KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

NGOs, Advocacy Groups Express Concern Over Proposed U.S. Cuts To Global HIV/AIDS Funding

Foreign Policy: Proposed U.S. Cuts to AIDS Funding Could Cause Millions of Deaths: Report
“The State Department is trumpeting U.S. progress combating HIV and AIDS worldwide, but nongovernmental organizations warn that the Trump administration’s plans to slash AIDS funding could lead to millions more infected, with many dying. … A blistering new report from the ONE Campaign … argues that the administration’s proposed budget cuts would derail all the progress made to date, just when an end to the disease is in sight” (Gramer, 12/1).

Al Jazeera: World AIDS Day: Groups say Trump failing on HIV fight
“…38 advocacy organizations submitted a letter to congressional leaders on Friday voicing a ‘profound concern about the direction the executive branch appears to be taking in the global response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic’…” (Elliott, 12/1).

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Trump Administration Announces Decision To Pull Out Of U.N.'s Global Compact On Migration

The Guardian: Donald Trump pulls U.S. out of U.N. global compact on migration
“The Trump administration has pulled out of the United Nations’ ambitious plans to create a more humane global strategy on migration, saying involvement in the process interferes with American sovereignty, and runs counter to U.S. immigration policies…” (Wintour, 12/3).

New York Times: U.S. Quits Migration Pact, Saying It Infringes on Sovereignty
“…The administration’s decision to renounce the talks on the agreement, the Global Compact on Migration, was announced in a statement Saturday night by the United States Mission to the United Nations, surprising migrant-rights advocates who called it shortsighted and counterproductive. Many said the decision appeared to reinforce what they called an atmosphere of renewed American isolationism and exceptionalism at the United Nations in the first year of the Trump White House…” (Gladstone, 12/3).

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U.S. Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson Dismisses Reports Of White House Plan To Replace Him

POLITICO: Tillerson dismisses reports of plan to oust him: ‘It’s laughable’
“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Friday called reports of a White House plan to oust him ‘laughable.’ White House chief of staff John Kelly has created a plan to force Tillerson out of the State Department, according to the New York Times, which reported Thursday that CIA Director Mike Pompeo would succeed him, with Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) favored to take over the CIA. … White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said there were no personnel changes to announce Thursday and indicated that Trump maintains confidence in his secretary of state, despite their strained relationship…” (McCaskill, 12/1).

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Chemonics Faces December Deadline To Show Improvements In Global Health Supply Chain Project

Devex: Exclusive: Chemonics battles wave of challenges with $9.5B health supply chain project
“The contractor managing a multibillion dollar, United States government-funded global health supply chain project has limited time to prove it can overcome a long list of problems that have plagued this lifesaving effort. Chemonics International is under mounting pressure to show that the largest project ever funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development has turned a corner. Facing a December performance deadline and scrutiny from a growing list of U.S. lawmakers and watchdog groups, project leaders are pointing to a range of actions they have taken in recent months to improve delivery times and cut down on chronic delays…” (Igoe, 12/4).

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India's The Wire Publishes Analysis Of Recent Global Fund Executive Director Election

The Wire: Global Fund Elections and What They Say About U.S.’s Influence in Global Health Politics
“The election of Peter Sands, former CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, as the executive director of the Global Fund was interesting not only because of the drama that preceded it, but also in a way that begins to signify a possible reduction in the American influence in global health politics, experts observe…” (Patnaik, 12/2).

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U.K. To Prioritize Disability-Inclusive Development, New DFID Head Says

Devex: Advocates welcome DFID pledge on disability, warn of complexities
“The new head of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development has pledged to put disability ‘at the heart’ of everything it does in her first public speech since taking the role. Speaking ahead of International Day of People with Disabilities on Sunday, Penny Mordaunt — who was appointed last month following the shock departure of Priti Patel — said the issue of disability-inclusive development ‘will be one of my top priorities’…” (Edwards, 12/4).

Devex: Mordaunt announces Global Disability Summit in first DFID speech
“The United Kingdom’s new secretary of state for international development [announced] on Thursday that the country is to host its first-ever Global Disability Summit in London in July 2018, bringing together governments, technology companies, and civil society to promote disability-inclusive development…” (Edwards, 11/30).

SciDev.Net: Disability a top priority for new U.K. development minister
“… ‘As a department, we will put disability at the heart of everything that we do,’ said Mordaunt, a former disabilities minister who was appointed on November 9. ‘We will work with disabled people’s organizations, governments, companies, and charities to find creative and lasting ways to help transform the lives of all people living with disabilities around the world,’ Mordaunt said…” (Deighton, 12/1).

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Philippines Government Suspends, Launches Investigation Into Nation's Dengue Immunization Program After Sanofi Warns Vaccine Could Make Some Infections More Severe

CIDRAP News: Sanofi restricts dengue vaccine but downplays antibody enhancement
“…The company said a new analysis shows that, for dengue-naive recipients, the vaccine makes future dengue episodes more severe. According to a press release from Sanofi, vaccination should not be recommended to people who have not been infected by dengue virus…” (Soucheray, 12/1).

CNN Philippines: Former DOH Secretary ready to face probe on dengue vaccine
“…The [Philippines] government on Monday launched an investigation on the ₱3.5 billion anti-dengue vaccination [program of the Department of Health (DOH)], following the report of Sanofi Pasteur that its vaccine Dengvaxia poses risks to those who have not been previously infected by dengue but have been vaccinated. The DOH said this puts about 70,000 children at risk…” (Garcia, 12/4).

New York Times: Philippines Suspends Dengue Shots After Drug Firm’s Warning
“The Philippines suspended its school-based dengue immunization program on Friday after the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi warned that its flagship vaccine, Dengvaxia, had been found to pose health risks in people not previously infected. The suspension came after health experts expressed worries about Sanofi’s announcement [last] week…” (Villamor, 12/1).

Reuters: Philippines orders probe into Sanofi dengue vaccine for 730,000 children
“…The World Health Organization said it hoped to conduct a full review by year-end of data on the vaccine, commercially known as Dengvaxia. In the meantime, the WHO recommended that it only be used in people who had a prior infection with dengue…” (Serapio/Morales, 12/3).

Reuters: Philippine president vows to get to the bottom of dengue vaccine ‘health scam’
“The office of the Philippine president on Sunday vowed to hold accountable those responsible for a suspended dengue immunization program, which it said placed thousands of lives at risk. … ‘We will leave no stone unturned in making those responsible for this shameless public health scam which puts hundreds of thousands of young lives at risk accountable,’ presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement…” (Lema, 12/3).

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U.N. Officials Urge Opening Of Ports Amid Threats Of Famine, Diphtheria, Cholera Epidemics

ABC News: Yemen’s cities running out of fuel and clean water in ‘imminent catastrophe,’ U.N. says
“…Millions of Yemenis depend on [imported] supplies, and without fuel, health and water facilities can’t run. So Yemen’s cities are running out of clean water, the chiefs of several United Nations agencies and other top humanitarian officials said in a statement Saturday…” (Gittleson, 12/3).

Agence France-Presse: Yemen diphtheria cases soar amid dire vaccine shortage: WHO
“Twenty-two people have died of suspected diphtheria in conflict-ravaged Yemen, the World Health Organization said Friday, warning that a port and airport blockade had created a dire shortage of vaccines…” (12/2).

New York Times: Ravaged by Cholera, Yemen Faces 2nd Preventable Scourge: Diphtheria
“…The disease, which the medical charity Doctors Without Borders said had not been seen in Yemen for 25 years, has now spread to 13 of Yemen’s 22 governorates…” (Gladstone, 12/1).

Reuters: Cholera could resurge in Yemen due to lack of aid, fuel: WHO
“…Some 960,000 suspected cases of cholera and 2,219 deaths have been reported since the epidemic began in April, WHO figures show. … Although the number of new cases has dropped for 11 straight weeks, 35 districts in Yemen are still reporting cholera with ‘high attack rates’ in communities, [Nevio Zagaria, WHO country representative in Yemen,] said…” (Nebehay, 12/3).

U.N. News Centre: Yemen: As threat of famine looms, U.N. urges Saudi-led coalition to fully lift blockade of Red Sea ports
“Top officials from across the United Nations system called on Saturday for the Saudi-led coalition to fully lift its blockade of Yemen’s Red Sea ports, warning that unless commercial imports are resumed, ‘the threat of widespread famine in a matter of months is very real’…” (12/2).

VOA News: Diphtheria Cases Soaring in Yemen as Blockade Creates Shortage of Vaccines
“…Following an international outcry, Saudi Arabia has partially lifted the blockade. As a consequence, [WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier] says a ship carrying 33 tons of medical supplies, including surgical supply kits, infant incubators, and vaccine cold boxes is arriving in Hodeida port. But, because of the long delay and closure of access, he says there is a big backlog of anti-diphtheria vaccines and other supplies stored in Djibouti and elsewhere waiting to get in” (Schlein, 12/3).

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Media Outlets Continue To Cover World AIDS Day, Including Progress On, Challenges To Ending AIDS

U.N. News Centre: World AIDS Day: U.N. calls for renewed commitment to make epidemic ‘a thing of the past’
“The world will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — which include the target of ending AIDS by 2030 — without people attaining their right to health, the United Nations said Friday, marking World AIDS Day with a strong appeal for the full realization of this fundamental right by everyone, everywhere…” (12/1).

VOA News: Report: More Men Than Women Die from AIDS
“A new report issued on World AIDS Day finds more men than women are dying from AIDS because fewer men get tested for the fatal disease or have access to treatment…” (Schlein, 12/1).

Xinhua News: Spotlight: U.N. goal of wiping out AIDS by 2030 appears within reach
“…UNAIDS data show substantial progress has been made toward reaching the ’90-90-90’ target designed to help wipe out AIDS by 2030. The goal calls for 90 percent of people living with HIV to know their HIV status by 2020; 90 percent of those diagnosed to receive sustained ART; and 90 percent of individuals on ART to achieve viral suppression…” (Wang, 12/2).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: U.N. voices alarm about spread of HIV in Egypt (El-Mafty, 12/4).

Devex: Q&A: ‘The climate challenge is a development problem. A major development problem’ (Igoe, 12/4).

Devex: Australia has released its new foreign policy white paper — what now for NGOs? (Cornish, 12/1).

Devex: In India, can a manufacturing startup lead a feminine hygiene revolution? (Rogers, 12/4).

The Guardian: How homophobia feeds Russia’s HIV epidemic (Cain, 12/2).

NPR: How Chickens And Goats Are Helping To Stop Child Marriage (Singh, 12/3).

U.N. News Centre: Remove physical and cultural barriers; build inclusive societies ‘for, by and with persons with disabilities’ — U.N. (12/3).

Vox: Why Japan’s HPV vaccine rates dropped from 70% to near zero (Belluz, 12/1).

Xinhua News: Feature: South Sudan’s male midwives overcome cultural prejudice to save lives (12/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Trump Administration, U.S. Congress Should Fully Fund PEPFAR, Global Fund, Continue Leadership In Global HIV/AIDS Response

CNN: President Trump must lead the global fight against HIV/AIDS, not surrender it
Tom Hart, North America executive director of the ONE Campaign

“After 15 years of strong, bipartisan American leadership and incredible progress in the global fight against AIDS, the Trump administration appears ready to trade the iconic red ribbon for the white flag of surrender. That’s the conclusion of a new ONE Campaign report released [last] week. Working with some of the nation’s leading experts in the global fight against AIDS, ONE’s policy experts analyzed the consequences of President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal … The lower funding level would force PEPFAR to stop putting additional people on HIV treatment in some of the world’s highest-burden countries … We need to be doing more — not less. In fighting the global epidemic, there is simply no substitute for getting more people on treatment. … President Trump should restore full funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund in his budget request for 2019, but if he proposes another cut, Congress should once again push it aside. PEPFAR must be given the resources it needs to stem the disease ahead of Africa’s expected population boom. Failure to expand treatment could mean abandoning the historic opportunity to end the AIDS epidemic as a global health threat forever. Our response in the global fight against HIV/AIDS should be to lead, not surrender” (12/1).

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U.S. Should Continue To Lead On Global Efforts To Eliminate AIDS In Children

USA Today: In global fight against AIDS, children are ‘losing ground’
Charles Lyons, CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

“…Conquering AIDS has been a coordinated global effort in recent years, and it will take true commitment from global leaders, including the U.S., to move the needle on eliminating AIDS in children. … Ongoing progress and breakthroughs can meaningfully improve individual lives, keep mothers from losing their children, and help turn the tide of the epidemic — but only if we invest both resources and political will. The U.S. can and should lead the way. In October, a bipartisan group of U.S. members of Congress introduced a resolution recognizing the importance of a continued commitment to ending pediatric AIDS worldwide. Their words were never more important. By leaning into the fight against pediatric AIDS so that the world reverses its backslide and can meet global targets in 2020, the administration has the opportunity to usher in a success story greater than Supreme Court nominations, tax reform, or even health care reform. It is the opportunity to save lives, make good on promises made and welcome generation after generation into a world free of AIDS because of the actions we took today” (12/1).

HuffPost: Celebrate PEPFAR on World AIDS Day as We Rededicate Ourselves to Helping Children
Bill O’Keefe, vice president for advocacy at Catholic Relief Services

“…[O]n this World AIDS Day, let’s acknowledge that much remains to be done [in global efforts to end AIDS], particularly for children. Their access to life-saving medication has lagged far behind that of adults. And even if a child is not infected herself, HIV can still be devastating, wiping out a family’s finances, affecting every aspect of the household’s well-being. Much of PEPFAR’s success is rooted in the inspiration it gave to public health and development experts, as well as Congress, who began to imagine that maybe we could take on the challenge of this pandemic, that maybe everybody didn’t have to die. And that’s what we did, and we need to do it again. … We are proud to be a part of what we hope will be a breakthrough effort to ensure that the successes of PEPFAR are passed down to the next generation of children growing up in a world still affected by HIV and AIDS” (12/1).

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Mexico City Policy Could Threaten Progress Made On Global HIV/AIDS

HuffPost: The Global Gag Rule Impacts Hard-Fought Progress On HIV/AIDS Relief
Seema Jalan, executive director at the Universal Access Project

“…The expansion of the Global Gag Rule will roll back hard-fought progress and long-standing U.S. leadership on HIV/AIDS relief around the world, especially for key populations on the front lines of efforts to fight HIV. It reverses global efforts to integrate HIV and sexual and reproductive health programs and services, a best practice in health care service delivery as there may only be one clinic serving an entire population. … It’s too soon to say just how far back this policy will take us. But if history serves as any indicator, it is likely to be tragic. … [I]t’s a false dichotomy to have to choose between providing lifesaving HIV/AIDS therapy or lifesaving reproductive health services. Under the expanded policy, … the fundamental right to quality, accessible health care for vulnerable families and communities will be jeopardized and our country’s progress on global health will be undermined. As we continue to track the impacts of this reinstated and expanded Global Gag Rule, our elected officials — and we, as the constituents that hold them accountable — must ensure that the health and rights of the world’s most marginalized people are not forgotten. It’s the best of American values” (12/1).

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Global Water Strategy Offers Opportunity For U.S. To Integrate Water Security Into National Security Strategy

The Hill: Water strategy represents an emerging opportunity for U.S. national security
John Oldfield, principal at Global Water 2020

“…[T]he long-anticipated U.S. Global Water Strategy has been released, bringing together the full and coordinated strength of 16 U.S. government agencies and private partners. … [T]he Global Water Strategy provides not just a better coordinated whole-of-government approach, but in fact, a whole-of-U.S. approach, that offers opportunities to be more catalytic, leverage donors in the global water sector, and give U.S. taxpayers a much bigger foreign policy bang for their limited bucks. … Led by the U.S. Department of State and USAID, the coordinated approach outlined in the strategy is a meaningful step in the right direction, if implemented properly — with ongoing oversight and funding from Congress and hopefully with overarching support from the White House. Congress must play a leading role. … Implementation of this Global Water Strategy requires funding, and congressional appropriators … would be wise to provide funding to support the important global water work of agencies far beyond State and USAID … The intelligence committees in the Senate and House should request an updated National Intelligence Estimate on global water security and Congress should insist that global water security be properly incorporated into President Trump’s forthcoming National Security Strategy…” (12/2).

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U.K. Should Exhibit Political, Financial Leadership In Global HIV/AIDS Response

Devex: Opinion: The U.K. needs stronger political leadership — and investment — to fight AIDS
Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the city of Durham

“…[T]he disproportionate impact of HIV on marginalized groups, especially in middle-income countries, is further evidence of the systemic inequality that underpins our societies globally. … In the global HIV response, stigma, discrimination, and criminalization are key issues that must be tackled before we can end the epidemic. … [W]e must prioritize equality of access to HIV prevention, treatment, and care, and continue to invest. … The U.K. must increase its contributions to multilateral organizations working on the HIV response, including the Global Fund, UNAIDS, and UNITAID, if we are to meet the [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)] target on AIDS. Beyond the financing, the U.K. also has a critical role to play in using its political leadership and global influence to promote and protect the rights of the groups at the greatest risk of being left behind. … The job won’t be done until even the most marginalized groups have access to HIV services. Until then, we must continue to invest in the HIV response and be a vocal global leader for human rights and evidence-based interventions” (12/1).

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Pharmaceutical Industry Should Fulfill 4 Key Commitments In Efforts To Stop Spread Of HIV

Project Syndicate: Four Ways to Beat HIV/AIDS
Heather Bresch, CEO of Mylan

“…The pharmaceutical industry has a responsibility to expand access to testing and treatment, and to help stop the spread of HIV once and for all. Fulfilling four key commitments will make this goal achievable. For starters, pharmaceutical companies should do more to increase the availability of low-cost, generic medicines. … Next, drug makers must continue investing in capacity and supply-chain reliability. … A third urgently needed commitment is to increase support for research that accelerates the development of new innovations in effective and efficient treatment delivery. … Finally, real gains in the fight against HIV/AIDS will require drug makers to account for the limitations of health care systems and distribution networks in the developing countries they serve. … The global health community has made remarkable progress in turning the tide on HIV/AIDS, introducing new products and advocating for earlier treatment. … Makers of generic medicines have an important role to play in this fight, and we will not stop working until treatment is available to every patient in the world who needs it” (12/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CSIS Commentary Discusses Role Of U.S. Leadership In Global HIV/AIDS Efforts

Center for Strategic and International Studies: World AIDS Day 2017: Time for the United States to Recommit to the Global HIV Fight
Sara M. Allinder, deputy director and senior fellow at CSIS’s Global Health Policy Center, discusses progress on global HIV/AIDS, as well as U.S. efforts and spending. Allinder concludes, “The United States should recommit to its leadership role and the long game for winning against HIV, while increasing its diplomacy to boost political and financial commitments of partner governments. We must look beyond the immediate benchmarks and take the long view with efforts that move us along the path toward a time when HIV is no longer a public health threat” (12/1).

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FT Health Discusses Global Health Financing, Features Interview With WHO Malaria Program Head

FT Health: Nation states must do more to fund fight against disease
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter highlights the risks of developing nations relying too heavily on foreign financing for global health activities and features an interview with Pedro Alonso, director of the WHO malaria program, who discusses findings from the recently released World Malaria Report. The newsletter also features a roundup of other global health-related news stories (Jack/Dodd, 12/1).

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From the U.S. Government

Birx Highlights U.S. Leadership In Efforts To Control HIV/AIDS, PEPFAR's Latest Results

White House Blog: With American Leadership, We Are on the Brink of Controlling AIDS
U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah L. Birx recognizes World AIDS Day, discusses the role of U.S. leadership in global HIV/AIDS efforts, and highlights the latest PEPFAR results. Birx writes, “The United States — under the leadership of President Donald Trump and working alongside other governments, private sector companies, philanthropic organizations, multilateral institutions, civil society and faith-based organizations, people living with HIV, and many others — continues to lead the way in the HIV/AIDS response…” (12/1).

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FDA Approves 200th Antiretroviral Drug Application

FDA: PEPFAR: FDA Approves 200th HIV/AIDS Therapy
Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, discusses the approval of the 200th antiretroviral drug application as well as FDA’s work with PEPFAR to develop HIV therapies and provide access to HIV treatment (12/1).

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MMWR Podcast Discusses First Published Account Of AIDS

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: MMWR Podcasts: The AIDS Epidemic, Pneumocystis Pneumonia — Los Angeles 1981
In this podcast episode, Sonja Rasmussen, editor-in-chief of the MMWR, speaks with Harold Jaffe, CDC’s associate director for science, about an MMWR report published in 1981 on Pneumocystis pneumonia. Rasmussen notes, “This report was later acknowledged as the first published account of what would become known as human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. It was the first of many MMWR reports that led to a better understanding of this new condition” (12/1).

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From KFF

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Analysis On Mexico City Policy's Potential Impact On Foreign NGOs

Kaiser Family Foundation: How Many Foreign NGOs Are Subject to the Expanded Mexico City Policy?
This issue brief examines the potential impact of the Mexico City policy on foreign NGOs that receive global health assistance. The analysis shows that if the policy had been in effect during a recent three-year period (FY 2013-FY 2015), at least 1,275 foreign NGOs and approximately $2.2 billion in global health funding would have been subject to the expanded policy. In addition, at least 469 U.S. NGOs would have been required to ensure that their foreign NGO sub-recipients were in compliance (Moss/Kates, 12/4).

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