KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex, The Guardian Preview London Family Planning Summit, Discuss Concerns Over U.S. Reinstatement Of Mexico City Policy

Devex: 5 topics to watch at the London Family Planning Summit
“…The London Family Planning Summit will ‘check in’ on advances and obstacles since its predecessor event in 2012, which saw donors and developing countries come together to work on improving access to family planning services. With a view to reaching an additional 120 million women by 2020, the event raised $2.6 billion in new financial commitments and political support from more than 40 developing countries, leading to the creation of the Family Planning 2020 partnership to support work toward the targets. … Earlier this year, President Donald Trump’s administration revived an expanded version of the global gag rule and cut $32.5 million in funding to the UNFPA … Trump’s budget request also proposes zeroing out all family planning funding in the U.S. foreign assistance budget…” (Anders/Edwards, 7/10).

Devex: Uganda’s lessons for Family Planning Summit
“At the first London Summit on Family Planning in 2012, Uganda was among the 36 developing countries to set out ambitious goals for themselves. President Yoweri Museveni committed to increasing Uganda’s annual budget allocation for family planning from $3.3 million to $5 million over five years, and to mobilizing additional donor funds. As the summit reconvenes this week to take stock of progress, advocates in Uganda will be watching closely to see if the East African nation, which has one of the world’s fastest growing population rates, can maintain the momentum…” (Fallon, 7/10).

The Guardian: 2017: the year we lost control of world population surge?
“Global efforts to help millions of women plan their families — and address unsustainable population growth — are falling woefully short, with looming cuts in funding threatening to hamper progress further, campaigners warn. On the eve of a landmark summit in London called to accelerate family planning progress in 69 of the world’s poorest countries, latest figures show that an eight-year program to get contraception to more than 100 million women is way off target. Concerns are mounting, too, that policies introduced by Donald Trump slashing funds for family planning programs will exacerbate the problem. The U.S. is the largest donor for family planning…” (Ford, 7/9).

The Guardian: Trump abortion crackdown risks stoking Nigeria’s population boom
“…Determined as they are to help women access contraception, the midwives of Maiduguri have a tough job. Their clients and their husbands are often suspicious of modern methods; in the wake of Boko Haram, the population of their city, the capital of Borno state, has doubled to two million people, and many people commute to work in the aftermath of bomb attacks. But their task has been made even harder by one man thousands of miles away: Donald Trump…” (Maclean, 7/9).

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G20 Concludes With Communique Addressing Antimicrobial Resistance, Climate Change; U.K. Offers Funding For Disease Outbreak Insurance; U.S. Pledges $639M In Humanitarian Assistance For 4 Countries

Deutsche Welle: G20: success for Africa, failure for climate
“…Germany attempted to use its presidency to rally global leaders behind a number of causes which the summit had not previously had on its agenda. … According to Merkel, the leaders agreed to ‘increase the fight against pandemic diseases that could crash the global economy’ and ‘build a common front in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.’ A G20 working group will in the future take up the issue of the appropriate use of antibiotics…” (Jalloh, 7/8).

The Guardian: Theresa May to spend aid money on insurance against disasters in Africa
“Theresa May is planning to spend tens of millions of pounds of aid funding on buying premiums with British insurance companies to help cover the costs of natural disasters in African countries, such as severe drought. The prime minister believes that buying up private insurance policies in the U.K., in a break from more traditional forms of aid spending, could reduce the need for expensive direct humanitarian support in the future. … May laid out the plans at the G20 summit in Hamburg as part of a £200m package that aims to boost economic growth within African countries in order to make them less dependent on aid…” (Asthana/Wintour, 7/7).

Reuters: At G20 summit, Trump pledges $639 million in aid to four countries
“U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday promised $639 million in aid to feed people left starving because of drought and conflict in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen. Trump’s pledge came during a working session of the G20 summit of world leaders in Hamburg, providing a ‘godsend’ to the United Nations’ World Food Programme, the group’s executive director, David Beasley, told Reuters on the sidelines of the meeting…” (Shalal/Wroughton, 7/8).

Reuters: U.S. isolated on climate at summit of world leaders
“Leaders from the world’s leading economies broke with U.S. President Donald Trump on climate policy at a G20 summit on Saturday, in a rare public admission of disagreement and blow to multilateral cooperation. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, keen to show off her skills as a mediator two months before a German election, achieved her primary goal at the meeting in Hamburg, convincing her fellow leaders to support a single communique with pledges on trade, finance, energy, and Africa…” (Carrel et al., 7/8).

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Trump Administration Names Georgia Health Commissioner Brenda Fitzgerald As New CDC Director

Associated Press: Georgia health commissioner named CDC director in Atlanta
“Georgia’s health commissioner was named Friday to lead the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal government’s top public health agency…” (Stobbe, 7/7).

CIDRAP News: Public health leaders see strong choice in new CDC director
“In a move winning the praise of public health leaders, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tom Price, MD, announced Brenda Fitzgerald, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist who has deep public health experience, as director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)…” (Schnirring, 7/7).

Nature: Trump administration chooses Georgia physician to lead U.S. public health agency
“…Fitzgerald has led the Georgia Department of Public Health since 2011, and has championed early-intervention programs to improve maternal health and counter childhood obesity. Before that, she practiced medicine, advised former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich on health care policy, and served in the U.S. Air Force…” (Ledford, 7/7).

Newsweek: New CDC Director Brenda Fitzgerald Inheriting Vaccine Skeptics, Drug Abuse, and Antibiotic Resistance (Wapner, 7/7).
New York Times: Georgia’s Health Commissioner Named to Lead CDC (Kaplan, 7/7).
Science: Trump taps Georgia health director to lead CDC (Wadman, 7/7).
STAT: Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald is named new CDC director (Branswell, 7/6).

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Washington Post Outlines Vacancies Among 26 Key U.S. Government Positions Related To Disease Outbreaks, Bioterrorism

Washington Post: 26 key bioterrorism jobs the Trump administration has not yet filled
“…Within the U.S. government, there are many positions across multiple agencies and departments that are vital for national decision-making about how to prevent, detect, and respond to bioterrorism threats. But a large number of key positions remain unfilled by the Trump administration, including positions involved in making decisions about response, funding, and medical countermeasures. Below is a list of some of those positions and their status, based on information from experts and the Partnership for Public Service. Some individuals are serving in an acting capacity. Others have been nominated but not yet confirmed. Many positions are vacant…” (Sun, 7/7).

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USAID To Contribute $20M To WFP To Provide Food Aid In Afghanistan

Xinhua News: U.S. aid agency offers fund to WFP for food assistance to Afghans
“The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) offered 20 million U.S. dollars to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to support needy Afghans, announced WFP in a statement here Monday. ‘The contribution will enable WFP in Afghanistan to provide food assistance to over 577,000 people in need. Nearly 70 percent of the money will be spent in Afghanistan to buy locally milled, nutrient-enriched flour and salt,” the statement reads…” (7/10).

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Number Of Suspected Cholera Cases In Yemen Passes 300K, ICRC Official Says

Reuters: Yemen cholera cases pass 300,000 mark, ICRC says
“A 10-week cholera epidemic has now infected more than 300,000 people in Yemen, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Monday, a health disaster on top of war, economic collapse, and near-famine in the impoverished country. ‘Disturbing. We’re at 300k+ suspected cases with ~7k new cases/day,’ ICRC Regional Director Robert Mardini said in a tweet…” (Miles, 7/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

G20 Leaders Should Be 'Champions' Of Climate Action, Show Support For Paris Agreement

TIME: The G20 Must Defend the Paris Accord — For the Sake of Our Health
Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, and Michelle Williams, dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

“…G20 countries need to be the champions of climate action, to take the lead from the thousands of cities, regions, businesses, and investors who have come forward with increased ambition and continue to show their support for the Paris Agreement. … When the science is strong that climate change will have devastating effects on our health, collective action and ambitious leadership are the only ways forward. We stand with them, believing it has never been more urgent to ensure that Americans understand and prepare for the health risks we all face from climate change. Prevention is the best medicine, and acting now to mitigate these risks by remaining in the Paris Agreement is both morally imperative and fiscally sound. Climate change is one pre-existing condition we know how to cure” (7/7).

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President Trump's Proposal To Cut Family Planning Funding Sends 'Clear Message' To Women In U.S., Abroad

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Mika Brzezinski just one of 214 million women Trump doesn’t care for
Robert J. Walker, president of the Population Institute

“…President Trump … has sent a clear message to … women in the developing world who want to avoid a pregnancy, and it is not a derogatory tweet. It’s a budget recommendation, and it is not just nasty; it is positively devastating. The president’s proposed budget for FY2018 calls for the defunding of all international family planning assistance. Currently, the U.S. is spending [$607.5] million a year in support of family planning and reproductive health programs in the developing world, including support for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), but the president wants to eliminate all funding. … President Trump, quite simply, does not care about women who want, or need, to avoid a pregnancy. And it does not matter where those women live. The president does not discriminate. In addition to cutting international family planning assistance, President Trump wants to roll back the expansion of contraceptive coverage that has occurred in this country under Obamacare. … In whatever form it ultimately takes, Trumpcare simply does not care about the reproductive health care needs of women…” (7/7).

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Greater Investment For Family Planning Services In Humanitarian Settings Critical To Meeting Needs Of Women, Girls

Huffington Post: Lack of family planning casts a shadow over the future for millions of women and girls on the move
Flavia Bustreo, assistant director general for family, women’s and children’s health at the WHO, and vice chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…Research into the effectiveness of interventions in fragile settings is complex, but greater investment is needed to ensure that action to reach women and girls in these most difficult of settings is based on the strongest possible evidence. … Later this year, WHO will launch a multi-partner consortium to strengthen collaboration between aid agencies on the ground and researchers so that high quality evidence on sexual and reproductive health and rights in humanitarian settings is generated to better meet the needs of women and girls. Investing in family planning saves lives. But the ripple effects are even greater. By investing in family planning we also invest in realizing human rights, upholding dignity, and sowing the seeds of truly sustainable development, especially for women and girls on the move” (7/8).

Huffington Post: Family planning in war zones: make aid feminist
Skye Wheeler, women’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch

“…[D]onors and policymakers need to start making concerted efforts to reach women in humanitarian crises with a range of options for family planning. The greatest proportion of women who die in pregnancy or childbirth are in conflict-affected countries, or countries recently emerging from conflict. Family planning is lifesaving. … [Family planning] services are key not only for women recently and temporarily displaced because of conflict, but for the huge numbers who are stuck in long-term and complex conflicts that show no sign of ending soon. Making family planning an adequately funded and normal part of aid may save lives of women … but could also open up choices that women in the rest of the world take for granted. The basic right to be able to control your own fertility, to choose when to be pregnant, should be one that all women have access to” (7/10).

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Partnerships Between Family Planning, Environmental Organizations Can Help Improve Contraceptive Access In Remote, Under-Served Populations

Thomson Reuters Foundation: The untold cost of cost-effectiveness in family planning
Laura Robson, manager for health-environment partnerships at Blue Ventures

“…With mounting pressure from policies introduced by U.S. President Donald Trump that cut funds for family planning programs worldwide, providers are being forced to deliver more with less. Such pressure often results in the prioritization of easily accessible urban populations at the expense of people living in remote rural areas. … [T]he experiences of health and environmental organizations working together in biodiversity hotspots across the world demonstrate that resourceful mechanisms do exist for reaching overlooked and under-served populations and advancing equitable access to contraception for the most marginalized women and girls. … Environmental organizations are inviting health agencies to piggyback onto their operational infrastructure and community relations, thereby enabling mobile service delivery and strong family planning uptake in areas previously deemed too difficult or expensive to reach. … [T]hese collaborative health-environment initiatives should serve as a courageous reminder for global health actors: it is possible to balance a drive for cost-effectiveness with a greater concern for contraceptive equity, and an appreciation of the wider value of investing in family planning for the most marginalized” (7/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Essay Explores Politics Of Partnerships In Reproductive Health Initiatives

Africa Is A Country: Of gag rules and global partnerships
Lynn M. Thomas, a professor at the University of Washington, discusses the challenges of politics in advancing global health, in particular family planning, as well as the emergence and role of partnerships in global health, writing, “We live in times when talk of partnership abounds while wealth disparities deepen and backward-looking populism breathes new life into bigoted and isolationist elements within national politics. The Trump/Pence administration’s expanded global gag rule is a product of these times but also the culmination of a much longer history of U.S. initiatives abroad regarding reproduction and sexuality…” (7/7).

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Human Rights Watch Calls On Australia To Fulfill Pledges Made At 2012 London Family Planning Summit

Human Rights Watch: Australia: Fulfill Pledges on Women’s Health
“The Australian government should meet its financial commitments for sexual and reproductive health at the Family Planning 2020 Summit in London on July 11, 2017, Human Rights Watch said in a letter to Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. At the summit, more than 36 governments will review progress on the goal to enable 120 million more women worldwide to access a modern form of contraception by 2020…” (7/10).

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Gates Foundation Official Trevor Mundel Discusses Efforts To Address NTDs In Interview

Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s “Pharmaceutical Journal”: How the Gates Foundation seeks to energize the global fight against neglected tropical diseases
Journalist John Zarocostas interviews Trevor Mundel, president of the global health division at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, about “how the foundation is ramping up its efforts to fight against neglected tropical diseases” (7/7).

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Intensified Humanitarian Support, Funding Vital To Preventing Famine In 4 Nations, FAO Says

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: Intensified efforts and investments needed to keep famine at bay
“Preventing famine in northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen urgently requires intensified humanitarian support and further funding. That was the message of an event hosted by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Programme on the sidelines of FAO’s Conference…” (7/6).

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FT Health Discusses Germany's Role In G20, Features Interview With GHIT's BT Slingsby

FT Health: Germany takes leadership on global health
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter discusses Germany’s role at the G20 Summit, noting, “Germany has stepped up its funding and provided focus, notably around strengthening the response to the rising threat of antibiotic drug resistance. This year’s holder of the G20 presidency has also worked to boost the international system that identifies and responds to new infectious disease threats, from flu to Zika.” The newsletter also features an interview with Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT) CEO BT Slingsby,  as well as provides a roundup of global-health related news stories (Jack, 7/7).

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