KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

State Department, USAID Survey Shows Confusion, Frustration Among Employees About U.S. Foreign Policy Goals

Associated Press: Diplomats frustrated, confused by Trump administration
“America’s diplomats are struggling to figure out what mission the Trump administration expects them to carry out, and they see the importance of their jobs waning as President Donald Trump seeks drastic cuts to the budgets of the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development. The results of a survey commissioned by the State Department found a high level of confusion and demoralization among the ranks of career diplomats and civil servants, who expressed concerns about their futures as well as the trajectory of American foreign policy. The survey results were released to State Department and USAID employees Wednesday in a 110-page report…” (Lederman/Lee, 7/6).

Wall Street Journal: State Department Workers Vent Grievances Over Trump, Tillerson, Cite Longer-Term Issues
“…Many of the more than 35,000 State Department and USAID employees responding to the survey indicated longtime frustration with the way the agencies function, including poor technology and duplicative and redundant processes that make frequent workarounds necessary. They also cited pet projects created by ambassadors and Congress, according to the report reviewed by the Journal. USAID employees in the report said they are particularly concerned about the consequences of a move to fully absorb USAID into the State Department, which officials are considering…” (Schwartz, 7/4).

Wall Street Journal: State Department Workers Cite Numerous Concerns in Survey
“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson commissioned a survey of employees and officials of the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development, which found concerns among many of them. Here is a sampling of comments made by employees in response to survey questions and questions from the study’s interviewers, according to a report on the research seen by The Wall Street Journal…” (Schwartz, 7/4).

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Advocates In Mali Say U.S.-Funded School Lunch Programs Help Improve Student Health, Learning Capacity, Offer Stability To Villages

Devex: Mali shows impact of proposed cuts to U.S.-funded school lunch programs
“…Parents and community members say [school lunch programs like the one in Soufoulaye, Mali,] funded by the United States McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, or FFE, are responsible for raising school attendance, improving nutrition, and boosting girls’ access to education. Under the proposed 2018 federal budget of President Donald Trump, however, the FFE program could be eliminated. The ‘America First’ blueprint budget released in March cites concerns that school lunch schemes lack evidence of ‘being effectively implemented to reduce food insecurity.’ Beneficiaries in Mali, however argue that not only has this school feeding program improved student health and their learning capacity, but it has also offered economic relief and social stability to local populations…” (Roby, 7/5).

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New Consortium Of Australian NGOs Launches Public Campaign To Increase Awareness Of, Support For Family Planning Programming

Devex: Will a new campaign convince Australia to step up at the Family Planning Summit?
“…The Australian aid program from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade prioritized gender equality — with a target of 80 percent of aid investment effectively addressing gender issues in their implementation. But investment of the aid budget into family planning has been contradictory to this policy. Since 2013, the budget for aid programs supporting family planning services has been halved from $46 million Australian dollars ($35 million) to $23 million Australian dollars ($17.5 million). … In response, Australia’s International Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Consortium has begun a public campaign to drive awareness and support…” (Cornish, 7/6).

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Guardian Podcast Discusses Young People's Access To Contraceptives With Experts, Journalists

The Guardian: Why we need to get contraceptives to teenagers — podcast
“…Lucy Lamble looks at the importance of factoring the growing population of young people into the debate [over contraceptive access], and the power of family planning to affect economic development in poorer countries. She talks to Beth Schlachter of FP2020; Julia Bunting from the Population Council; Liz Ford, [the Guardian’s global development] deputy editor; Ali Kaviri, a youth rights and women’s campaigner in Uganda; Annet Nabizzizzi, a volunteer community health worker at Reproductive Health Uganda; and Annet Kyarimpa Mukabe, a coordinator for safe motherhood at RHU…” (Lamble et al., 7/6).

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More Than 1,600 Dead In Yemen's Cholera Outbreak, 276K Suspected Cases, WHO Reports

CNN: 276,000 potential cholera cases in Yemen, WHO reports
“…There have been 275,987 suspected cholera cases and 1,634 deaths from the illness between April 27 and July 5, the WHO said in a statement Wednesday. Children under the age of 15 make up 41 percent of these cases, and people older than 60 account for 33 percent of the deaths…” (Emanuel, 6/5).

NPR: Fight Against World’s Worst Cholera Outbreak Continues
“… Dr. Sherin Varkey joins us from the Yemeni capital of Sana’a. He is coordinating UNICEF’s response to the cholera outbreak…” (McEvers, 7/4).

Reuters: Yemen’s cholera death toll rises to 1,500: WHO
“The death toll from a major cholera outbreak in Yemen has risen to 1,500, Nevio Zagaria, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) representative in Yemen, said on Saturday, and appealed for more help to put an end to the epidemic…” (Mukhashaf/Aboudi, 7/1).

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Health Officials Consider Polio Immunization Campaign In War-Torn Raqqa, Syria; Pakistan Reports New Wild Polio Case

CIDRAP News: Syria, Pakistan report new polio cases
“Another child in Raqqa, the ISIS-held city in Syria, is paralyzed after being infected with vaccine-derived polio virus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). This is the second case in Raqqa reported in recent weeks. To date, there have been 24 cases of type 2 vaccine-derived polio in Syria this year. … Meanwhile, media reports from Pakistan said the fourth wild polio case has been detected in an 18-month old from the city of Chaman in Balochistan province…” (Soucheray, 7/5).

STAT: Emergency polio vaccinations considered in Raqqa following new report of paralysis
“…[T]he World Health Organization and UNICEF [are] in talks with the Syrian government over whether an emergency vaccination effort can be mounted there. … The new case, however, suggests the outbreak may be spreading in Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State, said Michel Zaffran, director of the WHO’s polio program. Officials acknowledge carrying out an emergency vaccination effort there could be exceedingly complicated…” (Branswell, 7/4).

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Following Flooding, Sri Lanka Experiences Worst-Ever Dengue Outbreak; At Least 225 Dead, 76K Infected

Associated Press: Sri Lanka’s worst-ever dengue outbreak kills 225
“Sri Lanka is suffering its worst-ever dengue outbreak, with the mosquito-borne virus killing [at least] 225 people and infecting more than 76,000 this year…” (Mallawarachi, 7/4).

CNN: Deadly dengue fever outbreak kills hundreds in Sri Lanka
“…Experts worry the death toll could yet increase, as the country’s health infrastructure struggles to cope with the virus’ rapid spread. ‘Dengue will get worse as flood waters recede further,’ Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said in comments made to state-owned media outlet Daily News…” (Gawande, 7/6).

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Former WHO Official Marie-Paule Kieny To Chair Medicines Patent Pool

Intellectual Property Watch: Medicines Patent Pool Nets WHO’s Kieny As New Chair
“Marie-Paule Kieny, fresh out of the World Health Organization, where she held the position of assistant director general for Health Systems and Innovation, will be the new chair of the Medicines Patent Pool, as of 1 September. … Kieny ‘will lead a nine-member board in guiding the foundation’s voluntary licensing and patent pooling work in HIV, hepatitis C, and tuberculosis,’ according to [an MPP] release…” (7/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Development As Critical As Diplomacy, Defense To U.S. National Security

The Hill: Why foreign aid is just as powerful as diplomacy and defense
Andrew S. Natsios, executive professor at the George H. W. Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University and director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs

“Since the Bush administration created the doctrine of the three D’s — Defense, Diplomacy, and Development — after 9/11, diplomacy and development have often been conflated as part of policymakers’ arsenal of soft power tools. Confusing the two very distinct, but equally important, disciplines does a disservice to both and has often compromised their effectiveness. … While aid programs should be coordinated with U.S. diplomacy and defense strategies, they should not be subordinated to them. Otherwise, the development challenges that pose threats to both the United States and developing countries will go unaddressed. … USAID and our foreign assistance programs have played a critical role in addressing economic crisis, disease, state collapse, and famine of the 21st century. They will continue to be effective only if they are allowed some independence to focus on what works and avoid what does not work. … Only when development is treated as equal to diplomacy and defense will its great potential be fully realized and the American people protected” (7/5).

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Cutting U.S. Foreign Aid Threatens Efforts To Address Poverty, U.S. National Security

New York Times: Letter to Editor: Aid to Africa
Abby Maxman, president of Oxfam America

“While the military leads the fight against terrorism on the battlefield, it needs strong civilian partners in the battle against the drivers of extremism: lack of opportunity, insecurity, injustice, and hopelessness. That is why cutting foreign aid is so devastating for the fight against poverty and for our national security. Worse yet, such cuts would come at a time of crisis. Today, 30 million people are at risk of famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen, and Somalia. … At a time of rising needs, any cuts to foreign aid are immoral, shortsighted, and costly, both to people in crisis and to the United States’ standing in the world” (7/5).

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Supporting U.N. Both 'Moral Imperative,' 'Aligned With U.S. National Security'

Huffington Post: A Misguided War On The United Nations
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.)

“…Supporting the United Nations is both a moral imperative and aligned with our own national security interests. But you wouldn’t know that from listening to some of the reckless rhetoric from the White House and on Capitol Hill. During her confirmation hearing, Ambassador Nikki Haley insisted that she does not believe in ‘slash and burn’ attempts to decrease U.S. funding for the United Nations. Yet, the Trump budget does just that. … When I asked Ambassador Haley what point was being made with this budget, she replied ‘to build up our military.’ But she had no defense for why such a goal had to be paid for by children around the world who rely on UNICEF for more than one-third of basic vaccinations. Furthermore, decreasing U.S. support for U.N. peacekeeping efforts will actually end up costing us more in the long run. … A unilateral retreat, which is what the president’s budget represents, would neither improve the U.N., nor make our nation more secure…” (7/5).

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Improving Access To WASH, Being 'Proactive' Vital To Preventing, Controlling Cholera Outbreaks

New Scientist: A cholera pandemic has raged for 56 years. Time to stamp it out
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…Yemen reinforces a crucial lesson: when it comes to cholera we need to be proactive, not reactive. When we know there is a very high chance that the disease will appear, we need to vaccinate as soon as possible. To do so, we will need to better understand how the infection initially spreads and which vaccination strategies would be best to prevent this. In conflict-prone areas this is even more critical, because brief periods of peace may be few and far between. And wherever it is feasible we need to improve access to clean water, hygiene, and sanitation. Ultimately, if we don’t want this pandemic to last another six decades then we need to acknowledge it and treat it as a growing threat” (7/6).

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Governments Must Implement Recommended Tools, Policies To Treat, Prevent TB

Huffington Post: How Can We Eliminate TB If We Keep Settling For Less?
Madhukar Pai, professor and director of global health at McGill University, and Deepti Chavan, MDR-TB survivor

“This week, ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Stop TB Partnership released the third edition of their report ‘Out of Step,’ based on surveys of TB policies and practices in 29 countries. The survey shows that many countries are out of sync with global policies. … The report by MSF and Stop TB Partnership … provides a vital clue as to why TB continues to wreak havoc in many low- and middle-income countries. Put simply, many countries are not implementing tools and policies that are known to be effective and life saving! … The Out of Step report … is wake-up call for the global health community, and underscores the desperate need for political will and adequate funding to tackle TB. All of us, patients, civil society, doctors, researchers, and TB controllers, should join the Step Up for TB campaign launched by MSF and the Stop TB Partnership and urge our governments to raise their ambition, and bring their TB policies and practices in line with global recommendations…” (7/5).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CSIS Report Highlights Importance Of Preventing HIV Among Young Women, Girls, Offers Next Steps For U.S. Policies

Center for Strategic & International Studies: The Next Frontier: Stop New HIV Infections in Adolescent Girls and Young Women
In this new report, Janet Fleischman, senior associate with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, and Katey Peck, program manager and research associate at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discuss the importance of preventing HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women in East and Southern Africa. They highlight U.S. efforts through PEPFAR, including the DREAMS initiative, and outline next steps for the Trump administration and Congress (July 2017).

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African Union Endorses 2 New Initiatives Focused On Training Community Health Workers, Improving Access To HIV Treatment

UNAIDS: African Union endorses major new initiatives to end AIDS
“African heads of state have endorsed two major new initiatives to help end AIDS by 2030. The community health workers initiative aims to recruit, train, and deploy two million community health workers across Africa by 2020. The Western and Central Africa catch-up plan aims to rapidly accelerate access to HIV treatment in the region and close the gap in access between African regions. The initiatives were endorsed at the AIDS Watch Africa Heads of State and Government Meeting, held on 3 July during the 29th African Union Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia…” (7/3).

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Sustainable Development Solutions Network Releases 2017 Edition Of SDG Index And Dashboards Report

SDG Index & Dashboards: 2017 Report
“The SDG Index and Dashboards Report provides a report card for country performance on the historic Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The annual report shows how leaders can deliver on their promise and it urges countries not to lose the momentum for important reforms. It is produced by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the Bertelsmann Stiftung. In order to achieve the ambitious goals, immediate and comprehensive action is needed” (July 2017).

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New Report Offers Recommendations On Monitoring LGBTI Health Needs In 2030 Agenda

Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF)/OutRight Action International: Agenda 2030 for LGBTI Health and Well-Being
This joint report discusses how Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 is relevant to the specific health needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people and offers recommendations on how to effectively monitor progress on LGBTI health needs (7/5).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC Continues Efforts To Improve Health In U.S., Abroad

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: CDC Protects People from Disease Threats and Outbreaks in the U.S. and Around the World
Carmen Villar, deputy director for policy and communications at the CDC’s Center for Global Health, discusses the agency’s efforts to improve global health, including efforts and partnerships to eradicate polio, detect and contain disease outbreaks, immunize children and adults, and ensure rapid response to outbreaks. Villar writes, “CDC’s values and guiding principles are the same as they’ve been from the beginning — working to protect Americans by rapidly detecting and containing new health threats anywhere in the world before they can come to the United States. The focus is on providing strong, effective public health systems and on training health care professionals who can identify outbreaks in their own countries to prevent those threats from crossing borders” (7/5).

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New Issue Of Global Health: Science And Practice Journal Available Online

Global Health: Science and Practice: June 2017
The June issue of the Global Health: Science and Practice online journal features articles on various topics, including a commentary on the mental well-being of health professionals in complex emergencies, an editorial on prenatal ultrasound use in low- and middle-income countries, and an article on the availability and quality of family planning services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (June 2017).

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