KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

In Senate Committee Hearing, Experts Urge U.S. To Take Action To Alleviate Hunger Crises Affecting 20M People Worldwide

Devex: Senate hearing urges diplomatic pressure in famine response
“In a Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing room lined with large printed photographs of starving children, experts discussed how the United States can help mitigate famine and near-famine crises affecting 20 million people across the globe. Washington can help meet current needs as well [as] address underlying conflicts driving much of the food insecurity, they said. The hearing focused on Yemen, one of four countries that the United Nations has described as facing famine-like conditions, along with South Sudan, Somalia, and northern Nigeria…” (Saldinger, 7/19).

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Deputy Secretary Of State Sullivan Discusses Agency Reorganization, Funding At Senate Foreign Relations Committee Hearing

Foreign Policy: Tillerson’s No. 2 Denies Turmoil at State Department
“In a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Monday evening, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan parried blows on the administration’s proposals to reorganize the State Department and gut the diplomacy and foreign aid budget. … [Secretary of State Rex] Tillerson kickstarted the reorganization process with a months-long ‘listening tour’ of the department, which included an internal survey that some 35,000 employees filled out. Sullivan is in charge of the next phase, which involves reviewing input from the listening tour. The State Department will submit a final assessment of how to reorganize itself to Congress by Sept. 15” (Gramer, 7/18).

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Experts Discuss U.S. Military's Role In Humanitarian Crises, Stabilizing Nations At Center For American Progress Panel

Devex: The U.S. military could take a stronger role in stabilizing African nations. Does it want to?
“Proposed cuts to foreign aid in the United States budget have some experts wondering whether the military will play a greater role in responding to humanitarian crises on the African continent. The military, however, has neither the expertise nor the desire to take on a greater role in the stabilization of countries that happens after crises, development experts said during a panel at the Center for American Progress on July 13…” (Jerving, 7/19).

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Reuters Examines Philip Morris's Unlawful Efforts To Influence Cigarette Sales, Court Young Smokers In India

Reuters: Philip Morris takes aim at young people in India, and health officials are fuming
“The tobacco giant is pushing Marlboros in colorful ads at kiosks and handing out free smokes at parties frequented by young adults — tactics that break India’s anti-smoking laws, government officials say. Internal documents uncovered by Reuters illuminate the strategy…” (Kalra et al., 7/18).

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UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Discusses Challenges Of Raising Awareness, Responding To Hunger Crises In 4 Nations

NPR: Why It’s So Hard To Stop The World’s Looming Famines
“…An estimated 20 million people in four countries — Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen — are at risk of famine and starvation. And the word isn’t getting out, says Justin Forsyth, a deputy executive director of UNICEF. Speaking with NPR’s Audie Cornish on All Things Considered, he explained that politics and donor fatigue are two of the main causes…” (Columbus, 7/18).

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U.N. Deputy SG Urges Public Institutions To Embrace SDGs

U.N. News Centre: U.N. deputy chief highlights importance of public institutions in reaching development goals
“United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed [Tuesday] urged public institutions to embrace the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, reduce inequality, and tackle climate change. … She stressed that government mobilize all actors around the SDGs, and ensure that institutions are effective, accountable, and inclusive…” (7/18).

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Former MSF Deputy Discusses Challenges Of Providing Health Care Services In Conflict Zones

Devex: Q&A: Former MSF South Sudan deputy on providing health services in conflict
“…Médecins Sans Frontières have become veterans of navigating the relentless cycles of violence that uproot civilians. As people run, MSF runs after them trying to provide medical care, said former country deputy director, Julie Reserve. With more than 10 years experience in war zones, the safety risks in South Sudan were nothing new to Reserve. … Reserve plans to assume a new role on the MSF Yemen team in the coming days…” (Roby, 7/18).

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Dengue Outbreak In India's Kerala State Infects More Than 11K, Kills At Least 21

Reuters: Dengue kills 21 in Indian tourist hotspot, crisis looms
“A dengue outbreak has killed at least 21 people in India’s southern state of Kerala in the past three weeks, a government official said, adding that there was a shortage of medicines and health workers to tackle the crisis in the tourist hotspot. The mosquito-borne dengue virus … has infected more than 11,000 people in Kerala since May, forcing the state to buy new hospital beds and cancel medical staff leave…” (Jose/Jain, 7/18).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Congress Should Continue Leadership On Food Security, Reject Cuts To Foreign Aid

The Hill: Let’s not roll back bipartisan progress on global food security
Judith Rowland, U.S. policy and advocacy manager at Global Citizen

“…Laws like the Global Food Security Act are strong examples of bipartisan efforts to help modernize America’s foreign assistance programs. But, these efforts to make government more efficient could be nullified should the draconian cuts to foreign assistance proposed by the White House this May be enacted. … The imminent need for famine response and increased investment in food security initiatives that can promote resilience and prevent future disasters is profoundly clear. … As one of the largest national donors to global food security initiatives, the United States must continue to lead. Rejecting President Trump’s cuts to foreign aid is a critical first step. … [F]oreign assistance saves lives, builds economies, and keeps us safe here at home…” (7/18).

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American Principles, Ideals Should Guide Support Of U.S. Foreign Aid

Huffington Post: Maintaining a Moral Argument for Foreign Aid
Samuel A. Worthington, CEO of InterAction

“…As we continue to defend the parts of the U.S. budget that support international development, humanitarian assistance, and the promotion of democratic values, we cannot disregard the moral underpinnings behind what we do. … [W]ithout principles, foreign assistance loses its connection to American values of freedom, justice, and the idea that anyone, anywhere, should be able to live and work with dignity and up to their full potential. … When we act in a manner inspired by principles or ideals, our country succeeds in saving lives and creating a more stable world. Prominent initiatives such as the Marshall Plan, PEPFAR, and the Global Food Security Act were undertaken because they were the right thing to do. Over time, they also contributed to our security, economy, and public image. Effective foreign assistance must represent our better selves, and yes, it does advance our own well-being and keeps us safe” (7/18).

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Trump Administration Should Invest In Malaria Efforts, Prioritize Global Development Challenges

Project Syndicate: Learning from Malaria
Bjørn Lomborg, visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center

“…[G]reat strides have been made against malaria … [T]he lessons of that success can — and therefore should — be applied to other great development challenges. … [D]evoting substantial resources to smart development solutions can really change the world. … Copenhagen Consensus studies continue to show that malaria remains a great ‘investment’ — something the Trump administration should take into consideration as it considers cutting spending on the [President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI)]. … [W]e need to respond to other global challenges with similar smart investments. … In a world with no shortage of good causes, do[ing] the most good we can requires focusing on the best opportunities first. Malaria is one success. If we correctly prioritize the many other challenges we face, there could be a lot more” (7/18).

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U.S. Could Learn From Rwanda, Other Nations About Access To Health Care

New York Times: In Health Care, Republicans Could Learn From Rwanda
Eduardo Porter, writer for the New York Times column “Economic Scene”

“…[I]n some dimensions of health care, [Rwanda] gives the United States a run for its money. … Critically, Rwanda may impress upon you an idea that has captured the imagination of policymakers in even the poorest corners of the world: Access to health care might be thought of as a human right. The idea is inspiring countries from Ghana to Thailand and from Mexico to China to develop, within their political and financial limitations, universal health care systems to offer some measure of access to all. … [C]ollectively, these nations offer a few basic lessons that might help you understand how health care in the United States could be improved. One is that it is hard to finance a universal system with voluntary payments. … Another rule of thumb is that it is best to consolidate the health care system into one big risk pool for the entire population … A critical third point is that it will be prohibitively expensive to provide universal health care access without cost controls and mechanisms to pare back unnecessary care…” (7/18).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Data Collection, Tracking, Lessons From Successes Vital To End Nutrition Emergencies In Africa

World Policy Blog’s “The Africa Angle”: A New Approach to End Malnutrition in Africa
Mercy Lung’aho, nutritionist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and a 2017 Aspen Institute New Voices fellow, discusses the need for a “system that is better able to monitor and predict nutrition risks,” particularly in Africa. Lung’aho notes the importance of data collection and tracking of all relevant factors, including access to health care and child growth rates, in preventing nutrition emergencies, as well as how “we can continue to learn from solutions that have worked…”

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Gates Foundation Continues Efforts To Help Improve HIV Diagnostics, Prevention

Inside Philanthropy: Gates is Still Gunning for HIV. Here’s the Latest
Sue-Lynn Moses, global editor of Inside Philanthropy, examines the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s HIV strategy, which “has changed very little over the years.” Moses highlights the foundation’s funding of efforts to develop and distribute better HIV diagnostics and methods to administer antiretroviral drugs (7/18).

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Researchers Using Innovative Gene Editing Technique To Advance Understanding Of Cryptosporidium Parasite

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Innovation: Building New Infrastructure to Fight Neglected Diseases
Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Gates Foundation, discusses how scientists are advancing knowledge of the parasite Cryptosporidium, one of the leading causes of diarrhea among children. Mundel highlights the work of Boris Striepen of the University of Georgia, who uses the gene editing technique CRISPR/Cas9 in his research (7/18).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 316 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features articles on various topics, including a piece on funding requests focused on adolescent girls and young women, as well as stories looking at programs in Malawi, Tanzania, and the Greater Mekong delta (7/19).

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