KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.N. SG Ban Apologizes For Cholera's Spread In Haiti 6 Years After Initial Outbreak, Discusses Details Of $400M Plan To Address Epidemic

Al Jazeera: Ban Ki-moon sorry for U.N. role in Haiti cholera epidemic
“U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has apologized for the first time to the people of Haiti for the international organization’s role in a deadly cholera outbreak that has killed more than 9,300 people and infected more than 800,000. ‘On behalf of the United Nations, I want to say very clearly we apologize to the Haitian people,’ he said three times, in Haitian Creole, French, and English, to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday…” (12/1).

Associated Press: U.N. apologizes for Haiti cholera spread, not for causing it
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon apologized Thursday for the U.N. not doing enough to contain the spread of a cholera outbreak in Haiti, but he stopped short of apologizing for bringing the disease to the Caribbean nation…” (Astor, 12/1).

CNN: U.N. apologizes for Haiti cholera spread in plan to eradicate disease
“…[Ban] acknowledged both the outbreak’s human toll and its damage to the U.N.’s standing in Haiti and beyond. ‘This has cast a shadow upon the relationship between the United Nations and the people of Haiti. It is a blemish on the reputation of U.N. peacekeeping and the organization worldwide.’ For many, though, the apology was too little, too late, focused on the U.N.’s response and stopping short of accepting full responsibility…” (Grinberg/Roth, 12/1).

Devex: U.N. details plans for Haiti’s cholera victims, apologizes for role in epidemic
“…U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson and David Nabarro, who led the U.N.’s response to cholera, also spoke [Thrusday] afternoon about the uneven fundraising advances of the U.N.’s [$400 million] cholera response plan — known as the Multi-Partner Trust Fund to Haiti — and how the money will be dispersed on the ground…” (Lieberman, 12/2).

IRIN: U.N. chief apologizes for Haiti cholera, six years later
“…The response, first outlined in October, calls for a two-track approach, with $200 million delegated for each. The first would fund sanitation and eradication projects; the second — termed ‘material assistance’ — would be aimed more directly at those affected by the epidemic. As he fleshed out details of that second tranche, Ban said consultations with ‘communities, victims, and their families’ would continue into 2017…” (Oakford, 12/1).

New York Times: U.N. Apologizes for Role in Haiti’s 2010 Cholera Outbreak
“…Mr. Ban’s apology — belated in the view of his critics — is part of his push for redress in Haiti before the end of his 10-year tenure on Dec. 31. Yet the people of Haiti have seen few tangible benefits so far. The United Nations has not yet met its promise to eradicate cholera once and for all from Haiti, though Mr. Ban’s aides said on Thursday that they were close to raising the $200 million they say they need to fix Haiti’s water and sanitation system and treat Haitians for cholera…” (Sengupta, 12/1).

Reuters: U.N. chief sorry for U.N. role in deadly Haiti cholera outbreak
“…Haiti was free of cholera until 2010, when [U.N.] peacekeepers dumped infected sewage into a river. The United Nations does not accept legal responsibility for the outbreak of the disease that causes uncontrollable diarrhea and has sickened 800,000 people…” (Nichols, 12/1).

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U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Birx Discusses PEPFAR's Successes, Challenges In NPR Interview

NPR: Top U.S. AIDS Official Touts Progress, Has Tough Words For Tanzania
“For World AIDS Day, we sat down with the U.S. global AIDS coordinator, Deborah Birx, to talk about the state of the epidemic and the work of PEPFAR, set up by President George W. Bush in 2003 with the intention of saving the lives of people suffering from AIDS around the world…” (Beaubien, 12/1).

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HIV Epidemic Coming Under Control In 3 Sub-Saharan African Nations, PEPFAR Data Show

The Economist: A report shows HIV in retreat in many African countries
“…Some researchers predict that several African countries will soon achieve ‘epidemic control,’ meaning that fewer people are newly infected each year than die of the disease. New data from the American President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), a program launched by George W. Bush in 2003 under which more than 11m people now get treatment, suggests just how close that goal may be. In hard-hit countries, such as Zimbabwe and Zambia, the rate of new infections has more than halved. The prevalence of HIV (i.e., the total proportion of the population who carry the virus) has also fallen sharply, though it remains horribly high…” (12/3).

ScienceInsider: Southern Africa’s AIDS epidemic takes nosedive
“…The three countries [Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe] since 2004 collectively have received nearly $4 billion from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which gave [the international health-strengthening program called ICAP at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health] $125 million to conduct what are known as population-based HIV impact assessments (PHIAs) in 12 sub-Saharan African countries and Haiti. The aim is to help the countries and PEPFAR better target prevention and treatment efforts. The preliminary findings announced [Thursday] are the first data reported from these assessments…” (Cohen, 12/1).

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Global Community Must Address Inequalities In HIV Treatment Access, Funding To Achieve Goals, UNAIDS Director Says

Devex: ‘Holistic’ approach needed to tackle HIV inequalities, UNAIDS’ Sidibé says
“More than 18.2 million people worldwide are receiving treatment for HIV, placing the United Nations on track to achieve the goal of reaching 30 million HIV-positive people by 2020. … But inequality gaps for treatment and funding are widening across populations and in certain geographic areas, according to Michel Sidibé, the executive director of UNAIDS. Progress is not happening at the same pace everywhere, he said, speaking at U.N. headquarters one day before World AIDS Day…” (Lieberman, 12/1).

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Number Of HIV Infections Among Adolescents Set To Rise By 2030 Without Prevention Progress, UNICEF Report Says

Newsweek: World AIDS Day: HIV Infections in Adolescents Could Double By 2030, Says UNICEF
“The number of new HIV infections among adolescents around the world is set to rise sharply unless more is done to fight the epidemic, according to a new report from UNICEF…” (Westcott, 11/30).

U.N. News Centre: On World AIDS Day, UNICEF warns of sharp rise in new HIV infections among adolescents
“New HIV infections among adolescents are projected to rise from 250,000 in 2015 to nearly 400,000 a year by 2030 if progress stalls in reaching adolescents, warns a report released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) [on December 1], which is observed annually as World AIDS Day…” (12/1).

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For World AIDS Day, News Outlets Interview Experts About HIV Prevention, Research

Devex: 35 years into the AIDS epidemic, it’s an opportune but precarious time
“When AVAC was founded on World AIDS Day in 1995 as the AIDS Vaccine Advocacy Coalition, it had a single focus: an AIDS vaccine. ‘But we began to recognize it was about advocacy and engagement across the research to roll out continuum,’ Mitchell Warren, executive director of AVAC, told Devex. ‘We expanded our focus from the science of product development to include the science and art of product and intervention delivery.’ … This World AIDS Day, Devex spoke with Warren during what he said is a precarious time for the epidemic…” (Cheney, 12/1).

Global Health NOW: Ending AIDS in Children: Q&A With Chip Lyons
“Of the 36.7 million people worldwide living with HIV, 1.8 million are children. While the U.S. and other developing nations have virtually eliminated transmission of the disease from mother to child, middle- and low-income countries around the world have a long way to go to prevent children from getting HIV. We talked to Charles Lyons, president and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, about his organization’s efforts toward the global goal of eliminating AIDS in children by 2020…” (11/30).

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Global Public Health, Economic Costs Of Malnutrition Estimated At $3.5T Annually, U.N. Agencies Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Rise in malnutrition must be reversed before it creates health ‘catastrophe’: experts
“Malnutrition — which includes hunger and obesity — is on the rise and may affect half the world’s population by 2035 unless governments take urgent action to reverse its spread, U.N. agencies and experts said on Thursday…” (Whiting, 12/1).

U.N. News Centre: One in three people suffers malnutrition at global cost of $3.5 trillion a year — U.N.
“As a United Nations international meeting on ways to improve diets and ensure sustainable food systems kicked off in Rome, Italy [Thursday], participants were told that one in three people on the planet suffers some form of malnutrition, impacting public health and economic development at an estimated cost of $3.5 trillion per year…” (12/1).

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Devex Examines Road To WHO Director General Elections, Likelihood Of Nations Choosing African Candidate

Devex: Africa’s turn to pick the next WHO chief? Not so fast
“African countries will play a key role in the World Health Organization’s efforts to reform global pandemic response under a new leader, to be elected in May 2017. The continent wields an impressive voting bloc — 54 of 194 states — in the first-ever ballot of member states. Unwritten rules of courtesy at the WHO also stipulate regions ‘take turns’ filling the slot of director general — and Africa’s on tap. But amid political jockeying, and emerging new public health initiatives, that may not be enough to elect Tedros Adhanom from Ethiopia, who is seen as the African candidate…” (Anders, 12/1).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Need For Partnerships, Political Support, Additional Funding To End AIDS Epidemic

Project Syndicate: A Better Global Framework to End AIDS
Isabella Lövin, minister for international development cooperation and deputy prime minster of Sweden, and Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS executive director

“…The movement against AIDS has inspired all of us to help the people who continue to be left behind, and to commit to ending AIDS once and for all. … But funding parts of the global health system is not enough. The international community must take a more holistic view and reinforce a global response architecture that features a clear division of labor and seamless cooperation among various stakeholders. … UNAIDS is setting a powerful example for international collaboration, by organizing partners around a common 2016-2021 Strategy to end AIDS. … Yet, despite its broad mandate and many functions, UNAIDS lacks adequate resources, which threatens past achievements and future programs alike, and poses a danger to people and communities that depend on the lifesaving support the organization helps facilitate. … [T]he international community must strengthen the existing framework for managing global health issues…” (12/2).

The Hill: We will need proven policies, new resolve, and equity to make AIDS history
Wendy S. Armstrong, chair of HIVMA and professor and vice chair of education and integration in the Department of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine

“…We have made remarkable progress in the global HIV epidemic thanks to bipartisan support for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund … Congress and the next administration must avoid harmful disruptions in health coverage and lifesaving care. They must maintain strong federal support for the [domestic programs and services that] have widened the landscape of care for people living with HIV. They must continue to provide leadership for global efforts to end the epidemic. And they need to do so in a legal, policy, and political environment that respects the rights and dignity of all people. They need to make optimal use of the resources we have, apply the lessons we have learned, and show humanity and vision for the way forward” (12/1).

STAT: Ending HIV requires new prevention methods for women
Bethany Young Holt, director of the Initiative for MPTs

“…[N]ew prevention methods on the horizon, called multipurpose prevention technologies (MPTs), offer protection against HIV as well as an opportunity to simultaneously engage in family planning and reduce other sexual and reproductive health risks with discreet tools that are user-controlled. … Combining separate prevention efforts into one product is a matter of efficiency. But it can also increase the number of women covered by the umbrella of prevention. … MPTs could provide a unique and critical way to leverage women’s need for — and willingness to use — contraception that also includes HIV and STI prevention. … By investing in MPTs — in better, more comprehensive prevention for women — pioneering funders can once again help put us on a path to end AIDS” (12/1).

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Local, Global Leaders Should Commit To Improving Public Health In Cities

Devex: Opinion: The future of public health lies in cities
Margaret Chan, WHO director general

“…On Nov. 21, more than 100 mayors from around the world issued the ‘Healthy Cities Consensus’ during the 9th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Shanghai, China. Conference delegates, including around 40 government ministers and several heads of United Nations agencies, also released the ‘Shanghai Declaration on Health Promotion.’ Both documents recognize the critical role cities play in promoting health and sustainable development. … With people in cities living in close quarters, there is a heightened risk of disease outbreaks. … The World Health Organization’s own ‘Healthy Cities’ project emphasizes how cities can be gateways for change for the rest of a country, and encourages cities to learn from each other. Huge change can begin with a single mayor. One hundred mayors is a strong start. I urge other mayors and leaders across the world to sign up to the Shanghai Consensus and, in doing so, to show their commitment to the future of their cities and to their people.” (12/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. Department Of State Blog Recognizes World AIDS Day

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: World AIDS Day: Reaffirming Our Commitment to End the AIDS Epidemic By 2030
This blog post features a statement made by Secretary of State John Kerry on World AIDS Day “to reaffirm and redouble [the U.S.] commitment to ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030” (12/1).

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: PEPFAR: Saving Lives and Changing the Course of the AIDS Epidemic
Deborah Birx, U.S. global AIDS coordinator and U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy at the State Department, discusses the U.S. response to global AIDS, highlighting PEPFAR’s efforts toward achieving an AIDS-free generation (12/1).

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U.S. Leadership 'Vital' To Achieving AIDS-Free Generation

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: World AIDS Day: U.S. Tradition of Leadership in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS
Alice Manos, communications intern at the USGLC, discusses U.S. efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS, writing, “American leadership is vital to helping achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation. By saving lives, preventing the spread of infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and promoting global health, the U.S. is working to build a better, safer world” (12/1).

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Washington State's Global Health Community Should Lead Reforms To Better Distribute HIV Funding Among Donors, Recipient Nations

Humanosphere: Op-Ed: Is global health industry too self-serving in the fight against AIDS?
Scott Barnhart, professor of medicine and global health, and Joanna Diallo, senior program manager in the department of global health, both at the University of Washington, Seattle, discuss a “self-serving model of development,” in which much of the funding meant to help people in low- and middle-income nations remains in U.S. organizations and agencies. They describe seven steps the global health community can take over the next decade to smooth the “unequal power relationship between wealthy donor and economically poor recipient countries,” and conclude, “We must not be complacent in our own self-interest by allowing these institutions to remain weak, countries to stay poor and HIV funding to be insufficient to serve both masters. Washington state should take the lead to truly shift development to be an economic engine and driver for better health in low-income countries” (12/1).

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CDC Continues To Work Toward Global Polio Eradication

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: CDC Continues the Fight Against Polio
Rebecca Martin, director of the CDC’s Center for Global Health, discusses the CDC’s partnership with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and highlights efforts by the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to end polio, writing, “Unquestionably, the efforts of CDC responders and the EOC contributed greatly to the success of our polio eradication efforts and will contribute greatly to the final efforts to eradicate polio once and for all” (12/2).

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