KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

POLITICO Magazine Examines Whether AIDS Epidemic's Beginnings In U.S. Influenced Trump's Views Of Haitians

POLITICO Magazine: Did the AIDS Panic Make Trump Afraid of Haitians?
“…Trump’s obsession with race, from his complaints about the heritage of a Hispanic-American judge to his false attacks on the Central Park Five, is too voluminous to list here. But the clearest example is the link that seems to exist in his mind between Haitian immigrants and AIDS. To understand why, we have to go back to the early 1980s, when Trump was a thirtysomething playboy businessman in New York City, just starting to make his mark on the national scene…” (Katz, 1/15).

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Reproductive Health Uganda Director Discusses Impact Of Mexico City Policy On Group's Operations In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: Uganda’s RHU warns of impact of global gag rule on its programs
“Reproductive Health Uganda is one of Uganda’s leading NGOs providing services related to sexual health and reproductive rights, but it now faces a number of challenges to its work, including a recent move by the United States to bring back the Mexico City policy, also known as the ‘global gag rule.’ … Devex spoke to RHU Executive Director Jackson Chekweko about the issues the group faces, and the impact of the ‘global gag rule’ on its programs and Uganda as a whole…” (Fallon, 1/16).

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U.K. International Development Secretary Warns Of Possible Cuts In Aid To Developing Countries, Shift To 'National Interest' Priorities

The Guardian: Poorer countries must ‘put their hands in their pockets’: U.K. warns of cuts to aid
“Britain will cut foreign aid to developing countries if they fail to invest in their own people, the international development secretary has said. Penny Mordaunt said the British government, which gives out £13bn of foreign aid a year, ‘will not invest when others should be putting their hands in their pockets.’ Aid groups responded with concern, saying a ‘significant need’ for aid remains across all low-income countries, even among those who invest in health and social care…” (McVeigh, 1/15).

The Independent: Penny Mordaunt under fire for pledging to spend U.K. foreign aid in ‘national interest’ not just to help world’s poorest
“…Penny Mordaunt came under fire after pledging to allocate her £13bn overseas aid budget on ‘tackling the issues that matter most to the British people.’ Such projects could include preventing plastics polluting the oceans and the illegal wildlife trade — which ‘the British public care about passionately,’ she said. Labour warned immediately that the strategy risked weakening support for aid spending, if the public no longer believed it was helping ‘to make the world fairer.’ … Doubts were also raised about the legality, under international rules, of diverting aid cash to pursue the donor’s interests — rather than those of the recipient countries…” (Merrick, 1/16).

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IRIN Special Report Looks At Global Food Insecurity, Humanitarian Aid Needs In 2018

IRIN: Food aid 2018: the never-ending crisis
“…According to the U.N.’s Global Humanitarian Overview for 2018, some $22.5 billion in aid will be required in the coming year to help 90.9 million of the 135.7 million vulnerable people in need of assistance and protection. Funding can’t keep pace with need, so where are the biggest gaps and which groups are missing out most? This special IRIN report focuses on those who are most food insecure — those on the frontline of humanitarian emergencies who don’t know where their next meal is coming from…” (1/15).

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Empowering Indigenous Women Critical To Improving Food Security, Nutrition, FAO Director Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Indigenous women are “seed guardians” in Latin America hunger fight, says U.N.
“Indigenous women in Latin America must be at the center of efforts to adapt agriculture to deal with the threat of climate change and help tackle hunger and poverty, said a top U.N. food official. Jose Graziano da Silva, head of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said women were too often left out of development schemes, despite expert knowledge of the environment passed down through generations…” (Hares, 1/15).

U.N. News Centre: Progress against hunger, poverty hinges on empowering indigenous women — U.N. agriculture chief
“… ‘Indigenous women face a triple discrimination — poverty, gender, and ethnicity, both within and outside their communities — making them highly vulnerable,’ Jose Graziano da Silva, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) told the Forum on Indigenous Women in Mexico City this past Friday. They confront far higher rates of poverty, chronic malnutrition, and illiteracy while having the least access to health care and political life, he said to the participants from a dozen countries…” (1/15).

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Gates Foundation To Repay $76M Japanese Loan To Nigeria After Country Met Polio Vaccination Goals

Quartz Africa: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is paying off Nigeria’s $76 million polio debt
“…The [Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation] will pay off a $76 million loan taken from Japan to aid the fight against polio. The loan was taken in 2014 and repayments were due to begin this year. A Gates Foundation spokesperson confirmed the loan repayment in an email to Quartz. Gates Foundation says it agreed to repay the loan after Nigeria met the condition of achieving more than 80 percent vaccination coverage in at least one round each year in very high risk areas across 80 percent of the country’s local government areas. The loan will be repaid over a period of 20 years…” (Kazeem, 1/15).

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Christian Science Monitor Examines Debate Over Abortion Laws In Namibia

Christian Science Monitor: In Namibia’s abortion debate, echoes of a repressive history
“…Like many African countries, Namibia faced a difficult dilemma when it came to colonial legislation, like its abortion law. … Of the 54 countries in Africa today, only South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Cape Verde, and Tunisia allow abortion in a broad range of circumstances, and the region has the highest number of abortion-related deaths in the world. Namibia allows abortion in cases of rape, incest, or when a pregnancy endangers the life of mother or child. … Loosening abortion restrictions, however, remains highly controversial. In an overwhelmingly Christian country, many Namibians — black and white — consider abortion a sin…” (Brown, 1/11).

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Spread Of HIV Exacerbated By Conflict In Ukraine, Study Shows

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Conflict in Ukraine escalated spread of HIV — scientists
“Fighting in Ukraine that erupted in 2014 escalated the spread of HIV throughout the country as millions of infected people were uprooted by violence, a study published on Monday found. Conflict-affected areas such as Donetsk and Luhansk, two large cities in the east of Ukraine, were the main exporters of the HIV virus to other parts of the country such as Kiev and Odessa, the report found…” (Suliman, 1/15).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: Pakistan launches new anti-polio drive in Punjab province (1/16).

CNN: 75% of India’s air pollution-related deaths are rural, study finds (Wu, 1/15).

The Guardian: Doctors in Uganda warn ‘crisis level’ blood shortage is putting lives at risk (Okiror, 1/16).

New York Times: She Ran From the Cut, and Helped Thousands of Other Girls Escape, Too (Moore, 1/13).

Reuters: Zambia relaxes restrictions as cholera outbreak slows (Mfula, 1/14).

Reuters: U.N. hopes imports will help stave off famine in Yemen as diphtheria spreads (Nebehay, 1/16).
VOA News: Life-Saving Diphtheria Vaccination Campaign Remains Stalled in Yemen (Schlein, 1/14).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Vaccination ramps up in diphtheria-hit Rohingya refugee camps (Ferrie, 1/15).
U.N. News Centre: Bangladesh: U.N. agencies working to vaccinate half a million children against diphtheria (1/14).

U.N. News Centre: South Africa responding to largest-ever Listeria outbreak — U.N. health agency (1/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Cuts To Foreign Aid Would Hurt Global Health, Harm American Interests, Security

The Hill: Administration’s dangerous position on foreign aid will exacerbate international health crises
Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen

“…President Trump’s hostility to foreign aid is nothing new … His 2018 budget proposed a 28 percent cut to the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). A bipartisan coalition of senators, including Republicans like Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham, thankfully opposed Trump’s cuts. But the president’s recent comments indicate that he is going to continue his assault on development aid. The cuts he favors will be painful for vulnerable communities around the globe, since the U.S. remains the biggest international donor in absolute terms. And Trump has pushed them despite the evidence that foreign aid actually works. … The leaders of wealthy nations should not see foreign aid as a reward that they dole out to countries that please them and withhold from those that don’t. They should consider it an investment, not just in the potential of impoverished peoples but also in international security. American aid money is crucial in containing international health crises … The president would be better served by listening to his nation’s aid workers, rather than eliminating them (1/12).

The Hill: Foreign aid is something that makes America great
Cindy Huang, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development

“…Despite being less than one percent of the federal budget, our development and humanitarian investments play a critical role in protecting U.S. national security, and promoting American interests. … [Trump’s] threats to withdraw foreign aid in a tit-for-tat manner can have harmful consequences for the U.S. First, the core function of foreign aid is to build partnerships over time, and foster collaboration to solve urgent global challenges when they arise — especially before they can reach our own shores. … Second, taking away foreign aid makes the world more dangerous for everyone. … Third, as these threats to foreign aid and our diplomatic relationships continue, they will undermine U.S. soft power around the globe and exclude us from advancing our interests in global discussions. President Trump’s public threats — even if the aid continues to flow — mean that countries will look elsewhere for reliable partnerships. … Finally, U.S. foreign aid serves our economic and commercial interests. … The argument that cutting foreign aid puts ‘America first’ just doesn’t add up. These cuts would make us less safe, less influential, and less prosperous…” (1/13).

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U.N. Global Compact On Migration Can Create 'Common Vision Of How To Make Migration Work'

The Guardian: Migration can benefit the world. This is how we at the U.N. plan to help
António Guterres, secretary general of the United Nations

“…This year, governments will negotiate a global compact on migration through the United Nations. This will be the first overarching international agreement of its kind. …[I]t is an unprecedented opportunity for leaders to counter the pernicious myths surrounding migrants, and lay out a common vision of how to make migration work for all our nations. … In setting a clear political direction about the future of migration, I believe that three fundamental considerations should guide discussions of the compact. The first is to recognize and reinforce the benefits of migration, so often lost in public debate. … Second, states need to strengthen the rule of law underpinning how they manage and protect migrants — for the benefit of their economies, their societies, and the migrants themselves. … Third and finally, we need greater international cooperation to protect vulnerable migrants, as well as refugees, and we must reestablish the integrity of the refugee protection regime in line with international law. … This year’s global compact can be a milestone on the road to making migration truly work for all” (1/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Pan American Journal Of Public Health Features Special Issue On Immunization In Americas

PAHO/WHO: Special issue of PAHO’s scientific journal explores the past, present, and future of vaccination in the Americas
“The countries of the Americas have been world leaders in controlling diseases through vaccination over the past century. But does this past experience guarantee similar success with immunization going forward? This and other questions about the past, present, and future of immunization in the Americas are addressed in a special issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health just published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)…” (1/12).

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FT Health Highlights NHS Funding Debate, Features Interview With Former New Zealand PM Helen Clark

FT Health: The NHS and funding for health
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter highlights the ongoing debate over financing for Britain’s National Health Service; features an interview with Helen Clark, former New Zealand prime minister and a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, who discusses the commission’s new report; and provides a roundup of other global health-related news stories (Jack/Dodd, 1/12).

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