KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Obama Administration Extends President's Malaria Initiative For 6 More Years

NPR: U.S. Steps Up Commitment To Fight Malaria
“The Obama administration on Wednesday announced a six-year extension of a program to combat malaria around the globe…” (Beaubien, 2/26).

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Radio Talk Show Features Discussion With Malaria Experts, Journalists About Malaria Drug Resistance, Other Challenges To Elimination

Diane Rehm Show: New Concerns About Fighting Malaria
“…Diane and her guests discuss new concerns about combating malaria worldwide.” Guests include Alan Magill, director of the malaria program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations; William Moss, professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-director of the Southern Africa International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research; Lawrence Barat, senior technical adviser to the President’s Malaria Initiative at USAID; and Jason Beaubien, global health and development correspondent for NPR (2/23).

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Canadian PM Harper, Gates Meet To Renew Call For Improved Global MNCH Through Additional Funding, Immunizations

CBC News: Bill Gates, Stephen Harper look to next steps for maternal health
“The next steps in improving the health of women and children around the world will involve improved data collection and vital statistics, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Wednesday. Harper spent part of his day discussing the issue with American billionaire Bill Gates, whose foundation works to improve health and eliminate poverty in the developing world…” (Payton, 2/25).

Canadian Press/Huffington Post Canada: Stephen Harper Urges Parents To Vaccinate At Event With Bill Gates
“Stephen Harper castigated Canadians who refuse to vaccinate their kids as he announced $22.5 million in additional funding for inoculation programs in some of the world’s poorest countries. … Harper also announced up to $20 million over five years to support research into improving the delivery of health care for mothers, newborns, and children in 13 sub-Saharan African countries” (2/25).

Prime Minister of Canada: PM Harper and Bill Gates renew call to advance global Maternal, Newborn, and Child health priority
“…While tremendous progress has been made to save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable citizens — women and children — much work remains to be done. To this end, the Prime Minister and Mr. Gates together renewed the call for focused global political leadership and sustained financial commitments to ensure that MNCH remains a central development priority as the world moves beyond 2015…” (2/25).

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News Outlets Examine Global Resurgence Of Measles

International Business Times: Measles Outbreaks Outside U.S.: Lack Of Vaccine Access Fuels Epidemics From Africa To Asia
“…From the Democratic Republic of the Congo to China, developing and war-torn nations have seen measles cases in the thousands, sometimes tens of thousands. In both these countries and industrialized ones, lower immunization rates are helping the virus spread, health experts say. The irony is that in developing countries without stable health care systems, people are often unable to access vaccinations, much less decide they don’t want to use them, which is increasingly the case in some developed countries. Either way, experts say, the world is seeing the resurgence of a virus that science long ago proved how to prevent…” (Whitman, 2/25).

Washington Post: In 2013, measles killed more kids than car accidents or AIDS
“Measles killed 82,100 children under age five in 2013, ranking the disease at No. 7 on the list of the top causes of child death, according to recent statistics from the Global Burden of Disease study published in the Lancet…” (Ingraham, 2/25).

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Report Outlines Steps To Secure Water Sources To Prevent Conflict, Achieve Global Development

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Ending subsidies, water sector graft key for global development — U.N.
“A crackdown on corruption in the water sector and increasing investment in infrastructure are essential to avoid conflicts over water, ‘life’s most vital resource,’ a United Nations University report said on Tuesday. Population growth, economic insecurity, corruption, and climate change threaten the stability and the very existence of some nations, the report said…” (Mis, 2/24).

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Reducing Global Food Waste Could Save Billions Of Dollars, Reduce Environmental Impacts, Report Says

New York Times: Food Waste Is Becoming Serious Economic and Environmental Issue, Report Says
“…A report released Wednesday shows that about 60 million metric tons of food is wasted a year in the United States, with an estimated value of $162 billion. … The problem is not limited to the United States. The report estimates that a third of all the food produced in the world is never consumed, and the total cost of that food waste could be as high as $400 billion a year. Reducing food waste from 20 to 50 percent globally could save $120 billion to $300 billion a year by 2030, the report found…” (Nixon, 2/25).

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WHO Reports 99 Ebola Cases Over Past Week In Three Hardest-Hit West African Countries

Reuters: 99 Ebola cases in past week, nearly two-thirds in Sierra Leone: WHO
“Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone reported 99 new confirmed Ebola cases in the week to Feb. 22, down from 128 the previous week, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. Sierra Leone accounted for the bulk of the latest infections with 63, signaling a halt to a steep decline recorded from December through January, followed by Guinea with 35, and Liberia just a single case, the U.N. agency said in its weekly report…” (Nebehay, 2/25).

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Ecuador To Cut Public Sector Workers' Pay To Fund Maternal Health Initiative

Wall Street Journal: Ecuador Cuts Public Sector Pay, Redirects Money to Health Initiative
“Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa has ordered wage cuts of five percent to 10 percent for high-level public sector employees to free about $21 million to hire health professionals who can fight maternal mortality…” (Alvaro, 2/25).

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India's Rural Health Care System Needs Reform, Study Shows

Deutsche Welle: Treating India’s ailing rural health care
“Treating diarrhea and pneumonia among children often requires a fairly simple intervention, such as administering life-saving oral rehydration salts. But instead, Indian doctors are often prescribing unnecessary antibiotics or other drugs that may actually worsen illness — according to a recent study coming out of Duke University in the United States…” (Krishnan, 2/25).

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National Geographic Examines Polio's Resurgence In Pakistan Since 2011 Killing Of Bin Laden

National Geographic: How the bin Laden Raid Put Vaccinators Under the Gun in Pakistan
“When Navy SEALs raided a high-walled compound in Pakistan in May 2011 and killed the world’s most wanted terrorist, another long-standing source of terror also was facing elimination: polio. … But the killing of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden that spring and the subsequent fallout in Pakistan and the surrounding region — which included targeted assassinations of polio vaccination teams — allowed the virus to fight back…” (McGirk, 2/25).

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Serving As Guest Editor For The Verge, Bill Gates Explores Disease Eradication Efforts

The Verge: Can we eradicate some of the world’s worst diseases by 2030?
“We’re excited to have Bill Gates as our guest editor in February. Throughout the month, Bill will be sharing his vision of how technology will revolutionize life for the world’s poor by 2030 by narrating episodes of the Big Future, our animated explainer series. In addition, we’ll be publishing a series of features exploring the improvements in banking, health, farming, and education that will enable that revolution…” (Patel/Duhaime-Ross, 2/25).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Commitment On Malaria Helping World Progress Down 'Pathway Toward Elimination'

Huffington Post: The United States and Malaria: A Long History of Smart Investments That Benefit All
Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, executive director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership

“…The U.S. has been a loyal and effective partner to malaria endemic countries around the world for over a decade, and a principal player in the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership … Under the leadership of then president George W. Bush, the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) was created to curb the tide on the nearly 200 million cases of malaria then estimated to affect the African continent each year. Ten years later, I’m proud to say it’s done just that. … This week, PMI’s new 2015-2020 will be launched at the White House in Washington, D.C. In the face of an evolving parasite and a shifting development landscape, I am confident that this sort of refined focus and re-commitment of resources will help us achieve our next set of goals and carry even more countries along the pathway toward elimination…” (2/25).

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WHO Must Improve Management System, Reform Regional Office Relations

The Hill: World Health Organization: Time for reflection, reform, and realistic expectations
Taufiqur Rahman, international health specialist

“The World Health Organization (WHO) has come under criticism for its handling of the Ebola crisis. … This crisis demonstrated one thing — that WHO is not an emergency response mechanism, and we should not try to make it one. … If we can think of one area of change, it would be to introduce professional managers in the mid to upper management of WHO. … A second area that needs to change is its regional office relations. … WHO should continue to play its pivotal role to support developing countries but it needs to reform quickly to respond to a changed world” (2/25).

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Unite Public, Private Efforts, Funding To Reduce Child Mortality, Achieve AIDS-Free Generation

Huffington Post: A Model for the Future: Funding the End of Childhood Illness Together
Chip Lyons, president and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

“…Gavi, the Global Fund, and UNITAID leverage the strengths of the disparate sectors of the global health community, public and private, to achieve maximum financial and programmatic effect. By combining multiple types of funding, from direct multi-year contributions from governments to private-public partnerships and innovative financial mechanisms, they create a diverse and robust pool of resources to draw from. … By working in concert with national health systems, the long-term sustainability and prioritization of public health efforts is further strengthened. … If we are to reduce [child mortality] and witness the birth of the first AIDS-free generation, our efforts must be united…” (2/25).

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Placing Women, Girls At Center Of Development Agenda Will Help Reduce Mortality, Improve Economies, Societies

Huffington Post: Girls and Women Must be at the Center of the Global Development Agenda
Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver

“…In September the United Nations will release the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will drive progress on social, economic and environmental development for the next 15 years. If these goals are to be achieved, girls and women must be at the center of the agenda. … Women Deliver believes that there are four elements that need to be included in both the SDGs and the updated Global Strategy: Include sexual and reproductive health and rights … Multi-sector collaboration is needed to implement the strategy successfully … Collaboration across issues, including non-health issues, is crucial … Involve young people…” (2/25).

Hindustan Times: When women thrive, the world thrives
CK Mishra, additional secretary in India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and Amina Mohammed, U.N. secretary-general’s special adviser on post-2015 development planning

“…[This week, the Indian] government, in collaboration with Every Woman Every Child and support from the Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health, will host over 100 global leaders to discuss the updating of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health and the transitioning of the Every Woman Every Child movement into the next development agenda. … Outcomes from this meeting will help to drive the global agenda to end all preventable maternal, child, and adolescent deaths…” (2/25).

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Providing Clean, Reliable Water Sources, Basic Sanitation Necessary To Achieve Global Sustainability

Inter Press Service: Water and the World We Want
Corinne Schuster-Wallace, senior research fellow at the U.N. University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, and Robert Sandford, EPCOR Water Security Chair at U.N. University; both co-authors of “Water in the World We Want”

“…More than any other resource, freshwater underpins sustainable development. Not only is it necessary for life and human well-being, it’s a key element of all human industry. And a U.N. report launched Feb. 24, ‘Water in the World We Want,’ outlines what must be done within the world’s water system. … If we want to live in a sustainable world we have to provide clean and reliable sources of water to the billions of people who do not enjoy this basic right today and provide sanitation services to the more than two and a half billion people on Earth who lack even basic toilets…” (2/25).

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India Should Focus On Environmental Sustainability, Greener Growth, Sanitation To Solve Air Pollution Crisis

Foreign Policy: Harder to Breathe
Ira Triveldi, Indian novelist, yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and speaker

“…Air pollution is an urgent public health crisis. More people in India die of chronic respiratory diseases and asthma than in any other nation in the world. … India’s environmental crisis is not just endangering human lives, but is also holding back the country’s economy, which relies heavily on agriculture. … India should begin by setting firm targets to reduce emissions. … India should also work to make its cities green. … Beyond cleaning up its air, India must also develop a comprehensive approach to sanitation and waste treatment…” (2/26).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

PMI Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary Of Accelerating Progress Against Malaria

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Celebrating PMI and a Decade Progress against Malaria
David Brandling-Bennett, deputy director of the malaria program at the Gates Foundation’s infectious diseases division, discusses the success and progress of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary and launches its next five-year plan (2/25).

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CDC Leads Consortium Aimed At Eliminating Malaria From Hispaniola By 2020

CDC Foundation: Consortium Aims to Eliminate Malaria on Hispaniola by 2020 Starting With $29.9 Million Grant to CDC Foundation
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is leading a consortium of malaria partners aiming to eliminate indigenous cases of malaria on the island of Hispaniola by 2020. Acceleration of malaria elimination efforts will begin with a $29.9 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to the CDC Foundation…” (2/25).

Pan American Health Organization: PAHO/WHO supports CDC-led effort to eliminate malaria on Hispaniola by 2020
“The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has joined a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that seeks to eliminate indigenous cases of malaria on the island of Hispaniola by 2020…” (2/25).

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Maternal, Sexual, Reproductive Health Services Must Be Integrated In Response Efforts During Humanitarian Crises

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: As Humanitarian Crises Multiply, Maternal Health and Safety of Women Becoming a Focus
Katrina Braxton, program assistant for the Wilson Center’s Maternal Health Initiative, discusses the risk that women and girls face during humanitarian crises and how organizations can integrate sexual and reproductive health services for women during emergencies. The blog post includes a video of an expert discussion on the topic (2/25).

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'Science Speaks' Blog Continues Coverage From CROI 2015

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog continues its coverage of the 2015 Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections taking place this week in Seattle, Washington.

Science Speaks: Ambassador Birx talks about the tyranny of averages, actionable data, and “skeptical optimism” (Barton, 2/25).
Science Speaks: Amid challenges facing HIV-infected children, “Breather” study offers teenagers hope for a break (Barton, 2/25).
Science Speaks: Breastfeeding women in Africa with HIV go undiagnosed (Lubinski, 2/25).
Science Speaks: Direct transmission of XDR-TB is dominant in South Africa (Lubinski, 2/25).
Science Speaks: Trial to evaluate the use of health navigators to link HIV/TB patients to care and treatment fails to show positive results (Lubinski, 2/25).

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