KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Senate Democrats Send Letter To U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Denouncing Reported Tobacco Lobbying

The Hill: Dems attack Chamber over tobacco lobbying
“Senate Democrats are turning up the pressure on the Chamber of Commerce over reports that the business organization is lobbying for Big Tobacco. The Chamber’s efforts to strike down anti-smoking health laws around the world are ‘craven and unconscionable,’ said the lawmakers [in a letter], led by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.)…” (Devaney, 7/2).

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More Than 34M Children Saved Since 2000 At Cost Of About $4K Each, Report Shows

The Guardian: Investment in child health in world’s poorest countries saves 34m lives
“More than 34 million children’s lives have been saved in the last 15 years at a cost, in the poorest countries, of about $4,000 (£2,500) each, say experts who have compiled a scorecard of donor and government spending on child health. … The scorecard has been put together by the world’s leading global health data collectors and analysts, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle, together with the U.N. secretary general’s special envoy for financing the health Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for malaria, Ray Chambers…” (Boseley, 7/2).

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U.N.'s Ban Calls For Rights-Based Approach To End AIDS Epidemic At Launch Of Report In Barbados

U.N. News Centre: AIDS is a ‘human rights issue,’ Ban declares, launching major new U.N. report in Barbados
“Ending the AIDS epidemic — in all places and all communities — is essential to realizing the vision of a life of dignity for all, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared [Friday] in Barbados at the Caribbean region launch of a major new United Nations report [that] calls for scaling up an inclusive, rights-based, and stigma-free response to wipe out the deadly disease…” (7/3).

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Mental Health Needs Stronger Inclusion In SDGs, Advocates Say

SciDev.Net: View on Disability: SDGs lack mental health ambition
“Depression is the second largest contributor to disability worldwide, reveals an analysis for a major health study. … Critics from the FundaMentalSDG initiative, which aims to strengthen mental health inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), argue that this evidence raises questions about why mental health is neglected in the goals, and how new ways to measure it could help galvanize the recognition and support it urgently needs…” (Mohdin, 7/3).

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Liberia Should Focus Health Care Rebuilding Efforts In Rural Areas, Report Says

VOA News: Rebuilding Liberia Health Care
“As Liberia rebuilds a health care system severely damaged by the Ebola outbreak, researchers said the nation must provide better medical services in remote rural areas. A report examining barriers to health care has been published in the online Journal of Global Health…” (DeCapua, 7/3).

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Traditional Healers Should Play Important Role In Sierra Leone's Health System, Report Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Scapegoated faith healers needed in Sierra Leone health system: report
“Traditional healers were blamed for worsening the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone, but they need to be included in any plan to improve the country’s health care and prevent such crises in future, researchers [from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI)] said on Thursday. … ‘Traditional healers are considered incredibly important in local communities. You can disagree with them as much as you want, but if you don’t work through them it’s not surprising if you then see limited results,’ [Richard Mallett, co-author of the report,] said in an interview…” (Whiting, 7/2).

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Philippines Confirms 2nd MERS Case In Foreign Traveler

Agence France-Presse: Philippines confirms second MERS case
“A foreigner who flew to the Philippines from the Middle East has become the second confirmed case of MERS in the country, the health department said Monday, as a deadly outbreak in South Korea spreads alarm across Asia…” (7/6).

BBC News: Philippine health authorities confirm new MERS case
“…Health officials said the 36-year-old man tested positive last Saturday and has been quarantined near Manila. … Authorities are now tracing 200 people who came into contact with the patient, and at least one person showing symptoms has already been quarantined…” (7/6).

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Researchers, Public Health Officials Working To Learn More About MERS After Korean Outbreak

The Lancet: Too many unknowns stymie response to MERS
“The spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome to Asia has put the public health community on trial for a lack of adequate preparedness in preventing such infections…” (Maurice, 7/4).

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U.N. Continues Humanitarian Aid Delivery To Yemen Despite Security, Other Challenges

U.N. News Centre: Yemen: despite major obstacles and insecurity, U.N. continuing to deliver aid to displaced
“The United Nations is working to deliver humanitarian aid in war-torn Yemen despite widespread insecurity, port delays, and severe restrictions on access, several of the organization’s agencies and partners confirmed [Friday], citing efforts to provide everything from emergency shelters to food and other basic necessities to tens of thousands of people displaced by fighting and airstrikes…” (7/3).

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Government-Led Campaigns Encourage Breastfeeding In China But Only 2% Of Mothers Breastfeeding Infants At 6 Months

Washington Post: China wants mothers to breastfeed, but they keep choosing formula
“An overwhelming number of young women in China are reaching for formula over breast milk prematurely to feed their newborns, despite ­government-led campaigns to promote breastfeeding as the exclusive diet of infants until ­­­six months of age. As a result, China has one of the world’s lowest breastfeeding rates, as low as two percent for infants at six months, despite a food safety scandal in 2008, involving domestic producers of powdered milk and infant formula, that sent more than 50,000 babies to the hospital and killed three…” (Thomas, 7/4).

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At Least 29 Dead In South Sudan Cholera Outbreak; With 484 Total Cases, Thousands At Risk, U.N. Warns

Agence France-Presse: Cholera deaths in South Sudan rise, thousands at risk: U.N.
“At least 29 people have died in a cholera outbreak in war-torn South Sudan with thousands more at risk of infection, the United Nations said Friday. A total of 484 cholera cases, including 29 deaths — six of them children under five — had been reported by the end of June, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said…” (7/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorials Call On U.S. Chamber Of Commerce To Stop Lobbying On Behalf Of Tobacco Industry

New York Times: Tarred by Tobacco
Editorial Board

“…[David Hakim’s recent New York Times] report found that the [U.S. Chamber of Commerce] has fought tobacco packaging, restrictions on smoking in public spaces, and taxes on cigarettes in countries like the Philippines, Jamaica, Nepal, and Moldova. … The World Health Organization estimates that developing countries will account for 70 percent of the 8.4 million people who die because of smoking-related illnesses by 2020. Now that it is clear what kind of pro-tobacco advocacy the chamber is carrying out, the organization’s members, particularly in the health care industry, ought to speak out. Do they want their names associated with such a blatant attempt to stop governments in developing countries from enacting sensible public health policies?” (7/3).

Washington Post: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce should quit lobbying for tobacco abroad
Editorial Board

“…How does advancing a product that kills people prematurely serve the interests of businesses? The chamber ought to be the first organization to grasp that smoking puts a terrible burden on societies, draining their public health and medical resources and stealing away lives that could be productive for years to come. … A chamber spokesman told us that the organization ‘is not an advocate for cigarette smoking and we know that smoking carries obvious health risks’ but that the group is opposing encroachment on business rights. Does a health warning on a pack encroach on intellectual property of a cigarette company? We doubt it. … The Chamber of Commerce should quit its global advocacy for tobacco and stand up for what really helps business: healthy workers and healthy people” (7/4).

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U.S. Government Must Mobilize International Community To Provide More Humanitarian Aid Funding

The Hill: The new normal: Why the global humanitarian system is on the verge of collapse
Rick Leach, president and CEO of World Food Program USA

“…The [World Food Programme [WFP]) and other humanitarian organizations can only respond if resources are available. Yet according to the U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator, less than 25 percent of global humanitarian needs have been funded in the first six months of 2015. That’s the lowest mid-year percentage in the U.N.’s history. The system is collapsing under the weight of rising unmet needs. … History has proven that helping victims of war and persecution leads to greater stability, prosperity, and goodwill for generations to come. The U.S. government has consistently led the world in fighting hunger and addressing humanitarian needs. Americans can be proud of this apolitical, bipartisan leadership. Once again, U.S. leadership is needed to mobilize the international community to address this ‘new normal.’ While governments may disagree on the causes and possible solutions to the conflicts, all can agree that no child should suffer from hunger and malnutrition as a consequence of these conflicts” (7/5).

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Private Sector Can Help Fill Gaps In Vulnerable Nations' Public Health Care Infrastructures

The Guardian: In global health care, quality and access are what matters — not who delivers it
Joanna Buckley and Serufusa Sekidde, development economists at Oxford Policy Management

“…Given their vulnerability, fragile and conflict-affected states simply do not have access to the large amounts of state expenditure needed to provide widespread coverage of basic [health] services. … In critically vulnerable environments, it is clearly important that we work with what is already in place to support the delivery of basic services. Private sector facilities spring up to plug the gap left behind by weak public institutions and a lack of capacity and funding. Their continued existence is testament to the demand for them. While this might not be to everyone’s ideological taste, it is sometimes the reality on the ground. In fragile and conflict-affected states, it is often the only reality…” (7/6).

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International Community Must Support WASH Efforts To Improve Global Health

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Avoidable disease: For too many, all it takes is modern sanitation
Editorial Board

“A disturbing report by the World Health Organization and UNICEF shows how something so simple and common as toilets and sanitation can affect the health and welfare of millions. According to the document released last Tuesday, only 68 percent of the world’s population has regular access to toilets, a modern amenity taken for granted by people in the developed world. … The United Nations is working on strategies to address the lack of toilets worldwide and will unveil plans in September. Solving the problem will not be easy given the rapid pace of population growth, but the alternative is a sicker and more disease-ravaged world. It’s in every nation’s interest to support efforts to spread the health benefits of modern sanitation” (7/5).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Leading U.S. Government Efforts To Enhance International Aid Transparency

USAID’s “Impact”: It’s Clear: Transparency Works
Alex Thier, USAID’s assistant to the administrator for policy, planning, and learning, discusses USAID’s efforts to be more transparent about U.S. foreign aid investments through data quality improvement and accessibility. He writes, “USAID is leading the U.S. government’s effort to enhance international aid transparency, and foster increased development efficacy and accountability…” (7/2).

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U.S. Plays Significant Role In Global Health Innovation, R&D

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Celebrating America’s contributions to global health innovation
GHTC Communications Officer Marissa Chmiola examines the U.S.’s “role in the development of new technologies to diagnose, treat, and prevent diseases and conditions impacting people living in the world’s poorest places. U.S. leadership in global health research and development (R&D) is a testament to our nation’s character, our ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit, and our dedication to improving human lives worldwide…” (7/2).

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World Should Make Investing In Global Health Top Priority

Gates Notes: Setting Targets to Save Lives
In his blog, Bill Gates discusses the importance of investing in global health under the Sustainable Development Goals, a recent Lancet report on global health investments, and the role of these investments in achieving health equity (7/2).

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Blog Posts Discuss Recent Measurement And Accountability For Results In Health Summit

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Elusive and crucial, data bring accountability and results in global health
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” shares a short video from MEASURE Evaluation summarizing discussions from “the recent Measurement and Accountability for Results in Health Summit, convened by USAID, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization…” (7/2).

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: An Opportune Time to Strengthen Health Information Systems
Cathryn Streifel, a program manager and research associate for the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses the Measurement and Accountability for Results in Health Summit and its “focus on the current state of health information systems.” She also highlights the summit’s outcome documents, the Roadmap for Health Measurement and Accountability and the 5-Point Call to Action (7/2).

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