KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Will Better Engage 'Fragile States' To Reach Top Goal Of Ending Extreme Poverty

IIP Digital: USAID Sets Ending Extreme Poverty as Top Goal
“The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will make ending extreme poverty its top goal, say senior development officials. Addressing a January 28 gathering discussing extreme poverty in conflict-affected areas at the Center for American Progress, Alex Thier, USAID’s assistant to the administrator for policy, planning and learning, said that in working to achieve the goal, USAID will try to better engage ‘fragile states where conflict, corruption and current crisis impede the kind of inclusive growth that limits our ability to address the causes and consequences of extreme poverty’…” (McConnell, 1/29).

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CDC Global Health Security Projects In Uganda, Vietnam Boost Disease Response

Three news outlets report on findings published in the CDC’s journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, regarding global health security projects in Uganda and Vietnam.

CBS News: CDC: Other countries’ health threats can affect U.S.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that just because there’s a disease outbreak overseas, doesn’t mean people on U.S. shores won’t be affected. On a conference call with media on Thursday, the CDC emphasized that the threat of global infection is real, especially with widespread worldwide travel approaching due to the Winter Olympics in Sochi and Chinese New Year well underway…” (Castillo, 1/30).

CIDRAP News: CDC pilot programs boost disease response in Uganda, Vietnam
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released details about efforts to enhance disease detection in Uganda and Vietnam that could provide a model for helping other countries protect their citizens and the wider global community from health threats…” (Schnirring, 1/30).

Science Speaks: CDC Global Health Security projects speed improvements to infectious disease responses
Last year, the CDC planned “two quick and intensive collaborative efforts to determine how rapidly and effectively countries’ capacities to identify, communicate, respond to and prevent public health threats could be developed. The results, in this week’s CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, showed that laboratories, emergency operations, communication and surveillance systems were enhanced in six months to respond more quickly and comprehensively to public health threats. The results, [CDC Director Thomas] Frieden said, can serve as a model for other countries…” (Barton, 1/30).

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UNICEF Releases 'State Of The World's Children' Report, Urges Better Data Collection

News outlets discuss a new report from UNICEF, which encourages better data collection for ensuring children’s human rights.

RTT News: UNICEF Highlights Importance Of Data Collection In Protecting Children’s Rights
“Urging greater efforts to identify and address the gaps that prevent the most disadvantaged of the world’s 2.2 billion children from enjoying their rights, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Thursday released an innovative new report spotlighting the importance of data in targeting funds and action to reach those who need it most…” (1/30).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Better data, analysis are key to protecting children — UNICEF
“Over the last two decades, improvements in health, water and sanitation services and immunization campaigns have saved the lives of 90 million children, UNICEF said in its flagship report…” (Caspani, 1/30).

U.N. News Centre: ‘Being counted makes children visible’ says UNICEF in new data-driven report
“…The report notes that ‘being counted makes children visible, and this act of recognition makes it possible to address their needs and advance their rights.’ It adds that innovations in data collection, analysis and dissemination are making it possible to disaggregate data by such factors as location, wealth, sex and ethnic or disability status, to include children who have been excluded or overlooked by broad averages…” (1/30).

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U.S. Congress Set To Approve 'Modest' Changes To International Food Aid Program, IPS Reports

Inter Press Service: U.S. Reforming ‘Outdated’ Overseas Food Aid
“U.S. lawmakers are in the final stages of approving reforms to a half-century-old system of providing overseas food assistance that critics say is outdated, inefficient and sometimes harmful to local economies in developing countries. Development experts and implementers have fought for years for an overhaul. They caution that the new changes, which were approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday and look set for final approval by next week, are modest…” (Biron, 1/30).

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USAID Fact Sheet Outlines Uses Of U.S. Aid In Philippines

United Press International: U.S. commits $86.7M to assist Philippines
“The United States government pledged $86.7 million dollars in USAID and Defense Department funds for 2014 assistance to the Philippines as the country recovers from the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan. According to a USAID fact sheet released January 24, the largest portion of the funds will go toward logistics and relief commodities, followed by shelter and settlements, water, sanitation and hygiene, economic recovery and market systems, and protection…” (Finley, 1/30).

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Uganda Plans To Expand AIDS Efforts

Agence France-Presse: Uganda plans drug boost for AIDS fight
“Uganda’s government is planning to double expenditure on antiretroviral drugs in an effort to reverse a worsening trend in HIV infections, a senior health official said Thursday. … The new policy is expected to cost about 120 million dollars (90 million euros) per year … with donors being asked to pick up much of the bill” (1/30).

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Xinhua Highlights Several Reports Examining Maternal Health Promotion In Asia

Xinhua: News Analysis: Developing Asia still grapples with high maternal mortality rate
“Ensuring women’s access to family planning education and services will slash high maternal mortality incidence and sustain the gains achieved in promoting maternal health in developing Asia, health experts said…” (Sarmiento, 1/31).

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Editorials and Opinions

USAID's New Mission Statement Helps Professionals Envision Agency's 'End Goal'

Devex: USAID’s new mission: Why it matters
Michael Igoe, global development reporter for Devex

“The U.S. Agency for International Development launched a brand new mission statement Wednesday. It’s the latest move by USAID to reconcile limited resources with ambitious goals, and it’s in line with an international donor landscape more focused on achieving results than on funding projects in perpetuity. … The old mission statement was framed around a list of activities that USAID does. The new mission statement is framed around the aspirational end goal that USAID and its partners are working toward. … USAID is getting closer to giving a name and unique mission to the type of professional who forges partnerships that can ease poverty and help build democratic institutions under those challenging conditions. USAID’s mission is still messy. But now the professionals tasked with carrying it out can better explain, and defend, what they’ve signed up for” (1/30).

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More Money, Political Will Needed To Collect Better Development Data

The Guardian: Development data: how accurate are the figures?
Claire Melamed, head of the growth and equity program at the Overseas Development Institute

“…The call, in the post-2015 high-level panel report for a ‘data revolution’ has created big buzz among researchers, NGOs, and others at the geekier end of the development world. Of course, this doesn’t actually mean action. If anything is to change, two things are needed: large amounts of money (good data doesn’t come cheap, with household surveys costing $1 million-$2 million), and politicians wanting it to happen. … Better data might challenge some comfortable and familiar myths about development. But more information, however uncomfortable, will always be better than less. Will politicians be brave enough?” (1/31).

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mHealth Apps In Developing Countries Focus On Basic Health Care

mHealthNews: mHealth priorities differ in developing nations
Eric Wicklund, editor of mHealthNews

“A new study making the rounds today claims that most apps in high-income regions of the world are focused on diseases, while there’s a shortage of such apps in low-income countries. … What this study doesn’t point out is that mHealth apps are thriving in low-income parts of the world, but they’re focused on different things — like basic health care. They target issues such as hygiene, nutrition, pregnancy and neonatal care. … It’s not that there’s a shortage of disease-related apps in these parts of the world — it’s just that there are far more important issues for those apps to address” (1/30).

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'We Need More Voices' To Help End Mother-To-Child HIV Transmission

Huffington Post: There Is an Ambassador in You
Florence Ngobeni-Allen, HIV/AIDS educator and counselor and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) ambassador

“…We are just starting to win the battle against HIV/AIDS. There are fewer babies being born with HIV thanks to the work of thousands, perhaps even millions, of people involved in fighting this virus. We may even be only a few years away from the possibility of a functional cure. However, there are still 700 babies infected with HIV each day. We need to strengthen our voices and involvement in the fight against HIV/AIDS. EGPAF strives to ensure women affected by HIV/AIDS are heard — I am one such woman. Together we manage to bring attention to ability of local governments and partners to influence policy in a positive way. … But we need more voices — we need more people to stand up and convince everyone to take action to ensure that no child will be born with HIV…” (1/30).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Budget Analysis Of FY14 Omnibus Appropriations Act

The Kaiser Family Foundation on Friday released a new budget analysis that reviews the FY 2014 omnibus appropriations act signed on January 17, 2014. Although global health funding represents less than one percent of the overall federal budget, the omnibus “provides the highest historical level (approximately $9.1 billion) of U.S. funding for global health programs,” according to an email alert from the foundation. “Looking more broadly at funding trends over time, focusing on the Global Health Programs (GHP) account, increased funding for global health has been relatively modest in recent years (rising three percent between 2012 and 2014, for example), after the substantial increases of the prior decade. This was similar to the rate of growth in federal funding for other non-defense discretionary spending over the same, recent period (two percent)…” (Kates/Wexler, 1/31).

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Obama's Mention Of Global Research In SOTU Should Be Viewed 'As A Win'

Lauren Reliford, an advocacy associate at PATH, discusses President Obama’s recent State of the Union address in the DefeatDD.org blog. “…In an age where policy issues are in constant competition for attention from our leaders, the global community should acknowledge that the U.S. president made note of global research in a largely domestic speech. As I listened last night, I was encouraged by this recognition. I hope that the global health community saw this as a win as well, and believe that we should celebrate the fact that our messages are resonating with policymakers and galvanize us to do more to influence policymakers to make strong investments in global health, and particularly in innovation” (1/30).

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London Declaration On NTDs Galvanizing Support To End Infections

“…Two years ago this week, leaders from across the public and private sectors came together to endorse the London Declaration on Neglected Tropical Diseases, joining hands to pool their knowledge and resources to protect children and families around the world from 10 neglected tropical diseases, including [soil-transmitted helminths (STH)],” Nancy Haselow, Helen Keller International’s vice president and regional director for Asia, and Bill Lin, director of Johnson & Johnson Worldwide Corporate Contributions, write in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog. “…And galvanized by the Declaration, new partners are coming forward to lend their expertise to expand access to water, sanitation and hygiene education — all of which could lead to the elimination of these diseases as global public health problems…” (1/29).

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Blog Post Examines Health Landscape In Arab Spring Countries

In a guest post in Humanosphere, Katie Leach-Kemon, a policy translation specialist from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, examines the health landscape in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and other Arab Spring countries leading up to the uprisings in 2010. “…To answer this question, we’ll use data from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 and a recently published study on health in the Arab world…” (1/30).

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Kenya's First Lady Launches 'Beyond Zero Campaign'

A UNAIDS feature story examines First Lady of Kenya Margaret Kenyatta’s launch of “the ‘Beyond Zero campaign’ [which] is part of the initiatives outlined in the Strategic Framework for the engagement of the First Lady in HIV control and promotion of maternal, newborn and child health in Kenya that was unveiled on World AIDS Day 2013. The framework aims to galvanize high-level leadership in ending new HIV infections among children and reducing HIV related deaths among women and children in Kenya…” (1/30).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.