KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

11 African Health Ministers, WHO Officials Meet To Discuss Worst Ebola Outbreak In History

News outlets report on a WHO meeting called to discuss the ongoing outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.

Reuters: Fear, cash shortages hinder fight against Ebola outbreak
“West African states lack the resources to battle the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola and deep cultural suspicions about the disease remain a big obstacle to halting its spread, ministers said on Wednesday…” (Kpodo, 7/2).

Reuters: Experimental Ebola drugs should be tried in Africa, disease expert says
“People at high risk of dying in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak should be offered experimental medicines to see if they work, despite the drugs being not fully tested, the head of an influential global health charity said…” (Kelland, 7/2).

U.N. News Centre: ‘Leave no stone unturned’ to halt Ebola’s rapid spread in West Africa, urges U.N. agency
“Urging health authorities in West African countries affected by the largest Ebola outbreak in history to ‘leave no stone unturned’ in their efforts to contain the spread of the deadly virus, a United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) official [Wednesday] underscored the critical need to engage community, religious and opinion leaders in the region to be at the forefront of the response…” (7/2).

VOA News: African Health Ministers Meet to Address Ebola Outbreak
“Health ministers from 11 African nations are meeting Wednesday in Ghana to discuss how they should respond to the deadliest ever outbreak of Ebola. The World Health Organization is leading the two-day conference in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, after announcing that 467 people have now died from Ebola in West Africa this year…” (7/2).

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Rep. Weber Introduces Bill That Would Cut U.S. Foreign Aid With Aim Of Reducing Illegal Immigration

RTT News: GOP Congressman Proposes Cutting Foreign Aid Until Border Crisis Resolved
“Amid a surge of children attempting to cross the border, Republican Congressman Randy Weber, R-Tex., has introduced a bill that would cut off U.S. foreign aid to the countries deemed to be the source of the influx of illegal immigrants…” (7/1).

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Chikungunya Cases Continue To Rise In Caribbean

News outlets discuss chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that is becoming prevalent in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Associated Press: Virus strikes hard in Haiti’s crowded shantytowns
“…This latest scourge in Haiti is chikungunya. It’s a rarely fatal but intensely painful mosquito-borne virus that has spread rapidly through the Caribbean and parts of Latin America … Haiti is proving to be particularly vulnerable because so many people live … packed together in rickety housing with dismal sanitation and surrounded by ideal breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that carry the illness…” (McFadden, 7/3).

BBC News: Sharp rise of chikungunya virus cases in the Caribbean
“The number of suspected and confirmed cases of chikungunya virus in Caribbean countries has risen sharply over past weeks, health officials say…” (7/2).

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Number Of Food-Insecure People Will Drop 9% Worldwide, USDA Says

Wall Street Journal: Bigger Crops, Falling Prices Help Cut Global Hunger This Year
“Bigger crop harvests and falling grain prices are helping drive a significant reduction in global hunger this year, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The report examines food security for 76 low- and middle-income countries that have received food aid at some point, assessing their food production and import capacity. Overall, the annual report estimates that the number of food-insecure people — those consuming fewer than 2,100 calories a day — will fall nine percent this year to 490 million from 539 million last year…” (Gallo, 7/2).

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U.N. Recommends Actions To Reduce Food Waste

U.N. News Centre: U.N. expert panel urges collective action to reduce global food losses, waste
“A newly issued United Nations-backed expert panel report takes a close look at where and how food waste occurs and recommends a number of actions that could help reduce the 1.3 billion tons of food that are squandered worldwide each year…” (7/2).

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MDG Results 'Mixed,' U.N. Women Head Says In Interview

Xinhua/Shanghai Daily: Interview: U.N. Women chief calls MDG progress a “mixed bag”
“As the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) deadline is drawing near, the executive director of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (U.N. Women), Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, categorized the international community’s progress as a ‘mixed bag’ filled with many unreached targets…” (Parker, 7/3).

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Panel Of Experts Discusses Improving Prenatal Care In Developing Nations

Medill News Service/United Press International: Poor prenatal care driving change in developing nations
“Contraception, health care coverage, abortion-rights debates — the dominating issues in the women’s health debate in the United States also resonate internationally, especially in developing countries and areas with low resources. … [A] panel Tuesday at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington [was held] to discuss ways to improve quality and access to prenatal health care in developing nations…” (Calderone, 7/2).

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Health Care Costs In Afghanistan Force Many Further Into Poverty

IRIN: Stark choice for many Afghans: sickness or debt
“The cost of health care is throwing many poor Afghans into a cycle of debt. While most now have access to basic public health care, the quality is so low that many patients seek out private services at a higher cost than they can afford — driving some of them further into poverty…” (7/2).

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Canada Faces Challenges In Efforts To Eradicate TB, Experts Say

Globe and Mail: WHO’s goal to eradicate tuberculosis draws attention to Canadian challenges
“The World Health Organization is ramping up its efforts to wipe out tuberculosis in countries with low rates of active TB by setting a goal of eradicating the disease by 2050 in 33 countries, including Canada. Meeting that target will be a tall order for Canada, according to infectious disease experts in this country…” (Grant, 7/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Recent Policy, Legal Decisions In U.S., Other Nations Restrict Women's Reproductive Rights

The following opinion pieces address women’s reproductive health rights in the U.S. and abroad.

The Guardian: Republican family values put women’s lives in danger worldwide
Craig Lasher, director of U.S. government relations at Population Action International

“…Is it just me, or do we seem to be in retreat? This latest disregard for women — in the U.S. and overseas — is not unexpected, but it is certainly disappointing. … The fact is that family planning saves women’s lives. But in Washington these days, the facts do not matter. Last week Republicans on the House spending committee imposed a completely unnecessary cap on international family planning funding. … The health of women around the world is far too important to continue to be thrust on to the frontline of U.S. domestic culture wars” (7/2).

Huffington Post: Who Decides For Women’s Reproductive Rights?
Leila Mouri, Iranian women’s rights activist and journalist

“In a matter of one week in the U.S. and Iran, authorities have made decisions that restrain women’s right to control their bodies. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court voted in favor of permitting family companies to deny employees insurance coverage for contraception in the name of religious freedom. Whereas, Iranian MPs ratified a bill last week which in case of becoming a law criminalizes any act that promotes or employs birth control tools and methods…” (7/2).

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'Urgent' Global Action Needed To Tackle Antibiotic Resistance

Financial Times: Keep medicine out of the dark ages
“David Cameron has added his voice to increasingly urgent warnings by the world’s public health leaders about the growth of antibiotic resistance. Besides talking about a return to ‘the dark ages of medicine’ if we lose our power to kill microbes, the prime minister announced an internationally focused commission to come up with solutions to the crisis. … Whatever the … commission recommends, action is urgent. Next year should mark the start of a concerted global campaign to prevent medicine returning to the dark ages” (7/2).

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Men's Involvement In Family Planning Will Increase Women's Choices

Huffington Post: Fertility and the World Cup in Haiti
Anick Supplice Dupuy, deputy director of PSI Haiti

“…The challenge we face is how to get men to be as interested in women’s health issues as they are in soccer. … If we can give men the skills to understand the importance of supporting their partners in using family planning, then we will be helping women to make decisions about the size of their families, live up to their full potential, and play a more significant role in our society. The challenges of reducing the fertility rate of women in Haiti are real, but so are opportunities to encourage men’s understanding that the number of children they have can be a family decision…” (7/2).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

GHC Director Outlines 10 Trends Shaping Global Health

IntraHealth’s “Vital”: Ten Key Trends that Are Shaping Today’s Global Health Outlook
Christine Sow, executive director of the Global Health Council (GHC), describes a “listening tour” she embarked on when she took over the GHC and outlines 10 global health trends she discussed with experts worldwide (7/2).

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Report Urges Greater Global Effort To Stem TB

Humanosphere: The time to act against tuberculosis is now
Development blogger Tom Murphy writes, “The world needs to act now to stem the growing global public health challenges posed by tuberculosis (TB), says a new report published by the Economist Intelligence Unit. TB alone was responsible for 1.3 million deaths in 2012, making it the second mostly deadly infectious disease after HIV/AIDS…” (7/2).

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Blog Post Summarizes News Stories Discussing LGBT Rights In African Nations

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: While Uganda, Nigeria organizations confront civil society crackdowns, a reporting system offers answers, pundits ponder snubs and sanctions
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, summarizes several articles discussing the restriction of LGBT rights in Uganda, Nigeria, and Zambia (7/2).

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Blog Post Discusses Role Of Mobile Data In Development

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Big Data and How it Can Serve Development
Nirant Gupta, research analyst in global development on the financial services for the poor team at the Gates Foundation, and Jake Kendall, program officer on the same team, discuss how data — specifically mobile data — can be used in development. They also launch the “Using Mobile Data for Development” report, in which they “investigate the promise and challenges associated with mobile data analysis…” (7/2).

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