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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Administrator Smith Speaks About Agency's Future, Obama's Development Legacy At CGD Event

Devex: USAID administrator Gayle Smith on Obama’s development legacy
“…U.S. Agency for International Development [Administrator] Gayle Smith has called upon the incoming Donald Trump administration to diversify how development is funded, continue to invest in fragile states, focus on resilience against disaster, and continue to give USAID a seat at the foreign policy table. [Speaking at a Center for Global Development event in Washington, D.C.,] Smith … shared her thoughts on USAID’s achievements during President Barack Obama’s eight years in office and outlined five recommendations for how Trump, and the wider development community, should continue to support the U.S. aid agency going forward…” (Edwards, 12/8).

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Senate Passes $6.3B 21st Century Cures Bill, Including Cancer Moonshot Initiative

POLITICO: Biden’s farewell gift: Cancer moonshot helps pass $6.3 billion research bill
“…The $6.3 billion 21st Century Cures bill was approved by the Senate Wednesday in an overwhelming 94-5 vote and is now headed to the White House as one of the last pieces of legislation to be signed into law by President Barack Obama. … The vote let lawmakers close the year and the 114th Congress on a dramatic high, after a divisive election and ahead of the heated battles next year over the dismantling of Obamacare. That drama was captured Monday night, when [Vice President Joe] Biden took the rare step of presiding over the Senate for a procedural vote on the bill and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the Senate would rename the law’s cancer program after Biden’s late son…” (Karlin-Smith et al., 12/7).

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Philippines Must Implement More Comprehensive HIV Prevention Policies, Focus On MSM, HRW Report Says

Associated Press: Rights group, worried about HIV, urges Philippines action
“A human rights watchdog says the Philippines is facing one of the fastest growing epidemics of HIV in the Asia Pacific, fueled by government policies that restrict intervention, including access to condoms by men who have sex with men…” (Cerojano, 12/7).

Quartz: Rodrigo Duterte’s next war is a growing HIV epidemic in the Philippines
“…The latest statistics from NGO Human Rights Watch, released [December 8], show that there are currently 26 newly diagnosed HIV cases per day in the Philippines, a sizeable jump from the one-per-day rate just eight years ago. The report revealed that the inaccessibility of contraceptives and lack of sexual education in schools are the root causes of the increasing HIV incidence…” (Reyes, 12/7).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Philippines HIV prevention policies leave behind men who have sex with men: rights group
“…Last year, at least 11 cities in the Philippines reported HIV prevalence rates of more than five percent among men who have sex with men, the study said. The Philippines introduced effective policies targeting the outbreak of HIV among sex workers in the 1990s, however ‘it has failed to adapt its prevention strategies in line with the epidemic’s shifting epicenter,’ HRW said in a statement…” (Liu, 12/7).

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Additional Resources To Address Cholera In Haiti Needed To Eliminate Disease, U.N. Adviser Says

U.N. News Centre: Gains made in Haiti cholera fight show additional resources can ensure ‘cholera will go’ — U.N. Adviser
“…In an interview with the U.N. News Service, Dr. David Nabarro, a U.N. special adviser, highlighted the recent massive recent vaccination campaign, backed by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/U.N. World Health Organization (WHO), that reached 729,000 vulnerable Haitians and the increase in ‘rapid response’ teams, which has had a positive impact in stopping outbreaks of the disease in its tracks. ‘I want enough cash in the bank so that we can be sure of being able to have this response capacity right through into 2018. Then, we can really get this outbreak right down, numbers really small, and then if we combine it [with efforts to improve] water supplies and sanitation for every Haitian, cholera will go,’ he underscored…” (12/7).

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LSHTM, Novartis Foundation Promote 'Systems Design' Approach, Digital Technology Advances For Managing Chronic Diseases

SciDev.Net: ‘Evolutions and revolutions’ in chronic disease care
“The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) has teamed up with the Novartis Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the pharmaceutical company, to test a new tack to managing the rising burden of chronic diseases in the developing world. In an interview recorded last week at a symposium co-hosted by the pair, LSHTM Director Peter Piot outlines elements of the partnership. Piot, who also heads the foundation’s board of trustees, focuses on two elements: the need for a ‘systems design’ approach to care that puts people first, and the promise of ‘evolutions and revolutions’ in digital technology for areas where resources are in short supply, particularly sub-Saharan Africa…” (Makri, 12/7).

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U.N., Partner NGOs Launch $2.66B Appeal For Emergency Assistance To 8 Sahel Region Nations

U.N. News Centre: U.N. launches $2.66 billion appeal for emergency assistance in Sahel region
“The United Nations and its partner nongovernmental organizations [Wednesday] launched an appeal for $2.66 billion to provide emergency assistance across eight countries in the Sahel region, where ‘millions of people still live in conditions of deplorable human suffering’…” (12/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

5 Questions That Could Help Assess Impact Of U.K. Aid, Keep Primary Goal Of Eradicating Poverty

The Guardian: Five questions we should be asking about the impact of U.K. aid
Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam GB

“…Five questions should help assess the impact of U.K. aid as the government finalizes and implements its aid strategy. The most fundamental is whether aid funding is meeting its core purpose. … So too does the question of whether a legitimate interest in issues of security and prosperity, as judged from an exclusively British perspective, have a disproportionate influence on how aid is spent. … No less worthy of scrutiny is the rapid and very substantial investment by DfID into economic development and stimulus of the private sector. Will this approach deliver for the poorest people? … Will increased scrutiny of the aid community begin with the government’s own aid funding, where there are currently a number of blind spots? … Finally, there is the question of how the government views the role of civil society in supporting the U.K.’s vision for aid and development. … There is much to be positive about in the recent aid reviews, and we will back them in that spirit. But there is a thin line between making aid and development more effective for the world of 2017 and beyond, and a dilution of the primary purpose of eradicating poverty. That’s what we must all keep an eye on” (12/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Saving Mothers, Giving Life's 2016 Annual Report Shows Progress In Reducing Maternal, Perinatal Mortality In Uganda, Zambia

Saving Mothers, Giving Life: Saving Mothers, Giving Life Initiative Reveals Latest Results
“[On Wednesday], Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-led public-private partnership to accelerate the reduction of maternal and newborn mortality, released its 2016 Annual Report. The Annual Report highlights SMGL’s progress in reducing maternal and perinatal mortality across 10 districts in Uganda and Zambia. The report also features baseline data on quality of care in Cross River State, Nigeria, to inform future work in the state…” (12/7).

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CDC's Use Of Data, Innovative Testing, Treatment Strategies Aims To Help Achieve AIDS-Free Generation

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Innovation to Drive Impact: Reaching the Hardest to Reach
Shannon Hader, director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TB, discusses CDC’s efforts to respond to AIDS globally, highlighting CDC’s use of data, innovative HIV testing strategies, and streamlined care models, as well as its initiative to address the needs of young people (12/1).

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USAID Food Programs Partner With Organizations To Support Innovations Aimed At Ending Global Hunger

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: Feeding the Future: Partnering to End Global Hunger
Elizabeth Holtan, digital communications manager at USGLC, describes efforts by the U.S. government’s Feed the Future and Food for Peace initiatives to partner with organizations such as Land O’Lakes International Development, World Vision, and others to support innovations aimed at ending global hunger and malnutrition (12/7).

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UNAIDS Report Offers Recommendations To Help Overcome Access Barriers To HIV-Related Treatments, Diagnostics

Intellectual Property Watch: UNAIDS Board Considers Recommendations On Access To Medicines
Catherine Saez, senior writer at Intellectual Property Watch, discusses findings from a UNAIDS “‘Synthesis report of existing research and literature on intellectual property related [to] and other factors impacting the availability, affordability, and accessibility of treatment and diagnostics for HIV and co-infections in low- and middle-income countries.’ … The report makes several recommendations to guide the global AIDS response in overcoming the barriers to access to HIV-related health technologies” (12/7).

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