KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

In SOTU, U.S. President Trump Calls For Restricting Foreign Aid To 'America's Friends'

Devex: In State of the Union, Trump unearths old U.S. aid restrictions
“U.S. foreign aid did not garner much attention in President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union speech. But after hearing Trump’s brief remarks on assistance spending, development advocates might have preferred if he skipped over the issue entirely. While few expected Trump to champion major new initiatives in his first such address, they also hoped the president might steer clear of inflicting any more pressure on U.S. global development efforts than his proposals to slash funding already have. Instead the president resurfaced a proposal endorsed by members of the Tea Party to limit U.S. aid to ‘America’s friends’ — presumably countries that vote with the U.S. at the United Nations…” (Igoe, 1/31).

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Bill Gates Discusses Efforts To Eliminate Malaria In Devex Interview

Devex: Gates vs. Malaria: How Bill Gates aims to win the fight of his life
“…[Bill Gates spoke with Devex at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting], talking about the science and technology behind the push to eradicate malaria parasites — one of Gates’ favorite subjects and one which he has elevated at this meeting two years in a row. When thinking about systemic challenges like a persistent infectious disease that’s been killing homo sapiens since we first evolved, most people find comfort in focus: It’s about bed nets or new drugs or a vaccine. Gates is not interested in a silver bullet, a single tool…” (Kumar, 2/1).

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British Foreign Aid For Madagascar's Plague Outbreak Helped Prevent 'Catastrophe,' U.K. Development Secretary Says

The Guardian: Penny Mordaunt hails ‘heroic’ British aid response to plague in Madagascar
“Penny Mordaunt has claimed that ‘heroic’ British efforts to tackle an outbreak of plague in Madagascar helped to save thousands of lives. The international development secretary said efforts to control the spread of plague, which killed more than 200 people on the island last year, ‘averted a catastrophe’…” (McVeigh, 2/1).

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Rwanda Becomes First Low-Income Nation To Offer Universal Eye Care

The Guardian: Rwanda becomes first poor country to provide eye care for all
“Rwanda has become the first low-income country to provide universal eye care for its 12 million population. The government has partnered with the organization Vision for a Nation (VFAN) to train more than 3,000 eye care nurses based in 502 local health centers, prescribing glasses and referring those with serious eye problems to national clinics. Nurses have visited each of Rwanda’s 15,000 villages…” (Bowman, 1/31).

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Cholera Continues To Spread In Southern, East African Nations

IRIN: Africa’s all too preventable cholera crisis
“Southern and East African countries are facing a severe cholera outbreak that is exposing the failure in public sanitation and the impact of government neglect. Last year, there were more than 109,442 cholera cases resulting in 1,708 deaths in 12 countries in the Eastern and Southern Africa Region (ESAR), according to the U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF. Since the beginning of 2018, there have been more than 2,009 cases and a further 22 deaths in seven countries — Angola, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, Tanzania, and Zambia…” (Mukeredzi, 2/1).

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U.N. Audit Shows Waste, Water Management Lapses In U.N. Support Office In Somalia Operations

Fox News: U.N. support for cholera-stricken Somalia includes raw sewage runoffs, hazardous waste dumps
“More than a year after United Nations peacekeepers were condemned by their own auditors for heedlessly dumping sewage, untreated waste water, garbage, medical waste, and other dangerous materials in a wide array of war-torn countries, the same horrific health practices have surfaced again, in battered Somalia. … [U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS)] auditors visited Somalia from July to October 2017 and issued a report covering [United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS)] activities from January 2015 to the end of last June. The report was completed last December but made public only in mid-January 2018. … A U.N. peacekeeping spokesperson told Fox News that nearly a score of wastewater treatment plants are now operational in Somalia, along with a number of solid waste management facilities…” (Russell, 1/31).

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Premature Cancer Deaths Cost BRICS Countries More Than $46B In Productivity Losses, U.N. Study Shows

U.N. News Centre: Over $46 billion lost to premature cancer deaths in BRICS economies, U.N. research finds
“Premature deaths as a result of cancer is costing major emerging economies tens of billions of dollars a year, a new United Nations health study has found, underlining the need for context-specific strategies for both prevention as well as treatment for those suffering from the disease…” (1/31).

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Stanford's Michele Barry Discusses Pandemic Threats, Need For More Women Global Health Leaders In GHN Interview

Global Health NOW: Changing the Global Health Paradigm: Michele Barry
“…In this first of a two-part Q&A with Global Health NOW, [Michele Barry, director of Center for Innovation in Global Health and a senior associate dean at Stanford University School of Medicine,] discusses pandemic threats in fragile states, the need to change single-problem approach in global health, and priorities for Stanford’s global health program…” (Simpson, 1/31).

Global Health NOW: Michele Barry: The Need for More Women Leaders in Global Health
“…In this 2nd part of her Q&A with Global Health NOW, Barry discusses the Women Leaders in Global Health conference’s origins, future priorities and how to fix ‘leaks’ in the pipeline of promising young women leaders heading to top leadership positions…” (Simpson, 1/31).

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More News In Global Health

CIDRAP News: Malaria in pregnancy now complicated by drug resistance (Soucheray, 1/31).

The Guardian: Global use of mosquito nets for fishing ‘endangering humans and wildlife’ (Carrington, 1/31).

NPR: What’s The 5-Year-Survival Rate For Cancer Patients Around The World? (Silver, 1/30).

Reuters: Exclusive: With Roman law doctrine, India moves to stub out tobacco industry rights (Kalra, 1/31).

Reuters: Namibia reports first cholera case after deadly outbreak in Zambia (Nyaungwa, 1/31).

SciDev.Net: African institutions to get a year’s free R&D publicity (Otieno, 1/31).

Scientific American: Can Crowdsourcing and Collaboration Improve the Future of Human Health? (Wiegand, 1/31).

STAT: Not just Zika: Other mosquito-borne viruses may cause birth defects, study suggests (Joseph, 1/31).

U.N. News Centre: South-East Asia region aims to close immunity gap, wipe out measles by 2020 — U.N. health agency (1/31).

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Editorials and Opinions

On Its 15th Anniversary, PEPFAR Serves As 'Shining Example' Of U.S. Commitment To Global Health, Model For 'Other Opportunities'

Fox News: It’s been 15 years since George W. Bush launched PEPFAR and saved millions of lives
Anne D. MacDonald, founder and principal at Matterhorn Advisory

“Fifteen years ago this week, President George W. Bush traveled up Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol to announce the largest commitment ever to fight a single disease — a commitment that has saved the lives of millions of people with HIV/AIDS. … The Bushes’ commitment to PEPFAR was continued on a bipartisan basis by President Obama, and now by President Trump. … The U.S. investment has been leveraged to encourage significant additional funding from the international community … The mission of PEPFAR is to do the right thing by our brothers and sisters needlessly dying. … As other opportunities arise to do ‘so much for so many,’ Americans and our leaders can take heart and courage in PEPFAR’s shining example of success. On this 15th anniversary of one of the greatest humanitarian accomplishments of our country, we should look for more cost-effective, data-driven, and results-oriented ways to extend the same heart of compassion towards other global problems that can’t be solved without the power and capabilities of the United States” (1/31).

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Global Health Funders Should Prioritize Addressing Pneumonia, Other Preventable Childhood Diseases

Financial Times: Why some killer diseases are overlooked
Simon Kuper, life & arts columnist at the Financial Times

“…[W]hy do some diseases get tackled while others don’t? This is partly a story of the attention economy. … More attention generally means more funding, and fewer deaths. … The attention economy also attracts money to diseases that can feasibly be eradicated. This is a goal that excites donors. Polio (37 reported cases in 2016) and guinea-worm disease (30 reported cases in 2017) could soon disappear. The last remaining cases attract fortunes in funding. Meanwhile, pneumonia remains mostly ignored. … [D]ifficult as pneumonia is, it’s fixable. … As other diseases retreat, we are moving up the chain of harder-to-reach, poor people’s killers. The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals, shaped partly by lobbyists for different diseases, set the remarkable target of ending ‘preventable’ deaths of children by 2030. … Here is humanity’s next step forward” (2/1).

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International Community Should Work With Local Organizations To Address Mental Health Challenges Caused By Conflict In Syria

The Conversation: Why ignoring mental health needs of young Syrian refugees could harm us all
M. Zaher Sahloul, associate clinical professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and senior adviser of the Syrian American Medical Association

“…[T]he world should pay attention to the future of Syria by lending a healing hand to its traumatized children. … To many Syrians, there is a sense that the world has deserted Syrians. The resulting depression, PTSD, suicidal tendencies, severe aggression, and other mental illnesses that result from these horrors are invisible wounds that are not being detected early enough, let alone treated efficiently, in Syria and beyond. … As the number of out-of-school children looms both inside Syria and in host countries, these invisible wounds won’t be healed unless large humanitarian groups and U.N. agencies team up with local and grassroots organizations inside Syria and out. They need to address the mental health and public health challenges in parallel with educational programming. … [T]reating these wounds would be an investment that will pay in the form of counterextremism and reduction of conflict and hostility…” (1/30).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts Discuss U.S. Foreign Assistance Aspects Of President Trump's State Of The Union Address

AEI: Trump’s ‘friends only’ approach to foreign aid is easier said than done
Jessica Trisko Darden, Jeane Kirkpatrick fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, discusses President Trump’s State of the Union address, during which he “asked Congress ‘to pass legislation to help ensure American foreign assistance dollar always serve American interests, and only go to America’s friends.'” Darden highlights the “mixed results” of the “effectiveness of linking U.N. votes to foreign aid” and “problems with the ‘friends only’ policy” (1/31).

U.N. Dispatch: In the State of the Union Address, Trump Sought to Peg U.S. Foreign Assistance to How a Country Votes in the U.N.
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch, discusses the potential implications of President Trump’s “threat to cut American foreign assistance to countries that somehow oppose American interests.” Goldberg notes, “If this threat is indeed carried out, and if the United States does peg its foreign assistance dollars to individual votes at the United Nations, it would mark a radical transformation of U.S. foreign assistance policy” (1/31).

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Ouagadougou Partnership Provided Modern Contraceptives To 383K Women In Francophone West Africa In 2017

IntraHealth International: 383,000 Women in Francophone West Africa Started Using Modern Contraception in 2017
This blog post highlights the work of the Ouagadougou Partnership, which was formed “in February 2011 among the governments of nine francophone West African countries, their technical partners, and donors to accelerate the use of family planning services in the region. The countries include Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo.” The post notes, “In 2017, the nine countries of the Ouagadougou Partnership together prevented 100,000 unintended pregnancies, 32,000 unsafe abortions, and 400 maternal deaths in francophone West Africa by bringing modern contraceptives to over 383,000 new users” (1/31).

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Climate Change May Affect Malaria Control, Elimination Strategies

Tropical Health Matters: Climate Changes Many Things Including Malaria
Bill Brieger, professor in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University, discusses the WHO’s framework for malaria elimination and examines how climate change could affect malaria control and elimination strategies. Brieger writes, “Countries not only need to adapt malaria activities to existing [diverse settings], but also be alert to changes in transmission and thus changes needed in strategies” (1/31).

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From the U.S. Government

State Department Blog Post Highlights President Trump's SOTU Comments On Foreign Policy

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: President Trump’s State of the Union Address
This blog post summarizes some of President Trump’s comments on foreign policy issues during the State of the Union address (1/30).

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USAID's January 2018 Global Health Newsletter Focuses On Equity In Health

USAID’s “Global Health News”: Equity in Health
USAID’s January 2018 Global Health Newsletter focuses on equity in health and features articles on immunization and population coverage in Tanzania; USAID’s work in ensuring equal access to HIV/AIDS treatment and services; and a Q&A with Kelly Saldana, director of USAID’s Bureau for Global Health’s Office of Health Systems, on the connection between health systems and equity (January 2018).

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USAID Donates 4 Xpert Rapid TB Testing Machines To Uzbekistan

U.S. Embassy in Uzbekistan: United States Donates Rapid TB Detection Equipment to Uzbekistan
“The United States announced today that it will be providing the Uzbekistan Ministry of Health with state of the art medical equipment for the rapid diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB). … The purchase of TB detection equipment and testing cartridges was supported by USAID through its Challenge TB Project, implemented in Uzbekistan in partnership with the World Health Organization and KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation. There are currently 27 Xpert MTB/Rif machines in use in Uzbekistan, including four donated by USAID in 2014” (1/30).

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