KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Fox News Examines U.S. Emergency Ebola Funding As West African Epidemic Slows

Fox News: As Ebola fades, questions arise over billions in U.S. aid
“Aid officials say a surge of international support since last fall has helped contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but as U.S.-built clinics sit dormant amid a fading health crisis, the question remains: what happens to the billions of dollars’ worth of U.S. resources committed to the region?…” (Vlahos et al., 2/9).

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Personal Protective Equipment Poses Challenges To Using Stethoscopes For Ebola Health Workers

New York Times: In Treating Ebola, Even Using a Stethoscope Becomes a Challenge
“Doctors treating Ebola patients while wearing ‘the full spacesuit’ — protective gear, including waterproof hoods — are struggling with a clinician’s dilemma: what to do if they can’t use one of the oldest, most basic tools in medicine — a stethoscope. … Although cases are dropping rapidly in Africa, experts said stethoscopes could become more important as the remaining patients receive lifesaving intravenous hydration…” (McNeil, 2/8).

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U.N. Urges Cooperative Action From Member States To Achieve Post-2015 Development Goals

U.N. News Centre: At thematic debate, U.N. calls on Member States to boost funding for post-2015 development
“The world has embarked on a ‘crucial last stretch’ to the post-2015 development agenda and towards securing a sustainable future for all, United Nations Deputy-Secretary-General Jan Eliasson declared [Monday], adding that the international community would finally have a chance to provide ‘a life of dignity’ for millions of people…” (2/9).

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More Focused Approach Needed To Eliminate Malaria, Avoid Drug Resistance, Researchers Say

Wall Street Journal: A Warning From the Heart of Malaria Research
“…[Dr. Nick White, chair of the Wellcome Trust Southeast Asian tropical medicine research units,] and others again are gravely concerned that without a push for eradication soon, enough malarial parasites will become resistant to artemisinin that elimination of the disease will become impossible. Therefore, he says, a more radical approach must take place, one beyond the usual strategy of detecting and treating sick people. He calls the next five years critical…” (Wang, 2/9).

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Donors Pledge $500M For U.N. South Sudan Operations; U.N.'s Amos Warns Peace Vital For National Development

Reuters: U.N. raises $500 million for South Sudan after “painful” visit
“Donors pledged more than $500 million in aid to South Sudan on Monday, the United Nations aid chief said, describing her visit to the country as painful because of the suffering of the people she met…” (Migiro, 2/9).

U.N. News Centre: ‘Peace, stability and security’ vital for South Sudan’s war-weary people, says top U.N. relief official
“Continued conflict in South Sudan risks depriving the country of a generation of ‘lost’ children, warned United Nations humanitarian chief Valerie Amos [Monday] during a press conference in Juba, the capital of the strife-torn nation…” (2/9).

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U.S. House Bill Would Establish National Strategy To Address FGM

The Hill: Bill calls for strategy against female genital mutilation
“Two House Democrats have introduced a measure directing the federal government to craft a national strategy to protect girls from female genital mutilation. The bill offered by Democratic Reps. Joe Crowley (N.Y.) and Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas) addresses the issue of female gentile mutilation (FGM) in the United States, not just abroad…” (Marcos, 2/9).

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Increasing Number Of Tanzanian Girls Flee From Illegal Mass FGM Rituals

Reuters: Hundreds of Tanzanian girls run away from home to avoid FGM
“In a remote, deeply traditional corner of northern Tanzania, growing numbers of girls are running away from home to escape genital mutilation carried out during mass initiations. In the Tarime district of Mara region, bordering Kenya, the number of girls who fled these illegal rituals at the end of last year doubled to 634 from 312 the year before, according to girls’ rights campaigners…” (Makoye, 2/10).

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Despite Being Illegal, FGM Continues In Egypt Because Of Social Pressures

The Guardian: In Egypt, social pressure means FGM is still the norm
“…FGM has been illegal in Egypt since 2008. … [But] in 2008, UNICEF estimated that 91 percent of married Egyptian women aged between 15 and 49 had been mutilated — 72 percent of them by doctors. In fact, the rate is so high in the country that ‘if we were able to eradicate FGM in Egypt, we could get rid of one-fourth of the cases worldwide,’ says Jaime Nadal, the U.N. Population Fund’s (UNFPA) representative in Cairo…” (Kingsley, 2/6).

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$300M World Bank Loan To Bangladesh Will Help Improve Child Nutrition

Reuters: Bangladesh to get $300 million World Bank loan for child health
“Bangladesh is to get a $300 million loan from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) to help improve child nutrition after a deal was signed on Monday. The project will provide financial help to about 600,000 of the country’s poorest mothers…” (Quadir, 2/9).

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Malawi Floods Displace More People Than Originally Thought; UNICEF Warns Over Disease, Malnutrition Risks

The Guardian: Malawi floods devastation far worse than first thought
“Nearly a quarter of a million people, more than originally thought, have been affected by the devastating floods that ripped through Malawi a month ago, and with rains still falling, many of the 230,000 who were forced to flee their homes have been unable to return and rebuild their lives, the U.N. said. … [UNICEF] is concerned about possible outbreaks of cholera, dysentery, and malaria as well as the risk of malnutrition…” (Chonghaile, 2/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

WHO Must Follow Through With Reform To Effectively Respond To Future Disease Outbreaks

New York Times: Reform After the Ebola Debacle
Editorial Board

“The World Health Organization’s anemic performance in handling the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa may yield one positive outcome: sweeping, and long overdue, institutional reforms to improve its ability to respond more quickly to the next outbreak of a lethal infectious disease. … One big question, which can only be answered in practice, is whether the organization’s 194 member states will set aside their typical politicking on behalf of national self-interests and allow it to function as the global health leader it ought to be…” (2/10).

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U.S. Should Lead By Example In Efforts To Immunize Children Worldwide

Huffington Post: The Consensus Around Vaccines
Caryl M. Stern, president and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF

“The current measles outbreak in the U.S. raises serious concerns — not just from a domestic public health standpoint, but from a global one as well. … Every year, globally, 1.5 million children still die because they were not immunized. If we are to save and protect the world’s most vulnerable children, we need support and consensus here at home. Let’s lead by example by putting children first” (2/9).

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Increased Private, Government Investment Needed To Address Antimicrobial Resistance

Project Syndicate: A Call to Antimicrobial Arms
Jim O’Neill, honorary professor of economics at Manchester University, visiting research fellow at Bruegel, and fellow of the University of Cambridge’s Center for Rising Powers

“…[W]e do not invest enough in research and development. … That is why I am calling on international donors — philanthropic and governmental alike — to work with the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance to create a new fund to support R&D in this important area. … A solution to antimicrobial resistance need not be expensive. It is likely to cost the world much less than 0.1 percent of global GDP. Weighed against the alternative — $100 trillion in lost production by 2050 and ten million lives lost every year — it is clearly one of the wisest investments we can make” (2/9).

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International Community 'Must Take Drastic Action' To End AIDS

Huffington Post: Committing to the End of AIDS
Joel Goldman, managing director of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation, and Todd Schafer, president and CEO of the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance

“…To end AIDS, we need to aggressively allocate resources and implement programs like [our Mobile Health Clinic program] at the front lines NOW if the world is going to meet UNAIDS goal within the next 15 years. … At the UNAIDS December meeting in Geneva, we witnessed the world making a commitment to an AIDS-free future by 2030. While the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation and Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance are proud to play a key role in striving toward that remarkable day, the world and its political leaders must take drastic action to meet a goal that is so clearly within our grasp” (2/9).

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Male Involvement In Antenatal Care Has Multiple Benefits For HIV Prevention, Treatment

Huffington Post: The Important Role Fathers Can Play in Eliminating Pediatric AIDS
Julie Karfakis, Global Health Corps fellow at mothers2mothers

“Throughout sub-Saharan Africa, there is considerable evidence that a male partner’s involvement in a woman’s pregnancy and HIV treatment can help her stay in treatment and have a healthy, HIV-free baby. … Benefits of male involvement in PMTCT include increased communication between partners about HIV and its risks, and increased contraceptive use. Men who are supportive make it easier for their partners to seek treatment, stay in care, and adhere to medical regimens. Additionally, men’s involvement positively impacts infant feeding practices and decreases infant mortality…” (2/9).

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In Guatemala, Girls Marry Before Physical, Emotional Maturity

New York Times: Child, Bride, Mother
Stephanie Sinclair, photojournalist and founder and executive director of Too Young to Wed

“…The United Nations Population Fund estimates that in 2015 more than 550,000 Guatemalan girls will marry before they are 18. That’s 1,500 girls married every day in just one country. … In Guatemala, it’s legal for a girl to marry as young as 14 — though many are married far younger than that. The result: Many girls marry men far older than themselves and become mothers long before they are physically and emotionally ready. Communicating the individual experiences of these child brides across cultural and language barriers became my passion, and, ultimately, my life’s work…” (2/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Working Paper, Policy Brief Examine Gavi's Impact On Vaccination Rates

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Understanding Gavi’s Impact on Vaccination Rates
Sarah Dykstra, research associate, Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and senior fellow, Charles Kenny, senior fellow, and Justin Sandefur, research fellow, all at the Center for Global Development, discuss the launch of a working paper and policy brief on Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s impact on vaccination rates. They write, “The results suggest that Gavi’s model of providing aid ‘in kind’ (vaccines rather than cash) does not make it immune from the phenomenon of fungibility, where aid crowds out a recipient’s own spending…” (2/9).

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CSIS Global Health Policy Experts Share Impressions Of Ebola Epidemic In West Africa

Health Affairs Blog: After The Worst In Liberia And Sierra Leone
J. Stephen Morrison, director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, and Cathryn Streifel, a program manager and research associate for the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, write about discussions they undertook with different experts and delegations while recently traveling through Sierra Leone and Liberia, as well as their impressions about the Ebola epidemic in the region (2/9).

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Investment In Sexual, Reproductive Health Necessary To Achieve Post-2015 Development Goals, Analysis Says

Guttmacher Institute: Investing In Sexual And Reproductive Health Is Key To Reaching Global Development Goals
“Policymakers and other stakeholders involved in negotiating the post-2015 development agenda should heed the overwhelming evidence that investing in sexual and reproductive health is effective and cost-effective, argues a new Guttmacher policy analysis,” the press release states (Dreweke, 2/9).

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