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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

President's FY 2019 Budget Request Includes Cuts to Global HIV/AIDS Efforts

Washington Blade: Another Trump budget, another attempt to cut HIV/AIDS programs
“New year, new cuts to HIV/AIDS programs. President Trump’s proposed $4.4 trillion budget for fiscal year 2019 is most prominently characterized by soaring deficits, but also calls for varying degrees of cuts to HIV/AIDS programs reminiscent of his earlier request. … The reductions come at a time when HIV/AIDS continues to affect the LGBT community as well as populations within the United States and abroad. … The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, or PEPFAR, would see a reduction of 17 percent compared to existing funding levels, down from $4.65 billion in FY17 to $3.85 billion. Contributions to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria are down [a] whopping [32] percent. While the current level is at $1.35 billion, Trump’s request calls for $925 million in funds. … ‘The cuts are similar in magnitude as last year,’ [Jen Kates, vice president and director for Global Health & HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation] said. ‘We did an analysis and we found that that could have a dramatic impact of health outcomes around the world, so the U.S. is such a large funder of global health efforts that cutting back on HIV efforts around the world could have a real impact’…” (Johnson, 2/14).

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State Department, USAID Emphasize Importance Of Partnerships, More 'Adaptive And Flexible' Mechanisms For Foreign Assistance Implementation

Devex: USAID not ditching mega-contracts, but looking for new options
“The United States Agency for International Development’s new leadership team wants to expand the agency’s partner base and enhance creativity by incorporating more ‘co-creation’ and collaboration into project design and award-making. On Tuesday, the State Department and USAID released their ‘joint strategic plan‘ for 2018-2022. The document includes a pledge by USAID to ‘realize greater returns on investment by using public-private partnerships and more adaptive and flexible procurement mechanisms to complement more traditional models for implementing foreign assistance’…” (Igoe, 2/15).

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Studies Examine Impact Of Future Disease Outbreaks On U.S. Economy

CIDRAP News: Studies: Next major outbreak could bring high U.S. job loss
“The next large-scale infectious disease outbreak would not just be a public health crisis but also an economic crisis for the United States, in the shape of jobs lost and a draining of the export economy — even if it were to happen halfway around the world — according to two studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published in Health Security…” (Soucheray, 2/14).

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SDG Progress For Women 'Unacceptably Slow,' Says New U.N. Women Report

Devex: Progress on gender equality ‘unacceptably slow:’ U.N. Women
“The United Nations has warned that progress towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goals for women and girls is ‘unacceptably slow,’ and has called for better data as well as a special focus on unpaid care work and ending violence against women to drive change. The monitoring report from U.N. Women, ‘Turning Promises into Action,’ released Wednesday, assesses progress towards the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, specifically looking at efforts to achieve gender equality — a prominent and cross-cutting issue across all 17 goals, the report states, as well as a standalone goal in itself…” (Edwards, 2/15).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Progress on global goals ‘unacceptably slow’ for women, says U.N.
“Women are being left behind in the United Nations’ ambitious goals to solve hunger, injustice, and other global ills, and they remain poorer, sicker, and more vulnerable to violence than men, the U.N. women’s agency said on Wednesday. Progress to date for girls and women is patchy and in danger of backsliding in the 15-year agenda set out by the U.N. more than two years ago, according to a report by U.N. Women…” (Wulfhorst, 2/14).

Washington Post: Women poorer and hungrier than men across the world, U.N. report says
“…It is harder for women to escape poverty, the report’s authors say, because women have less access to jobs and economic opportunities. In many places, the laws make it impossible for women to inherit wealth, own land, and access credit. Even when women do find jobs, they are often paid less than men. Women have less time to work, too, because they do a disproportionate share of the housework, cooking, and child care. Women are also more vulnerable to food insecurity in nearly two-thirds of all countries. When a crisis hits, the report finds, women are more likely than men to go hungry. … Maternal death continues to be a major problem. … Women are vulnerable in other ways, too. According to the United Nations, one in five women and girls ages 15 to 49 reported experiencing physical or sexual violence at the hands of an intimate partner in the past 12 months…” (Erickson, 2/14).

Livemint: Woman’s caste raises her exposure to mortality: U.N. report
“The average Dalit woman in India dies 14.6 years younger than women from higher castes. While identities, perceived or real, can increase risks of discrimination for an individual or a group, a woman’s caste in India increases her exposure to mortality because of poor sanitation and inadequate health care, says a U.N. report released on late Wednesday night…” (Masoodi, 2/15).

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New Report Finds Increase In Number Of Children Living In Conflict Zones

Deutsche Welle: One in six children live in war zones, Save the Children says
“According to a report published Thursday by global charity Save the Children, more than 357 million children live in war and conflict zones, an increase of roughly 75 percent from the early 1990s. Around half of those affected, some 165 million children, live in ‘high-intensity’ conflicts. Youngsters in the Middle East are most likely to live in an area classed as a war-zone, with two in five children living within 50 kilometers (31 miles) of a ‘conflict event.’ Africa was ranked as second-most dangerous region. … The report blames several factors for the overall increase…” (Goebel, 2/15).

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More News In Global Health

Livemint: Real-time data sharing among rural health workers can save lives (Alexander, 2/15).

Reuters: Aid convoy reaches besieged Syrian enclave of Ghouta — U.N. (Nebehay, 2/14).

SciDevNet: Mobile phones worsen healthcare inequality in India (Irwin, 2/14).

STAT: Evidence from the field: Fractional doses of yellow fever vaccine provided protection, study finds (Branswell, 2/14).

TIME: Fewer Scientists Are Studying Insects. Here’s Why That’s So Dangerous (Sifferlin, 2/14).

VOA News: Colombia Health System Strained by Fleeing Venezuelans (Mendoza, 2/14).
Deutsche Welle: For Venezuela HIV patients, lack of medicine ‘a death sentence’ (Boechat, 2/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Piece Examines Climate, Environment-Related Aspects Of U.S. Intelligence Community's Worldwide Threat Assessment

New York Times: A Spy’s Guide to Climate Change
Justin Gillis, contributing opinion writer at the New York Times

“The Trump administration is seeking to withdraw the United States from the international accord reached in Paris in 2015 to fight climate change. It is trying to rescind regulations on the issue. It has even scrubbed mentions of global warming from government websites. Yet its attempt to suppress the facts has not entirely succeeded, with federal agencies continuing to issue warnings, including in a major climate report published last year. The latest climate alarm came this week in a Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Here is what the document, issued by Daniel R. Coats, the director of national intelligence, said about climate change and other environmental problems, with my annotations…” (2/15).

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Political Will Critical To Addressing Polio, Lassa Fever, Yellow Fever In Nigeria

The Guardian Nigeria: Polio, Lassa and Yellow fever: Where is the political will?
Patrick Dele Cole

“Since the conception of Nigeria as an independent country it has struggled with a number of deadly viruses and diseases. The most prominent and reoccurring have been polio, Lassa fever, and yellow fever. … Nigeria’s health sector has a number of issues; poor financing, inadequate number of health personnel per capita, poor support infrastructure, dearth of equipment, and little or negligible investments in research. … Nigeria needs to act swiftly in order to quell the outbreaks of the aforementioned viruses. … In all these cases simple basic hygiene by washing and cleaning … hands would have helped but we have no clean water. Most important however, is the apparent lack of political will to see these problems as holistic and to solve them accordingly…” (2/15).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

HRW Releases 2 Articles On Mexico City Policy

Human Rights Watch: U.S. Finds ‘Gag Rule’ Flaws, but Makes No Changes
HRW discusses findings from the State Department’s recently released six-month review of the Mexico City Policy (2/14).

Human Rights Watch: Trump’s ‘Mexico City Policy’ or ‘Global Gag Rule’
HRW discusses questions and answers related to the Mexico City Policy (2/14).

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WHO Issues New Recommendations On Global Care Standards For Childbirth

WHO: Individualized, supportive care key to positive childbirth experience, says WHO
“WHO has issued new recommendations to establish global care standards for healthy pregnant women and reduce unnecessary medical interventions…” (2/15).

WHO: A “good birth” goes beyond having a healthy baby
Princess Nothemba Simelela, WHO assistant director general for family, women, children, and adolescents, discusses the importance of improving the quality of care in facilities where women give birth and writes, “The World Health Organization (WHO) believes ‘high quality care’ should encompass both service delivery and the woman’s experience. Our new recommendations on intrapartum care set the global standard on the provision and experience of care during birth. The guidelines place the woman and her baby at the center of the care model, to achieve the best possible physical, emotional, and psychological outcomes” (2/15).

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WHO Releases Statement From 16th IHR Emergency Committee Regarding International Spread Of Poliovirus

WHO: Statement of the Sixteenth IHR Emergency Committee Regarding the International Spread of Poliovirus
“…Overall the Committee was encouraged by continued progress in [wild poliovirus (WPV1)] eradication, with the number of cases globally falling to an all-time low in 2017. In addition, there has been no international spread of WPV since … November 2017…” (2/14).

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Joint Report Highlights Need For Better Data On Refugee, Migrant, Displaced Children

UNICEF: Massive data gaps leave refugee, migrant and displaced children in danger and without access to basic services
“Gaps in data covering refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, and internally displaced populations are endangering the lives and wellbeing of millions of children on the move, warned five U.N. and partner agencies today. In ‘A call to action: Protecting children on the move starts with better data,’ UNICEF, UNHCR, IOM, Eurostat, and OECD together show how crucial data are to understanding the patterns of global migration and developing policies to support vulnerable groups like children…” (2/15).

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From the U.S. Government

GAO Report Examines U.S. Share Of Assessed Contributions To 4 Inter-American Organizations

Government Accountability Office: Inter-American Organizations: U.S. Share of Assessed Contributions and U.S. Agencies’ Efforts to Monitor Assistance Agreements
This GAO report examines U.S. assessed contributions provided to the Organization of American States (OAS), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA), and Pan-American Institute of Geography and History (PAIGH), and is based on an earlier GAO report on monitoring the activities of the four organizations (2/14).

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