KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Melinda Gates Emphasizes Importance Of U.S. Foreign Aid In Speech, Interview With Seattle Times

Seattle Times: Sell Trump on foreign aid? Melinda Gates vows to try
“Melinda Gates says she and her husband hope to convince the Trump administration of the value of foreign aid. Speaking Wednesday at a 10th anniversary celebration for the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health and in an interview with the Seattle Times, Gates said that while U.S. funding for foreign aid accounts for less than one percent of the federal budget, it has a huge impact on people around the world. … Programs like the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, created by George W. Bush, have been lifesavers for people in poor countries with high rates of HIV, Gates pointed out…” (Doughton, 2/10).

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4 Nations Face Unprecedented Levels Of Hunger, Food Shortages Amid Humanitarian Crises, Experts Warn

The Guardian: Famine looms in four countries as aid system struggles to cope, experts warn
“Famine is looming in four different countries, threatening unprecedented levels of hunger and a global crisis that is already stretching the aid and humanitarian system like never before, experts and insiders warn. Tens of millions of people in need of food aid in Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia are at the mercy not only of an overwhelmed aid system but also the protracted, mainly conflict-driven crises in their own countries, the humanitarian leaders say…” (McVeigh/Quinn, 2/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

Investing In Global Health Makes 'Business Sense'

The Lancet Global Health: Surprise us, Mr. Trump
Editorial Board

“…We know few things about [President] Trump’s position on health. … One thing we know is that he is a businessman, so … we could rightfully scrutinize the sharpness of his business acumen. As Trump defines a strategy for his priority issues, it would be good business practice for him to consider existing strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the national and global environments — the basic SWOT analysis. … Taking over a business is one thing, but running it is another, just like winning an election is one step removed from leading a government. If we try hard enough, we could give Trump the benefit of the doubt: after all, he has no experience in policymaking and seems unfamiliar with global health issues. But some things make more business sense than others, so focusing our efforts on demonstrating how sound an investment in global health would be seems practical. Let us hope he truly is unpredictable and surprises us — in a good way” (March 2017).

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International Community Must Continue Advancing Sexual, Reproductive Rights, Health For All

Huffington Post: Trump’s Global Gag Rule: A Call to Action and a Way Forward
Suzanne Ehlers, president & CEO of PAI

“…The [Mexico City] policy is unprecedented in its scope, not only because of the U.S.’s leadership and investment in global health over the past decade, but also because of the greater alignment and integration among the global health and development sectors. It is a policy stunning in its short-sightedness and callous in how it targets the most vulnerable. … Now is the time for us all to step forward and fulfill our promises to women. … Our first duty will be to mitigate the impact of the global gag rule with whatever resources we can mobilize, with whatever ingenuity and skills we can inject. We must be ready to ask the right questions, to collect data, and to lift up the evidence and stories that make an undeniable case for sustained and increased [health] funding; for a permanent repeal of harmful domestic and donor policies like the global gag rule; and [for] continued momentum around the Sustainable Development Goals. We call on leaders around the world to join us in the fight to continue advancing the sexual and reproductive rights of girls and women, and the health and rights of all people. This is no time for playing politics with lives already too close to the margins…” (2/10).

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Through Inclusive Partnerships, Africa CDC Aims To Respond To Global Health Threats Early, Effectively

The Lancet Global Health: Establishing the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention: responding to Africa’s health threats
John N. Nkengasong, director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Olawale Maiyegun, director of the Department of Social Affairs at the African Union Commission; and Matshidiso Moeti, director of the WHO Regional Office for Africa

“…[T]he recent Ebola virus disease pandemic clearly calls for greater investment in strengthening national responses [to disease outbreaks]. How successful the Africa CDC becomes in its mission will be determined by its capacity to develop the right partnerships, including with the private sector to invest in public health as a public good, adopting innovative approaches, and mobilizing adequate resources. Through this inclusive approach, the Africa CDC is expected to fill a niche that enables rapid acquisition of critical public health surveillance data linked to joint response capabilities, which would mitigate the gap in response that has characterized public health events of significance in the past. It is now clear that disease outbreaks in Africa constitute national, economic, and health security threats that can quickly evolve into global health crises. We call for a strong commitment at the G20 summit in July, 2017, to championing the Africa CDC’s strategic approach and its capacity to strengthen or establish [National Public Health Institutes (NPHIs)] — a critical step in enabling countries to identify threats early and respond effectively” (March 2017).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Laurie Garrett Discusses Threats To Globalization, Impacts On Global Health

Council on Foreign Relations’ “Garrett on Global Health”: Globalization and the Future of Global Public Goods
In her blog, Laurie Garrett, CFR senior fellow for global health, writes, “For many years, I have warned that what we call global health — along with humanitarianism, climate change mitigation, development, and food programs — was in grave danger. … I sent personal letters in 2008 to several leaders of major multinational health organizations, urging them to prepare for catastrophic losses in donor support and a far-right takeover of the U.S. government. That moment has now come. Globalization, as a concept and as a trade policy, is under siege. … Here is the bottom line … all global public goods will now face dire, even existential, financial, and political threats as they become secondary victims to the general assault on globalization and liberalism.” She adds “that the two issues of greatest importance to the survival of WHO are its relationships to globalization and to the Trump administration. Both those issues boil down to money: how much will flow into WHO coffers and how will it be spent?” Garrett also writes, “[A] National Security Council dominated by Steve Bannon and Trump’s team seems unlikely to maintain the global health security agenda, linked as it is to Obama and to globalization…” (2/10).

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Nations Must Mobilize Additional Financial Support For Community-Level Malaria Programs, Blog Post Says

Tropical Health Matters: What are national governments willing to pay for malaria control?
Bill Brieger, professor in the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discusses international and country-level funding for malaria. He concludes, “Although malaria funding from all sources has been increasing over the years, it has recently stagnated at a level approximately 45 percent of that level targeted to eventually eliminate the disease. … More financial support is needed to scale … up [community-level health programs], especially by mobilizing in-country governmental, corporate, and non-governmental resources” (2/12).

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Elton John AIDS Foundation Chair David Furnish Discusses Challenges Ahead, Advice For Trump Administration In Interview

Human Rights Campaign: David Furnish: Fully Committed to the Fight…and Some Advice for the New Administration
“As the chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF), David Furnish is a leading advocate in the battle against HIV and AIDS. Launched 25 years ago by music icon Elton John, EJAF is one of the world’s powerhouses fighting the epidemic. … The HRC Foundation has been working closely with EJAF, the primary funder of the HRC Foundation’s HIV 360° Fellowship Program which trains young nonprofit leaders who are working toward ending HIV. In an interview with [HRC’s] Equality magazine, Furnish underscored a number of challenges ahead…” (2/10).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Publishes New Issue Of 'FrontLines'

USAID: FrontLines
The January/February issue of USAID’s FrontLines features articles on various topics, including access to HIV treatment, care, and counseling in Guyana; improvements in health and wealth in Senegal following a decline in malaria cases; and a rise in volunteerism in Ukraine to help displaced persons (January/February 2017).

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From KFF

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Updated Primer On U.S. Congress, Global Health

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Congress and Global Health: A Primer
This Kaiser Family Foundation primer provides an overview of congressional engagement in global health. The primer examines the structure of Congress and its role and key activities in global health, illustrating these by using two global health examples: the creation and evolution of PEPFAR and the 2014/2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The primer also discusses opportunities and challenges related to congressional engagement in global health going forward (Moss/Kates, 2/10).

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