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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

6 Nations Meet Or Exceed International Aid Spending Target Of 0.7% In 2015, OECD Report Says

The Guardian: U.K. among six countries to hit 0.7% U.N. aid spending target
“Britain was one of six major donors that met or exceeded the U.N.’s target for international aid spending in the most recent year for which final data is available, according to official figures published on Wednesday. Against the backdrop of a major onslaught from aid critics, data compiled by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showed that U.K. aid spending in 2015, which totaled 0.7 percent of gross national income, was exceeded by only five countries: Denmark (0.85 percent), the Netherlands (0.75 percent), Norway (1.05 percent), Luxembourg (0.95 percent) and Sweden (1.4 percent)…” (Quinn, 1/4).

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Former USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah Appointed Next President Of Rockefeller Foundation

Devex: Rajiv Shah, former USAID administrator, named as next Rockefeller Foundation president
“Rajiv Shah, a former administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, will be the Rockefeller Foundation’s next president, the U.S.-based philanthropic organization announced on Wednesday. He will replace Judith Rodin, who has held the role since 2005, and begin work on March 1…” (Lieberman, 1/5).

New York Times: Rockefeller Foundation Picks Rajiv J. Shah, a Trustee, as President
“…The appointment will make Mr. Shah one of the most powerful forces in charitable giving, overseeing a foundation that donates roughly $200 million each year and corrals governments, companies, and organizations to contribute money and resources in tandem. … Much of the foundation’s work concerns improving health and well-being in Africa, aiding economic development in impoverished areas, and developing strategies to combat climate change…” (Gelles, 1/4).

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PrEP, Combined With Other Prevention Methods, Could End AIDS, NIAID Director Says

Financial Times: The ‘final nail in the coffin’ for AIDS?
“…The question for many — both activists and clinicians — is whether greater use of PrEP alongside more widespread diagnosis and early treatment could finally herald the end of HIV/AIDS. … But PrEP drugs cannot put an end to HIV/AIDS on their own, [NIAID Director Anthony] Fauci warns. They will have to be coupled with other approaches including a vaccine that prevents infection. ‘If deployed alongside our current armory of HIV prevention tools,’ he says, the combination ‘could be the final nail in the coffin for HIV’…” (Greenhalgh/Cookson, 1/4).

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Nigeria's Tariff Increase On Antimalarial Drug Imports Could Inadvertently Widen Market For Fake Drugs

Quartz: Nigeria is raising tariffs on yachts and sports cars, but also antimalarial drugs
“…Conspicuously, Nigeria will also raise import taxes for antimalarial drugs also terming them as ‘luxury goods.’ For its part, Nigeria’s government, through the health minister, has denied the tariff hike, but a ministry of finance document suggests the additional taxes on antimalarial drugs have been approved by the president since last October. The drugs, previously tariff-free, will now attract a 20 percent rate in a move that has been widely criticized. By hobbling antimalarial drug imports, the policy could inadvertently provide a bigger market for local manufacturers of fake drugs…” (Kazeem, 1/4).

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WHO Providing HIV Treatment For Libyan Patients After Collapse Of Nation's Health System

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency fills gap in HIV treatment for patients in Libya
“Just a few weeks ago, the World Health Organization (WHO) began distributing much-needed antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to patients living with HIV in Libya, following the country’s collapse in medical services and inability to provide life-saving drugs. … Severe shortages of ARV drugs are threatening the lives of those with HIV and have even led to public protests demanding that the Ministry of Health take immediate action to resolve the problem. The ministry subsequently reached out to the WHO for support in drug procurement and distribution…” (1/3).

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Researchers Use Data To Design Cleaner Cookstoves Accepted In Indian Village

Financial Times: India: Cooking up a recipe for clean air
“…Using state of the art technology, researchers at Nexleaf, a non-profit organization, monitor real-time usage of different designs of new cooking stoves to find out which one is more popular and why, before feeding the data back to the manufacturers. … Small changes have been incorporated into the designs, and they seem to have worked: every villager in [India’s] Notarpalli is now using a more modern stove eight months into the trial. … The approach of using more feedback — supported by the data — to refine programs might help improve the efficiency of other aid spending, too. This is a high priority for politicians in Western countries where the idea of international development is under attack…” (Stacey, 12/21).

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Colombia Conducts More Rigorous Case Reviews To Determine Zika-Linked Birth Defects

Wall Street Journal: Colombia’s Careful Approach Leads to Slower Reporting of Zika-Linked Defects
“Cases of brain abnormalities in babies linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus have been revised lower in Brazil, but are on the rise in neighboring Colombia. … Colombia took a far more cautious approach [than Brazil] — reporting cases only after weeks or months of painstaking research to confirm that a reported birth defect was indeed an abnormality, and then to link the defect definitely to Zika…” (Muñoz, 12/29).

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Specialized Care Teams Help Reduce Mortality Among Pregnant Women With Sickle Cell Disease In Ghanaian Hospital

New York Times: Easing the Toll of Sickle Cell Disease in Childbirth
“Creating hospital teams devoted to treating pregnant women who have sickle cell disease reduced death rates for those women by almost 90 percent, a study at a major hospital in Ghana showed. … At the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, the capital of Ghana, women with sickle cell disease were about 12 times as likely to die in childbirth as women without it, according to a study presented last month at the American Society of Hematology. … After the teams and protocols were in place, the hospital’s rate of maternal deaths in childbirth for women with sickle cell disease dropped to 1.1 percent from 9.7 percent…” (McNeil, 1/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

As Zoonotic Diseases Become More Common, Watch For 5 Little-Known Diseases In 2017

The Conversation: Five little-known diseases to watch out for in 2017
Derek Gatherer, lecturer at Lancaster University

“…[E]merging diseases have been appearing at an accelerating rate. Part of the explanation for this may simply be that we are much better at detecting them now. On the other hand, population pressure, climate change, and ecological degradation may be contributing to a situation where zoonosis — the movement of a disease from a vertebrate animal to a human host — is more common. Whatever the explanation, hepatitis C (1989), West Nile virus (1999), SARS (2003), chikungunya (2005), swine flu (2009), MERS (2012), Ebola (2014), and Zika (2015) have all since had their time in the media spotlight. A further 33 diseases have [been] featured in the World Health Organization’s Disease Outbreak News since its inception in 1996. Of the ‘big eight’ listed above, six are known zoonotic diseases — and the remaining two (hepatitis C and chikungunya) are assumed to be so … So what other new infectious diseases are on the horizon? These are the ones to watch for in 2017. Leishmaniasis … Rift Valley Fever … Oropouche … Mayaro … Elizabethkingia…” (1/3).

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Community-Centered Group Helps To Reduce HIV Stigma, Support People Living With HIV In Myanmar

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Myanmar self-help group leading the way for people living with HIV
Patrick Duigan, senior migration health program coordinator, and Liam Best, communications officer, both at the International Organization of Migration

“…In the southeast of [Myanmar], where migration within Myanmar and back and forth to Thailand is a part of life, access to services for HIV including testing, treatment, and care and support is limited, particularly for those in rural areas or on the move. [The International Organization of Migration (IOM)] has been working with the communities and the National AIDS Program to increase access to services for both migrants and host communities. Part of this support includes helping to establish self-help groups like Shwe Nga Lay to empower patients and their families to work together with communities to reduce stigma and provide social supports. The group is made up nearly entirely by those living with HIV and its members are passionate about making a difference in their communities and their own lives. … The group … is making an impact on changing attitudes and reducing stigmatization of people living with HIV. The group strives to be a positive force in their community…” (1/5).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Water 2017 Offers 4 Recommendations For U.S. Global Water Strategy

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: 2017 Is Pivotal for U.S. Leadership on Global Water Security
John Oldfield, CEO of Water 2017, a one-year initiative to encourage the U.S. president and Congress to prioritize water security issues in foreign policies, discusses recommendations for the Global Water Strategy. The U.S. president, acting through USAID, the Department of State, and other federal agencies is required to submit the Global Water Strategy to Congress by October 1, 2017. Oldfield writes, “Water 2017 submitted its recommendations for the Global Water Strategy, consisting of four major priority areas, in November to the Department of State as part of their open call.” These recommendations include “1. Be inclusive during both strategy development and implementation … 2. Focus on effective implementation … 3. Strengthen the Interagency Water Working Group … 4. Prioritize prevention” (1/5).

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New Issue Of Global Health: Science And Practice Journal Available Online

Global Health: Science and Practice: December 2016
The new issue of the Global Health: Science and Practice online journal features articles on various topics, including an editorial on rethinking approaches to indoor residual spraying for malaria; a research article on the use of referral systems to integrate health and economic strengthening services for people living with HIV in Malawi; and a letter to the editor on how Zika travel policies could reduce women’s leadership in global health (December 2016).

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January 2017 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The January 2017 WHO Bulletin includes editorials, news, and research and policy articles on various topics including an editorial on the U.N.’s work to address the root environmental causes of ill health and a research article on countries’ responses to the WHO’s travel recommendations during the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak (January 2017).

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Study Suggests Shortfall In Treatment Coverage For People Living With HIV In Rural Cameroon

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Rural Cameroon study indicates need to double HIV treatment success, monitor outcomes in West, Central Africa to control epidemic
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses results from a study conducted in rural Cameroon that examined treatment coverage for people living with HIV. Researchers concluded that “[t]he numbers of people who are receiving antiretroviral treatment HIV in remote rural areas of West and Central Africa for whom that treatment is succeeding is about half of what it needs to be to achieve control of the epidemic by United Nations 90-90-90 goals. … The study underscores a point made last year in a report from Médecins Sans Frontières that found shortfalls in policy, practices, and treatment coverage for people living with HIV in West and Central Africa countries…” (1/4).

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From the U.S. Government

PEPFAR Documentary Showcases Progression Of U.S. Global AIDS Response, Features Interviews With Experts

PEPFAR: Ending AIDS Together — Full Documentary
“Ending AIDS Together is a powerful documentary on the chronological progression of the U.S. global AIDS response. … The documentary showcases U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah L. Birx talking with Yahoo! Global News Anchor Katie Couric about the past 35 years of the AIDS epidemic and the progress we have made. In addition to global leaders in the field of HIV/AIDS such as Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Mark Dybul and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci, the video also features stories of people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS…” (12/1).

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