KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

White House FY16 Budget Request Seeks Additional Funds For Domestic Disease Outbreak Preparedness

CQ News: HHS: Ebola Inspires More Spending on Biological Threats
“In the wake of the Ebola outbreak, an emergency preparedness program to fight deadly pathogens stands to receive a funding boost under the Department of Health and Human Services budget proposed Monday…” (Zanona, 2/2).

The Hill: White House proposes more money to fight outbreaks
“…In its proposed 2016 budget, the Obama administration announced additional funds for domestic preparedness to ‘more effectively and efficiently respond to potential, future outbreaks here at home.’ … The fiscal outline also continues funding for the Global Health Security Agenda, a global initiative launched last February to fight infectious disease threats…” (Viebeck, 2/2).

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U.K. Government Report Outlines Three Potential Scenarios Of Ebola Being Used As Bioterrorism Weapon

The Guardian: U.K. government feared terrorists would weaponize Ebola
“British military experts were asked to draw up guidance at the height of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa late last year on the feasibility and potential impact of terrorists ‘weaponizing’ the virus. The Ministry of Defence has released a heavily redacted report, prepared in October, that identified three scenarios involving the exploitation of Ebola for bioterrorism…” (Quinn, 2/2).

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Experts Urge Continuing Polio Surveillance In Syria, Iraq To Ensure No New Cases

IRIN: Has Syria really beaten polio?
“The World Health Organization has announced that Syria has seen no new cases of polio in the past year, but some health experts question the quality of the surveillance that led to this conclusion. … Last week, at a regional polio review conference held in the Lebanese capital Beirut, experts said the successes of the past year were no indication that the battle against polio in Syria or Iraq had been won. They urged surveillance must continue to be improved…” (Chudacoff/Redvers, 2/5).

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Despite Risks, Polio Workers Continue Drive To Eradicate Disease In Pakistan

The Guardian: Karachi polio workers defy Pakistan militants’ murderous campaign
“…[A]ttacks have had a devastating effect on the drive to eradicate polio in Pakistan, with cases rocketing to more than 300 last year. And health workers in Karachi … face an exceptionally daunting task. … But in the city’s new emergency operations center for polio eradication and immunization, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Sindh’s provincial coordinator for public health, says that, despite the terrible toll of deaths, recruiting polio workers has not been a problem…” (Khaleeli, 2/2).

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Maternal Mortality Continues To Plague Zimbabwe

Inter Press Service: Dying in Childbirth Still a National Trend in Zimbabwe
“…An estimated 3,000 women die every year in Zimbabwe during childbirth and at least 1.23 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) is lost annually due to maternal complications, according to Maternal Mortality in Zimbabwe, a United Nations issue paper released in 2013…” (Moyo, 1/30).

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Women In India's Mental Health Institutions Face Neglect, Abuse

Inter Press Service: Dumped, Abandoned, Abused: Women in India’s Mental Health Institutions
“…Not all the women languishing in these institutions even qualified as having mental health problems; some had simply been put there because they were having affairs, or were embroiled in property disputes with their families. … The scale was highlighted in a recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, ‘Treated Worse than Animals,’ which said women often face systematic abuse that includes detention, neglect, and violence…” (Venkatraman, 1/30).

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Mental Health Treatment Options Must Reflect Culture, Language To Be Effective, Psychiatrists Say

NPR: Why Cambodians Never Get ‘Depressed’
“…Mental distress is a universal condition. The World Health Organization has made global access to mental health care one of its key goals. But just as words for depression and anxiety get lost in translation, so can treatments. … Culture affects how people understand and express mental disorders. So psychiatrists around the world are working to figure out what these differences are and develop treatments that work for each culture…” (Singh, 2/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

Innovative Finance Mechanisms Critical To Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Huffington Post: An Invisible Way to End Poverty
Philippe Douste-Blazy, under-secretary general of the United Nations and chair of UNITAID

“…There has never been a greater need for innovative financing mechanisms to meet the scale of developmental disparities and human suffering. The international community today agrees that these new forms of financing are becoming essential if we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals after 2015. … Innovative finance mechanisms have proven that it is possible to achieve real impact through small contributions and that there is a way to engage millions of individuals and institutions to produce sustainable aid funding…” (2/2).

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Reduction In Cancer Mortality Feasible In Developing Countries With Political Will, Funding

Project Syndicate: Cancer Care for the Developing World
Lawrence N. Shulman, chief of staff and director of the Center for Global Cancer Medicine at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School

“…[S]teady progress has been made using chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation to treat and cure an increasing number of cancer patients. But access to these life-saving advances remains elusive in low- and middle-income countries, where the majority of cancer patients reside today. … The most efficient approach to reducing global cancer mortality rates would be to bring existing therapies to cancer patients in developing countries. Add to that international funding for cancer treatment, like that which was mobilized for HIV/AIDS through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund, and cancer mortality rates in developing countries could decline considerably — and quickly… (2/2).

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ILO Using Workplace Strategies To Reach Those Living With, Affected By HIV

Huffington Post: On the Road to Ending HIV
Alice Ouedraogo, chief of the HIV/AIDS program at the International Labour Organization

“…The vast majority — over 90 percent — of those who are living with or are affected by HIV, either work for a living, or have links to the workplace. Through the workplace, we can reach these people, their families, and communities with HIV-related information, treatment, care, and support services. In the same way, the impact of efforts to eliminate HIV-related discrimination in the workplace environment will have a ripple effect beyond the workplace that will affect larger society…” (2/2).

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West African Governments Must Tread Carefully In Responding To Ebola Epidemic's Lasting Fallout

Foreign Policy: Is Ebola the New Powder Keg?
Thomas Leo Scherer, senior program specialist for economics and peacebuilding at the U.S. Institute of Peace

“…While there are clear voids in the available research on the links between war and disease, Ebola, it can be argued, is not an automatic threat to peace. As the world works to alleviate the disease’s social side effects, the research suggests that whether conflict and violence also emerge more widely will depend on the actions of the governments in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. If their endeavors to maintain order and stay in power become repressive, they may unleash a national threat that, arguably, would be even greater than Ebola” (2/2).

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Polio Workers In Pakistan Paying High Price For Protecting Children

The Nation: Campaign Against Polio
Editorial Board

“Being a polio worker in Pakistan has to be one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Since 2012, militants opposed to the vaccination campaign have killed 68 polio workers and policemen tasked with protecting them. … An obvious solution to this would be to provide enhanced security to vaccination teams, but it is easier said than done. In Karachi, for example, the police force is far too small to deal with the situation. … [P]olio workers remain vulnerable to violence. Most of them are poor individuals, who cannot afford to turn down a job even though it pays very little. But the price they end up paying for doing the good work of securing children against a paralyzing infection is far too high” (2/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Summary Of Global Health Funding In FY16 Budget Request

Kaiser Family Foundation: White House Releases FY16 Budget Request
According to the foundation’s summary of the budget request, “funding for global health programs at USAID and the State Department (through the Global Health Programs account) would total $8,181 million, which is $273 million (3%) below the FY 2015 enacted level” (2/2). For additional information on the U.S. global health budget, including the FY16 request, see the foundation’s U.S. Global Health Budget Tracker.

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USG Resources Highlight State Department, USAID Funding in FY16 Budget Request

U.S. Department of State: Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development 2016 Budget
The U.S. State Department on Monday released a fact sheet highlighting funding items in the FY16 budget request, which “provides $50.3 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development, including $7.0 billion in Overseas Contingency Operations” (2/2).

U.S. Department of State: Briefing on President Obama’s FY 2016 Budget Request
This transcript is of a special briefing by Heather Higginbottom, deputy secretary of state for management and resources, and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah, who discussed the FY16 budget request for the State Department and USAID (2/2).

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Reducing Cancer Burden Worldwide Would Bolster Development, Global Health Efforts

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Why I Care about Cancer in Developing Countries
Jeff Glenn, a public health adviser in the CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, writes about his own cancer experiences and those of others in developing countries. “…It’s past time to stop ignoring the impact of cancer on poverty and health systems while expecting impressive results from economic development and global health programs. … Reducing the cancer burden worldwide contributes significantly to the success of other global health and development efforts…” (2/2).

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New USAID Publication Discusses Innovation Implementation, Program Coordination

USAID’s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact: Idea to Impact: A Guide to Introduction and Scale
“…By describing priority activities and their importance, supplemented with inspirational case studies and practical tools, [the three-part publication] IDEA to IMPACT is intended to help global health practitioners accelerate impact through better coordination and earlier planning” (2/2).

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Male Involvement In Maternal Health Important For Family Health

Maternal Health Task Force’s “MHTF Blog”: Can male involvement improve maternal health?
Olena Ivanova of the International Centre for Reproductive Health in Belgium discusses the importance of male involvement in maternal health efforts and highlights several challenges to increased involvement. “…There is a significant need to scale up men’s participation in maternal health and to provide them with the sufficient information to help them make decisions, and support their partner’s decisions, concerning their family’s health…” (2/2).

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