KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Inexpensive Oral Cholera Vaccine Could Reduce Disease Burden, Help Control Spread In Urban Areas, Study Shows

News outlets discuss findings from a study evaluating the use of an oral cholera vaccine published in The Lancet.

Agence France-Presse: Cholera vaccine works in real-life trial: study
“A cheap, oral vaccine provided ‘significant’ protection against cholera in a real-life trial in Bangladesh, where the disease kills thousands every year, scientists reported on Thursday…” (7/8).

New York Times: Promise Is Seen in an Inexpensive Cholera Vaccine
“…A major study published on Wednesday in The Lancet found that the vaccine gave individuals more than 50 percent protection against cholera and reduced life-threatening episodes of the infection by about 40 percent in Bangladesh, where the disease has persisted for centuries…” (McNeil, 7/8).

Reuters: Oral cholera vaccine could speed control efforts, trial finds
“…In the first real-life trial of the vaccine, called Shanchol and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), researchers said it proved safe, easy to administer, and relatively inexpensive at $1.85 per dose…” (Kelland, 7/8).

VOA News: Cholera Vaccine Could Speed Up Global Control Efforts
“…Lead author Dr. Firdausi Qadri said the ‘findings show that a routine oral cholera vaccination program in cholera-endemic countries could substantially reduce the burden of disease and greatly contribute to cholera control efforts’…” (Pearson, 7/8).

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Loss Of HCWs To Ebola In West Africa Could Increase Region's Maternal Mortality, World Bank Warns

News outlets report on a World Bank study published in The Lancet Global Health examining the potential impacts of the West African Ebola epidemic on maternal deaths in the region.

Agence France-Presse: World Bank warns of rising maternal deaths post-Ebola
“The World Bank warned Wednesday that the loss of health care workers amid the Ebola epidemic in western Africa could increase women’s deaths from complications of pregnancy and childbirth. … According to the report, doctors, nurses, and midwives disproportionately died in the epidemic, which has killed more than 11,200 people in the past 18 months, most of them in western Africa…” (7/8).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Loss of health staff could increase maternal mortality in Ebola-hit countries: World Bank
“More than 4,000 women could die from complications during pregnancy and childbirth in Ebola-hit countries due to the loss of doctors, nurses, and midwives to the epidemic, the World Bank said on Wednesday. The loss of health workers to Ebola could increase maternal mortality in Guinea by 38 percent, 74 percent in Sierra Leone, and more than 100 percent in Liberia, the bank said in a report…” (Caspani, 7/8).

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Shortages Of Money, Staff, Trust In Officials Challenging Efforts To End West African Ebola Epidemic

Agence France-Presse: Sierra Leone extends Ebola curfews indefinitely
“Ebola-hit Sierra Leone said on Wednesday it will extend curfews placed on its worst-affected communities last month until the deadly virus has been eradicated…” (7/8).

CIDRAP News: Two more Liberia Ebola cases as Guinea, Sierra Leone log 27
“Two more Ebola infections have been confirmed in Liberia, putting the number of recent cases at five, as the outbreak region reported its highest weekly total since the middle of May — 30 — which the World Health Organization (WHO) said overshadows new gains in contact tracing and case reporting…” (Schnirring, 7/8).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Lack of people, supplies and money plague Africa’s Ebola fight: experts
“Three Ebola-stricken countries will seek nearly $700 million in aid at a U.N. conference this week to rebuild their devastated health care systems, the World Health Organization said. Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, which are all experiencing a resurgence of the deadly hemorrhagic fever, have budgeted a little more than $2 billion among them to restore their health systems…” (Gevirtz, 7/8).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola cases evade detection due to ongoing lack of trust in communities — U.N.
“The origin of the new cluster of Ebola cases is ‘not yet well understood,’ the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today about the outbreak in West Africa where a residual lack of trust in the response means that some cases still evade detection for too long, increasing the risk of further transmission…” (7/8).

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More Than 4M Syrian Refugees Have Fled Country; 7.6M Internally Displaced Within War-Torn Nation, U.N. Says

News outlets highlight the findings of a UNHCR report on Syrian refugees.

Agence France-Presse: Number of Syrian refugees tops four million: U.N.
“More than four million Syrians have fled the civil war ravaging their country to become refugees in the surrounding region — a million of them in the past 10 months alone, the United Nations said Thursday…” (Larson, 7/9).

The Guardian: Syrian refugees: four million people forced to flee as crisis deepens
“…On Thursday, the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, said the total number of Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, and other parts of North Africa stood at 4,013,000 people. With at least 7.6 million people forced from their homes within Syria, almost half the country’s people are either refugees or internally displaced…” (Jones/Shaheen, 7/9).

New York Times: Number of Syrian Refugees Climbs to More Than 4 Million
“… ‘This is the biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation,’ Antonio Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, said in a statement. Mr. Guterres, once again, warned that international aid was not keeping pace with the scale of the crisis, and that many refugees were ‘sinking deeper into poverty’…” (Cumming-Bruce, 7/9).

Washington Post: The Syrian war has now created more than 4 million refugees, says U.N.
“…The United Nations has made repeated entreaties for international humanitarian and development aid to ease the plight of Syria’s uprooted millions. UNHCR estimated it needed some $5.5 billion in 2015 alone to adequately fulfill its mission, but there is a massive funding shortfall…” (Tharoor, 7/9).

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ICRC Head Says Organization Reassessing Humanitarian Operations Under Growing Burden Of Global Crises

The Guardian: Spread of global conflict transforming humanitarian work, says Red Cross chief
“The world’s inability to deal with the proliferation of conflict driven-crises is forcing the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to shoulder an ever-larger burden and reassess the way it works, the organization’s president has warned…” (Jones, 7/8).

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Devex Examines Tobacco Taxation As Potential Innovative Funding Stream For NCDs

Devex: Can tobacco excise taxes be a boon for NCD financing?
“…Only 33 countries have so far raised taxes on a pack of cigarettes to the suggested more than 75 percent of retail price, according to a new WHO report launched this week … [This] dashes hopes for greater supplemental financing for tobacco control, and more broadly, noncommunicable diseases, whose burden is increasing worldwide but whose share of global development assistance for health is the smallest…” (Ravelo, 7/8).

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ONE Campaign Calls On Australia To Refocus Aid Goals, Allocate More To Poorest Countries

The Guardian: Australia under pressure to boost aid spending on poorest countries
“Less than one-quarter of Australia’s aid money is going to the world’s poorest nations, new analysis by aid organization ONE has revealed. … Nearly all jurisdictions received a cut to funding, as outlined in the 2014-15 May budget, but sub-Saharan Africa received one of the largest cuts, losing 70 percent of its funding. Aid group ONE wants donor countries like Australia to adopt new goals for next week’s [Financing for Development] aid conference in Ethiopia…” (Medhora, 7/8).

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North Korean Children's Lives Can Be Saved With Swift Action On Drought, Food Supplies, UNICEF Says

U.N. News Centre: With fast action to rescue staple crops ‘we can save lives’ in DPR Korea, UNICEF says
“Children are already suffering as a result of drought in some parts of the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK), where deaths of young children attributed to diarrhea have increased seriously in the first six months of 2015 in the drought-affected provinces, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)…” (7/8).

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Experts Discuss Possibility Of Woman U.N. Secretary General In The Guardian

The Guardian: Will the next U.N. secretary general be a woman?
“Mary Robinson, Nicholas Kristof, and other global experts share their thoughts on the potential repercussions of a female U.N. secretary general…” (Soussane, 7/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

MDG Successes Show Continued Efforts On Post-2015 Goals Can Lead To More Progress

Christian Science Monitor: Goals that sparked progress
Editorial Board

“…In a classic case of glass half full or half empty, most of the ambitious [Millennium Development Goals] were unmet, a disappointment. Yet these MDGs have also yielded much for which to be grateful. They have sparked a remarkable humanitarian response, resulting in millions of lives saved or improved around the world. … In September, a fresh set of goals for 2030 will be adopted at a summit at the U.N. headquarters in New York. The plan as of now is to replace the eight MDGs with 17 new Sustainable Development Goals that will include 169 targets to meet. Already prominent figures are urging that the new goals be simplified. … While the task of eliminating global poverty and disease is far from over, the progress made shows the world is headed in the right direction. With continued effort and dedication the 2030 report will have an even better story to tell…” (7/8).

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Global AIDS Risks Rebounding If Current Momentum To End Epidemic Not Accelerated

The Hill: Global AIDS report showed risks of abandoning progress
Kenneth Mayer, physician and director of prevention research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, medical research director at the Fenway Institute, and co-chair of the IDSA Center for Global Health Policy

“…The [Lancet report on the global AIDS epidemic] emphasized that without an acceleration of the current momentum to treat and prevent more infections, instead of beating the disease, we will see it rebound. … Congress has another chance to respond to the [HIV/AIDS] epidemic and to the information in The Lancet ‘Defeating AIDS, advancing global health’ report this week, when the Senate considers its annual funding bill for global health responses. President Obama, in turn also has a chance to help them by setting long overdue targets for accelerated HIV prevention and treatment efforts during the coming year. With that continued momentum, we can edge closer to the day when funding for HIV research can be cut, because it is no longer needed” (7/8).

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Innovation, Leadership, Investment Needed To Further Improve Global Family Planning

Huffington Post: Five Big Questions for the Future of Global Family Planning
Pape Amadou Gaye, president and CEO of IntraHealth International

“…It’s no coincidence that as global use of modern contraceptives rose from 55 percent in 1990 to 63 percent in 2010, global maternal mortality fell by a staggering 45 percent. … Some regions — particularly West Africa, where maternal death rates are among the world’s highest and contraceptive use among the lowest — are missing out on this progress. … So before we reach the Shangri-La of universal health coverage and family planning services for all, we have some questions to answer. 1. Who still can’t get contraception? … 2. How can West Africa catch up? … 3. What do health systems have to do with it? … 4. Who will disrupt the status quo? … 5. When will we get there? … To achieve real results, we need to reach out for new ideas and focus on what works. We need better national leadership and investment. We need to put future planning on the international development agenda. We need to tap into the great potential of status quo disruptors, and let them lead the way…” (7/8).

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Drug-Resistant Malaria Threatens To Spread Out Of Southeast Asia

Huffington Post: Resisting Resistance: What’s Next in the Fight Against Malaria?
Cameron Conaway, author

“It’s been described as a crisis in the anti-malaria community. Resistance to ACTs (artemisinin-based combination therapies), the oft-described super drug in efforts to combat malaria, have reached a tipping point. … Professor François Nosten, Director of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, has spent his career in Mae Sot, Thailand, the border area considered ground zero in this fight. If resistance continues, as it likely will, and if powerful new drugs are not able to counter the decline of ACTs, Professor Nosten fears malaria-related deaths could dramatically rise. … So what’s the alternative? Is there a promising new drug or combination of drugs on the horizon? I asked Professor Nicholas Day, director of the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Thailand…” A video interview accompanies the article (7/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post, Online Resource Highlight Global Health Funding In SFOPs Appropriations Bill

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Global health programs see little rise; family planning slashed in Senate subcommittee bill
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, highlights global health-related funding in the FY 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, approved this week by the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (7/8).

Kaiser Family Foundation: Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Approves FY 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “…Committee Majority and Minority statements indicate that funding in the bill for global health would total $8.47 billion, $287 million above both the president’s request and $14 million above the FY 2015 enacted level” (7/8).

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U.S. Plays Role In Global Efforts To Treat, Prevent Drug Abuse

U.S. State Department’s “DipNote”: Fighting Global Drug Addiction
William R. Brownfield, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), discusses the U.S. role in responding to drug-related crime and drug abuse globally and notes, “There are many challenges before us. On the heels of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we should focus on one  —  drug abuse  –  for which we have the research, science, and evidence-based practices to implement effective treatment and prevention” (7/8).

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Gavi Announces Support For Immunization Programs, Health Systems In Ebola-Hit West Africa

Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance: Gavi to support rebuilding of immunization programs in Ebola-affected countries
“Plans to rebuild immunization services wrecked by the Ebola crisis in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone will form the first stage of Gavi’s Ebola investment support and will ensure that hundreds of thousands of children who either missed out or are at risk of missing out will now receive their vaccinations. Additionally, as part of a coordinated approach to ensure the three countries are stronger and more resilient to infectious disease, Gavi is doubling its long-term support for their health systems through to 2020…” (7/7).

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Ahead Of World Population Day, IntraHealth Highlights Stories Of Health Workers

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: Happy World Population Day, to All Seven Billion of Us
Ahead of World Population Day on July 11, Margarite Nathe, senior editor and writer at IntraHealth International, highlights “10 stories on the emergencies, tragedies, and successes [of health workers] of the past year” (7/8).

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