KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

STAT Examines Potential Differences, Similarities In Health, Science Policies Between Obama, Trump Administrations

STAT: Obama vs. Trump: 5 ways they clash — or don’t — on health and science
“Donald Trump has promised to change Washington, and he surely will. Yet while he may play some wild cards in the realms of medicine, science, and public health, you can also look for some surprising continuity with President Obama’s administration. Here’s our preview of what to expect…” (Scott, 1/9).

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Tanzanian Government Shuts Down NGO Reproductive Rights Meeting, Raising Concerns Among Health Advocates, Donor Officials

Devex: In an apparent crackdown, Tanzania government raids NGO meeting on reproductive rights
“…As the participants [of a mid-December training for Tanzanian reproductive health providers organized by the Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa] broke up for lunch, non-uniformed security officials swarmed the hotel, according to organizers and witnesses. Together with the unexplained attendees, they shut down the meeting and detained eight of the participants. … [I]t appears the shutdown was the latest in a string of Tanzanian government actions against organizations that are or appear to be providing services and assistance to the country’s homosexual community. … Experts warn that this will have significant consequences for the health of all Tanzanians. The moves are also pitting the government against donors and organizations that have invested heavily in improving it. That includes the United States and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which make outsized contributions to Tanzania’s health sector…” (Green, 1/6).

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Lancet Series Examines Global Over-, Underuse Of Medicine, Medical Procedures

Reuters: Studies find worrying over- and underuse of medicine worldwide
“Up to 70 percent of hysterectomies in the United States, a quarter of knee replacements in Spain, and more than half the antibiotics prescribed in China are inappropriate, overused health care, researchers said on Monday. Experts who carried out a series of studies across the world found that medicine and health care are routinely both over- and underused, causing avoidable harm and suffering and wasting precious resources. The studies, commissioned by The Lancet journal and conducted by 27 international specialists, also found rates of caesarean section deliveries are soaring — often in women who do not need them — while the simple use of steroids to prevent premature births has lagged for 40 years…” (Kelland, 1/8).

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Philippines President Duterte's War On Drugs Threatens HIV Prevention, Human Rights Efforts, Experts Say

International Business Times: Duterte’s war on drugs is fanning the flames of the burgeoning HIV epidemic in the Philippines
“…Since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in May 2016 after campaigning on a platform of zero-tolerance against drug pushers and addicts, charities are worried that the number of new HIV cases due to drug injection may explode in the next few years as the government moves away from public health concerns to adopt more repressive policies…” (Surugue, 1/5).

The Lancet: Philippines president continues his brutal war on drugs
“…[U]pwards of 5,000 Filipinos [have been] shot dead by police or vigilantes since Duterte came to power at the end of June, 2016. Duterte earned a name for himself with similarly ruthless policies as mayor of the southern city of Davao on Mindanao island, where he has admitted that he personally killed suspected lawbreakers. He has promised to restore law and order not only with his crackdown on crime but also by restoring the death penalty. But his brutal approach has appalled international bodies from Amnesty International to the U.N., and drawn international condemnation not seen since the days of late former president Ferdinand Marcos…” (McCall, 1/7).

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Chinese Government's Offer Of Free IUD Removal Incites Outrage From Women's Health, Rights Advocates

New York Times: After One-Child Policy, Outrage at China’s Offer to Remove IUDs
“…For more than three decades, … [t]he IUD was the [Chinese] government’s most important tool for limiting couples to one child, and almost all new mothers were required to get one. … [A]n official said at a recent news conference that 18 million women would be eligible for the free removal of IUDs in the next three years so they could bear a second child. … But the head-spinning reversal, the paternalistic attitude, the failure to accept any culpability — for some, it was too much. Within hours of the news conference, the internet was fuming with indignation…” (Wee, 1/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

American Leadership In Global Health Financing 'Indispensable' To U.S., Global Security, Health

The Hill: Trump’s biggest impact: Global health financing
Nick Seymour, student at Harvard College

“…If the U.S. government is to deliver on common sense effective global health programs, leadership on the issue must come from our next president. A little over a year ago, I traveled with a group of student activists from Boston to New Hampshire to drive global heath financing onto the radar of the then-presidential candidates speaking at a conference on nonpartisan policy reform. In a crowded assembly hall, I asked then candidate Donald Trump to commit to increase funding for AIDS treatment globally as president. Trump gave a characteristically vague but encouraging response. … Now, President-elect Trump faces pressure to fill in his campaign rhetoric on nearly every issue and reassess some of his few but obscure specific promises. In the midst of this, his response to my question, that ‘We’re going to lead the way on [global HIV/AIDS treatment],’ must not be forgotten. … President-elect Trump will soon have the opportunity to plan America’s return to greatness. For the security and health of our nation and the world, American leadership in global health will be an indispensable part of the overall prescription” (1/7).

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U.S. Contribution To U.N. Critical To Advancing U.S. Interests, Solving Global Problems

The Hill: Why defunding the U.N. is a bad idea
Martin Edwards, associate professor at the School of Diplomacy and International Relations at Seton Hall University

“…President-elect Trump would be well advised not to heed the critics seeking to slash U.S. involvement in the U.N. … President-elect Trump understands that the U.N. is a forum for advancing U.S. interests. … For a new administration seeking to reshape American foreign policy, working with other countries at the U.N. is an efficient way to get things done. At a time in which the U.N. is taking on a crucial role in aiding a record number of refugees, keeping peace across the globe with a record number of peacekeeping troops, and staving off global pandemics, U.S. engagement with the U.N. is more important than ever. … While the new Congress may still need instruction in the value of the United Nations, the American people do not. A recent survey by the Better World Campaign found that 88 percent of voters say it is important that the United States maintain an active role within the United Nations, and that majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents support the U.S. paying its dues to the U.N. on time and in full. … The American public understands that the U.N. is a force multiplier for U.S. interests and values, and that a U.N. without the U.S. would be one less capable of solving global problems. Hopefully, Congress learns this lesson soon” (1/8).

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President-Elect Trump Should Acknowledge Effects Of Climate Change On Most Vulnerable

New York Times: As Donald Trump Denies Climate Change, These Kids Die of It
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist

“…Climate change, disproportionately caused by carbon emissions from America, seems to be behind a severe drought that has led crops to wilt across seven countries in Southern Africa. The result is acute malnutrition for 1.3 million children in the region, the United Nations says. … Whatever we do to limit the growth of carbon, climate problems will worsen for decades to come. Those of us in the rich world who have emitted most of the carbon bear a special responsibility to help people … who are simultaneously least responsible for climate change and most vulnerable to it. … I don’t pretend that the links between climate change and this food crisis are simple, or that the solutions are straightforward. … Yet we do know what will help in the long run: sticking with the Paris agreement to limit global warming, as well as with President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. We must also put a price on carbon and invest much more heavily in research on renewable energy. In the short and medium term, we must step up assistance to climate refugees and sufferers, both to provide relief and to assist with new livelihoods that adjust to new climate realities. … The most basic starting point is for the American president-elect to acknowledge … [that climate] change is real…” (1/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Development Assistance Increased In 2015 But Falls Behind Global Needs

Humanosphere: Global aid spending is up, but some of it is staying at home
Humanosphere correspondent Tom Murphy discusses findings from a new report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on global spending on development assistance, writing, “The OECD’s 2015 data on official development assistance showed a total of $131.4 billion. Adjusting for inflation, it is a 6.6 percent increase over 2014 spending. Of that total, $12.1 billion was spent on ‘in-donor refugee costs,’ according to the ONE Campaign. That money never left the borders of the donor countries, but was included as development assistance in the OECD analysis. Subtracting that figure would mean that aid levels increased by 1.4 percent. Regardless, spending is not keeping up with increasing global needs…” (1/6).

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Journal Article Examines Founding, Work Of Global Health Innovative Technology Fund

American Chamber of Commerce in Japan’s “The Journal”: Health Makes Wealth
Brandi Goode, a freelance writer and editor based in Manila and previously editor in chief of The Journal, discusses the founding of the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund, a public-private collaboration aimed at facilitating research and innovation to develop new global health tools. Goode examines some of the fund’s private investments and its work with the Japanese government (January 2017).

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Malawi Former President Banda Discusses Maternal Health Challenges In Africa In Wilson Center Interview

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: President Joyce Banda Talks About Her Time in Office & Sensitizing African Leaders to Maternal Health Challenges
Schuyler Null, editor in chief of “New Security Beat,” discusses an interview conducted by Roger-Mark De Souza, director of population, environmental security and resilience at the Wilson Center, with Joyce Banda, Malawi’s first female president, on her work prioritizing maternal health and girls’ education in the country (1/6).

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In Humanosphere Podcast, Health Poverty Action Official Discusses How War On Drugs Affects Economic, Social Development In Developing Countries

Humanosphere: The war on drugs is affecting the developing world, but not in the ways you might think
In this podcast, Imana Gunawan, social media manager and producer of the podcast at Humanosphere, and Tom Paulson, Humanosphere founder and executive editor, “talk with Natasha Horsfield — policy and advocacy officer at Health Poverty Action — about how the world’s war on drugs is hindering economic and social development in developing countries, but not always in the ways you might normally think” (Ensor, 1/6).

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From the U.S. Government

MCC Investments Aim To Reduce Stunting, Promote Child Health In Indonesia

Millennium Challenge Corporation: Notes from the Field: Promoting Child Health in Indonesia
Amit Chandra, an emergency physician and a 2015-2017 AAAS Science and Technology policy fellow serving as a health systems strengthening adviser for the MCC, discusses the importance of MCC’s investment of $134.2 million to reduce stunting in Indonesia through sanitation, maternal and child health, and nutrition programs (1/6).

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