KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Set To Reinstate Mexico City Policy On Roe v. Wade Anniversary, According To Congressional Staffer

Foreign Policy: Will Trump Target Women’s Programs Worldwide?
“Lawmakers, government officials, and aid workers are bracing themselves for a broad offensive from President-elect Donald Trump against federal programs that support family planning and gender equality around the world. As one of his first acts in the Oval Office, the Republican president-elect plans to restore the Mexico City policy [also known as the ‘global gag rule’] as soon as Sunday, a congressional staffer told Foreign Policy. … Beyond the gag rule, aid officials fear the next administration has its sights set on slashing programs designed to empower women and bolster public health, including projects aimed at ending gender-based violence and providing women opportunities in business and in politics…” (O’Toole, 1/19).

The Hill: Trump poised to reinstate ‘global gag rule’ on Roe v. Wade anniversary: report
“…[If reinstated on Sunday, the action] would coincide with the anniversary of Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal, which was decided on January 22, 1973. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, (D-N.H.) told [Foreign Policy] that she is prepared to fight the newly sworn-in president through legislative procedures, should he choose to implement the executive order. ‘It will be one of their first actions, which is very short-sighted,’ she told Foreign Policy…” (Vladimirov, 1/19).

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Trump Administration Asks NIH Director Francis Collins To Stay On At Least Temporarily

Nature: NIH director Francis Collins staying on — for now
“On the eve of his inauguration, President-elect Donald Trump has decided to retain Francis Collins as director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) — at least temporarily. Collins has been ‘held over by the Trump administration,’ NIH spokesperson Renate Myles said in a 19 January statement…” (Reardon, 1/19).

ScienceInsider: Trump asks NIH Director Francis Collins to stay on
“…Collins, a geneticist who has headed the $32 billion NIH for the past eight years, has been campaigning to keep his job and met with Trump last week. … But although Collins had the support of key Republicans in Congress, he has been one of several candidates for the NIH post, including Representative Andy Harris (R–Md.)…” (Kaiser, 1/19).

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Emerging Disease Threats Will Continue To Pose Challenges To CDC, Outgoing Director Frieden Says

Scientific American: Trump’s CDC May Face Serious Hurdles
“…On day one of the Donald Trump administration, [Acting CDC Director Anne] Schuchat will already be grappling with numerous threats as the agency continues its work of investigating outbreaks and seeking to prevent new ones. In the past seven and a half years under [CDC Director Tom] Frieden’s leadership, the CDC has been roiled by crises including government furloughs, H1N1 flu, lab safety issues, and the U.S. responses to Ebola and the Haiti earthquake. The agency is also still in emergency mode as it confronts the mosquito-borne Zika virus and its related birth defects. And the hits are likely to keep on coming. The CDC will struggle to deal with emerging threats because it does not have the cash or power to respond immediately in a crisis, Frieden says…” (Maron, 1/18).

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In Exclusive Interviews With Reuters, Bill Gates, Ray Chambers Discuss Uncertainty Surrounding Malaria Eradication Efforts With Changing U.S., U.N. Leadership

Reuters: Exclusive: Malaria champions unnerved by Trump uncertainty at crucial time
“When it comes to fighting malaria, Bill Gates and Ray Chambers are both inspired and concerned: With victory in sight, will the world’s new leaders commit to finally beating this persistent parasite? In exclusive interviews with Reuters in Davos, Gates and Chambers both voiced concern about leadership changes in the U.S. and in United Nations bodies and what these might mean for funding and commitment to global health. ‘The imponderable is what happens with President Trump,’ said Chambers, the United Nations special envoy for malaria. ‘We’re just not sure.’ … And with looming leadership changes at organizations key to global health and development aid — the heads of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the World Bank — malaria champions say the risk of setbacks is unnerving. ‘With malaria there’s no standing still,’ Gates said. ‘Malaria is very complicated’…” (Kelland, 1/20).

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Global Health Donors Should Funnel Money Through GFF To Better Leverage Funds, World Bank's Jim Kim Says At WEF

Devex: Jim Kim thinks more donors should leverage their funds
“…Speaking at a breakfast event Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, [World Bank President Jim] Kim made a pitch to global health donors, asking them to consider channeling their funds through the Global Financing Facility for maternal and child health, which promises a four to five time multiplication effect for the money it receives. By de-risking investments for the private sector and allowing countries to access low-interest financing, the GFF makes it attractive for countries to take World Bank loans for health projects — and to spend more of their own money on those projects. Kim thinks more donors should use it…” (Igoe, 1/19).

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Devex Features Q&As With WHO DG Candidates Tedros Adhanom, Miklós Szócska

Devex: Q&A: WHO candidate Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
“As health minister of Ethiopia, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus saw the impact of disease outbreaks and poor health care firsthand. He witnessed how malaria could devastate an agricultural workforce and leave crops unharvested. … Now as a candidate for the World Health Organization’s director generalship, Tedros seeks to take his efforts global. Ethiopia’s candidate has won the endorsement of the African Union’s executive council and is the only prospective leader from the continent…” (Loewenberg, 1/19).

Devex: Q&A: WHO candidate Miklós Szócska
“Miklós Szócska sees risk sharing as a vital tool in preparing for global pandemics and boosting the resources of the World Health Organization. The Hungarian candidate for the WHO director general race has used the concept before. During his time as health minister, Szócska introduced a public health product tax on food and beverages with high salt and sugar contents. … Szócska spoke with Devex ahead of the DG race on why the global community should try to share responsibilities and risks more, what changes and improvements he plans to implement at the U.N. health aid agency if he becomes director general, and how he plans to execute on promises of reform…” (Ravelo, 1/19).

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Family Of Indian Woman With XDR-TB Wins Access To Restricted TB Therapy

NPR: A Teen’s Family Fought To Get Her A Restricted TB Drug — And Won
“A teenager who sued the Indian government to gain access to a new drug against multidrug-resistant tuberculosis was granted her petition in a ruling handed down by the New Delhi High Court on January 18, according to the family lawyer. The decision was widely reported in the Indian press. That drug, bedaquiline, has been approved for use only in a handful of Indian cities and only for the small subset of patients who can demonstrate laboratory evidence of extensively drug resistant TB, or XDR-TB…” (Shaikh-Lesko, 1/19).

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Editorials and Opinions

Trump Administration To Retain Ambassador Birx As PEPFAR Coordinator, 'Showing Genuine Concern For' Program's Continuity

Washington Post: Trump team’s compassionate act will keep up the momentum on AIDS prevention
Michael Gerson, opinion writer

“This Inauguration Day brings an act of compassion, outreach, and bipartisanship by the Trump leadership team. The Trump administration will retain Ambassador Deborah Birx as the coordinator of PEPFAR (the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) until a successor is named and confirmed. This action was taken, I am told by administration sources, at the urging of Ivanka Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence. … Birx is in the process of shifting resources to effective AIDS prevention efforts that will reduce the future burden of the disease, with a special emphasis on helping adolescent girls avoid infection. A gap of leadership would have slowed the momentum of the program and imposed a cost in lives. … [PEPFAR] has received strong and consistent support from congressional leaders in both parties. … Now the Trump administration is showing genuine concern for the continuity of this lifesaving, bipartisan effort and demonstrating that there is a constituency in the White House for America’s dramatically successful global engagement on health…” (1/20).

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'Climate-Health-Security Nexus' Provides Clear Priority For Developed Countries To Invest In Strengthening Affected Nations' Health Systems

The Lancet Global Health: Adapting global health aid in the face of climate change
Vin Gupta of the Harvard Global Health Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Alexandre Mason-Sharma of the Boston University School of Medicine; Stephanie N. Caty of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Vanessa Kerry of the Harvard Global Health Institute, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts General Hospital

“…The complex interaction between climate change, health system burdens, and poor health outcomes, and their subsequent impact on politics, security, and society can be captured within the concept of a so-called climate-health-security nexus. Many of the world’s poorest and most politically fragile nations lie at the center of this nexus. … Proactive acknowledgment of this climate-health-security nexus is an opportunity and necessity for the global health community, particularly given upcoming inflection points such as the inauguration of the new U.S. administration in January 2017. In the wake of the Paris and Kigali Climate Accords, 2017 will be a crucial moment. Developed economies should prioritize supporting global efforts to adapt and strengthen national health systems to better contend with climate-related threats. … There is a clear strategic and public health imperative to support struggling national health systems in the interest of global stability. Climate change represents an emerging threat to public health and security worldwide. Focused investment in the health systems of climate-vulnerable states now to offset the impending risks of future climate stresses represents a far-sighted, cost-effective, and preventive approach to global health and political stability in the developing world that the next U.S. administration and all developed economies should urgently adopt” (February 2017).

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CEPI Aims To Advance Vaccine Candidates, Develop Platforms To Accelerate R&D, But Needs More Investment

The Lancet: CEPI — a new global R&D organization for epidemic preparedness and response
John-Arne Røttingen, interim chief executive officer of CEPI, and colleagues representing governments and foundations who are investing in CEPI

“…[The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)] has two main objectives: to advance vaccine candidates against priority pathogens and to build technical and institutional platforms that accelerate the R&D response to known or unknown pathogen emergencies. … This emphasis on preventing and preparing for outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics comes at a time when globalization, urbanization, and environmental and climate change mean that infectious diseases are increasingly global threats that respect no borders. Health protection is therefore dependent on investing collectively in global health security. … We represent the first public and philanthropic funders to invest in CEPI. We have so far collectively committed about US$460 million to a pooled fund … However, more investors are needed — both to reach the US$1 billion over five years that would enable CEPI to realize this first phase of its mission, and because the initiative will be most successful with participation from countries of all sizes, geographical regions, and levels of economic development. … CEPI will fill this gap in global health R&D, and we welcome more partners — both investors and implementers” (1/18).

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Private Businesses' Investments In Sustainable Development Practices 'Simply Good Business'

The Hill: Sustainable development needs sustainable finance
Gavin E.R. Wilson, CEO of IFC Asset Management Company

“…[The Business & Sustainable Development Commission] wanted to make the business case for the SDGs and the SDG case for business. … The Commission’s team has calculated that achieving the goals will open up a US$12 trillion market opportunity — difficult for a forward-looking business to ignore. … Let me highlight three immediate action points which could strengthen the flow of capital to sustainable investments in emerging markets. First, we need greater transparency and a more consistent approach to measuring the sustainability performance of business. … Secondly, we need more widespread use of financial instruments that efficiently share risk in a way that attracts more private finance into sustainable development. … Thirdly, we need regulatory reforms that promote long-term investment and avoid short-termism. … The Commission’s estimate is that a consistent focus on sustainability can give a company a five year market advantage. In other words, sustainable business is simply good business…” (1/19).

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Global Health Successes Of 2016 Should Inspire Hope In 2017

Project Syndicate: Hope for Global Health in 2017
Melvin Sanicas, regional medical expert at Sanofi Pasteur — Asia, Japan, and the Pacific

“Looking back on 2016, there may not seem to be much to celebrate. In terms of global health alone, the year appeared to be one of unrelenting tragedy. … But, buried among all of the bad stories, there were some inspiring developments in global health in 2016. The first took place in Tanzania and Mozambique, where African giant pouched rats … were repurposed to help in the fight against tuberculosis (TB). … A second positive development was the creation of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). … The third positive development of 2016 was the progress made in combating malaria. … There is more good news on the vaccine front … Diseases for which we do not have vaccines have also been beaten back. … Furthermore, the Americas are now almost free of river blindness … We are also one step closer to eliminating lymphatic filariasis … Also on the brink of eradication is Guinea worm … As we begin 2017, it is important to recognize the public health victories that we have achieved. However bad things may seem and however heartbreaking the hurdles are, there are plenty of reasons to remain hopeful — and to keep working for a better, healthier future” (1/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Trump Administration Should Recognize Importance Of Investing In Women's, Girls' Health, Not Reinstate Mexico City Policy

Rewire: A Trump Gag Rule Has No Place in 2017
In this commentary, Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE), discusses the Trump administration’s expected reinstatement of the Mexico City policy, also called the “global gag rule,” writing, “Some, including myself, are concerned that a Trump Gag Rule will extend beyond restricting international family planning funds and be applied to U.S. funding of other key issues, including HIV prevention, maternal health, humanitarian projects, and education. … Acknowledging the importance of investing in the well-being of women and girls, the world has evolved dramatically over the past three decades when it comes to reproductive health and rights, and so should U.S. foreign policy…” (1/19).

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Blog Post Examines Potential Impacts Of Trump Administration On Emerging, Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases In U.S., Globally

BioMed Central’s “BugBitten”: The future of emerging infectious diseases in the Trump era
Krisztian Magori, editor at BugBitten and assistant professor of biostatistics in the Department of Biology at Eastern Washington University, writes, “Today marks the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as the 45th President of the United States. At the dawn of this new era, we consider the future for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, and the responsibility of the scientific and medical community to combat them…” (1/20).

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Baker Institute Releases Policy Recommendations For Trump Administration, Including Briefs On Global Health, Science

Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy: Recommendations for the New Administration
“The Baker Institute has released policy recommendations for President-elect Donald Trump’s administration. Focusing on a range of important issues facing the country, these briefs are intended to provide decision-makers with relevant and effective ideas for addressing domestic and foreign policy priorities…” Several of the briefs discuss issues related to health care, drugs and vaccines, global child nutrition, and science and technology (1/17).

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CGD Research, Panel Examine 'Ownership' In U.S. Foreign Assistance

Center for Global Development’s “U.S. Development Policy”: Improving Ownership in U.S. Foreign Assistance
Sarah Rose, senior policy analyst at CGD, discusses a recently released research paper and brief from the CGD’s U.S. Development Policy Initiative (DPI), which she notes “complements our earlier quantitative look at perceptions of U.S. approaches to country ownership practices.” Rose highlights three key messages of a recent CGD panel of high-level policymakers convened to discuss ownership in aid, including, “The United States has made great strides incorporating ownership. … Ownership is a balancing act. … Incorporating ownership remains a work in progress…” (1/19).

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CGD Podcast Examines Commitment To Development Index 2016

Center for Global Development’s “CGD Podcast”: Commitment to Development Index 2016: How Development-Friendly Are Your Country’s Policies? — Podcast with Owen Barder
In this podcast, Rajesh Mirchandani, vice president of communications and policy outreach at CGD, speaks with Owen Barder, vice president, director of CGD Europe, and senior fellow, about “CGD’s annual Commitment to Development Index, our ranking of how a country’s policies help or hinder development…” (1/18).

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From the U.S. Government

Guinean Authorities Arrest 8 People For Illicit Sale Of Antimalarial Drugs After USAID OIG Investigation

USAID Office of Inspector General: 8 Arrested in Guinea for Illicit Sale of Antimalarial Drugs
“This week, an investigation by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Inspector General (OIG) led local authorities in Guinea to arrest eight individuals for illegally selling drugs to fight malaria. The arrests came after weeks of joint investigative work by OIG and the Guinean National Gendarmerie to secure evidence of theft, diversion, and resale of U.S. government-funded antimalarial commodities…” (1/19).

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New Issue Of NIH Fogarty International Center's 'Global Health Matters' Available Online

NIH Fogarty International Center: Global Health Matters
The most recent issue of the Fogarty International Center’s newsletter contains various articles addressing global health issues, including a profile of Paul Farmer’s advocacy of global health equity and an article examining the use of “big data” in infectious disease surveillance and modeling (January/February 2017).

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From KFF

Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Fact Sheets Examining Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic, PEPFAR’s Role, Efforts

Kaiser Family Foundation: The Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic
This updated fact sheet provides information on current HIV prevalence and incidence, prevention and treatment strategies, and the U.S. and global responses to the epidemic (1/19).

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
This updated fact sheet examines the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and its role in addressing global HIV/AIDS, including treatment and prevention targets, results, and funding (1/19).

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