KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Development Implications Of Tillerson Appointment To U.S. Secretary Of State

Devex: Development community weighs implications of Rex Tillerson Senate hearings
“Civil society organizations routinely advocate for key issues to feature during confirmation hearings of U.S. political appointees. But this year, the stakes were particularly high in advance of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings held [Thursday] for Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s selection for secretary of state. … Leading international nongovernmental organizations met furiously to prepare for the hearing. They strategized over how they should parse their public statements on climate change, women’s health, and other issues. They also connected with key senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, now deliberating on Tillerson’s appointment before the vote could potentially move on to the U.S. Senate…” (Lieberman, 1/13).

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President-Elect Trump Meets With 2 Candidates To Head NIH, Including Current Director Collins

STAT: Trump meets with two contenders to lead NIH
“Two leading candidates to serve as director of the National Institutes of Health in the next administration met with President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday. The president-elect met at Trump Tower with Dr. Francis Collins, the current NIH director, and Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland, who has expressed an interest in serving in the administration…” (Scott, 1/11).

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U.S. House Committee Chair Asks NIH Officials To Release Documents Related To Work With WHO's IARC

Reuters: Exclusive: U.S. congressional committee demands answers on WHO cancer agency
“The chairman of a U.S. congressional committee investigating taxpayer funding of a World Health Organization cancer agency has asked U.S. health officials to release crucial documents. In a letter seen by Reuters and sent on Thursday to the head of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Representative Jason Chaffetz questioned whether the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) was trying to ‘avoid public scrutiny’ by asking its experts not to disclose requested information. … The letter marks the latest salvo in a battle between Congress, NIH, and IARC that was fueled by IARC’s review of the weedkiller glyphosate…” (Kelland, 1/13).

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The Lancet Examines Congressional Support For U.S. Cures Act, Potential For Funding

The Lancet: Experts confident of Congressional funding for U.S. Cures Act
“Just five weeks before his presidency ended, Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act, a law that will sustain several of his signature biomedical research initiatives, streamline the U.S. drug and medical device approval process, improve the nation’s mental health care system, and combat the country’s opioid misuse epidemic. The legislation won nearly unanimous approval in both houses of Congress … But the funding to implement the law is not guaranteed…” (Jaffe, 1/14).

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Media Sources Feature Q&As With WHO Director General Candidates

Devex: Q&A: WHO candidate Flavia Bustreo
“Flavia Bustreo knows the World Health Organization all too well. She has served within its ranks for more than a decade and is the only internal candidate among those vying for the position of director general of the U.N. health aid agency. … In this Q&A, Bustreo tells Devex her priority reforms for the organization, her strategy for putting them into practice, as well as what she plans to do differently if elected as the next leader of the U.N. health aid agency…” (Ravelo, 1/13).

Pharmaceutical Journal: Q&A: WHO director-general candidates’ views on global health
“In January 2017, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 34-member country executive board will draw up a shortlist of up to five candidates from the six health experts proposed by member states. Four are from Europe, one is from Africa and one from Asia. Board members will then interview each of the five candidates and subsequently nominate up to three names to be put before the World Health Assembly in May 2017, which will then elect the new director general by secret ballot. The new chief is expected to take the helm at the WHO on 1 July 2017. Below, the six candidates discuss their priorities and vision for the role…” (Zarocostas, 1/12).

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South-East Asian Nations Using Fractional Polio Vaccine Doses To Conserve Supplies, Ensure Continued Protection Of Children

U.N. News Centre: U.N. agency hails new polio vaccination regimen in South-East Asia that curbs impact on global supply
“Amid a global shortage of injectable inactivated polio vaccines (IPV), a new inoculation regimen, employed by governments in the South-East Asian region, involving two fractional vaccine doses — each about a fifth of a full dose — provides the same level of protection against all polioviruses as does one full dose, the United Nations health agency said [Thursday]. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for South-East Asia, the evidence-based intervention ensures continued protection of children against the virus and also helps save vaccine…” (1/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

As 1-Year Mark Approaches, Zika Still Affects Americans; Efforts To Address Disease Must Continue

Washington Post: One year later, Zika still affects us all
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Edward McCabe, chief medical officer of the March of Dimes

“Over the past year, we’ve seen the life-altering effects of the Zika virus on newborns. … As we approach the one-year mark of this emergency response, we reflect on the lessons we’ve learned. … The Zika virus affects all Americans. In addition to the overwhelming emotional toll on families, the CDC estimates that lifetime medical and educational costs for each baby born with microcephaly could be more than $10 million. Affected children will need protection, support, and attention for decades to come. As we look to the future, we hope to see images showing the hands of community members helping to control mosquitoes, the hands of health professionals protecting the next generation from Zika with new vaccines, and the hands of caregivers helping affected children to reach their full potential” (1/12).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Trump Administration Should Continue To Prioritize Women's Empowerment, Gender Equity Efforts

Oxfam America’s “Politics of Poverty”: Upholding women’s and girls’ rights is an essential part of U.S. foreign aid. Will the Trump administration agree?
Rebecca Rewald, coordinator for aid and agriculture at Oxfam America, discusses U.S. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearings and highlights his remarks supporting women’s empowerment and gender equity programs. Rewald writes, “I hope Rex Tillerson’s statement is a more accurate signal of how the Trump administration will approach the integration of women’s empowerment and gender equity in United States development work. … [T]he Trump administration must not only continue, but expand on these efforts” (1/12).

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Global Health Experts Discuss Importance Of Pandemic Preparedness In Next U.S. Administration

Georgetown University Medical Center: Global Health Experts Advise Advance Planning For Inevitable Pandemic
Kat Zambon, director of communications at Georgetown University Medical Center (GUMC), discusses remarks made by panelists at an event on pandemic preparedness and the next U.S. administration, organized by the Center for Global Health Science and Security at the GUMC in partnership with the Harvard Global Health Institute. Panelists included several global health experts including Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the NIH; Ronald A. Klain, general counsel for Revolution LLC and the Obama administration’s Ebola response coordinator; Ashish K. Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute; Bill Steiger, chief program officer at Pink Ribbon Red Ribbon; Amy E. Pope, deputy assistant to the president and deputy homeland security adviser on the National Security Council staff at the White House; Hamid Jafari, principal deputy director of the Center for Global Health and acting director of the Division of Global Health Protection at the CDC; Rebecca Katz, co-director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at GUMC; and Edward B. Healton, executive vice president for health sciences and executive dean of the School of Medicine at Georgetown University (1/12).

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Developing Policies, Strategies Aimed At Improving Women's Health 'At The Core Of Healthy Societies'

World Bank’s “Investing in Health”: Healthy women are the cornerstone of healthy societies
Patricio Marquez, lead health specialist for the Global Tobacco Control Initiative at the World Bank, and Melanie Walker, senior adviser to the president and director of the World Bank Group’s Delivery Unit, discuss the role of investing in women and girls, writing, “Development experience has shown that deliberate policies and programmatic strategies aimed at nurturing women’s health and well-being across the life cycle are vital for realizing the full potential of women and girls. … Policies that help turn the tide against the feminization of poverty and toward enabling women to lead lives of sustainable economic advancement and self-reliance will at the same time improve the health and mental well-being of future generations, and contribute to ensure that development is socially and economically inclusive” (1/12).

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Framework Convention On Global Health Could Provide National, Global Health Equity With Proper Leadership

Health Affairs Blog: The Framework Convention On Global Health: A Call For Leadership From The Global Health Trio
Eric A. Friedman, project leader of the Platform for a Framework Convention on Global Health, and Lawrence O. Gostin, professor and faculty director, both at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University, highlight their recently published opinion piece in Health Affairs examining leadership transitions at the “global health trio” of the WHO, the U.N., and the World Bank. They discuss the proposed Framework Convention on Global Health, “a global treaty grounded in the right to health and aimed at national and global health equity” that would “establish national and global health systems that do not cater primarily to those who hold the most power in society, but are truly the people-centered systems to which the global health trio and states have affirmed their support” (1/12).

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