KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- 'Process Management,' Government Credibility Keys To Effective U.S. Disaster Response, Former Official Says
Devex: Former U.S. disaster chief says White House ‘credibility’ key to international crisis response
“It tends not to get a lot of attention, but ‘process management’ at the White House — and a strong National Security Council staff — are what allow the U.S. government to lead effective international response efforts when unforeseen disasters erupt in unexpected places, according to Jeremy Konyndyk, the former director of the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance. … At the peak of the Ebola virus outbreak, for example, the U.S. government was supporting more than 10,000 people on the ground — many of them humanitarian workers — responding to the crisis. The White House mobilized its foreign disaster team to pull in different parts of the U.S. government and align them under a common operational framework. … Konyndyk also noted that in disaster response efforts such as the Ebola outbreak, the credibility of the U.S. government — and of the U.S. president — is paramount…” (Igoe, 2/16).
- Names Of 3 Finalists For Global Fund Executive Director Released
New York Times: A Contentious List of Finalists for Global Aid Fund Group’s Director
“…The nominating committee of the [Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s] board on Monday produced a report naming the three finalists and its rationale for picking them. … A senior United States government official said administration global health officials received the three candidates’ names Monday evening and had not yet met to discuss them…” (McNeil, 2/15).
New Zealand Herald: Helen Clark wants to run $5b aid fund
“Former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark is in the running for another high-profile aid job based in Geneva, according to reports. The New York Times has reported that Clark is on a three-person shortlist for director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Clark is up against Nigeria’s former Health Minister Muhammad Ali Pate and former pharmaceutical executive Subhanu Saxena, from India. … The director job becomes vacant on May 31” (2/16).
- U.K. To Host International Family Planning Funding Summit
The Guardian: U.K. to host summit seeking extra funds for family planning
“Britain will lead efforts to secure extra funding for family planning at an international summit in London, ministers have said, amid concern about Donald Trump’s decision to ban U.S. financial support for organizations involved in abortion services overseas. Priti Patel, the international development secretary, said the summit would take place in July, and the U.K. was aiming for a ‘step-change on family planning.’ The event was planned before Trump signed an executive order reintroducing the so-called ‘global gag rule’ relating to abortion services. However, it is likely to be an opportunity for those involved in family planning to address concerns about the shortfall in funding that result from the U.S. president’s move…” (Mason, 2/16).
- New Pathfinder CEO Lois Quam Discusses Challenges Facing Reproductive Health, Family Planning Sector In Devex Interview
Devex: Q&A: A systems view saves more lives, says new Pathfinder CEO Lois Quam
“Lois Quam is assuming leadership of Pathfinder International at a particularly tumultuous time for the reproductive health and family planning sector under a new U.S. administration. It’s this challenge — and the excitement she feels about tackling it — that drove her to accept the position with the 60-year-old family planning-focused nonprofit. Quam, who officially began her new role as CEO on Monday, feels a strong commitment to helping mothers give birth safely, she told Devex, having first seen the barriers of access to family planning while growing up in rural Minnesota…” (Rogers, 2/16).
- 2015 Influx Of Ebola Money Masks Declines In R&D Funding For Other Infectious, Neglected Diseases, G-FINDER Report Shows
Nature: Ebola funding surge hides falling investment in other neglected diseases
“Global funding for research on neglected diseases — which include tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria — is at its lowest level since 2007, according to the annual G-FINDER investment report by Policy Cures Research, a health policy analysis firm in Sydney, Australia. But that total — just over US$3 billion for 2015, the latest year for which figures are available — does not include a rapid burst of funding for research into Ebola to tackle the outbreak in West Africa. Investments in Ebola and other African viral hemorrhagic fevers shot up to $631 million in 2015 — more than was spent on any other neglected disease except HIV/AIDS…” (Ross et al., 2/16).
- In Speech, Bill Gates Encourages E.U. To Prioritize Spending On Global Health R&D For Developing World
Science Business: Gates to Europe: Prioritize health research for poor countries in the next Framework Programme
“Microsoft co-founder turned philanthropist Bill Gates urged the E.U. to make health care research for the developing world a priority for its next big R&D plan, Framework Programme 9. ‘The European Commission and European governments are critical public funders of global health R&D. I hope that the Commission will prioritize global health research and development for the developing world as it starts to plan for its new research framework and funding,’ Gates told a conference audience in Brussels 16 February…” (Kelly, 2/16).
- New U.N.-Supported Network Aims To Reduce Maternal, Child Mortality In 9 High-Risk Countries
VOA News: Developing Countries Tackle Mother, Infant Mortality
“…[Flavia] Bustreo heads a new program to reduce [maternal and child] deaths by half within the next five years, and to end preventable infant and maternal deaths by 2030 in nine high-risk countries — Bangladesh, India, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. This will be done through a new ‘Network for Improving Quality of Care for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health.’ It will have support from UNICEF and WHO, where Bustreo is the assistant director general for family, women’s, and children’s health…” (Pearson, 2/16).
- Liberia's Health Minister Bernice Dahn Discusses Lessons Of Ebola Epidemic, Importance Of Health Systems Strengthening In Devex Interview
Devex: Q&A: Liberia’s minister of health on lessons learned from the Ebola crisis
“‘West Africa is sitting on a ticking time bomb,’ Bernice Dahn, Liberia’s minister of health, said at an event last week. ‘Global Health: Next Decade, Next Generation’ celebrated the 10th anniversary of the department of global health at the University of Washington, her alma mater. After her panel about pandemic disease preparedness and response, Dahn caught up with Devex to expand on some of the topics discussed onstage…” (Cheney, 2/17).
- Nodding Syndrome Could Be Triggered By Parasitic Worm Also Responsible For River Blindness, Study Says
The Economist: The cause of nodding syndrome
“Nodding syndrome is a form of epilepsy that strikes children, mostly between the ages of five and 15. Despite the innocuous name, it is debilitating. It robs its victims of their mental capacity, stunts their growth, and causes both the characteristic ‘nodding-off’ motion which gives its name and more serious seizures, often when a child is being fed. The exact death rate is unknown, but it is high. The syndrome is also something of a medical mystery…” (2/18).
NPR: Scientists May Have Solved The Mystery Of Nodding Syndrome
“Scientists may have solved the mystery of nodding syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy that has disabled thousands of children in East Africa. The syndrome seems to be caused by the immune system’s response to a parasitic worm, an international team reports in the journal Science Translational Medicine. And they think it’s the same worm responsible for river blindness, an eye infection that’s also found in East Africa…” (Hamilton, 2/15).
Science: Mystery nodding syndrome may be triggered by parasitic worm
“…[The] study finds that a parasitic worm often found in the children might trigger the body’s own defenses to attack neurons. … The onchocerciasis connection is intriguing but far from definitive, says neurologist Andrea Winkler of the Technical University of Munich in Germany. She … thinks the syndrome is likely caused by multiple factors, such as malnutrition, parasites, and viruses like measles. ‘There are still lots of links missing'” (Vogel, 2/15).
Editorials and Opinions
- Global Health Community Can Use SDG Framework To Monitor, Hold Leaders Accountable
The Lancet: What will Donald Trump’s presidency mean for health? A scorecard
Martin McKee, professor in the Department of Public Health and Policy at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine; Scott L. Greer, associate professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health; David Stuckler, professor at the University of Oxford
“…While the actual policies [U.S. President Trump’s] administration will pursue — and the priority he will place on each of them — remain in many ways uncertain, both his statements and his nominations for key government posts suggest that his presidency could have profound implications for health. … We propose criteria on which the global health community can judge the success or failure of a Trump presidency, based on a selection of the 17 [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] that apply to health. … We assessed these goals to develop a scorecard … that can form the basis of a system to monitor and hold accountable global health leaders. … We do not see this scorecard as being definitive, and indeed it cannot be until there is greater certainty about what policies will be pursued, but we offer it as a basis for further discussion. … Public health professionals have several responsibilities over the coming months and years. One is to monitor and hold accountable leaders for their actions. The SDG framework is a good place to start…” (2/18).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- In Podcast, Former U.S. State Department Official Discusses Agency's Transition Under Trump Administration
Global Dispatches Podcast: Episode 139: Bathsheba Crocker
In this podcast, Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of the U.N. Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast, speaks with Bathsheba Crocker, who served as assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs in the Obama administration. Goldberg notes, “We kick off with a discussion about how the transition to the Trump administration is shaking up the State Department” (2/16).
- ODI Blog Post Highlights Lessons Learned From More Than 50 Case Studies On Development
Overseas Development Institute: How to achieve the SDGs by 2030 — lessons from 50 case studies
In the last of a three-part blog series on ODI’s Development Progress project, Kate Bird, research associate at ODI, discusses lessons learned from an assessment of more than 50 case studies on development: “1. Strong leadership and vision can drive progress with public support … 2. Local ownership supports innovation and accountability … 3. Funds come from many places, but must be well managed … 4. Flip flop policies and political patronage slow progress … 5. Progress not driven by or for people can be reversed … 6. External factors play a big part in a country’s progress” (2/16).
- Innovative Staff Training, Continuous Learning Critical To Improving Vaccine Delivery, Child Health
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Teach to Reach: A Story of Immunization Training
Molly Abbruzzese, senior program officer on the vaccine delivery and Ethiopia health teams at the Gates Foundation, and Amanda Shortell, associate program officer on the vaccine delivery team at the Gates Foundation, discuss the importance of training and fostering continuous learning for immunization staff in order to improve child health. They highlight the 2015 Teach to Reach Summit, which “brought development practitioners together with learning scientists to begin the discussion on the ‘art of the possible,’ thinking through how we could approach training differently…” (2/16).
- Kaiser Family Foundation Fact Sheet Examines President's Malaria Initiative, Other U.S. Government Global Malaria Efforts
Kaiser Family Foundation: The President’s Malaria Initiative and Other U.S. Government Global Malaria Efforts
This fact sheet examines the U.S. government’s role in global malaria efforts, including the President’s Malaria Initiative and funding; effective malaria interventions; and global goals for control and eradication (2/16).