KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

CDC Set To Cut Global Health Security Operations In 39 Countries If Funds Largely Aimed At Ebola Crisis Expire

Mother Jones: This Program Stopped Ebola. Trump May Let It Expire.
“…The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned health officials worldwide that without an influx of new funds, its Global Health Security Agenda may have to cut back operations from 49 countries to just 10 in 2019. … [I]n October 2019, … a five-year, $582 million federal grant awarded in 2015, largely to support the American government’s work on the Ebola crisis[, will expire]. The public health experts I talked to said the money helped aid workers in rural areas establish programs to detect and respond to new outbreaks of Ebola and other diseases. When the funds stop flowing, these programs may well be toast — a dangerous setback not just for their home countries, but for the rest of the world, too…” (Butler, 1/26).

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At Davos, USAID Administrator Green Discusses Intentions To Better Engage Private Sector In Development Work

Devex: Mark Green at Davos to ‘tap into the creativity’ of the private sector
“Mark Green, administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, is in Davos this week to make good on his goal to better engage the private sector in development work. ‘We want to tap into the entrepreneurship and creativity and ingenuity of the private sector by going beyond contracting and grantmaking,’ he said. USAID will move toward co-designing, co-creating, and co-financing solutions in order to engage business, allowing the agency to come up with the best solutions…” (Saldinger, 1/26).

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USAID Explores Ways To Facilitate Countries' Transitions From Bilateral Aid To Greater Ownership, Self-Reliance

Devex: Can USAID use ‘transition’ metrics to help countries become more self-reliant?
“From his first day at the office last August, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green has peppered nearly all his public remarks with a common refrain: the purpose of U.S. foreign assistance should be ending its need to exist. Now Green and his team are trying to figure out how to turn that motto into action — and what it might mean for the agency, its partners, and programs…” (Igoe, 1/26).

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Netherlands Commits €29M To UNFPA, Other Organizations Impacted By Trump Administration Actions

NLTimes.nl: Dutch commit €29M to abortion access, sex ed in African, Asian Nations
“The Netherlands committed 29 million euros to She Decides for 2017 and 2018. The Dutch contribution to the now international movement, launched by former Dutch minister Lilianne Ploumen last year, gives over a million women in Ethiopia, Yemen, Mali, Bangladesh, Mozambique, and other developing countries access to family planing. … The Dutch contribution went largely to organizations that were directly affected by Trump’s [reinstatement of the Mexico City policy]. … Money from the Netherlands also went to the United Nations Population Fund…” (Pieters, 1/25).

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U.N. Humanitarian Affairs Coordinator Meeting With Private, Public Sector Representatives In Davos To Explore Greater Role

Devex: OCHA’s Lowcock seeks private and public partners in Davos
“…Mark Lowcock, the head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, was in Davos this week, speaking to the private sector about playing a stronger role in humanitarian issues, and with governments about helping meet funding needs. Lowcock met with companies in Davos, particularly in the insurance industry … OCHA and the World Bank are looking at how the Pandemic Risk Facility at the World Bank could be replicated for famine risk…” (Saldinger, 1/26).

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Last Mile Health, Living Goods Launch Initiative To Deploy 50K Community Health Workers

Devex: New initiative leverages technology and philanthropy to reinvent community health care
“…Raj Panjabi, the founder of Last Mile Health, has joined Chuck Slaughter, the founder of Living Goods, a nonprofit organization that has built a distribution platform for lifesaving products, for an announcement on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. A coalition of partners from philanthropy and business are committing $50 million to support these two social entrepreneurs to deploy 50,000 community health workers to provide digitally enabled, door-to-door care to 35 million people. And as Panjabi and Slaughter continue to fundraise in Davos and beyond, and prepare to scale their work to three other African countries, they hope to demonstrate how technology can reinvent community health care at scale…” (Cheney, 1/26).

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More Diverse Leadership Appointments At WHO, But Transparency Questioned

The Lancet: Senior WHO appointments are praised but raise questions
“…The announcement of [WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom’s] senior leadership team in October and the subsequent appointment of eight directors’ posts in December were both lauded for increasing the appointment of women to senior posts in headquarters and for their gender and geographical diversity. … The dearth of transparency and competitiveness for the selection of directors under Tedros has been pulled into question by WHO staff and some in the international health community…” (Zarocostas, 1/27).

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WHO Executive Board Considers Measures On Public Health, Innovation, Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property Watch: New Text Shows Progress Of Negotiation On IP And Access At WHO
“The Brazilian ambassador and others [on Thursday] at the World Health Organization Executive Board meeting were not going to let go of what seemed to be a delaying tactic by the United States and Japan to postpone agreement on the implementation of measures aimed at facilitating research and development and access to medicines. The WHO Board [considered] a set of streamlined strategic measures on public health, innovation, and intellectual property…” (Saez, 1/25).

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Saudi Arabia's Pledge Of $1.5B In Aid To Yemen Draws Questions From Critics; Saudi-Led Coalition Facilitates Humanitarian Access In Country's North

PRI: Saudi Arabia promises $1.5 billion in aid to Yemen — but it’s still bombing the country
“Saudi Arabia announced $1.5 billion in new aid for Yemen this week, a move it says is aimed at alleviating the country’s humanitarian crisis nearly three years into a Saudi-led military campaign there. But critics, among them a number of Yemenis, have questioned the motives behind the donation, given the Saudis’ own role in prolonging the crisis…” (Hall, 1/24).

U.N. News Centre: Yemen: U.N. chief welcomes measures by Saudi-led coalition to ease access for humanitarian aid
“United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has welcomed news that five tankers carrying 180,000 liters of fuel reached Yemen’s northern province of Marib on Wednesday as part of the Saudi-led coalition’s wider plan to facilitate humanitarian action in the war-ravaged country…” (1/25).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: 17 universities oppose anti-smoking group with tobacco ties (Binkley, 1/25).

Agence France-Presse: Melinda Gates battles to promote contraception in Burkina Faso (De Maismont, 1/25).

Capital News: Uhuru, Melinda Gates agree to improve health care access for women and girls (1/26).

The Guardian: ISIS killings in Afghanistan leave aid agencies ‘hanging on by fingernails’ (McVeigh/Summers, 1/26).

The Lancet: Mega-crisis in DR Congo (Zarocostas, 1/27).

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: WHO’s who in tuberculosis (Cousins, February 2018).

SciDev.Net: Stigmatization, ignorance still rife 35 years after HIV revealed as cause of AIDS (Hirschfeld et al., 1/26).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Liberia bans female genital mutilation — but only for a year (Batha, 1/25).

U.N. News Centre: Largest yellow fever vaccination campaign in Nigeria’s history under way — U.N. health agency (1/25).

Xinhua News: Global level of leprosy is alarming and unnecessary: U.N. expert (1/26).

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Editorials and Opinions

Science, Technology Offer 'Unprecedented Opportunities' To Address Global Mental Health

Devex: Opinion: 1 billion people suffer from anxiety. It’s time to invest in mental health.
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust, and Paul Stoffels, chief scientific officer and worldwide chair for pharmaceuticals at Johnson & Johnson

“…[T]he growing prevalence of mental illness, particularly in young people — combined with rising rates of Alzheimer’s and gaps in research and care — have the potential to create a global crisis. … Science and technology offer us unprecedented opportunities. To take advantage of the opportunities, we must work together to solve some key challenges. First is the need for an integrated approach, combining risk assessment and early diagnosis, disease interception, and treatment, as well as supportive interventions. Second, strong public-private partnerships between academia, biotech, industry, government, regulators, patient groups, and civic society are key to spur progress in areas that include detecting at-risk individuals, harnessing ‘big data’ and real-world evidence, developing innovative approaches to clinical trial design and drug development, as well as novel regulatory pathways to accelerate innovation. Finally, we must continue exploring innovative financing mechanisms to spur investment. … We are committed to focusing the world’s attention on this critical need and working together to revolutionize the way we think about, study, and approach the development of solutions so that we can change the trajectory of mental illness around the world” (1/26).

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Technology Applied In Partnership With Communities Can Help Advance Public Health

Global Health NOW: Lifesaving Tech Support
Jennifer Ryan Crozier, president of the IBM Foundation

“…Around the world, information technology can make a life-or-death difference for communities facing urgent public health challenges. By making it easier to collaborate and analyze data, communities have a powerful tool for improving health — especially when accompanied by sound public policy and collaboration among the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The key is to apply technology wisely — taking into account the people who will use or benefit from the technology: policymakers, stakeholders, health care workers, and the communities themselves. … [T]echnology, applied in concert with other efforts — such as social service and public policy reforms, better collaboration among bureaucracies, and a greater emphasis on prevention and prediction — can help accelerate positive reform that will lead to better health and a better quality of life for all, not just the fortunate few” (1/25).

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Global Community Must Continue To Focus On Health To Achieve Security, Sustainable Development

Devex: Opinion: Better health means better security — and more sustainable development
Kate Schecter, president and CEO of World Neighbors, Inc.

“…[I]f a society is not focused on improving health indicators and creating a stable and accessible health care system, development efforts will not last. … [Health] must remain a particular focus of international community efforts. Foundations and governments have poured billions into preventing diseases, seeking cures, and strengthening health systems. Through these efforts, incredible historic achievements have wiped out scourges that have ravaged humanity for millennia, including smallpox, rinderpest, polio, and Guinea worm disease (or dracunculiasis). … Health, development, and security tend to advance and improve together. … In a globalized world in which disease crosses borders on a regular basis and conflict threatens new and frightening levels of destruction and suffering, we all have an interest in the type of development that results in a healthier and more secure world” (1/25).

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Global Health Leaders Should Recognize Links Between Environmental, Health Policies

The Conversation: Why climate change is worsening public health problems
Chelsey Kivland, professor at Dartmouth College, and Anne Sosin, program manager for the global health initiative at Dartmouth College

“Around the world, the health care debate often revolves around access. … Yet focusing on access is not enough. The imperative for access must be paired with a frank acknowledgment that climate change is making communities around the world more vulnerable to ill health. … [W]orld leaders need to insist that any health care strategy must address the social and environmental vulnerabilities driving poor health in the first place. … [O]ur own health is not bound up simply in the present decisions we make about health care systems but rather more broadly situated in the changing natural environment. Closing the access gap has been a long battle and the gains cannot be underestimated. Yet the challenge ahead is even more daunting. … We believe that leaders must recognize that environmental policy is health policy. Rollbacks of environmental regulations will cause far greater consequences on health, in the U.S. and globally, than any health care bill…” (1/25).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post Examines White House's Recently Released National Security Strategy, Suggests Development Community Read, Analyze Document

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network: Dots Unconnected: The Trump Administration National Security Strategy and American Foreign Assistance
James Kunder, MFAN executive committee member and affiliated expert with the Lugar Center, discusses the White House’s recently released National Security Strategy and suggests ways the international development community can use the document. Kunder writes, “[T]here is no absence of raw material in this new National Security Strategy on which supporters of foreign assistance can engage, educate, advocate, and connect critically related dots. There is also plenty of material in the document to suggest that we would avoid such engagement at our peril and that of many of the world’s poor and marginalized” (1/25).

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Global Fund, 3 Private Sector Companies Announce Partnership Agreements To Improve Global Health, End HIV, TB, Malaria Epidemics

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s “Voices”: From Davos, the Power of Public-Private Partnerships
Christoph Benn, director of external relations at the Global Fund, discusses the role of public-private partnerships in global health, highlighting partnership announcements made at the World Economic Forum in Davos this week. Benn writes, “Three of the world’s leading private companies in their fields — Lombard Odier, HEINEKEN, and Unilever — announced partnership agreements with the Global Fund toward a common goal: improving public health and ending HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria as epidemics. These partnerships further underline the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing global health to protect communities from infectious diseases and halt emerging health threats” (1/26).

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Lombard Odier and the Global Fund Join Forces to Expand Private Investment In Global Health
“Lombard Odier and the Global Fund are pleased to announce a strategic partnership to rethink traditional approaches to investment and philanthropy to make it easier for more people to contribute to the fight against some of the world’s most pressing health challenges. Together they will create innovative solutions that allow investors to meet both their goals of doing well financially and doing good socially. … The partnership with Lombard Odier will look for ways to help the private sector contribute to the Global Fund’s vital work, while addressing investors’ need to meet their financial goals…” (1/26).

HEINEKEN: Global Fund and HEINEKEN Enter Into Partnership to Fight Against Infectious Diseases in Africa
“The Global Fund and HEINEKEN [Friday] launched a new partnership, joining forces to further advance a common goal: ending HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria as epidemics in Africa. As part of the partnership, HEINEKEN will lend its expertise in the areas of logistics and communications to support the Global Fund in better reaching specific demographic groups that are most at risk of HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria…” (1/26).

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CGD Podcast Discusses Canada's 'New Feminist International Assistance Policy'

Center for Global Development’s “CGD Podcast”: Canada’s Bold Commitment to Women’s Empowerment — Podcast with Marie-Claude Bibeau
In this podcast, Rajesh Mirchandani, vice president of communications and policy outreach at CGD, speaks with Marie-Claude Bibeau, Canada’s Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, on Canada’s “new feminist international assistance policy,” which “underscores the importance of focusing on women and family planning in global development efforts” (1/24).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Administrator Green Discusses Development Impact Bonds At Davos Event

USAID: USAID Administrator Mark Green’s Remarks at an Unlocking the Potential of Development Impact Bonds Event at the World Economic Forum
This transcript features USAID Administrator Mark Green’s remarks at the opening of a panel discussion on development impact bonds at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Green said, “I’m often asked what excites me most as USAID administrator. Technology, of course, which is allowing us to reach places and design tools that we could not have imagined just a handful of years ago. But while technology seems to grab most of the attention, I honestly think that the most exciting development is the emerging relationship between private enterprise and development community. Leaders in both sectors are finally figuring out how to take advantage of the unique capabilities that each has and apply them to challenges that neither could take on fully alone. Problems that once seemed insurmountable…” (1/25).

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U.S. Announces $18.4M To WFP To Provide Emergency Food Assistance To Rohingya Refugees In Cox's Bazar

U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh: United States Announces $18 Million In Humanitarian Assistance To World Food Programme To Fight Food Insecurity Among Rohingya Refugees
“Today, the United States, through the U.S. Agency for International Development, announced $18.4 million to the U.N. World Food Programme to provide emergency food assistance to Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar district, Bangladesh. This latest contribution, combined with earlier contributions, brings the total amount awarded to the World Food Programme specifically for work with refugees in Bangladesh to more than $24 million since August last year…” (1/25).

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