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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Former U.S. Ebola Response Coordinator Klain Expresses Concern Over President-Elect Trump's Potential Reactions To Disease Outbreaks

BuzzFeed News: U.S. Ebola Czar Calls Trump “Badly Misguided” On Diseases
“The incoming president will undoubtedly face another dangerous disease outbreak during his tenure, global health experts agreed, scarred by recent Zika, Ebola, and dengue virus epidemics. But some worry that President-elect Donald Trump’s past statements bode ill for the next big one. ‘I think there’s a lot of reason for concern at this moment,’ Ron Klain, who led the White House Ebola response under President Obama, said on Tuesday at a meeting of global health experts at Georgetown University…” (Subbaraman, 1/10).

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U.S. Federal Officials Release Guidance On Funding For Potentially Risky Virus Studies

ScienceInsider: White House announces review process for risky virus studies
“Federal officials [on Monday] released a plan to help U.S. agencies decide whether to fund controversial studies that make viruses more dangerous. The guidance may finally bring an end to a moratorium that has kept a handful of experiments funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on hold for more than two years. … Concerns about so-called ‘gain-of-function’ (GOF) virus studies — which make viruses more transmissible in humans or able to cause sickness or death — ignited six years ago when two virologists revealed that they had tweaked the deadly H5N1 avian influenza to make it spread more easily in mammals…” (Kaiser, 1/9).

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Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Announces New High-Profile Appointments For President Of Policy, Advocacy, Chair Of Public Policy Advisory Board

Devex: With high-profile hiring announcement, CZI acknowledges the role of public policy in its work
“David Plouffe, the former top adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama who left the White House for Uber, is joining the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative [as president of policy and advocacy]. Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook who co-founded CZI along with his wife Priscilla Chan, broke the news in a Facebook status Tuesday that also announced the selection of Ken Mehlman, who formerly ran the Republican National Committee and served as a campaign manager for former U.S. President George W. Bush[, as chair of a public policy advisory board]…” (Cheney, 1/10).

New York Times: Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Builds Political Muscle for Philanthropic Work
“…The additions underline how Mr. Zuckerberg and Dr. Chan are pushing to give their philanthropic work — which has focused on education, science, and curing disease — a greater voice in Washington and among movements and advocacy groups across the country…” (Isaac, 1/10).

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UNICEF Launches #EarlyMomentsMatter Campaign To Promote Early Childhood Development Awareness, Investments

U.N. News Centre: UNICEF #EarlyMomentsMatter campaign promotes investments in early childhood development
“[Tuesday marked] the launch of a new United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) campaign, #EarlyMomentsMatter, aimed at raising awareness about the critical impact that early experiences have on children’s brain development during their first 1,000 days of life…” (1/10).

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Philippine President Duterte Signs Executive Order To Implement Reproductive Health Law Despite Supreme Court's Restraining Order

Associated Press: Philippines to offer free contraceptives to poor
“Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government agencies to ensure free access to contraceptives for six million women who cannot obtain them, officials said Wednesday, in a move expected to be opposed by the dominant Roman Catholic church…” (1/11).

Philippine Star: Duterte signs EO to implement RH Law
“President Rodrigo Duterte issued Executive Order 12 which implements Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012. The Reproductive Health (RH) Law has not been implemented due to a temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court…” (Viray, 1/11).

Sun Star: Duterte inks EO for full implementation of RH Law
“…[National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) Director General Ernesto] Pernia said the government is expecting that the SC would lift the temporary restraining order it issued against two key contraception medicines, in order to fully implement the RP-RH Law…” (Gita, 1/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

Development Aid 'One Of The Best Uses Of Public Money'

IRIN: Welcome to the global war on aid
Paul Currion, IRIN columnist

“…The U.K. now has a secretary of state for international development who doesn’t think her department should exist. Things aren’t much better across the Atlantic. It’s anybody’s guess what will happen in the U.S., the world’s single largest donor, following the election of Donald Trump. … Where the U.S. and the U.K. go, other countries are likely to follow as multilateralism loses ground. Faced with the prospect of a war of attrition in which the global poor are likely to be collateral damage, it’s worth remembering that the real problem the populist right has with overseas aid is not how it is spent, but that it exists at all. … In this context defending cash transfers or explaining CEO pay packets, while necessary, will not be enough to change the minds of those already opposed to foreign aid. Nor will the war on aid be won through the usual NGO tactics of hand-wringingly polite press releases and slickly edited testimonials. … The aid industry needs to connect to their public using innovative approaches … [A]id is not just a sensible use of public money — if we do it right, it’s one of the best uses of public money” (1/11).

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How U.S., Other Nations Addresses Climate Change Will Impact Nations' Abilities To Manage HIV Infection

The Conversation: How bucking climate change accord would hinder fight against HIV/AIDS
Brian King, associate professor of geography at Pennsylvania State University

“The potential withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement has broad implications for society and the environment. While much attention has concentrated upon melting glaciers, rising sea levels, and conflicts over scarce resources, another area represents a major cause for concern: human health. … South Africa’s HIV approach holds important lessons for the future of HIV management, but it also reveals new challenges that will arise from global climate change. One such challenge is ensuring that HIV-positive individuals have food. … While there have been remarkable improvements in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Global South, managed HIV faces other challenges beyond accessing lifesaving drugs. Food production and food security, which are tied to shifting climate dynamics, place additional burdens upon social and natural environments in resource-scarce settings. Managed HIV is survival, and this survival depends not just on access to antiretroviral drugs but also on a gamut of social and environmental resources that have become necessary to meet health needs in the era of global climate change” (1/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Discusses Stances Of 4 New Members Of 115th Congress's Senate Appropriations Committee

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: The 115th Congress and Global Health: Senate Appropriations gets new members with range of stances, involvement in disease responses
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, highlights the new members of the 115th Congress’s Senate Appropriations Committee as well as their stances on and involvement in global health. The highlighted members include Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Joe Manchin (D-W.V.), John Kennedy (R-La.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) (1/10).

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Global Fund Remains Committed To Transparency, Accountability, Risk Management

Friends of the Global Fight: The Global Fund’s Commitment to Transparency and Risk Management
This blog post discusses the Global Fund’s commitment to transparency and accountability in its program’s operations, highlighting the role of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), which operates independently from the Global Fund Secretariat, reports directly to the Fund’s Board of Directors, and works through audits and investigations. The blog post also discusses how the Global Fund manages risk, including through its procurement practices (1/11).

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Symposium On Global Mental Health Offered Transdisciplinary Perspectives From Key Players

Global Public Health Journal: The Georgetown symposium on global mental health: Transdisciplinary perspectives
Emily Mendenhall, assistant professor at Georgetown University, discusses conference proceedings from a one-day symposium hosted by Georgetown University on global mental health. Mendenhall writes, “This meeting followed four days of intensive meetings on global mental health in Washington, D.C., hosted by a diverse body of interested parties, including key players such as the World Bank Group, National Institute of Mental Health, and Grand Challenges Canada…” (1/10).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. State Department Should Continue Efforts To End FGM/C Worldwide

Medium: The Tipping Point: Can the World End Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting?
Cathy Russell, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues

“…Now more than ever, [female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C)] is an issue that needs our attention. That’s why the United States has made it a part of our foreign policy and it’s also why we are proud to be part of the global movement to prevent and respond to FGM/C. … The U.S. strategy on gender-based violence that President Obama launched in 2012 makes clear that FGM/C is a harmful practice that requires a multi-sector response  –  one that includes community-led responses, a change in social norms, and political commitment. FGM/C is also addressed in the first-ever U.S. strategy on adolescent girls. And the State Department has made ending harmful practices like FGM/C one of our three key objectives in implementing that strategy. So while my time in this job ends next week, the focus on this issue will continue, because the foundation for that work is in place. … I have no doubt that as this administration comes to an end, we will keep the momentum going” (1/10).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.