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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Global Health Experts Propose Creation Of $2B Vaccine Development Fund

Reuters: Health specialists call for $2 billion global fund for vaccines
“Global health experts called on Wednesday for the creation of a $2 billion vaccine development fund to feed a pipeline of potential new shots against priority killer diseases like Ebola, MERS, and the West Nile virus. The fund would help bridge the gap between early stage drug discovery work carried out at universities and small biotech firms, and the late stage development and large-scale clinical trials needed to get a new vaccine to market…” (Kelland, 7/22).

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Re-Analysis Of Global Deworming Study Shows Strategy Has Little Benefit

The Guardian: New research debunks merits of global deworming programs
“Deworming children, once ranked by Nobel laureates as the fourth most effective intervention to solve the health problems of the whole world, offers very little benefit despite the millions of dollars spent on it, according to a re-analysis of evidence. … Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) have now re-analyzed the trial data and published two papers in the International Journal of Epidemiology…” (Boseley, 7/22).

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Many Young South African Women, U.S. MSM, Thai Transgender Women In Study Adhere To Daily PrEP Regimen

New York Times: Daily HIV Drug Regimen Is Effective in African Women, Study Says
“…The study, called ADAPT, found that wide majorities of young women in Cape Town, South Africa — as well as [transgender women] in Bangkok and younger gay men in Harlem — were willing and able to take the [antiretroviral] pills daily. Previous studies have shown that taking the drug, called Truvada, faithfully every day provides nearly perfect protection against HIV, even in people having regular unsafe sex…” (McNeil, 7/22).

NIH: Young South African women can adhere to daily PrEP regimen as HIV prevention
“…Although some previous placebo-controlled PrEP clinical trials in women in sub-Saharan Africa had found challenges with adherence, 76 percent of women assigned to take PrEP on a daily basis in the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 067 study adhered to the prescribed regimen. MSM and [transgender women (TGW)] from Harlem and Bangkok who participated in the study adhered to the daily regimen 65 percent and 85 percent of the time, respectively…” (7/21).

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Global Health Researchers Lack Data On Faith-Based Organizations' Health Care Services, Lancet Series Says

SciDev.Net: Faith-based care invisible to health researchers
“Christian, Islamic, and other faith-based organizations provide extensive health care in the world’s poorest places, but are invisible to global health researchers, according to a series of papers published this month in medical journal The Lancet. The result is a dearth of data about the services that organizations such as Islamic Relief and the Salvation Army provide, the articles say…” (Shuchman, 7/23).

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Water Supplies Threatened In War-Torn Yemen, Compounding Humanitarian Crisis, UNICEF Says

U.N. News Centre: As temperature soars, UNICEF helps children threatened by water cuts in Aleppo
“The restoration of water supplies to the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo has come as a welcome relief to residents whose taps have run dry in recent weeks due to the fighting and frequent power cuts, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said [Wednesday], as it stepped up efforts to assist the local population…” (7/22).

Washington Post: In Yemen’s grinding war, if the bombs don’t get you, the water shortages will
“…[M]ore than 20 million people — about 80 percent of Yemen’s population — struggle to find enough water to quench their thirst and bathe. … The crisis is compounding a humanitarian emergency that already has prompted U.N. officials and aid workers to warn of famine…” (al-Mujahed/Naylor, 7/23).

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Nigeria To Cautiously Welcome 1-Year Without Recorded Polio Case

Quartz: The world’s poorest countries could finally wipe out polio — as long as the richest ones don’t bring it back
“On July 24, 2015, it will be exactly one year since the last case of poliomyelitis was detected in Nigeria. … However, it’s too early to start celebrating. … According to [Oyewale Tomori, chairman of the expert review committee on polio eradication in Nigeria], there are two things that could cause polio to come back in Nigeria: government complacency and religious extremism…” (Merelli, 7/22).

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No New Ebola Cases Reported In Liberia, Recent West African Hotspots, WHO Says In Latest Update

U.N. News Centre: In latest update, U.N. health agency reports no new Ebola cases in Liberia
“No new cases of Ebola were reported in Liberia nor in recent hotspots in West Africa with half the 26 cases in this week’s update from the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) coming from the capitals of Guinea and Sierra Leone, bringing the number of people who have died of the disease to 11,269…” (7/22).

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China Could Introduce 2-Child Policy By Year End, Government Source Says

The Guardian: China may adopt ‘two-child policy’ this year as demographic timebomb looms
“Thirty-five years after enacting draconian birth control rules blamed for millions of forced abortions and the creation of a demographic ‘time bomb,’ China could be on the verge of introducing a two-child policy. The new regulation, under which all Chinese couples would be allowed to have two children, could be implemented ‘as soon as the end of the year if everything goes well,’ a government source was quoted as saying by the China Business News…” (Phillips, 7/23).

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Editorials and Opinions

President Obama Should Take Executive Action To Allow U.S. Funds To Support Safe Abortion Access In Some Cases

Huffington Post: It’s Time for President Obama to Listen to Women and Girls
Serra Sippel, president of the Center for Health and Gender Equity

“…Women in Kenya need access to safe and legal abortion, and [President Obama] should address this during his visit. And when he returns to the U.S. he should stand with women and girls by taking executive action to interpret the Helms amendment to allow U.S. funds to support abortion access in cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment. … Today, 71 U.S. and international NGOs called on President Obama to stand with women and girls in Kenya around the globe, and break barriers to safe abortion access. … We hope this time President Obama will listen” (7/22).

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Development Targets That Show Promise Of Most Impact Should Be Prioritized In Post-2015 Agenda

Project Syndicate: The Best Ways to Fight Extreme Poverty
Bjørn Lomborg, adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School and founder and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center

“…The Copenhagen Consensus Center, of which I am director, recently asked 60 teams of economists to evaluate the benefits and costs of [the U.N.’s proposed 169 development] targets … Trying to do 169 different things at once would be foolhardy. It would mean spending too much time and resources on lower-return priorities, instead of focusing on the targets that promise the biggest impact on the world’s poorest. In fact, our research shows that there are 19 phenomenal targets that — like freer trade — should be prioritized above all of the others. The final decision about which targets will become global policy will affect the flow of trillions of dollars over the next 15 years. In September, when world leaders gather in New York, they need to focus on the smartest ways to boost global prosperity…” (7/22).

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Associating SDGs' Benefits With Costs Could Lead To More Effective Investments In Human Development

New Yorker: How to Write the World’s To-Do List
Michael Specter, staff writer at The New Yorker

“…[Bjørn Lomborg, the president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center] argues that the U.N. is diluting its power by attempting to eliminate all problems [through the proposed SDG targets]. He is undoubtedly correct. Costs in the SDG plan rarely seem to be linked to benefits. … The DALY combines years of potential life lost owing to premature death with years of productive life lost to disability. That sort of principle, which associates benefits with costs, ought to be applied to massive investments in human development. Unfortunately, we need to choose which terrible blights we need to prevent and which we do not. People hate thinking that way (and they hate those who write about it). Nobody wants to put dollar values on a disease, a treatment, a life, an ocean, or the future of a country. But feel-good virtue alone rarely succeeds, and, if the Millennium Development Goals have demonstrated anything, it is that this planet and the people who live so tenuously on it will survive only if we spend our money on programs that work” (7/22).

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Global Community Must Sustain Momentum In Efforts To End Mother-To-Child HIV Transmission

Huffington Post: Counting Down to Zero: Progress in Ending Mother-to-Child Transmission
Chip Lyons, president and CEO of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Alanna Levine, pediatrician and spokesperson at the American Academy of Pediatrics; and Alice Lin Fabiano, director of worldwide corporate contributions at Johnson & Johnson

“…The beginning of the end of AIDS starts with eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV. The collaboration around mechanisms like the MDGs and the Global Plan [Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive] have shown what is possible when a group of varied stakeholders come together to address one of the most critical issues of our time. But we have not yet reached our goal. … Although last week’s announcement [by UNAIDS highlighting progress made in meeting the MDGs related to HIV/AIDS] is an opportunity to reflect on our progress, we cannot pause even for a moment in our efforts to end mother-to-child-transmission and to keep mothers healthy. We must continue to fight until no child has AIDS” (7/22).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

World Needs 'More Serious And Energetic' Commitment To Eliminate TB

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Successes in HIV Overshadow Failures in TB
Todd Summers, a senior adviser to the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, argues the world needs “a more serious and energetic global commitment to TB elimination.” He writes, “…There’s been progress in reducing [TB] deaths and identifying new cases, but the pace of progress is agonizingly slow…” (7/22).

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MSF Helping Improve Access To HIV Services For Men In South Africa

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Leaving No Man Behind: Improving HIV Services for Men
Sahil Angelo, program coordinator and research assistant for the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, examines Médecins Sans Frontières’ and others’ efforts to improve access to antiretroviral therapy for men living with HIV in South Africa, where “only 30-40 percent of HIV-positive men attend clinics for treatment; and those that do often present at more advanced stages of disease and are more likely to be lost to follow-up, raising their risk of dying by approximately 31 percent…” (7/22).

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Blog Post Examines Progress, Potential Of 'Power Africa'

Center for Global Development’s “Rethinking U.S. Development Policy”: Sputters or Sparks from Power Africa?
Todd Moss, chief operating officer and senior fellow at CGD, and Beth Schwanke, director of policy outreach at CGD, respond to a New York Times article published on July 22 and discuss Power Africa’s progress and future potential in contributing to accelerated access to electricity on the continent (7/22).

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'Science Speaks' Reports On Presentations Made At IAS 2015 Conference

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: IAS 2015: HIV self-testing promoted as new tool to reach first 90 of 90-90-90 UNAIDS targets
Christine Lubinski, executive director of the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses research findings presented at the International AIDS Society conference showing the potential value of using HIV self-testing among men who have sex with men (7/22).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: IAS 2015: Obstacles between diagnosis and care keep sex workers off treatment
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses IAS 2015 presentations that highlighted the barriers sex workers face in accessing HIV services (7/22).

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Pulitzer Center-Sponsored Series Examines HIV/AIDS Efforts In Tijuana, San Diego

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: HIV/AIDS in Tijuana and San Diego
In a series of articles, Science magazine reporter Jon Cohen and photojournalist Malcolm Linton report on and compare HIV/AIDS efforts in Tijuana and San Diego (7/17).

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