KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO, President Obama, Politicians Urge U.S. Parents To Vaccinate Children Amid Measles Outbreak

Reuters: U.S. leaders, 2016 hopefuls back inoculations amid debate
“U.S. congressional leaders and several possible 2016 presidential hopefuls said on Tuesday all children should be vaccinated, joining a debate that has become a national flashpoint as a measles outbreak rekindles a discussion on parents’ right to forgo inoculation of their children…” (Stephenson, 2/3).

TODAY: President Obama on measles: ‘You should get your kids vaccinated’
“In a wide-ranging exclusive interview, President Barack Obama tells TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie parents have ‘every reason’ to get their children immunized against measles and zero reasons against it…” (Kim, 2/2).

U.N. News Centre: Amid U.S. measles outbreak, U.N. health agency urges parents to vaccinate children
“Parents in the United States must vaccinate their children against measles in order to maintain the high levels of immunity necessary in keeping outbreaks of the aggressively contagious virus small and contained, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) announced [Tuesday]…” (2/3).

Washington Post: Map: 113 countries have higher measles immunization rates than the U.S. for 1-year-olds
“What do Libya, Russia, China, Zimbabwe, and Iran have in common? According to the World Health Organization, they have a higher measles immunization coverage among 1-year-olds than the United States. And, as this interactive map shows, they are far from alone…” (Noack, 2/3).

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FY16 Budget Request Includes Mixed Bag For Global Health, Development Programs

Devex: The 7 foreign aid boons and busts in Obama’s budget proposal
“U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $4 trillion in fiscal year 2016. Just over one percent of that hefty sum would go to international affairs and development programs. But buried further within that small slice are a number of new stories and signals about what the president has planned when it comes to ‘smart power’ in the waning years of his administration…” (Anders et al., 2/3).

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WHO Appoints Ebola Head To Coordinate Agency's Response To Epidemic

Agence France-Presse: WHO names Ebola response chief
“The World Health Organization said Tuesday it had appointed its assistant director-general Bruce Aylward to head its overall response to the deadly Ebola outbreak…” (2/3).

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$1.09B Of $2.89B Pledged Ebola Funding Made It To Africa By End-2014, Study Shows

International Business Times: Ebola Outbreak: A Third Of Promised International Aid Not Delivered
“Only two-thirds of the $2.89 billion in aid promised to Ebola-stricken countries by the international community had been delivered as of the first of the year, a study published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal found. Furthermore, that funding may have come too late to bring the most help to the affected region — revealing a potential gap in the international aid effort…” (Nordrum, 2/3).

Newsweek: Roughly $1.8 Billion in Ebola Relief Donations Haven’t Made it to Africa
“…It took until ‘at least mid-October’ for the first $500 million to arrive, and the first $1 billion didn’t show up until December…” (Schlanger, 2/3).

Reuters: Only 40 percent of Ebola funds reached target countries: study
“…’These delays … may have contributed to spread of the virus and could have increased the financial needs,’ said Karen Grepin, a global health policy expert at New York University who led the study and published it in the BMJ British medical journal…” (Kelland, 2/3).

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Clinical Trial For Experimental Ebola Treatment Halted In Liberia For Lack Of Patients

Agence France-Presse: Low infection rate halts Ebola treatment trials in Liberia
“Britain’s Wellcome Trust said that clinical trials it was funding for a new Ebola treatment in Liberia were halted on Tuesday due to a fall in new cases. … The Wellcome Trust said the decision was taken on Tuesday after the pharmaceutical company Chimerix, which manufactures the brincidofovir treatment, said it was withdrawing from the trial on Friday…” (2/4).

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Disease Outbreaks Put Global Health Systems On Alert, But Challenges Remain, U.S. Scientist Says

VOA News: U.S. Scientist: AIDS Remains Key Global Health Threat
“The U.S. medical scientist who led a team that helped eradicate outbreaks of smallpox in the 1970s says the global community is now more responsive to possible pandemics despite challenges posed by viruses such as AIDS, bird flu, and more recently Ebola. … But challenges remain. [Donald] Henderson said AIDS is still the world’s main health threat for which there is still no vaccine…” (Corben, 2/3).

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Rising Levels Of Global Human Suffering Requires Increased International Cooperation, U.N. Says

U.N. News Centre: Global collaboration critical as humanitarian crises grow, says top U.N. relief official
“International stakeholders will increasingly need to collaborate as they face down rising levels of humanitarian strife around the globe, Valerie Amos, the United Nations humanitarian chief, said [Tuesday]…” (2/3).

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Access To Birth Control Could Help Curb Climate Change, Researchers, Policy Experts Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Birth control access key means of reaching climate goals — experts
“…[T]he rising population in Pakistan — and elsewhere around the world — is creating more climate-changing emissions and putting more people in the path of extreme weather, food and water shortages, and other climate change pressures. That suggests that giving more women who want it access to birth control to limit their family size — in both rich and poor countries — could be a hugely effective way to curb climate change and to build greater resilience to its impacts, according to population and climate change researchers and policy experts…” (Goering, 2/3).

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WFP Concerned ISIS Manipulating Food Aid Parcels In Syria

New York Times: U.N. Concerned About Reports That Food Aid to Syria Is in ISIS Hands
“The United Nations food relief agency said it was ‘extremely concerned’ about the possible manipulation of its aid to Syria after images posted on jihadist websites and social media appeared to show Islamic State supporters distributing the agency’s relief supplies rebranded with the militant group’s logo…” (Cumming-Bruce, 2/3).

Reuters: WFP alarmed by pictures of ISIS logos on its Syria food parcels
“… ‘WFP condemns this manipulation of desperately needed food aid inside Syria,’ said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Emergency Regional Coordinator, in a statement late on Monday. The agency was trying to confirm the authenticity of those images, it said…” (Miles/Holmes, 2/3).

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Conflict Continues To Endanger Food Security In South Sudan, UNICEF Says

Bloomberg News: South Sudan Food Shortages Risk Worsening If Peace Falters
“Food shortages in South Sudan risk worsening if the country’s warring factions fail to implement a cease-fire agreement, the United Nations Children’s Fund said…” (Okech, 2/4).

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Denmark's Development Aid Minister, Predecessors Nominate MDGs For Nobel Peace Prize

EurActiv: Danes nominate Millennium Development Goals for Nobel Peace Prize
“Denmark’s Minister for Development Aid, Mogens Jensen, together with eight predecessors, has nominated the so-called 2015 goals, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), for the Nobel Peace Prize. … On behalf of the ministers, Jensen said in a statement that the 2015 goals, since they were set up around the turn of the century, have played a big and remarkable role in creating development globally…” (2/3).

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Devex Examines Why Women Hold Few Global Health Leadership Positions

Devex: Why do women hold less than 25 percent of global health leadership roles?
“…[W]hat then is stopping women interested in global health before they reach leadership level? A combination of factors, according to those who have managed to climb their own career ladder: lack of female role models as mentors; decreased access to research training and leadership development; difficulties balancing career and personal life; and health and safety risks in the field…” (Rogers, 2/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

'Enhanced Global Cooperation And Better Preparation' Necessary To Address Next Disease Outbreak

BloombergBusiness: Lessons From Africa’s Hard-Won Victory Over Ebola
Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development

“…There should be a system … to ensure that all countries really do have the capacity to track infectious disease outbreaks and control their spread across borders. … We need a [peacekeeping-type] system to respond to international infectious disease emergencies … On the [drug] development side, governments could commit more resources to public research into cures. But the power of the private sector could be better harnessed as well. … To increase demand, governments can club together to create an ‘advanced market commitment’ … The lesson of the Ebola crisis is that when faced with emerging infectious disease threats, the world needs to react faster and stronger — based on enhanced global cooperation and better preparation…” (2/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. Government Working With Partners To End FGM

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Five Powerful Stories About FGM/C You Need To Hear
Catherine Russell, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, writes, “Whether you care about global health, good governance, international development, or human rights, the many stories of FGM/C are ones we need to hear and share.” She discusses several U.S. government-supported efforts to end the practice (2/3).

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'Science Speaks' Discusses Global Health Elements Of White House FY16 Budget Request

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: The President’s budget broken down, a human rights bill reintroduced, when science is a hard sell
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, reviews several recent publications regarding U.S. global health policy, including a Kaiser Family Foundation summary of the White House FY16 budget request (2/3). In another post, Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses funding for HIV, the Global Fund, and TB (2/2).

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WHO, Global Community Need To Reassess U.N. Health Agency's Role

Development Policy Centre’s “DevPolicy Blog”: Do we need the WHO?
Joel Negin, an associate professor of international health at the University of Sydney, writes, “…A smaller, nimbler WHO might be more realistic. A more radical option might be to start from first principles and ask what type of global architecture is needed for the 2048 world rather than the 1948 world” (2/3).

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IMF's Loan Conditionalities Constrain Investment In Public Health Services In West Africa

Bretton Woods Project: The IMF’s role in the Ebola outbreak
Julia Robinson and James Pfeiffer of Health Alliance International discuss how “[d]ecades of IMF lending to Ebola-affected countries in West Africa led countries to prioritize debt payments over investment in public services.” They conclude, “…[W]e’ve got to learn the true lesson from the Ebola crisis to prevent the next public health crisis in Africa. IMF conditionalities must end, debt cancelled, and health systems built — no strings attached” (2/2).

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February 2015 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The February 2015 WHO Bulletin includes news and research articles on various topics, as well as an editorial on establishing an international legal framework to address antibiotic drug resistance (February 2015).

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