KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines PEPFAR's Involvement In, Funding For Nigeria

Devex: Uncertainty over PEPFAR support prompts concerns from HIV advocates in Nigeria
“…Nigeria is key to maintaining control of Africa’s epidemic. But total PEPFAR funding for the country … has dipped … [I]n September 2017, PEPFAR unveiled a new strategy, which identified 13 focus countries where it will accelerate efforts to achieve epidemic control. Nigeria was not among them. … Nigeria wasn’t made a focus country largely because PEPFAR doesn’t understand the breadth and depth of the epidemic, making it difficult to respond equitably, [U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Deborah Birx, who leads PEPFAR,] said. To better understand the challenges, PEPFAR, along with the Nigerian government, is conducting a $125 million survey to define the epidemiology of HIV in the country, Birx told Devex. … Compounding concerns over PEPFAR funding is the fact that while the initiative was designed to work in tandem with the government, many HIV leaders and implementers say Abuja’s commitment has been insufficient…” (Rotinwa, 7/12).

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Media Outlets Continue To Report On WHA Breastfeeding Resolution, U.S., Industry, Public Health Stances

HuffPost: Baby Formula Industry Has A Long History Of Undermining Breastfeeding Moms
“Breastfeeding advocates were outraged this week after the New York Times reported that the U.S. took drastic measures to try to block an international resolution encouraging breastfeeding. Public health advocates see the dispute as yet another reminder of the enormous marketing power of the … baby formula industry…” (Goldberg, 7/11).

PBS NewsHour: Where does the United States stand on breastfeeding?
“…In 2014, the World Health Organization challenged the global community to raise by 2025 the number of babies who were exclusively breastfed during their first six months by 50 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recognizes breast milk ‘as the best source of nutrition for most infants’…” (Santhanam, 7/11).

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IPS Examines Family Planning Challenges In Recognition Of World Population Day

Inter Press Service: Family Planning Is A Human Right
“It has been five decades since the international community affirmed the right to family planning but women still remain unable to enjoy this right, which is increasingly under attack around the world. For World Population Day, held annually on July 11, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has focused its attention on ‘Family Planning is a Human Right,’ and aptly so. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 International Conference on Human Rights where family planning was, for the first time, understood to be a human right…” (Yakupitiyage, 7/11).

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Countries' Policies Restricting Help For Migrants Endanger Humanitarian Standards, Progress, IFRC Report Says

The Guardian: ‘Toxic narrative’ on migration endangers lives, report finds
“The ‘criminalization of compassion,’ with countries introducing laws that restrict help to those in need, endangers lives and risks pushing humanitarian standards back by a century. A report claims migrants around the world are facing a ‘new walled order’ as barriers to aid and vital services are raised, with children and the elderly most likely to suffer the ‘dire consequences’ as a result. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warns that when organizations are legally prevented from helping people in need, 100 years of progress could be undermined…” (McVeigh, 7/11).

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U.N. Report, High-Level Forum Examine Cities' Efforts To Reach Development Goals

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Lack of data, definitions dent global drive to strengthen cities — U.N.
“A global drive to make cities safer and more resilient to disasters is being hampered as many countries are unable to gather local data, monitor progress, or even clearly define ‘city’ and ‘urban,’ a United Nations report said on Wednesday…” (Wulfhorst, 7/11).

U.N. News: U.N. forum spotlights cities, where struggle for sustainability ‘will be won or lost’
“Although cities are often characterized by stark socioeconomic inequalities and poor environmental conditions, they also offer growth and development potential — making them central to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and a main focus of the third day of the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Wednesday…” (7/11).

Xinhua News: U.N.-Habitat: 2/3 population to live in cities, urban centers by 2050
“…According to the report, between 2010 and 2050, an estimated 2.5 to three billion people will be added to the urban population worldwide. The highest growth is projected to occur in less-developed regions such as East Asia, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa, it said…” (7/12).

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U.N. Seeks $111M To Address 'Very Clear Evidence Of Humanitarian Need' In N. Korea, Aid Chief Says

Reuters: “Clear evidence of humanitarian need” in North Korea — U.N. aid chief
“There is ‘very clear evidence of humanitarian need’ in North Korea, the top U.N. aid official has said during the first visit of its kind to the isolated country since 2011. U.N. Humanitarian Chief Mark Lowcock arrived in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang on Monday…” (Smith, 7/11).

U.N. News: Visiting North Korea, U.N. relief chief spotlights funding shortfall to meet humanitarian needs
“The United Nations is seeking to raise $111 million to meet humanitarian needs in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), where millions of people face malnutrition, a shortage of medicines, and lack of access to safe drinking water, the organization’s top relief official said on Wednesday…” (7/11).

VOA News: U.N. Aid Chief: ‘Evidence of Humanitarian Need,’ Some Progress in N. Korea
“…So far, the governments of Canada, Switzerland, and Sweden have provided about $11.6 million in aid for North Korea, according to Lowcock. More than 10 million North Koreans are estimated to be undernourished in North Korea. That pales when compared to the devastating famine of the 1990s…” (Hyunjin, 7/11).

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Ebola Survivors May Experience Ongoing Neurological, Psychological Symptoms, Study Shows

CIDRAP News: Study details neuro, psychological problems in Ebola survivors
“Depression, headaches, and insomnia are just some of the often debilitating symptoms Ebola survivors may experience, according to a clinically based survey of post-Ebola syndrome (PES) published [Wednesday] in Emerging Infectious Diseases…” (Soucheray, 7/11).

Becker’s Hospital Review: Many Ebola survivors grapple with debilitating neurological issues, study finds
“…Researchers found these Ebola survivors often struggle from ‘post-Ebola syndrome’ and were unable to care for themselves after the outbreak due to the ongoing mental effects, such as stroke, headaches, nerve pain, depression, and anxiety…” (Cook, 7/11).

Reuters: Ebola survivors suffer severe mental and neurological problems
“…Janet Scott of Britain’s University of Liverpool, who co-led the research … said the findings show a need for larger and more detailed studies of Ebola survivors compared to matched controls who did not get virus…” (Kelland, 7/11).

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ProPublica Examines Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves

ProPublica: Undercooked: An Expensive Push to Save Lives and Protect the Planet Falls Short
“For many decades, it was one of the globe’s most underappreciated health menaces: household pollution in developing countries, much of it smoke from cooking fires. … In 2010, the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves was formed to help mount a sustained effort at tackling the threats posed by household pollution. The alliance pledged to help engineer the distribution of 100 million cookstoves, small-scale appliances designed to cut fuel use and toxic emissions in impoverished households worldwide by 2020. The United Nations Foundation was a founding partner in the effort. Hillary Clinton, then the U.S. secretary of state, lent the support of the American government, promising money and the resources of a handful of agencies. … Eight years and $75 million later, however, the Alliance has fallen well short of its ambitious health and climate goals…” (Morrison, 7/12).

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More News In Global Health

CIDRAP News: South African TB study finds lower death rate with bedaquiline (Dall, 7/11).

CNN: Australian experiment wipes out over 80% of disease-carrying mosquitoes (Yeung, 7/10).

Kaiser Health News/CNN: Inexpensive TB vaccine shows promise against juvenile diabetes (Rodriguez, 7/12).

Newsweek: HIV-Positive Children Are More Likely to Have Developmental Disabilities, New Study Shows (Interrante, 7/11).

Reuters: Japanese PM Visits Flood Disaster Zone, New Warnings Issued (Takenaka/Kato, 7/10).

Xinhua News: PNG minister says polio outbreak under control (7/12).

Xinhua News: Experts urge Uganda to scale up family planning services (Ssekandi, 7/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss Debates Over Breastfeeding, Infant Formula

Washington Post: The real reason the Trump administration went to war over breastfeeding
Paul Adler, assistant professor of history at Colorado College and author

“…[Donald] Trump is not the first Republican president to target breast milk as part of advancing a broader conservative agenda. More than 30 years ago, it was Ronald Reagan trying to undermine attempts to promote breastfeeding. His goal was the same as the Trump administration’s: to stop any international regulatory actions that might constrict corporate prerogatives, regardless of the potential effects on public health. … Today, the United States is once again pushing back against measures — especially ones promoted by international organizations — that might limit multinational corporations’ ability abroad to advertise and sell profitable products. … Scholars, policymakers, and journalists would do well to focus less on Trump’s seeming heresies on the global stage and more on the many profound continuities between his administration and past conservative crusades” (7/11).

The Conversation: Breastfeeding has been the best public health policy throughout history
Joan Y. Meek, associate dean of graduate medical education and professor of clinical sciences at Florida State University

“Breastfeeding has long been the gold standard for infant nutrition. … The scientific research in support of breastfeeding is overwhelmingly clear, and most mothers in the U.S. have heard that message and learned from it. Marketing and sales of infant formula have surged in developing countries, however. … Some of the poorest countries have the lowest breastfeeding initiation and duration and could gain the most in terms of health impact and economic benefit from improving breastfeeding rates. … However, the formula industry stands to gain the most financially when breastfeeding fails. The formula industry should not be influencing public health policy. The U.S. delegates to the World Health Assembly must lead the way in support of health policies based upon science…” (7/11).

CNN: The ‘breast is best’ policy backlash
Elissa Strauss, writer at CNN

“…Giving moms choices need not mean skipping the breastfeeding education and handing them samples of formula shortly after birth. … I know that, broadly speaking, women can’t have it all. But perhaps, within the relatively narrow confines of breastfeeding education, we can. Imagine if we were told the whole truth, without judgment, and were given choices to proceed how we see fit. What if we could expect to be supported in our efforts feed our children without the fear that we are putting them, or ourselves, at risk?” (7/11).

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Opinion Pieces Discuss World Population Day, Family Planning, Related Issues

Devex: Opinion: Family planning gives women a future. It shouldn’t be up for debate.
Kathy Calvin, president and chief executive officer of the United Nations Foundation, and Natalia Kanem, executive director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

“…Back in 1968, we thought change was coming for women everywhere, especially when, that same year, world leaders agreed that family planning was a basic human right. … Today, we are seeing many governments roll back access to family planning … Access to contraception drives economic prosperity and sustainability, and empowering women sparks a ripple effect that benefits families, communities, and entire countries. The reality is that no country has emerged from poverty in the last 50 years without expanding access to contraceptives. … There should be no debate on family planning. To truly deliver global progress for people everywhere we need to prioritize women’s empowerment. And that means making sure all women can make their own decisions about their bodies and their lives, and enjoy the right they won 50 years ago” (7/11).

The Conversation: A long fuse: ‘The Population Bomb’ is still ticking 50 years after its publication
Derek Hoff, associate professor and lecturer at the University of Utah

“…[Stanford biologist and ecologist Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book, ‘The Population Bomb,’] identified dramatically accelerating world population growth as the central underlying cause of myriad problems … [A]s a historian who has studied debates about population growth throughout U.S. history, I believe that Ehrlich’s warnings deserve a new and less hysterical hearing. While Ehrlich has acknowledged significant errors, he was correct that lowering birth rates was — and remains — a crucial plank in addressing global environmental crises. … Human-driven climate change is an overriding threat, and is unambiguously worsened by population growth. … Ultimately, ‘The Population Bomb’ offered no road map for transitioning away from capitalism without causing human ruin as serious as the environmental ruin that seems to be our destiny” (7/10).

Inter Press Service: Age Appropriate Sexuality Education for Youth Key to National Progress
Josephine Kibaru-Mbae, director general of the Government of Kenya’s National Council for Population and Development, and Siddharth Chatterjee, U.N. resident coordinator in Kenya

“…Among sexually active unmarried [Kenyan] adolescents, only about half use any form of contraceptives, yet only one in three women and one in four men, per the same study, knew the correct timing regarding when a woman is likely to get pregnant. The World Population Day should awaken us all to the critical role of those in authority in ensuring children grow up not only in an atmosphere of love and understanding, but also that they live to their full potential. … Scientific evidence shows that when young people are empowered with correct information they are less likely to engage in early or in unprotected sex. This is attributable to the fact that they can undertake risk analysis and make informed decisions. … Family planning is a key tool for reducing poverty since it frees up women to work and leads to smaller families, allowing parents to devote more resources to each child’s health and education…” (7/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Chevron Provides $1M To Friends Of The Global Fight

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Chevron Donates $1 Million to Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria
“[On Tuesday,] Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Friends) announced it received a two-year, $1 million grant from Chevron. The grant will help expand Friends’ work to mobilize private sector, faith, youth, and other partners for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) and other programs aimed at ending these epidemics…” (7/10).

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Gates Foundation Blog Post Discusses 3 Methods To Reduce Maternal Deaths Due To Bleeding After Birth

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: India can reduce maternal deaths
Jerker Liljestrand, senior program officer with the Gates Foundation’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health team, and Nachiket Mor, director of the Gates Foundation’s India Country Office, highlight three methods to reduce maternal deaths due to bleeding after birth, including a water-filled “balloon tamponade,” the drug tranexamic acid (TXA), and a non-pneumatic anti-shock garment (NASG). The authors write, “Using a combination of these methods, India, and many other countries, in the next five years can substantially reduce maternal deaths due to bleeding after birth, even as they continue to work towards building better health systems” (7/9).

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'Science Speaks' Highlights Studies Examining Impacts Of Ebola, Zika Infections

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Reports add to findings of Ebola, Zika impacts
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses two studies published online this week in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal. One study examined neurological damage among Zika-affected infants, and the other study looked at lasting neurological and psychological symptoms among Ebola survivors (7/11).

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MEASURE Evaluation's Online Collection Of Indicators Aims To Inform, Support Community-Based HIV Programs

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Collection supporting HIV data gathering provides support for front lines
In a guest post, Jackie Hellen, senior monitoring and evaluation associate with MEASURE Evaluation, discusses the potential benefits and intended impacts of MEASURE Evaluation’s online collection of community-based indicators for HIV programs. Hellen notes, “Countries and programs, and the professionals on the front lines, can use this collection to standardize their information-generation processes and ensure that they collect only essential information to inform community-based HIV programming” (7/11).

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