KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

South Korea Reports 18 MERS Cases In Outbreak; China Seeks 13 People Who Had Contact With Country's First Case

Agence France-Presse: South Korean health chief apologizes over MERS outbreak
“South Korea’s health minister apologized on Sunday for failing to halt an outbreak of the MERS virus, vowing ‘utmost efforts’ to curb the disease’s spread…” (5/31).

Agence France-Presse: China confirms ’77 people had contact with MERS patient’
“China is searching for 13 people who came into contact with the first person to enter the country with the MERS virus, health officials said, adding that 64 had already been quarantined. Eleven people who travelled on a bus with a 44-year-old man from South Korea who entered China with the disease are among the 13 that are being sought, health officials in the southern province of Guangdong said…” (6/1).

Bloomberg Business: South Korea MERS Virus Cases Rise to 18, Health Ministry Says
“South Korea said the number of confirmed cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome rose to 18, as the country’s health minister warned that this week will be critical to contain the spread of the virus…” (Kim/Kang, 5/31).

Reuters: S. Korea fights to contain MERS outbreak, considers tough measures
“…Authorities are considering a ban on overseas travel for the nearly 700 people isolated for possible infection after a 44-year-old man broke a voluntary house quarantine last week and flew to Hong Kong and then travelled to mainland China…” (Kim, 6/1).

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Activists Worry Post-2015 Development Agenda At Risk Without E.U. Deadline For Financial Commitments

The Guardian: E.U. draws fire for failing to set date for 0.7% aid target
“The E.U. has come under fire for failing to set a deadline for its own financial commitments to aid, a move that activists say could threaten wider talks on funding an ambitious development agenda. A critical funding summit in Addis Ababa in July is meant to agree how to finance development priorities for the next 15 years…” (Chonghaile, 6/1).

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Eliminating Illicit Tobacco Trade Will Advance Public Health, Sustainable Development, U.N. Says

U.N. News Centre: On World No Tobacco Day, U.N. launches fight against illicit tobacco trade to save lives
“The elimination of the world’s illicit tobacco trade will not only save millions of lives but also generate billions of dollars in windfall for governments, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) announced [Sunday] as it marked the 2015 edition of World No Tobacco Day. … Nearly 80 percent of the world’s one billion smokers live in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden of tobacco-related illness and death is heaviest, according to WHO…” (5/31).

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Beijing Implements Strict New Smoking Ban

Bloomberg Business: Beijing’s About to Roll Out Its Harshest Smoking Ban Ever
“Starting on June 1 in Beijing a blanket ban will be imposed on smoking in public places, after the city’s Municipal People’s Congress passed the tough new law in November…” (Roberts, 5/29).

CNN: Beijing rolls out China’s toughest smoking ban…but will it work?
“A tough new ban on smoking indoors rolls out across the Chinese capital Monday, with lighting up now prohibited in all offices, shopping malls, restaurants, bars, and airports. Many outdoor public places such as the areas outside kindergartens and hospitals will also be required to be smoke-free…” (Hunt, 6/1).

Reuters: China capital to roll out tough anti-smoking laws
“…Health activists have pushed for years for stronger restrictions on smoking in China, the world’s largest tobacco consumer, which is considering further anti-smoking curbs nationwide…” (Rajagopalan, 5/30).

Wall Street Journal: Women Drafted Into Beijing’s Bid to Get Smokers to Butt Out
“…This time around proponents hope to unleash a new weapon in enforcement: Women. Health officials say they’re relying on the community to help the local government enforce the ban in China’s capital…” (Brukitt, 5/31).

Xinhua News: China Focus: Beijing awarded by WHO for new smoking ban
“Beijing was honored by the World Health Organization (WHO) on World No Tobacco Day on Sunday for the city’s new smoking ban, set to take effect on June 1…” (5/31).

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Health Care Systems In Liberia, West Africa Look To Recover, Improve Following Ebola Outbreak

The Atlantic: A Liberian Hospital After Ebola
“…Redemption, Monrovia’s only free general hospital, lay at the heart of Liberia’s Ebola outbreak. Now it is a test case for whether hospitals in West Africa can change the way they operate, so a disease like Ebola never puts such a stranglehold on the region again. With help from the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Redemption has been overhauled. Its success at catching Liberia’s last Ebola patient — the country was declared free of the disease on May 9 — has raised hopes that Redemption can lead Liberia’s health system into a new era…” (DiLorenzo, 5/29).

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LAC Region Achieves MDG Hunger Targets, But Challenges Remain

Inter Press Service: Latin America’s Relative Success in Fighting Hunger
“The Latin American and Caribbean region is the first in the world to reach the two global targets for reducing hunger. Nevertheless, more than 34 million people still go hungry. ‘This is the region that best understood the problem of hunger, and it’s the region that has put the greatest emphasis on policies to assist vulnerable groups. The results achieved have been in accordance with that emphasis,’ FAO regional representative Raúl Benítez told IPS…” (Jarroud, 5/29).

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World's Fair Expo Focuses On Food Security, Sustainability, Nutrition

NPR: At World’s Fair In Italy, The Future Of Food Is On The Table
“For the next six months, Italy is hosting a dinner party — and the entire world is invited to attend. The event, called Expo Milano 2015, is the latest World’s Fair. This year’s theme is ‘feeding the planet, energy for life.’ The global population is projected to pass nine billion by 2050, and Expo organizers want to start a global conversation now about sustainability, biodiversity, and food security…” (Poggioli, 5/31).

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Activists Welcome Nigeria's Ban On FGM, Warn Attitudes Must Change To End Practice

Thomson Reuters Foundation: FGM campaigners: Nigeria ban welcome, but work not over
“Activists on Friday welcomed Nigeria’s new law banning female genital mutilation (FGM), but warned that legislation alone will not be enough to eradicate the practice…” (D’Urso, 5/29).

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More Than 2K People Die In India Heat Wave; Water Supplies Tested

Al Jazeera: India heat wave tests water supply as deaths near 2,000
“Dizzying temperatures have caused water shortages in thousands of Indian villages and killed hundreds more people over the past day, driving the death toll from a weeks-long heat wave to at least 1,826, officials have said…” (5/30).

Wall Street Journal: India Heat Wave Death Toll Tops 2,000
“The death toll from the blistering heat wave in India exceeded 2,000 on Sunday as weather officials said the sweltering conditions would persist for another four or five days…” (Agarwal, 5/31).

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WHO Needs $60M To Prevent Health Care Operations Interruptions In Iraq

Reuters: ‘Chaotic picture’ as funding gap threatens WHO operations in Iraq
“More than three million refugees and displaced Iraqis could be denied life-saving health care as the World Health Organization (WHO) scrambles to secure $60 million to fund their operations in the country to the end of the year. Without the money, health care providers in Iraq funded by the WHO and its partners could be forced to stop services — including primary health care, disease outbreak detection, and immunization — at the end of June, said Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO’s head of mission in Iraq…” (Mis, 5/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

Treating People With HIV As Soon As Possible Would Provide 'Double Benefit'

New York Times: Treating HIV Patients Before They Get Sick
Editorial Board

“…The finding [of the START trial that shows people living with HIV should begin treatment as soon as possible] raises the powerful moral question of whether global and national organizations can find the will — and the resources — to protect millions of people from deaths and diseases that could be prevented. … While costly, putting all HIV-infected people on the drug regimen would provide a double benefit. It would improve the health of those infected and, by suppressing the amount of virus in their bodies, lessen the risk that they might spread the virus to others, through unprotected sex or through needle-sharing among drug addicts. … A committee of the World Health Organization is planning to issue new treatment guidelines soon. It has good reason to recommend treatment for all infected people, even those with normal CD4 counts” (5/30).

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Political, Financial Commitments To Food Security Can Reduce Global Hunger

MSNBC: Achieving universal food security is within our grasp
Hugh Evans, CEO of the Global Poverty Project

“…Critically, G7 leaders should renew or increase their pledges to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program to help ensure agricultural productivity remains up to four times more effective at reducing poverty than growth in any other sector. In the United States, the Global Food Security Act would strengthen and codify Feed the Future, which, in 2013 alone, improved the nutrition of 12.5 million children and assisted seven million farmers and producers in improving their use of technology and land management practices. On World Hunger Day, we are reminded that 75 percent of the world’s poor live in rural areas, and that a dynamic approach to food security is needed that boosts agricultural productivity and provides nutrient-rich food. Evidence shows that with the requisite political and financial commitments accelerated, substantial and sustainable hunger reduction is possible…” (5/29).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.N. Special Envoy Examines Association Between TB, Poverty In Europe

BMJ Blogs: Michel Kazatchkine: Tuberculosis and poverty in Europe
Michel Kazatchkine, the U.N. secretary general’s special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, discusses TB eradication efforts in Europe and the disease’s link to poverty, writing, “…Different pathways, including poor and crowded conditions of living, contribute to the strong positive correlation that exists between poverty and the incidence of TB. Three highly vulnerable populations are particularly affected: incarcerated people, people who inject drugs, and migrants, all three groups of relevance to Europe today…” (5/29).

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Blog Post Examines Trail Of Money Related To West African Ebola Epidemic

Humanosphere: Lost on the Ebola money trail
In a guest post, journalist Amy Maxmen examines donor pledges and contributions to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, writing, “…Might some donor money have been better spent on the local health system? Maybe. Maybe not. But if budgets continue to be opaque, it’s impossible to learn how to optimize aid to countries that desperately need it…” (5/29).

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Tobacco Surveillance Systems Can Move Control Efforts Forward

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: If We Can Measure It, We Can Manage It: Tracking the Global Tobacco Epidemic
Lauren Bartell and Emily Ridgway discuss the use of the Global Tobacco Surveillance System (GTSS), a system “which has been internationally recognized as the global standard to systematically monitor youth and adult tobacco use and track key tobacco control indicators,” as well as the Global Adult Tobacco Survey (GATS) Atlas, which provides data using graphs and visuals to “illustrate the dynamics of tobacco use and tobacco control policies in a number of countries” (5/29).

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GHTC Blog Post Examines 21st Century Cures Act

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: 21st Century Cures Act: What the global health community needs to know
GHTC Communications Officer Marissa Chmiola discusses “the 21st Century Cures Act — a bill that aims to speed the development, approval, and introduction of new health technologies” — that “the House Energy and Commerce Committee [recently] unanimously voted to approve.” In the blog post, Chmiola “breaks down a few of the proposed changes that could matter most to global health researchers, product developers, and advocates…” (5/29).

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June 2015 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The June 2015 WHO Bulletin includes news, research, and policy articles on various topics, as well as an editorial on the Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction through a health lens (June 2015).

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