KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Experts Recommend Expanding AIDS Paradigm To Fit In Post-2015 Agenda

Devex: Fitting AIDS into the post-2015 agenda
“Ongoing negotiations on a new global development framework have raised fears that existing targets may be forgotten — and gains lost — once the Millennium Development Goals expire at the end of 2015. This is why world leaders appear to be honing in on ways to keep the momentum going on hard-to-reach MDGs while driving progress toward new, ambitious goals. In line with this sentiment, a group of top multilateral and bilateral donor officials including the head of the U.N. Development Programme have laid out such a strategy for global health…” The news service describes a World Bank panel held on Thursday that included UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé, and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim (Stephens, 1/10).

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Number Of Smokers Increased Worldwide, With China Leading, Study Shows

News outlets examine the results of a new study released by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, titled “Smoking Prevalence and Cigarette Consumption in 187 Countries, 1980-2012.” Results show that China, in particular, has seen a rise in its number of smokers.

U.S. News & World Report: Study: World Has Nearly 1 Billion New Smokers
“Though the percentage of smokers worldwide has declined, the actual number of smokers has increased, said a study released Wednesday by the University of Washington. … Large countries like China and Indonesia have actually encountered an influx of smokers. In fact the World Health Organization states ‘about one in three cigarettes smoked in the world is in China'” (Beard, 1/9).

New York Times: Smoking Prevalence Steady in China, but Numbers Rise
“After decades of decline, the prevalence of smoking in China has held steady in recent years. Coupled with population growth, this means there are now more smokers in China than ever, according to a new study on global smoking prevalence published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association…” (Qin, 1/9).

CNN: China, world’s leading tobacco user, moves to ban indoor public smoking
“China, the world’s largest tobacco consumer, is aiming to ban indoor smoking in public areas by the end of the year. About one in three cigarettes smoked in the world is in China, according to the World Health Organization. … The country’s health authorities estimate over a million deaths from tobacco-related diseases every year. The WHO warns that if tobacco use is not decreased in China, these deaths will increase to three million by 2050…” (Park, 1/9).

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U.S. Congress Takes Action On Farm Bill

News outlets report on recent U.S. congressional action on a farm bill that includes food aid provisions.

Devex: A glimmer of hope for U.S. food aid reform
“After years of lobbying by foreign aid advocates, NGO representatives, food security experts and U.S. government officials, lawmakers might be ready to open the door — at least part of the way — for food aid reform in 2014. Congressional Quarterly reported on Wednesday that U.S. budget appropriators have agreed to allow a Senate provision that would earmark $35 million for greater food aid flexibility…” (Igoe, 1/10).

Politico: Farm bill in trouble
“House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas conceded Thursday that final action on a farm bill conference report is now likely to slip into late January — a major blow to himself and an ominous turn for the bill itself…” (Rogers, 1/9).

Washington Post: Farm bill talks nearing conclusion with about $9 billion in food stamp cuts
“…Leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees had planned to announce a deal on a new multiyear farm bill this week, but aides familiar with the talks said any such announcement might be pushed into next week because of differences about price controls on the nation’s dairy industry…” (O’Keefe, 1/8).

Roll Call: Farm Bill Nearing Home Stretch (Updated)
“The long-delayed farm bill may finally be on a glide path to passage, after months of partisan wrangling raised doubts over whether such a day would ever come…” (Shiner/Dumain, 1/7).

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Articles Examine U.S. Aid To Haiti, Status Of Lawsuit Against U.N. Seeking Reparations After Cholera Outbreak

News outlets examine aid to Haiti four years after the 2010 earthquake and the status of a lawsuit brought against the U.N. on behalf of the families of cholera victims.

The Guardian DataBlog: Haiti earthquake: where is U.S. aid money going? Get the data
“American companies and NGOs continue to receive the lion’s share of U.S. aid funding for projects in Haiti four years after the earthquake that levelled the capital Port-au-Prince, despite U.S. government promises to spend more money through local organizations. … A USAID official acknowledged that more needed to be done, and said the agency was committed to increasing the number of Haitian groups with which it partners directly…” (Provost/Dzimwasha, 1/10).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Q+A: U.N. must take responsibility for Haiti cholera epidemic — rights group
“…Last year, a Boston-based rights group, Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), filed a lawsuit against the United Nations on behalf of cholera victims in Haiti, seeking a minimum of $100,000 for the families or next-of-kin of each person killed by cholera. The lawsuit maintains the cholera epidemic was introduced by U.N. peacekeeping troops brought to Haiti from Nepal…” In an interview, Brian Concannon, head of IJDH, “discusses why the lawsuit was brought forward against the U.N., what it hopes to achieve and how he sees it developing over the coming year…” (Moloney, 1/10).

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Humanitarian Efforts In Syria Need Ongoing Support

Two articles examine the humanitarian situation in Syria, focusing on polio vaccination efforts and the need for continuing support for the provision of basic humanitarian needs.

New York Times: Polio Vaccination Effort in Syria Appears to Have Some Effect
“The first polio outbreak in Syria in 14 years, which caused alarm when detected last September in the war-ravaged country, appears to have been contained halfway through an emergency vaccination effort for millions of children in the Middle East, two top World Health Organization officials said Thursday. … Syria’s confirmed cases — 17 — have remained static for many weeks, an indication that the vaccinations, which began in October and are to continue through March, are having some effect…” (Gladstone, 1/9).

U.N. News Centre: World Food Programme chief says tragic Syria crisis is ‘more than numbers’
“With the humanitarian situation in war-torn Syria ‘getting more difficult every day,’ the head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is urging the international community to continue supporting the wide-scale relief effort underway, and calling for increased access so aid workers can deliver basic supplies to families trapped in areas of heavy fighting…” (1/9).

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Timor-Leste Launches National Campaign For Universal Access To Food

U.N. News Centre: Timor-Leste becomes first Asia-Pacific country to launch U.N.’s Zero Hunger Challenge
“Timor-Leste, Asia-Pacific’s youngest country, today became the region’s first to launch a national campaign under the United Nations Zero Hunger Challenge, which seeks to ensure universal access to food in the face of looming threats such as climate change. … [The campaign’s] five specific objectives are to make sure that everyone in the world has access to enough nutritious food all year long; end childhood stunting; build sustainable food systems; double the productivity and income of smallholder farmers, especially women; and prevent food from being lost or wasted…” (1/9).

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WHO Reports 7 New H7N9 Cases In China

The WHO on Thursday reported seven additional cases of H7N9 avian influenza in China.

Reuters: WHO says China has seven more cases of new H7N9 bird flu
“Seven more people in China have been found to be infected with a potentially deadly new strain of bird flu in the past week, bringing total H7N9 cases so far to around 150, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday. Six of the seven people are in a critical condition in hospitals in various parts of China and the seventh is also hospitalized but in a stable condition…” (Kelland, 1/9).

WHO: Human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus — update
“…The source of infection is still under investigation. So far, there is no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission…” (1/9).

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Canadian Who Died Of H5N1 Was Young, Otherwise Healthy Woman, WHO Reports

News outlets continue to report on North America’s first H5N1 case, with the WHO confirming the fatality and releasing additional information on the victim.

CIDRAP News: Exposure source in Canadian H5N1 case a mystery
“It remained unclear today how the victim of the first H5N1 avian influenza infection in North America, a Canadian who visited China in December, was exposed to the virus, as health authorities stressed the case’s uniqueness and continued to describe the risk of further transmission as very low…” (Roos, 1/9).

CTV Edmonton: WHO releases more details about H5N1 victim
“…The World Health Organization reported Thursday the victim was a female Canadian citizen, previously in good health. CTV News has also learned the woman was an employee at the Red Deer Regional Hospital, and was 28-years-old…” (Weisberg, 1/9).

WHO: Human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus — update
“WHO has been informed by Canada of a laboratory-confirmed case of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus in a previously healthy adult, who was first symptomatic on 27 December 2013 and died 3 January 2014. The person visited Beijing, China, from 6 to 27 December 2013 and returned to Canada on 27 December 2013. The individual was symptomatic during travel with malaise and feeling feverish. The person traveled with one other individual who is well. … Globally there have been a total of 649 cases and 385 deaths reported, including this latest case…” (1/9).

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AFP Examines Legacy Of Polio In India

Agence France-Presse/GlobalPost: India celebrates polio success, but sad legacy remains
“…On Monday, India will mark three years since its last polio case, leaving it on the cusp of being declared free of the ancient scourge in what is arguably its, and one of the world’s, biggest health success stories. But the wretched sight of crippled street hawkers or beggars on trolleys, withered legs tucked underneath their bodies, will remain as a legacy of the infections that took hold during the country’s time as an epicentre of the disease…” (1/9). A video of this report is available on YouTube (1/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

PEPFAR, South African Partnership Laying Foundation For Healthier Future

Huffington Post: The Power of Partnership: Extraordinary Progress, Lessons Learned and Great Hope for the Future in South Africa
Deborah von Zinkernagel, acting global AIDS coordinator, Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator

“…Our health partnership with South Africa is becoming a model for other PEPFAR-supported countries. Like any new concept, there are challenges along the way and important lessons to be learned. Throughout the partnership’s evolution, we have never lost sight of our primary shared goals: to enable more people in need of HIV/AIDS services to receive them, and those who already receive these services to continue doing so. Strong partnerships with many diverse stakeholders are vital to achieving these goals. That is why PEPFAR continues to work with national, provincial, and local governments; academic institutions; non-government organizations; civil society; and the private sector in South Africa and other countries to drive innovation toward a more effective, efficient, and durable HIV and TB response…” (1/9).

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Development Aid To Haiti 'Remains A U.S. Government Priority'

Devex: Haiti’s recovery won’t happen overnight
John Groarke, USAID Mission Director in Haiti since August 2013

“International donors — among them the U.S. Agency for International Development — have learned lessons along the way in Haiti in terms of how we can do better. As the country leaves behind the era of post-earthquake relief and focuses now on longer-term development, USAID is striving to build the capacity of local organizations to lead and manage development initiatives. … Every USAID mission director’s goal is to help the host country one day reach a point when it no longer needs foreign economic assistance. Indeed, all donors and development organizations should be devoted to that goal. In Haiti, this will not happen overnight. But four years after the earthquake, Haiti remains a U.S. government priority to continue and improve our efforts to help Haitians building the opportunity and prosperity they are capable of and that they are so deserving” (1/9).

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U.S. Government 'Must Help Counter' Tobacco Industry Sales In Developing Countries

New York Times: Fitful Progress in the Antismoking Wars
“…Although smoking rates among adults around the globe have fallen sharply since 1980, the number of smokers has increased significantly along with population growth and will continue to increase as national incomes and populations rise. The United States government must help counter the tobacco industry’s efforts to spread its noxious products around the world” (1/9).

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2014 Marks Time To End Hunger, Improve Nutrition Worldwide

Huffington Post Canada: Why ‘End Hunger’ Deserves a Place on Your New Year To-Do List
Susanne Courtney, executive director of Action Against Hunger Canada (ACF)

“…What we need this year is collective action and commitment on the part of Canadians. By working together, we can dramatically change the lives of those who suffer from severe malnutrition everyday. … 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child — a human rights treaty that fortifies rights for children to ensure their wellbeing and safety. Food is a basic human right and now, nearly two and a half decades since the international signing of this treaty, we must not turn a blind eye…” (1/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

President Obama Nominates CDC's Global HIV/AIDS Director Deborah Birx As Global AIDS Coordinator

“The White House has nominated a physician scientist whose career began three decades ago with a focus on immunology, vaccine research, and global health, to succeed Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Dr. Eric Goosby and lead the President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief. Dr. Deborah Birx, who as director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control’s Global AIDS Program serves as point person for PEPFAR implementation at the CDC, was named today to fill the post that has stood vacant since November 1, when Ambassador Goosby left the position to return to clinical research and practice. … Birx will still need to be confirmed by the Senate, following a hearing in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee,” according to the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog (Barton, 1/9). Additional information is available in a press release from the White House (1/9).

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Saving Mothers, Giving Life Annual Report Launched At D.C. Event

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog summarizes an event that took place in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, launching a report detailing “outcomes from the first year of the five-year Saving Mothers, Giving Life initiative, which began in eight districts in Uganda and Zambia in June 2012.”

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Community Field Officers 'Making Namibia A Healthy Nation'

In a guest post in the ONE Blog, the CDC describes the work of two Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) field officers in Namibia, where they travel to rural communities to conduct HIV/AIDS counseling and testing. “Through this work they have established strong links between health facilities and communities, and strengthened systems for follow-up care. Their compassion, dedication, and determination are driven by a deep calling and commitment. Truly at the front line of the battle against HIV/AIDS, they are contributing to saving thousands of lives and to making Namibia a healthy nation” (1/7).

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CSIS Releases Report On Global Access To Universal Health Coverage

A new Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) report, titled “Global Action toward Universal Health Coverage,” is now available online. The report examines the history of universal health coverage, its growing interest internationally, and the elements and obstacles of expanding coverage (Bristol, 1/9).

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Blog Examines Effects Of Tobacco Use On Children In China

In a Humanosphere guest post, Katie Leach-Kemon, a policy translation specialist from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), examines data from an IHME study published this week tracking smokers and cigarettes consumed from 1980 to 2012 and looks at smoking in China. “With all this focus on adult smoking and the lung cancer, heart disease, and chronic respiratory disease that smoking can lead to, it’s easy to forget about vulnerable bystanders, especially children. … Among children under five in China, secondhand smoke was the fifth-leading risk factor for early death and disability in 2010…” (1/9).

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