KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- Devex Explores Trump Administration's Impacts On U.S. Development Policy, Developing Countries In 2017
Devex: How Donald Trump changed U.S. development policy in 2017
“For the U.S. development community, 2017 was different. Drastic budget proposals, hiring freezes, and murky reorganization plans sent development advocates scrambling. They watched a skeptical White House call for deep cuts — and the U.S. Congress emerge as foreign aid’s new center of gravity. … While some of the most dramatic proposed changes to U.S. development efforts have not — yet — come to pass, development leaders caution that does not mean the political battles are over. The political landscape for U.S. foreign aid shifted [last] year, and significant tensions between budget, policy, and personnel have yet to be resolved…” (Igoe, 12/21).
Devex: How Trump’s first year impacted developing countries
“…As the U.S. government continues to operate under temporary funding bills, some organizations are feeling cuts already, or seeing the impact of a system moving slowly amid great uncertainty. From mothers in Kenya, to farmers in Malawi and Tajikistan, it seems that the most immediate impacts are being felt in health and in agriculture, where policy shifts have accompanied the budget uncertainty. … Devex spoke with a number of government officials, leaders of nongovernmental organizations, and U.S. Agency for International Development contractors about how the budget recommendations and policies coming through Washington are impacting people in developing countries…” (Saldinger, 12/21).
- Secretary Of State Tillerson Downplays Possible Exit, Predicts 'Productive' Year For Department
POLITICO: Tillerson says he plans ‘to be here for the whole year’
“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he fully intends to remain in the Trump administration through 2018, casting concerns about his future at the State Department as overblown. ‘I think we’re going to have a very productive 2018,’ Tillerson said during an interview with CNN that aired on Friday. ‘And I look forward to having a very, very successful 2018’…” (Lima, 1/5).
- Former Secretary Of State Albright Discusses Agency's Proposed Reorganization, Funding In Devex Interview
Devex: Madeleine Albright on multilateralism, foreign aid reform, and the U.N.
“Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright led the United States Department of State during one of the last big efforts to reorganize of the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department, and the U.S. should heed some lessons from the past, she told Devex in an interview. … The issue now is less about this ongoing debate about the relationship between USAID and the State Department, but about the overall foreign aid budget, what funding will be allocated, and what sort of restrictions or conditions may be placed on it and staffing levels, Albright said…” (Saldinger, 12/22).
- Trump Dismisses Remaining Members Of Presidential Advisory Council On HIV/AIDS
Newsweek: Trump fires HIV/AIDS Council in its entirety by FedEx letter, report claims
“President Donald Trump fired the remaining members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) [December 27, 2017], reportedly informing them without explanation with a letter delivered by FedEx…” (Paton, 12/29).
New York Times: Trump Ends Terms of Remaining Members of HIV and AIDS Council
“…The group’s executive director said the move was a common occurrence in new administrations, but others questioned that. Six members of the body, the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV and AIDS, resigned this year in protest of President Trump…” (Stevens/Victor, 12/30).
POLITICO: Trump’s firing sets back AIDS prevention efforts
“…The advisory panel, which has existed in some form since the Reagan years, sits empty after Trump removed all 16 of its remaining members … That, combined with proposed massive cuts to prevention programs in Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget and his not naming a director for the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, sends troubling signals about the administration’s commitment and represents a marked departure from his predecessors, say advocates and lawmakers…” (Ehley, 1/3).
Washington Post: Trump administration fires all members of HIV/AIDS advisory council
“…The council, known by the acronym PACHA, has advised the White House on HIV/AIDS policies since its founding in 1995…” (Guarino, 12/29).
- Media Outlets Look Back At Biggest Global Health, Development Stories Of 2017
Devex: Biggest global health moments of 2017
“…We’ve rounded up some of the biggest, headline-grabbing moments of 2017, from groundbreaking innovations and partnerships, to a multitude of controversies that grabbed the attention of the global health community…” (Ravelo, 12/21).
The Guardian: The year’s top development stories: 2017 in review
“As Donald Trump cut funding for family planning and people from East Africa to Yemen went hungry, peace finally gained a foothold in Colombia…” (Lamble, 12/25).
NPR: Race To Eradicate Guinea Worm And Polio Experienced Roadblocks In 2017
“This year, the world came tantalizingly close to wiping out two human diseases: Guinea worm and polio. But right at the finish line, both eradication projects have run into surprising roadblocks…” (Doucleff, 12/25).
Outbreak News Today: 10 Most Important Infectious Disease Stories of 2017: Outbreak News Today
“…10. Getting ever closer to eradication … 9. Measles in Europe … 8. Lyme disease developments … 7. The Dengvaxia debacle … 6. African meningitis belt … 5. Hepatitis A … 4. Running out of antibiotics … 3. Venezuela … 2. Madagascar plague … 1. The Yemen crisis…” (Herriman, 12/29).
- News Outlets Make Predictions About Big Global Health Issues In 2018, From Polio Eradication Efforts To USAID, WHO Operations
Devex: USAID’s business forecast provides insights for the year ahead
“…A total of 205 business opportunities with USAID are forecasted for the year ahead. The business opportunities range in value from $150,000 to $2.5 billion and provide opportunities for businesses to partner with USAID in delivering solutions for job development, HIV response, and support for the 2018 Mali elections, among others…” (Cornish, 12/19).
NPR: From Polio To Poverty To Sex Ed: 9 Predictions For 2018
“…Wild polio will be finished by June, but cases caused by vaccine won’t … Health workers will be in even shorter supply … More people will be guaranteed a ‘universal basic income’ … The poor could get poorer … Sex ed will be harder … Beware of drones and robots … More aid workers will share their #MeToo stories … Aid groups will figure out how to get along without big cash from the U.S. … The world will not become a safer place …” (Doucleff et al., 1/3).
STAT: 3 issues to watch in global health in 2018
“…What stories will we tell about 2018? The crystal ball is cloudy, but the haze parted long enough for STAT to discern a few things. Here are three predictions. Polio will face a full-court press … [WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus] and the agency he leads have some challenging times ahead. … Get ready for a lot of talk about how vulnerable the world is to massive disruption because of disease outbreaks…” (Branswell, 1/3).
- More Women In WHO Director Positions, But Some Call For More Transparency; Academics Accuse Agency Of 'Institutional Ageism'
Devex: With new WHO director appointments, women outnumber men in senior leadership
“Just before the year ended, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced another set of officials to join his leadership team; nearly all of them women. The list of eight new appointees — which was not made available to the media but was seen by Devex … include directors for some of the agency’s biggest and newest programs. … But the latest announcement also raised some questions on transparency…” (Ravelo, 12/21).
The Guardian: WHO accused of ‘institutional ageism’ over five-year work program
“The World Health Organization (WHO) is being accused of institutional ageism by academics, who say older people and dementia have been left out of its work program for the next five years. In a letter published in the Lancet medical journal, the academics say WHO is ‘washing its hands’ of older people…” (Boseley, 1/4).
- TIME Features Bill Gates As First Guest Editor In 94 Years; Issue Focuses On Public Health
TIME: Bill Gates: Why I Decided To Edit an Issue of TIME
“…To some extent, it is good that bad news gets attention. If you want to improve the world, you need something to be mad about. But it has to be balanced by upsides. When you see good things happening, you can channel your energy into driving even more progress. That is what I hope you will take from this issue of TIME…” (Gates, 1/4).
TIME: Bill Gates: What Gives Me Hope About the World’s Future
Nancy Gibbs, editorial director of Time Inc.’s News Group, interviews Bill Gates about guest editing TIME magazine, his focus on public health, and his optimism regarding progress in several areas (Gibbs, 1/4).
- More News In Global Health
Al Jazeera: Yemen could be ‘worst’ humanitarian crisis in 50 years (1/5).
Global Health NOW: Uncovering Advantages of the New Typhoid Vaccine (Simpson, 1/3).
The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Tuberculosis on the political agenda (Holt, January 2018).
The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Priorities for Peter Sands and the Global Fund (Burki, January 2018).
New York Times: Measles Deaths Fall to a Record Low Worldwide (McNeil, 12/26).
Reuters: Philippines fines Sanofi, suspends clearance for Dengvaxia (1/4).
Science: Germany steps up to the plate in global health (Kupferschmidt, 1/5).
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Surgery death rates in Africa are twice global average: study (Batha, 1/4).
Wall Street Journal: Safety Fears Threaten Global Dengue Vaccine Effort (McKay et al., 1/8).
Editorials and Opinions
- Opinion Pieces Reflect On Trump Administration's National Security Strategy, Implications For Global Health, Women
The Hill: Legislators should focus on complementary roles of defense and global health
Courtney Carson, policy and advocacy officer at the Global Health Technologies Coalition; and Danielle Heiberg, senior advocacy manager at the Global Health Council
“In late December, President Trump released his National Security Strategy — his vision for keeping Americans safe and protected from foreign and domestic threats. Importantly, this vision went beyond protecting U.S. borders and combating terrorism — it also addressed health as a security issue, and how American investments in global health, epidemic preparedness, and innovation are essential to keeping Americans safe and healthy at home and preventing destabilizing health crises around the world. This discussion on health and security, however, is largely absent in Congress, where current debate over government funding hinges on the distinctions — and relative merits — of defense vs. non-defense spending. Domestic and global health accounts are supported by non-defense discretionary funding, which are under immense pressure for budget-balancing cuts. … If Congress allows non-defense spending to backslide, and focuses increased spending only in the areas of ‘hard’ defense, Americans and the world will be less safe and healthy. … As the debate on funding levels continues, legislators should keep in mind the vital and complementary roles of defense and global health. Investing in both is critical to ensuring our security and strengthening the role of the United States in the world” (1/4).
The Lancet: Offline: From 1918 to 2018 — the lessons of influenza
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet
“…[P]ublication of President Trump’s National Security Strategy in the closing days of 2017 suggests the U.S. government not only understands the immediate threat of disease pandemics, but also promises to do more to protect countries from their consequences. … What does America’s vision for its own security mean for global health? Optimistically, it should mean that President Trump will invest in universal health coverage (UHC). … An important new international target was set [last month at the UHC Forum in Tokyo] — that by 2023 (the midpoint between 2016 and 2030) essential health coverage will have been extended to an additional one billion people. … What is lacking — in President Trump’s National Security Strategy and WHO’s General Programme of Work — is any detail about how this promise will be fulfilled. … What will trigger political action is the fear and threat of another pandemic — and the urgency of strengthening ‘basic health care systems’ to address those fears and threats. In 2018, the single most important priority for WHO must be to make pandemic preparedness a central objective for the national security of all its member-states. This strategy will deliver UHC. The centenary of the 1918 influenza pandemic is the best opportunity we have for making global health security the foundation for achieving UHC” (1/6).
Washington Post: Do women matter to international security? Trump just changed the U.S. government’s answer to that question.
Hilary Matfess, PhD student in political science at Yale University and author
“…While there are several notable changes [in the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy] from those released by previous administrations, one of the most striking is the sharp turn away from recent policies — backed by a significant amount of research — that treat the well-being of women around the globe as critical to peace and prosperity. … [Trump’s NSS] does include the assertion that since ‘societies that empower women to participate fully in civic and economic life are more prosperous and peaceful,’ the United States ‘will support efforts to advance women’s equality, protect the rights of women and girls, and promote women and youth empowerment programs.’ But that’s as far as it goes, offering no statement that women’s rights are critical to national and international security. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that the Trump administration is already gutting programming for women and girls around the globe. It has reinstituted the ‘global gag rule,’ which requires that any international NGO that receives U.S. family planning funding may not offer or discuss abortion as an option. It defunds the UNFPA, which provides reproductive and related health services to women and girls around the world. It has been threatening to cut such programs as Let Girls Learn and the Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. … Without executive commitment, [more] efforts could erode quickly” (1/4).
- U.S. Funding Helps Save Lives Worldwide, Lift People Out Of Poverty, Prevent Epidemics
Fox News: U.S. funding can save millions of lives through public health programs in 2018
Tom Frieden, president and CEO of Resolve to Save Lives, an initiative of Vital Strategies, and former CDC director
“…[I]n 2018 we will be challenged to make additional progress in protecting public health on multiple fronts — particularly preventing heart attacks, strokes, drug overdoses, and epidemics. Here is an overview of what was achieved this year and what needs to be done in the year ahead. … Many countries improved their ability to track and respond to disease clusters before they become epidemics. However, additional funding for the CDC to partner with other countries to help them develop their ability to stop epidemics will end next year. If Congress doesn’t provide funding, the U.S. will be forced to abandon these critical efforts, giving our microbial enemies an opening to attack. If in 2018 CDC is forced to retreat from the front lines, the chance that an epidemic like Ebola could happen again will increase. Programs to prevent epidemics keep Americans safe. They must be continued. Like the war against terrorism, the war against terrible organisms protects our nation from a deadly threat. … We hope that, five years from now, we’ll look back at 2017 as the year these critical public health issues began to improve — similar to improvements we’ve seen in recent decades in progress against HIV/AIDS, polio, and smoking (12/26).
The Hill: A modest amount of American money can help the world’s poorest countries
Eric Ottesen of the Task Force for Global Health and RTI International, and Peter Hotez, professor and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine
“…Created in response to congressional concerns about global health and development, [USAID’s Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Program] may now represent one of the most cost-effective means ever devised to lift people out of poverty, while simultaneously building good will towards the United States. … In 2006, the U.S. Congress appropriated a modest $15 million to create the USAID NTD Program — after one year an estimated 36.8 million treatments were delivered. … Ten years later more than two billion treatments had been delivered to an estimated 935 million people in USAID-supported NTD programs in 33 developing countries. … Equally impressive is how USAID funding was effectively leveraged. It’s estimated that through the USAID NTD Program, industry provided $15.7 billion in donated drugs to the USAID-supported countries. This number equates to $26 dollars in donated medicines from industry for every $1 spent by USAID. … Today, the USAID NTD Program represents the very best in American ingenuity and thrift. It shows how a modest amount of American taxpayer money can be leveraged into a game-changing assault on poverty in the world’s poorest countries, as well as here at home” (1/2).
- Female-Dominated Health Sector Must Push Male Leaders To Achieve Gender Equality
Foreign Policy: The Crime of Gender Inequality in Global Health
Laurie Garrett, Pulitzer Prize winning science writer
“…Public health is the perfect example, both of this imbalance in power in a female-majority field and of the impact that inequity has on the activities and products produced by the profession. The majority of people working in health worldwide are female — by far. But the majority of their bosses and global leadership are men. … Global health seems a fitting place to start developing genuine systems of gender reciprocity and fairness. Well-managed and staffed public health and medical care are in all of our interests. Fairness and leadership are concepts we all understand but find difficult to implement in practice. Surely, we can start down the implementation road to leadership and fairness with professions that are already overwhelmingly female. And maybe, once the 90 percent of America’s nurses have equal pay and power with their 10 percent male counterparts, we can take on more ambitious targets, like legislatures, oval-shaped offices, and the boardrooms of the Fortune 500” (12/26).
- Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Importance Of Public Health, Financial Management, Reaching UHC
The Lancet Infectious Diseases: An enduring reminder of the importance of public health
“…Without proactive measures in place, however thoroughly the international community prepares for pandemics, the response will inevitably be reactive and, hence, prone to delays that will result in some degree of morbidity and mortality that could have been prevented, as seen in [2017’s plague outbreak in] Madagascar. These proactive measures are, to most, neither novel nor revolutionary, they are tried and tested public health and [universal health coverage (UHC)]. For nations that feel complacent about the distant nature of many of these outbreaks it is well worth remembering that 2018 will mark another infectious diseases milestone, one that was not limited to distant shores: the 1918 influenza pandemic” (January 2018).
HuffPost: Who’s To Blame For Global Health Inequity? — The Elephant In The UHC Room
Martin Drewry, director of Health Poverty Action and Find Your Feet
“…[W]e need to transform those aspects of the global neoliberal system that enable rich countries to continue to exploit poor countries. Returning to the particular context of health and the goal of UHC …, this means that we need to create an ‘NHS for the World.’ [Britain’s National Health Service (NHS)] was founded on the same principles as UHC: health care, available for all, tax funded and free at the point of delivery. Moreover, it was introduced at a time when the U.K. was facing desperate financial constraints. So we know that it’s possible, and we know how to do it. Now that knowledge needs to provide the basis for our partnerships with other countries … That means ditching the failed model of privatization which only benefits the rich and powerful, and instead pursuing policies that we know can deliver health for all” (12/27).
Project Syndicate: Resuscitating Africa’s Health Care
Samuel Kargbo, director of policy and planning at the Ministry of Health and Sanitation in Sierra Leone, a member of the UHC 2030 Steering Committee, and a 2015 Aspen Institute New Voices fellow
“…There is widespread agreement among governments, development partners, and relief agencies that in a crisis like that caused by Ebola — or any other health emergency, for that matter — strong financial management is critical. … Anger was my first emotion upon learning of the [International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)] funding fraud. But it is the second sentiment — disappointment — that must drive Africa forward. If the continent is to make gains in achieving universal health coverage (UHC) and improving the quality of health care for everyone, it must start by ensuring that resources are used efficiently and fairly. … As the world observed Universal Health Coverage Day in December, I was left to reflect on the horrors of the last few years, and consider what steps we must take to improve health care in the future. In Sierra Leone, as elsewhere, the focus must be on strong leadership, governance, and partnerships. But most of all, we must use our collective dissatisfaction with past failures to fuel efforts to make quality health care a reality for everyone” (1/3).
- Opinion Pieces Look Back On Global Health, Development, Climate Change Issues Of 2017
Vox: 9 ways the world got a lot better in 2017
Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development
“…Before 2017 recedes entirely into the rearview mirror, let’s take note of some of the good news. Last year saw: 1) Less famine … 2) Fewer war deaths … 3) Fewer deaths from natural disasters … 4) Progress against pestilence … 5) Greater life expectancy … 6) More democracy … 7) Expanding rights for women and sexual minorities … 8) Fewer people living on $2 a day … 9) Greener energy … So for all of the horror that remains, it is still reasonable to suggest that the average human being on planet Earth has never had it so good — even if the average human being seems doubtful about that claim” (1/7).
New York Times: Why 2017 Was the Best Year in Human History
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist
“…2017 was probably the very best year in the long history of humanity. A smaller share of the world’s people were hungry, impoverished, or illiterate than at any time before. A smaller proportion of children died than ever before. The proportion disfigured by leprosy, blinded by diseases like trachoma, or suffering from other ailments also fell. We need some perspective as we watch the circus in Washington, hands over our mouths in horror. … So, sure, the world is a dangerous mess; I worry in particular about the risk of a war with North Korea. But I also believe in stepping back once a year or so to take note of genuine progress — just as, a year ago, I wrote that 2016 had been the best year in the history of the world, and a year from now I hope to offer similar good news about 2018. The most important thing happening right now is not a Trump tweet, but children’s lives saved and major gains in health, education, and human welfare…” (1/6).
Inter Press Service: 2017 Was a Year of Record-Breaking Climate Events
Kelly Levin, senior associate at the World Resources Institute
“…Across the world, extreme events hammered communities and smashed records [in 2017], while scientists gained a better understanding of just how much climate change is fueling many of the disasters we’re witnessing. We took stock of some of the most noteworthy impacts and scientific advances of 2017. One thing was clear: Climate change is creating conditions that put all of us at risk. … Temperature … Extreme Events … Sea Level Rise … Ice … Greenhouse Gas Emissions … Ecological Disruption … It’s clear that trends are headed in the wrong direction. But 2018 brings a fresh start, and an opportunity to learn from 2017 and the record-breaking years that came before it. May this new year bring a new resolve to reverse course and take actions that move toward a low-carbon future” (1/6).
- 'Collective Support' For Vaccines Must Continue, Improve In 2018 To Further Success Of Disease Prevention, Elimination
Devex: Opinion: What 2017 taught us about vaccines
Chris Elias, president of the Global Development Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“…In 2017, we saw the power of what vaccines can accomplish, as well as what can happen when they fail to reach every child, every person, everywhere. … We are reaching more people than ever with vaccines, and global vaccine coverage — the proportion of the world’s children who receive recommended vaccines — is at the highest it has ever been, at 86 percent. That sounds impressive, and it is, but it’s not good enough. We still face major challenges, including the fact that coverage rates have stalled in recent years. … As we head into the new year, we need to harness this collective support for vaccines so that no child has to suffer or die from a preventable disease. We must continue to urge governments to prioritize investment in routine immunization, ensure that vaccine misconceptions never stand in the way of healthy children and communities, and build on the successes of disease elimination efforts. Better health, and lives, are in the balance” (12/20).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- CGD Expert Examines Development-Related Content Of Trump Administration's National Security Strategy
Center for Global Development’s “U.S. Development Policy”: How Does Development Fare in Trump’s National Security Strategy?
Erin Collinson, senior policy associate and assistant director of the U.S. Development Policy Initiative at CGD, discusses the Trump administration’s National Security Strategy, examining the document for development-related content. Collinson concludes, “If the administration’s FY2019 request looks anything like last year’s, it will be difficult to imagine the United States truly being ready to tackle a global pandemic (a matter of when — not if), remain a leader in humanitarian response, provide meaningful assistance in fragile state contexts, or fulfill many of the strategy’s other bold promises” (12/20).
- Brookings Institution Expert Discusses Trump Administration's 'Unclear' Africa Strategy
Brookings Institution: The Trump administration and Africa
In an opinion piece originally published in French by Jeune Afrique, Brahima Sangafowa Coulibaly, senior fellow and global economy and development director of the Brookings Institution’s Africa Growth Initiative, discusses the Trump administration’s Africa strategy, which he writes “remains unclear.” Coulibaly concludes, “The unique difficulties of this administration in gaining traction on the domestic agenda as well as a plan to revisit U.S. relations with several important U.S. partners suggest that Africa will remain on the backburner for now” (1/2).
- Blog Post Discusses Current State Of Global Health Financing, Challenges, Solutions
BioMed Central’s “BugBitten”: Don’t Let the Grinch Steal Global Health
Krisztian Magori, assistant professor of biostatistics at the Department of Biology at Eastern Washington University, discusses “the current state of global health funding, the challenges facing continued financing, and provides a few ideas about potential solutions to this pressing and critical issue…” (12/22).
- Blog Post Explores Global Fund's Efforts To Address HIV Drug Resistance Worldwide
Friends of the Global Fight: Vigilance in Tackling Drug Resistance in the Global Battle Against HIV
In this blog post, the third in a series of posts exploring the threat that drug resistance poses to HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria efforts, Mark P. Lagon, chief policy officer, and John McMannis, communications manager, both at Friends of the Global Fight, discuss how “an increase in [antiretroviral (ARV)] drug resistance is posing a significant threat to progress to date, and to our ability to end the [HIV/AIDS] epidemic.” The authors conclude, “[W]ith strategic investment, the Global Fund can build on its existing strategy of working hand-in-hand on Country Operational Plans and implementation with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and place countries on the best possible footing to fight drug resistance in HIV” (1/5).
- FT Health Highlights NCDs, Features Interviews With Leaders Of Vital Strategies, NCD Alliance
FT Health: Governments and industry must do more on NCDs
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter highlights the need for industry involvement in preventing non-communicable diseases, features an interview with José Luis Castro, president of Vital Strategies, and provides a roundup of other global health-related news stories (Jack/Dodd, 1/5).
FT Health: 2017 in review
The December 22 issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter highlights 2017 news coverage by its health correspondents, features an interview with Katie Dain, chief executive of the NCD Alliance, and includes some of the “most read” content from the year, as well as a round-up of recent global health-related news stories (Jack/Dodd, 12/22).
From the U.S. Government
- USAID Newsletter Looks Back On Agency's 2017 Global Health Efforts
USAID’s “Global Health News”: 2017: A YEAR IN REVIEW
“As 2017 ends, we share some key global health events, milestones, and highlights from the past 12 months of our efforts at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to prevent child and maternal deaths, control the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and combat infectious diseases” (December 2017).