday. Of the 442 women in a U.S. Zika registry who had completed their pregnancies, 26 of their babies had one or more birth defect thought to be linked with Zika infection during pregnancy, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association…” (Steenhuysen, 12/14).

Washington Post: Birth defects are common for Zika-infected pregnant women in the U.S.
“…It’s the first analysis of data reported to the U.S. Zika pregnancy registry. The registry is a collaboration between the CDC and state and local health departments in most U.S. states and territories that was set up in January to monitor pregnant women with laboratory evidence of Zika virus infection…” (Sun, 12/14).

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400K Children Face Severe Acute Malnutrition In Northeast Nigeria, UNICEF Says; One-Third Of Health Facilities In Region Destroyed, WHO Says

Associated Press: UNICEF: 80,000 children will starve to death in Nigeria
“Nearly a half million children will face starvation in northeastern Nigeria next year and 80,000 will die if they don’t get treatment in the humanitarian crisis created by Boko Haram’s Islamic uprising, the U.N. children’s agency warned Tuesday…” (Faul, 12/13).

Reuters: A third of health facilities in Nigeria’s insurgency-hit Borno state destroyed: WHO
“A third of 743 health facilities have been destroyed in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, the area worst hit in a seven-year insurgency by Islamist Boko Haram militants, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday…” (Akwagyiram, 12/14).

U.N. News Centre: Northeast Nigeria: 400,000 children could suffer from malnutrition — U.N.
“With about two-thirds of health facilities in parts of Nigeria’s restive northeast region either completely destroyed or partially damaged, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has estimated that 400,000 children there could suffer from severe acute malnutrition over the next year. ‘If they do not receive the treatment they need, one in five of these children will die. Cases of diarrhea, malaria, and pneumonia are on the rise, further endangering children’s lives,’ said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake in a statement [Wednesday]…” (12/14).

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Sri Lanka Serves As Example Of Malaria Elimination, Shows Regional Partnerships Necessary To Eradicate Disease Globally

Devex: Lessons from Sri Lanka on malaria elimination
“…After staying malaria-free for three consecutive years, the country was able to apply for World Health Organization certification of malaria elimination. Since Sri Lanka was declared malaria-free on Sept. 5, the country has now emerged as an example of what is needed to eliminate malaria and what are the opportunities and challenges of malaria-free status. It also shows the need for regional collaboration in order to achieve global malaria eradication…” (Cheney, 12/15).

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Deutsche Welle Profiles Indonesian 'Eliminate Dengue' Project's Efforts To Control Mosquitoes

Deutsche Welle: World in Progress: Fighting Dengue fever with mosquitoes
“Dengue fever is spreading fast around the world — cropping up in countries where it has never been seen before and infecting 30 times as many people as it did half a century ago. A new method to prevent the spread of dengue is now being tested in a community in Indonesia. Local people help by breeding dengue-free mosquitoes in their backyards…” (Gross/Brändlin, 12/14).

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Nature Profiles Data Expert Hans Rosling's Efforts On Global Health, Poverty Reduction

Nature: Three minutes with Hans Rosling will change your mind about the world
“…[Hans] Rosling, a physician and epidemiologist, … is still trying to arm influential people with facts. He has become a trusted counselor and speaker of plain truth to United Nations leaders, billionaire executives such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and politicians including Al Gore. Even Fidel Castro called on the slim, bespectacled Swede for advice. Rosling’s video lectures on global health and economics have elevated him to viral celebrity status, and he has been listed among the 100 most influential people in the world by the magazines Time and Foreign Policy. Melinda Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation says, ‘To have Hans Rosling as a teacher is one of the biggest honors in the world’…” (Maxmen, 12/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

Unwavering Political Commitment Vital To Continued Progress Against Malaria

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Securing gains against malaria in uncertain times
Editorial Board

“…Despite the striking achievements [against malaria] so far, this is not the time for wavering political commitment — a risk given recent events. The outcome of the U.S. presidential election has created some nervousness about the future position of the USA on malaria. However, as noted in this month’s Newsdesk, president-elect Trump did single-out malaria as a global health issue that deserved support during his campaign. Statements made in the white heat of a presidential campaign cannot … be considered government policy; however, support for malaria through the President’s Malaria Initiative continues to be viewed favorably across the U.S. political spectrum and, given the program has its origins in the earlier Republican administration of George W. Bush, there is a chance any reneging on this commitment would be unpopular within the president-elect’s own party. … The burden of malaria means there is still an enormous task ahead, but, equally, progress made so far shows that there are grounds for optimism. We can add to that the hope that recent geopolitical changes will not undermine progress in controlling malaria, particularly if it is made clear that turning the clock back on malaria will be a danger for the world — the USA included — not just, as portrayed by some, far flung foreign lands” (January 2017).

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Republicans Must Carefully Assess U.S. Health Funding In Light Of Zika, Other Disease Outbreaks

Los Angeles Times: The Zika disaster will test the GOP’s capacity to manage serious health care emergencies
Michael Hiltzik, journalist and author

“The Zika crisis, which seems to have faded from memory since it became a big news item this summer, has roared back with a vengeance, thanks to a just-published study indicating that the virus’ effect on infants of women infected during pregnancy is much worse than previously known. … The public health implications of this finding are dire for the United States, where congressional Republicans treated Zika funding this year as an opportunity to give big business a handout and to score ideological points on women’s reproductive health. … Zika is bound to place immense pressure on public health programs that Republicans are determined to gut. … It seemed clear that the congressional majority was happy to delay a Zika bill indefinitely because the crisis seemed abstract (except in Puerto Rico and Florida). But if the Brazil results are any indication … Zika will underscore the folly of shortchanging public health and treating political dysfunction as a goal. Now that they’re in control of the entire government, will Republicans get the message?” (12/14).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

New Report, Briefing Examine Impact Of Global Health Security Agenda's Early Investments

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Global Health Security Agenda measures early advances toward readiness to contain outbreaks
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” reports on a December 13 Capitol Hill briefing that examined the Global Health Security Agenda annual report, which summarizes progress and impacts from the initiative’s early investments. Speakers discussed how the GHSA impacted the Ebola response in Liberia (12/14).

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CGD Podcast Discusses Global Development With Outgoing CGD President

Center for Global Development’s “CGD Podcast”: Development and the New Politics — Nancy Birdsall’s Final Podcast as CGD President
In this podcast, Rajesh Mirchandani, vice president of communications and policy outreach at CGD, speaks with Nancy Birdsall, who is stepping down at the end of December as CGD president and will remain at CGD as a senior fellow. In her final podcast as CGD president, Birdsall discusses what has changed in and the future of development (12/13).

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