KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Opposed WHA Resolution Because Of Infant Formula Promotion Limits, Not Breastfeeding, Trump Tweets

Associated Press: Trump says U.S. had opposed formula limits, not breastfeeding
“The U.S. opposed a World Health Assembly resolution to encourage breastfeeding because it called for limits on the promotion of infant formula, not because of objections to breastfeeding, President Donald Trump tweeted Monday…” (7/9).

FOX News: Trump blasts ‘failing NY Times’ over report on ‘opposition’ to breastfeeding measure
“… ‘The failing NY Times Fake News story today about breast feeding must be called out. The U.S. strongly supports breast feeding but we don’t believe a woman should be denied access to formula. Many women need this option because of malnutrition and poverty,’ Trump tweeted Monday…” (Singman, 7/9).

New York Times: Trump Stance on Breastfeeding and Formula Criticized by Medical Experts
“The Trump administration’s aggressive attempts to water down an international resolution supporting breastfeeding go against decades of advice by most medical organizations and public health experts…” (Rabin, 7/9).

Washington Post: U.S. effort to weaken an international breastfeeding resolution has a long history
“…[A]dvocates said the incident is a throwback to a time when the U.S. government defied the world to protect the infant-formula industry. … Over the years, U.S. support of breastfeeding has increased and its hostility to the code of marketing restrictions has softened, several nutrition experts said. Which is why the events earlier this year came as such a surprise…” (Johnson/Erickson, 7/9).

Additional coverage of this story is available from ABC News, CNBC, CNN, Fast Company, The Guardian, The Hill, NBC News, NPR, POLITICO, and Quartz.

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CDC Director Robert Redfield Discusses Agency's Priorities With Washington Times

Washington Times: Worse than AIDS: Opioid epidemic is public health crisis CDC director fears most
“…Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, … has settled in at the CDC’s Atlanta headquarters after spending much of his career in Washington and suburban Maryland. He is stepping into the spotlight to act on global outbreaks and domestic crises. … Worldwide, he said, the CDC has a role to play in stamping out polio — which continues to circulate in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria — and in combating global outbreaks of diseases such as Zika, Ebola, and pandemic flu…” (Howell, 7/8).

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Devex Examines USAID's 2018 Q3 Business Forecast

Devex: USAID’s business forecast: Q3 of 2018
“The downward trend in the number and value of forecast opportunities listed with the United States Agency for International Development continued this quarter. At the associated business call, which took place in Washington, D.C., on June 28, the agency highlighted the growing importance of small business partners and a direction to encouraging self-reliance among the countries they are currently supporting…” (Cornish, 7/9).

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Devex Launches 'Future Of Health Partnerships' News Section Exploring Public-Private Partnerships

Devex: Future of Health Partnerships
In an email, the news outlet writes, “Today, Devex is launching Focus on: Future of Health Partnerships, a news section dedicated to exploring a new way forward. … We’ll be exploring public-private partnerships (such as one in Ghana aimed at bringing third-generation insecticides to fight malaria) and modern financing mechanisms (including Unitaid’s work engaging with the private sector on fever management in children.) We’ll go in-depth on a development impact bond in Cameroon aimed at providing thousands of cataract surgeries — and we’ll tell you more about that birthing mat that helps save women’s lives. Our goal is to better understand what’s working — and what’s not — in private sector innovations in health at the local, national, and global level…” (7/10).

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More Political Will, Urgency Needed To Reach SDGs By 2030, U.N. High-Level Forum Hears

U.N. News: ‘Laser-sharp focus’ needed to achieve Global Goals by 2030, U.N. political forum told
“Progress has been made on achieving global goals to end poverty and hunger but meeting the targets by the deadline of 2030 will require a laser-sharp focus and a true sense of urgency, a key United Nations forum on sustainable development heard on Monday. … The U.N. High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF), which will run through 18 July, brings together more than a thousand government, business, and civil society leaders…” (7/9).

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CNN Examines Reasons Why Polio Outbreaks Continue To Happen

CNN: The ‘chicken and egg’ reason why polio outbreaks still happen
“If polio is near extinction, why do outbreaks still pop up in places where the disease was thought to be long gone? The answer is complicated. … [S]ome immunization efforts carry the very rare risk of causing polioviruses to circulate in areas where many people might not yet be vaccinated or areas that were poorly vaccinated — an event that could lead to new cases of disease while trying to demolish it…” (Howard, 7/10).

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More News In Global Health

ABC/Radio National: The fight to eradicate malaria, from the first Malaria World Congress (Swan/Smith, 7/9).

ABC: Samoa recalls vaccines, orders full investigation after two baby deaths (Graue/Walsh, 7/10).

New York Times: ‘I Couldn’t Tell Anyone’: Women Around the World Reveal Intimate Stories of Abortion (Sedgwick, 7/9).

New York Times: Amid Japan’s Flood Devastation, Survivors Dig Out (Ramzy/Ueno, 7/9).

U.N. News: New U.N. agriculture agency report underscores value of fishing in fight against global hunger (7/9).

VOA News: Glimmer of Hope in the fight against HIV/AIDS (Diallo, 7/9).

VOA News: Bangladesh Begins Registering Rohingya Refugees (Schlein, 7/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

Continued U.S. Investment In PEPFAR Will Help Ensure Health, National Security Benefits

Roll Call: Opinion: An Open Health Diplomacy Hand Works Better Than a Fist
Tom Daschle, former Senate majority leader and co-founder of the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Bill Frist, former Senate majority leader, heart and lung transplant surgeon, and senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center

“…PEPFAR’s successes show that now is not the time for the United States to step back from global health leadership. Rather, it is time to renew our commitment. … [T]he impacts of PEPFAR stretch far beyond treating a disease — in fact, U.S. national security, economic, and diplomatic objectives have all benefited. A Bipartisan Policy Center report released Monday shows that PEPFAR is an excellent example of what we call ‘strategic health diplomacy,’ the idea that by addressing global health America advances its own national strategic interests. In addition to its public health benefits, we found that PEPFAR has strong positive effects on public opinion toward the U.S.; socioeconomic development; governance, stability and civil society engagement; and diplomatic engagement in the countries where the program is most active. … To continue reaping these health and national security benefits, our first and most immediate step should be to continue investing in PEPFAR. … Policymakers should strongly invest in PEPFAR and other programs that use strategic health diplomacy to help achieve a safer and more prosperous tomorrow. It is a win-win for all” (7/9).

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Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Examples Of U.S. Favoring Private Sector Interests Over Public Health

New York Times: Why Breastfeeding Scares Donald Trump
Editorial Board

“The push by United States delegates to the World Health Organization to water down or scrap a simple resolution meant to encourage breastfeeding in underdeveloped countries was many things — bullying, anti-science, pro-industry, anti-public health, and shortsighted, to name a few. But it was not surprising. In fact, it’s just one of several recent examples of the administration’s zeal for badgering weaker countries into tossing public health concerns aside to serve powerful business interests. … It’s tempting to call this approach to public health Trumpian, simply because it has all the key hallmarks: an obvious bow to rich and powerful companies, disregard for the needs of people who are poor or sick or both, and zero attention to potential long-term consequences. But, while they might not have gone so far when it comes to baby formula, previous administrations are just as guilty as the current one when it comes to drugs. Both the Obama and Clinton administrations also sought to keep drug prices high in low-income countries — the former by preventing generic markets in India and elsewhere, and the latter by supporting policies that kept the prices of HIV medications much higher than they needed to be. … Should American officials prevail in the current case, the outcome will be easy enough to guess: People will suffer. Industry profits will not” (7/9).

Los Angeles Times: The U.S. bullied the world to stop a pro-breastfeeding resolution? That’s the American way
David Dayen, contributing opinion writer to the Los Angeles Times

“…Through his many actions, President Trump is supposedly disrupting the ‘free trade’ consensus. But using trade as a hammer to obtain long-sought goals for corporate interests is as American as apple pie. That’s especially true when it comes to public health, which has perpetually taken a backseat to the desires of multinationals. For example, the Clinton administration’s trade office sought to protect pharmaceutical companies holding patent rights to HIV/AIDS drugs. … George W. Bush used similar tactics to defend drug company profits. And the Obama administration, if anything, escalated this policy, openly pressuring poor countries such as India over generic drugs. … Special pleading for baby formula companies, then, fits with a long bipartisan tradition of using trade policy to fulfill corporate wish lists, allowing a secret channel to avoid the sunlight of the legislative process. … The next president will surely try to reverse tariffs, mend fences with allies, and ‘restore’ the global trading system. But a return to the status quo will still give us the intolerable corporate-friendly trade agenda that led to the backlash in the first place” (7/9).

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Paraguay's Experience Eliminating Malaria Offers Blueprint For Other Latin American Countries, World

The Hill: A breakthrough for malaria elimination starts in the Americas
Richard Feachem, director of the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco

“…Paraguay’s steady commitment to prioritize malaria elimination offers an adaptable blueprint for others to follow. … While country ownership is critical for progress against malaria, significant commitments from the U.S. and other governments, from the private sector, and from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, are essential if we are to achieve the ultimate ambition of ending malaria worldwide. … Success in Paraguay demonstrates what is possible with a dedicated national elimination effort, strong commitment, and leadership at all levels, and an effective, evidence-based approach. Latin American countries are helping to shrink the malaria map, and bringing the world closer to our ultimate goal of malaria eradication. We must continue to support them and all countries still fighting malaria. We must remain resolute until elimination is achieved in all countries and the whole world is finally malaria-free, like Paraguay” (7/9).

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Gene-Drive Technology To Control Malaria 'Must Be Carefully Managed'

STAT: Gene-drive technology must be developed in a safe, ethical way
Anthony A. James, professor of microbiology and molecular genetics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine and professor of molecular biology and biochemistry at the UCI School of Biological Sciences

“…While the potential to control malaria through genetic manipulation represents an opportunity to make significant advances in eradicating the disease, developing a technology designed to spread new genes through populations must be carefully managed. Any new tools must be as safe as they are effective. … The best way to ensure that gene-drive technology is developed safely is to discuss it openly — in laboratories, within governments, and in public. Engaging nonprofit organizations like the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health contributes to safeguarding public interest in this emerging disease-fighting tool. With so many people suffering from malaria every year, we cannot afford to leave this potential new tool unexplored. But we must do it the right way” (7/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

IntraHealth Senior Manager Discusses Importance Of Investing In, Accelerating Family Planning

IntraHealth International’s “VITAL”: 11 Billion, Ready or Not: We Need To Put Family Planning on the Fast Track
Corinne Mahoney, senior manager for communications and knowledge management at IntraHealth International, discusses the importance of investing in and accelerating family planning and reproductive health strategies. Mahoney writes, “The world’s population didn’t explode because of women’s reproductive choices. It exploded due to a lack of choice. … When women have a say in whether and when to become pregnant, fertility rates go down. … Family planning should always be a personal and voluntary choice” (7/9).

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Blog Post Discusses How Lessons From Technology Career Apply To Global Health

PLOS Blogs’ “Global Health”: Using tech to fight the good fight
Lucy Richards, executive director of NCDFREE, discusses lessons learned from working at a corporate tech agency and applies them to a career in global health. Richards writes, “I choose to believe in the ‘good’ of technology, and trust that with a user-first, people-centered approach, we will harness its potential to positively impact the health and happiness of people at-scale” (7/9).

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Experts Examine Value Of SDGs In Accelerating Climate Financing

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: The sustainable development goals and climate finance: Catalytic agent or empty vessel?
Jackson Ewing, senior fellow at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, and Avia Nahreen, senior research associate at the Institute for Policy, Advocacy, and Governance, examine how the “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are crafted to accelerate the flow of climate finance to developing countries,” in particular, through the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and note “on the surface, it is unclear what new value [the SDGs] bring” (7/6).

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