KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Nominates David Malpass For World Bank President

ABC News: Trump announces controversial pick David Malpass for World Bank president
“President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced he would nominate David Malpass, the Treasury under secretary for international affairs, as the next president of the World Bank, a pick that has already generated significant backlash from supporters of the institution…” (Mallin/Travers, 2/6).

New York Times: Trump Nominates David Malpass to Head World Bank
“…[Malpass is] a longtime critic of the World Bank’s lending practices and its business model and has expressed concern about the power that multilateral institutions exert. His appointment, which must be approved by the World Bank’s board, could prove controversial given Mr. Malpass’s skepticism of the bank and concerns that the Trump administration could politicize the role and use it to curb China’s growing global influence around the world…” (Rappeport/Appelbaum, 2/6).

Washington Post: Trump nominates Wall Street veteran David Malpass to head World Bank
“…The next [bank] president will replace Jim Yong Kim, a Korean American physician who resigned unexpectedly last month to accept a private-sector job managing infrastructure investments in developing countries. The World Bank’s board aims to prune nominees to a shortlist in the coming weeks, with a winner expected to be chosen by April. No other countries have publicly disclosed nominees…” (Whalen/Lynch, 2/6).

Additional coverage of the nomination is available from Bloomberg, CNN, Devex, The Hill, and POLITICO.

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U.S. Secretary Of State Pompeo Demands Venezuelan President Maduro, Troops Allow Humanitarian Aid Into Country; U.N., NGOs Warn Against Politicization Of Aid

Washington Post: Pompeo slams Venezuelan president over blocking of humanitarian aid
“Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted Nicolás Maduro Wednesday, accusing the Venezuelan president of blocking the path of humanitarian aid into the impoverished country. The United States, which has called for Maduro’s ouster and recognized National Assembly head Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate leader, has been coordinating with other countries in the region to deliver food and other provisions to Venezuela for the benefit of the people. But on Wednesday, ahead of anticipated aid shipments, a bridge that would have been an entry point into Venezuela from Colombia was blocked by a tanker truck and two shipping containers placed horizontally across its lanes. … While eager to see Venezuelans receive much-needed help, relief agencies and nongovernmental organizations worry that aid is being politicized and could become a pawn in this and future political brawls…” (Zuñiga, 2/6).

Additional coverage of the blocked humanitarian shipment and reaction is available from BBC News, Bloomberg, CNN, The Guardian, Reuters, and The Telegraph.

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Media Outlets Continue Coverage Of Trump's SOTU Pledge To Eliminate HIV Epidemic In U.S. By 2030

Daily Beast: State of The Union: Trump’s Bold AIDS Plan May Be Undermined By His Anti-LGBT Agenda (Allen, 2/5).

Fox Business: Inside Trump’s plan to end the HIV epidemic and what sparked it (Scipioni, 2/6).

The Hill: Trump’s AIDS turnaround greeted with skepticism by some advocates (Hellmann, 2/7).

International Business Times: Trump HIV Plan Seeks To Eradicate Disease In U.S. By 2030 (Doctor, 2/6).

Nature: Scientists kick the tires on Trump’s plan to tackle HIV (Maxmen, 2/6).

NPR: Halting U.S. HIV Epidemic By 2030: Difficult But Doable (Neel/Simmons-Duffin, 2/6).

PBS NewsHour: How realistic is Trump’s pledge to end HIV in the U.S.? (Brangham, 2/6).

ScienceInsider: How HIV/AIDS ended up in Trump’s State of the Union speech (Cohen, 2/6).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: LGBT+ groups dismiss Trump pledge to beat HIV by 2030 as empty rhetoric (Elks, 2/6).

TIME: Trump Wants to End HIV Within 10 Years. Here’s What That Would Take, According to Experts (Ducharme, 2/6).

Washington Blade: Trump’s call to end HIV epidemic falls on skeptical ears (Johnson, 2/5).

Washington Times: HHS outlines Trump’s campaign to end HIV/AIDS (Howell, 2/6).

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Drug Makers, Public Health Groups Call On Congress To Adopt Incentives To Encourage Antibiotic R&D

CIDRAP News: Letter urges Congressional action to stimulate antibiotic development
“A coalition of drug makers, infectious disease experts, and public health advocates [Tuesday] called on U.S. lawmakers to pass measures that could ‘jumpstart’ the development of critically needed antibiotics. In a letter sent to lawmakers in the Senate and the House of Representatives, stakeholders from large and small pharmaceutical companies and organizations including the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the Pew Charitable Trusts, and Trust for America’s Health asked Congress to ‘swiftly enact a package of incentives that would sustainably reinvigorate the pipeline of antibiotics while ensuring patient access and appropriate stewardship’…” (Dall, 2/6).

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News Outlets Continue Coverage Of Calls To End FGM On International Day Of Zero Tolerance

NPR: The 2019 Report Card For The Fight To End Female Genital Mutilation
“…As the world takes note of … International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation on February 6, … stories make real both the persistence of FGM and the difficulties encountered by those working to eliminate it — in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, where it typically occurs, but also in immigrant communities in Europe, North America, and Australia…” (Cole, 2/6).

VOA News: U.N. Calls for Ending Female Genital Mutilation by 2030
“…[T]he United Nations is calling for action to eliminate the procedure by 2030. The U.N. estimates at least 200 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to female genital mutilation, a procedure that partially or totally removes female genital organs. In addition, more than 3 million girls between infancy and age 15 are at risk of being subjected to the harmful practice every year…” (Schlein, 2/6).

Additional coverage of the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is available from Deutsche Welle, Mother Jones, Thomson Reuters Foundation, VOA News, and Xinhua News (2).

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Drug-Resistant TB Poses Global Threat, Needs More Attention, Global Fund Head Peter Sands Says In AFP Interview

Agence France-Presse: Deadly drug-resistant TB a ‘blinking red’ global threat
“Deadly, drug-resistant tuberculosis — as lethal as Ebola and tough to treat in even the best hospitals — is a ‘blinking red’ worldwide threat, the head of a global health fund warned in an interview with AFP. … ‘We should all be more worried about multidrug-resistant TB than we are. It gets nothing like the level of attention it should do,’ Peter Sands, Global Fund’s head, told AFP during a visit to New Delhi. … A meeting will be held in the Indian capital on Friday to prepare for Global Fund’s next three-yearly conference — to take place in Lyon next October” (2/7).

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Age Standardized Suicide Death Rate Down Globally, Study Shows, Says Targeted Prevention Strategies Needed

Agence France-Presse: Suicide rate falls by a third globally, data shows
“Suicides have fallen globally by more than a third since 1990, according to a far-reaching analysis released Thursday that highlighted profound differences in the number of men and women taking their own lives…” (2/7).

CNN: Global rates of suicide death have fallen by a third since 1990, study finds
“…The international team of researchers, led by Dr. Mohsen Naghavi of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle, used data from their 2016 Global Burden of Disease Study to describe patterns of suicide over a nearly three-decade period ending in 2016. Their findings were published Wednesday in the journal The BMJ…” (Scutti, 2/6).

TIME: Global Suicides Have Declined by a Third Since 1990, a Study Finds
“…The report also found that men are more likely to kill themselves than women in all regions and age groups, except for 15- to 19-year-olds. Men account for 15.6 deaths per 100,000 compared with 7.0 among women. The decline in the global suicide rate corresponded with an overall downturn in the global mortality rate among all causes of deaths, suggesting that suicide could be effectively reduced if dealt with like any other illnesses…” (Quackenbush, 2/7).

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More News In Global Health

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Coke and CDC, Atlanta icons, share cozy relationship, emails show (Judd, 2/6).

CIDRAP News: More Ebola reported from Katwa hot spot (Soucheray, 2/6).

Devex: Q&A: Lessons from Australian aid’s disability inclusion program (Cornish, 2/7).

IRIN: In rural Pakistan, ‘worst drought in years’ drives displacement and hunger (Shaikh/Tunio, 2/6).

Reuters: China says tests of possibly tainted medical product show no HIV (Xu/Munroe, 2/6).

U.N. News: Food choices today, impact health of both ‘people and planet’ tomorrow (2/6).

U.N. News: Largest joint U.N. humanitarian convoy of the war, reaches remote Syrian settlement (2/6).

VOA News: Report: Kenya’s Stringent Laws Limit Access to Safe Abortions (Ombuor, 2/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

In Interconnected World, Working With Multilateral Organizations Necessary For Safety, Security Of Americans

The Hill: Addressing drug problems abroad benefits Americans here
Former Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Former Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-Fla.), both Arthur H. Vandenberg distinguished fellows at the United Nations Foundation

“…Here … are three reflections for [freshman members of Congress to consider] as you begin your journeys: Local problems can have global roots. … Addressing problems ‘over there’ benefits Americans here. … A health threat anywhere is a health threat everywhere. … Always critical to these efforts: global organizations, sharing information, leveraging resources, and working together. … [T]he reality of our age is that we are interconnected and interdependent. Working with multilateral organizations like the U.N. isn’t optional, it’s necessary for the safety and security of all Americans. The U.N., like Congress, isn’t perfect. It shares the complexities and inefficiencies of most large organizations — albeit an organization that spans 193 countries and dozens of languages. We pressed for reforms during our time in Congress, and as the nation responsible for bringing the U.N. into existence, we must continue to ensure that U.S. contributions are used effectively. That means leading from within, through the hard work of diplomacy and engagement…” (2/6).

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Strengthened Immunization, Surveillance Activities Critical To Eliminating Measles

CNN: Over 109,000 people died from measles in 2017 — needlessly
Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, and Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross

“…Failure to vaccinate has far-reaching consequences … We have the tools, knowledge, and know-how to stop [measles,] this avoidable disease. To build on this success and continue to move toward the elimination of measles, we must close immunity gaps around the world by reaching every child with lifesaving vaccines and detecting and responding quickly to stop every measles infection from spreading. … We call on ministers of health to commit to strengthening their immunization activities and to intensify surveillance to quickly detect cases and prevent this needless suffering. We call on parents to vaccinate their children. With your support, the United Nations Foundation and the American Red Cross, along with other [Measles and Rubella Initiative (M&RI)] partners, pledge to continue to provide vaccines, training for health workers, technical assistance, and community outreach and education. We can — and we must — protect our kids against measles, and once again regain the progress we’ve made against this disease” (2/6).

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More Global Effort Needed To End FGM

Inter Press Service: A Truly Global Effort is Needed to Eradicate FGM by 2030
Divya Srinivasan, South Asia consultant for Equality Now

“…The United Nations, which designated 6th February as the International Day of Zero Tolerance for [Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)] in 2003, has so far failed to dedicate adequate funds to eradicate FGM at a global level, particularly in Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas. … The United Nations is failing in this commitment and needs to fund and pilot anti-FGM efforts in countries where it has not traditionally done so. … We need to learn from the fantastic work being done in Africa, adapt the strategies according to regional and cultural contexts, and implement them in every country where we know FGM is being practiced. Through the SDGs, activists and countries have made strong public commitments to ending FGM throughout the world by 2030. To achieve this goal, political commitments must now be put into action fully by accelerating and globalizing efforts, collecting and circulating reliable data, and providing the proper funding needed to eradicate FGM once and for all” (2/6).

The Hill: We must work to end female genital mutilation in the United States and around the world
Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.)

“…[Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)] has absolutely no place in America — or anywhere else in the world for that matter. It’s an unconscionable, systematic form of abuse and subjugation perpetuated against the youngest and most vulnerable among us. … I’m offering three bipartisan-supported proposals in the House of Representatives that work within federal government’s jurisdiction to combat FGM/C: 1) a resolution to condemn FGM/C and call upon the international community to stop it; 2) legislation to criminalize crossing state lines for the purpose of FGM/C. … 3) a bill to open up federal grants to assist survivors of FGM/C. As our society becomes more transient and diverse, it’ll take a coordinated effort to end this reprehensible, subjugating atrocity in the United States and around the world. I look forward to working with the Pennsylvania General Assembly, my colleagues in the Congress, and our partners across the world to accomplish this goal” (2/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Discusses Administration's Plan To Eliminate HIV In U.S.

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: With promise to ‘eliminate the HIV epidemic,’ and ‘defeat AIDS in America and beyond,’ administration raises questions about policies
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer at “Science Speaks,” discusses the Trump administration’s announcement of a new plan to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. through increased investments in 48 counties across seven U.S. states where rates of HIV incidence are high. Barton highlights remarks made at a teleconference with federal health officials, including Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Brett Giroir, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield (2/6).

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Urgent, Ongoing Action Needed To Address Humanitarian Crisis In Yemen, Academics Say

BMJ Opinion: There is an urgent need to address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen
Obijiofor Aginam, deputy director of United Nations University-International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH), and Weiam Al-Hunaishi, physician and graduate student in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Malaya, discuss the urgent and ongoing need to address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, writing, “The humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen is too complex to be left to the traditional diplomatic whims and caprices of individual nation-states whose foreign policy interests may be channeled elsewhere. To save innocent lives now and ensure that ‘no one is left behind,’ it is urgent to bring the vulnerable groups threatened by cholera, starvation, and malnutrition in Yemen within the parameters of a pragmatic humanitarian action” (2/6).

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Global Fund Announces Significant Progress Made In Finding 'Missing' TB Patients, Particularly In Asia

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Significant Progress Achieved Against TB in High-Burden Asian Countries
“Preliminary results from a joint initiative to find and treat [an] additional 1.5 million ‘missing’ tuberculosis patients by the end of 2019 show solid progress, with Asia driving the success. Six countries in Asia with the highest burdens of TB in the world have found an additional 450,000 cases of TB in the past year alone, and more than 840,000 additional patients compared with 2015. … ‘These results show what can be achieved if we put additional resources into the fight against TB,’ said Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund…” (2/7).

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Public-Private Partnerships Play Vital Role In Ensuring Global Health Security, Julie Gerberding Says

World Economic Forum: The world is too complacent about epidemics. Here’s how to change
Julie Louise Gerberding, executive vice president and chief patient officer at MSD, discusses the importance of epidemic preparedness and the role the private sector plays in enhancing global health security. Gerberding writes, “Perhaps our biggest opportunity is this: end the futile cycle of outbreak urgency, emergency investment, and then distraction, resource diversion, and finally a return to complacent neglect. Private sector leaders engaging in strong and collective advocacy can motivate policymakers to mandate sustained health security investments — and have ample reason to do so” (2/7).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Issues Statement On Delivery Of Humanitarian Assistance To Rukban

U.S. Department of State: Delivery of Humanitarian Assistance to Rukban
In a press statement, Robert Palladino, deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, states, “We welcome the news that the U.N. and Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) are making a second humanitarian aid delivery from Damascus to the Rukban encampment, providing critical food, medical care, warm clothes, and shelter materials. … We continue to call for sustained rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access to the people in Rukban and all vulnerable people throughout Syria in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 2449…”

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