Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- Donors Pledge $7.5B To Gavi Through 2020; Money Will Help Immunize 300M Children Worldwide
News outlets discuss the outcomes of a pledging conference for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, which took place this week in Berlin.
Agence France-Presse: Donors pledge $7.5 bn to extend child vaccine drive
“Countries and private donors have pledged $7.5 billion (6.6 billion euros) to help immunize 300 million more children in developing countries over the next five years, a major vaccine alliance announced Tuesday…” (1/27).
Devex: Yes we can: $7.5B Gavi goal reached in Berlin
“…Since its inception in 2000, [Gavi] has helped administer vaccines to more than 500 million children, preventing seven million fatalities. The emphasis in Berlin was on accelerating that progress, with the intention of immunizing a further 300 million children and preventing five million to six million deaths…” (Okwonga, 1/28).
Devex: China makes first aid commitment to Gavi
“…[F]or the first time, China has pledged support for Gavi, promising to contribute $5 million over the next five years. This means all BRIC donors are now contributing funding to the alliance, although Brazil, Russia, and India have yet to announce their pledges for this replenishment round…” (Ravelo, 1/27).
Financial Times: Donors pledge $7.5bn to supply vaccines
“…The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed $1.5bn to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (Gavi) over the next five years … The U.K. — long the biggest donor to Gavi — was the only country to equal the Gates pledge, although the U.S. committed $1bn over a shorter four-year time span…” (Ward, 1/27).
The Hill: U.S. pledges $1B for global vaccination campaign
“The United States is promising $1 billion in funding for a global organization dedicated to vaccinating children in poor countries against disease, pending congressional approval…” (Viebeck, 1/27).
NPR: For Dollars Donated To Vaccine Campaigns, Norway Wears The Crown
“…The largest single donor was the United Kingdom, which ponied up $1.573 billion. The second leading donor was the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ($1.550 Billion) followed by Norway and the United States…” The article features a table of donors and pledge amounts (Beaubien, 1/27).
Reuters: Gates, U.K. take lead in $7.5 billion pledge for children’s vaccines
“…German development minister Gerd Mueller said the total reached $7.54 billion, surpassing GAVI’s target of $7.5 billion, despite a stronger dollar complicating funding efforts…” (Brown, 1/27).
Wall Street Journal: U.S. to Give $1 Billion to Fund Immunizations
“…The U.S. is a longtime donor to international immunization efforts led by the international public-private partnership, but this latest pledge, for 2015 through 2018, is its largest by far, amounting to $250 million a year. The previous U.S. donation, made in 2011, was for $450 million over three years, or $150 million a year…” (McKay, 1/26).
- Obama's FY16 Budget Request To Include More Than $1.2B To Combat, Prevent Antibiotic Resistance
News outlets discuss President Barack Obama’s plan to request additional funding to combat and prevent antibiotic drug resistance.
The Hill: Obama eyes new funds to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria
“President Obama will propose nearly doubling the amount of federal funding to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria in his budget proposal, the White House said Tuesday…” (Sink, 1/27).
Reuters: Obama’s ‘precision medicine’ plan to boost research, but faces hurdles
“President Barack Obama’s plan to put the United States at the forefront of individually tailored medical treatment should give a much-needed boost to research in the field but experts say it won’t work without reforms to health care, including drug testing and insurance…” (Begley/Clarke, 1/28).
ScienceInsider: White House plans big 2016 budget ask to fight antibiotic resistance
“…A fact sheet released [Tuesday] describes how President Barack Obama plans to double the government’s investment in combating the mounting public health crisis of drug-resistant infections by spreading roughly $1.2 billion in funding across several federal agencies…” (Servick, 1/27).
Xinhua: Obama seeks to double funding to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria
“…The Obama administration also issued a national strategy on combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which outlines steps the U.S. government will take to improve prevention, detection, and control of resistant pathogens” (1/27).
- World Bank President Proposes Global Funding Mechanism For Future Pandemics
BBC News: Ebola crisis: World ‘dangerously unprepared’ for future pandemics
“The world is ‘dangerously unprepared’ for future deadly pandemics like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the president of the World Bank has warned. Jim Yong Kim, speaking in Washington, said it was vital that governments, corporations, aid agencies, and insurance companies worked together to prepare for future outbreaks…” (1/27).
Devex: Jim Yong Kim’s plan to prevent future pandemics
“…The idea is to bring together governments, multilateral organizations, and the private sector to develop a dependable method — similar to an insurance policy — to prevent and quickly respond to future health emergencies…” (Tyson, 1/28).
International Business Times: After Ebola, World Bank Chief Proposes Global Insurance Program For Future Outbreaks
“…He said countries, companies, and organizations could work together to prepare for future problems by developing stronger health system infrastructure, surveillance, and fast-acting medical response teams. This would lower the ‘premium’ they pay…” (Caulderwood, 1/27).
World Bank: World Bank Group President: World is ‘Dangerously Unprepared’ for Future Pandemics
“…[Kim] said he expects that a proposal [for developing a pandemic emergency facility] will be presented in the coming months to leaders of developed and developing countries. While a proposal would likely involve a combination of bonds and insurance instruments, he said that in some ways, a future pandemic response facility was similar to a homeowner’s insurance policy…” (1/27).
- New WHO Regional Director For Africa Vows Reform
New York Times: Botswana Doctor Is Named to Lead WHO in Africa
“…’There is no question that, as a region, we need to up our game,’ [Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s new regional director for Africa,] said. ‘The WHO is reforming, and one of my intentions is to fast-track reform in the region, too.’ Competence tests for the staff and audits of job performance by outside consultants will be among the changes, she said. The WHO’s big donors, including the United States, have been demanding that the agency be more efficient and effective…” (McNeil, 1/27).
- Criticizing Vaccine Prices Could Deter Pharmaceutical Companies From Developing Drugs For Poor Countries, Gates Says
The Guardian: Bill Gates dismisses criticism of high prices for vaccines
“Bill Gates has dismissed criticism by health campaigners of the high prices of some vaccines, warning that it only serves to deter pharmaceutical companies from working on life-saving products for poor countries. In an interview with The Guardian from a major international vaccine-funding conference in Berlin, … Gates denied that the cost of the new vaccine against pneumococcal disease was too high…” (Boseley, 1/27).
- Gates Foundation CEO Discusses Goal Of Reducing Maternal Mortality By Two-Thirds By 2030
Scientific American: Gates CEO: Let’s Shrink Maternal Mortality
In a Scientific American podcast, “Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann talks about some of what needs to be done to make a reality of the foundation’s aspiration to cut maternal mortality by two-thirds by 2030…” (Mirsky/DiChristina, 1/27).
- Lawyers Preparing Appeal In Lawsuit Against U.N. Over Cholera Epidemic In Haiti
Devex: Lawyers push lawsuit against U.N. for Haiti cholera outbreak
“Human rights lawyers in New York are preparing to file an appeal against a U.S. judge’s decision to dismiss a class action lawsuit against the United Nations, the next step in an uphill battle that, if successful, may change the way the public can hold the institution accountable for its actions…” (Luke, 1/27).
- Knowledge, Awareness Of Breast Cancer Must Increase In Solomon Islands To Lower Disease Mortality
Inter Press Service: When Ignorance Is Deadly: Pacific Women Dying From Lack of Breast Cancer Awareness
“Women now face a better chance of surviving breast cancer in the Solomon Islands … following the recent acquisition of the country’s first mammogram machine. But just a week ahead of World Cancer Day, celebrated globally on Feb. 4, many say that the benefit of having advanced medical technology, in a country where mortality occurs in 59 percent of women diagnosed with cancer, depends on improving the serious knowledge deficit of the disease in the country…” (Wilson, 1/28).
- Number Of Plague Cases Rises In Madagascar; WHO Warns Of Wider Spread Following Flooding
Reuters: Plague cases rise in Madagascar, fear of more epidemics: WHO
“Plague has killed 57 people out of 213 known cases in Madagascar and more deaths are feared after recent flooding forced tens of thousands of people from their homes and set rats on the run, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday…” (Nebehay, 1/27).
- Abortion Estimate Prompts Concern Over Effectiveness Of Sex Education In China
Wall Street Journal: China Performs 13 Million Abortions Per Year, State Media Says
“Abortion rates in China remain high, calling into question the country’s sex education practices. There are an estimated 13 million abortions performed in China annually, according to a report from the state-run China Daily, citing the National Health and Family Planning Commission’s technology research center…” (Burkitt/Jie, 1/28).
Xinhua: High abortion rate triggers fears for young women
“China’s high abortion rate has triggered public concerns over sex education for young people, with experts calling for cooperation from health departments and parents to protect young women…” (Wanli, 1/27).
- Vietnamese HIV Group Seeks To Educate, Support HIV-Positive Women
PBS NewsHour: In Vietnam, learning to embrace life with HIV
“…HIV/AIDS is one of Vietnam’s largest health issues. In the country of 93 million, an estimated 250,000 people are living with HIV and about 67,000 of them are women, according to UNAIDS, which receives its data from the Vietnamese Ministry of Health. The Sunflower group’s members, who all have HIV, work to educate the public about preventing infection and to dispel the notion held by some that the virus is connected to ‘social evil’…” (Epatko, 1/27).
Editorials and Opinions
- Focus On Improving Education, Health Care Workforce, Rapid Response To Prepare For Next Disease Outbreak
Dallas Morning News: Editorial: Improving international responses to Ebola epidemics
“…With 710 new [Ebola] cases confirmed in the past 21 days, this epidemic is far from over. But now that health experts are easing back from crisis mode, this is a good time for an assessment of what went wrong and how to address the problem more effectively the next time. … First among many top international priorities should be expanded public education. … West Africa’s medical community has been hit hard by the Ebola deaths of 499 health workers. Vulnerability to new epidemics increases dramatically in the absence of qualified health workers to treat the ill. … Finally, WHO officials should consider more nimble responses…” (1/27).
- Investment, Recognizing Health As Human Right Will Help Build Sustainable National, Global Health Systems
Project Syndicate: Three Global Health Threats
Jaime Sepulveda, professor and executive director of Global Health Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco
“…The world is facing a three-prong health challenge: We must build sustainable national and global health systems that can respond quickly and effectively to crises like Ebola; eliminate or control infectious diseases; and address the quietly rising epidemic of chronic NCDs. To succeed on all three fronts, we need sustained investment in health infrastructure, management, and personnel. Equality is key. … In formulating the post-2015 development goals, world leaders must remember that health is a fundamental human right” (1/28).
- To Achieve 90-90-90 Global HIV Targets, Prevention, Care Must Focus On Vulnerable Populations
JAMA: Focusing to Achieve a World Without AIDS
Anthony Fauci, NIAID director, and Hilary Marston, senior policy fellow for HIV/AIDS at NIAID
“…[T]he new [global AIDS] goals are the ’90-90-90’ targets: by 2020, 90 percent of all people living with HIV should know their HIV status, 90 percent of those who test positive for HIV should be provided therapy, and of those, 90 percent should achieve virologic suppression (levels of virus below those detectable by standard tests). … To reach the 90-90-90 goals in the United States and globally, focus should be on the populations most vulnerable to HIV and should target interventions that are most useful and sustainable for these people…” (1/27).
- Haiti Needs Additional WASH Funding, Stronger Institutions To Eliminate Cholera
Huffington Post: Clean Water and Strong Institutions for Haiti
Pedro Medrano Rojas, U.N. assistant secretary general and senior coordinator for cholera response in Haiti
“The cholera epidemic in Haiti has highlighted the international community’s historic lack of attention to water and sanitation. … The U.N. has made eliminating cholera in Haiti a key priority and has also been helping to mobilize resources for the National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera. To date, more than $407 million in pledges have been received. But this figure is still not enough. It is a good start and similar to the total amount raised for the Haiti Reconstruction Fund. Along with investments in water and sanitation, the great challenge in Haiti is to strengthen its institutions…” (1/27).
- Improved Awareness, Treatment, Prevention Efforts Can Reduce Number Of Women Dying From Cervical Cancer
Huffington Post: No One Needs to Die From Cervical Cancer
Leslie Mancuso, president and CEO of Jhpiego
“…Today, we know more about the origins and treatments for diseases, such as cervical cancer, than in any other time in history. That information — coupled with the efforts of clinicians, policymakers, and advocates from around the globe to increase awareness and access to prevention and treatment services — can lead us to a day where no women die from cervical cancer. … We must … double our efforts to develop the next generation of cutting-edge innovations and interventions to be put into practice today. … During Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, Jhpiego honors these champions and joins in the call that no one needs to die from cervical cancer today” (1/27).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- Kaiser Family Foundation Poll Shows American Public's Support Of, Priorities For U.S. Global Health Spending
Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Americans support global health spending over other foreign aid spending
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses findings from a Kaiser Family Foundation poll examining American opinions on U.S. global health efforts (1/27).
- U.S. $1B Pledge To Gavi 'Will Pay Dividends For Generations To Come'
National Security Council: The GAVI Pledge: An Investment in Future Generations
Gayle Smith, special assistant to President Obama and senior director at the National Security Council, and Brian Deese, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, discuss the U.S. pledge of $1 billion over four years to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, writing, “There is no better investment than in the future of our children, and we have no greater responsibility than protecting them. Vaccines save lives, both at home and abroad, and today’s pledge will pay dividends for generations to come” (1/27).