KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

CDC Director Urges U.S. Congress To Act On Zika; Obama Increases Coordination With States; Sen. Rubio Urges Lawmakers To Fully Fund Administration's Request

Associated Press: CDC director: Funding delay hurts fight against Zika
“Epidemics can spread in days and weeks and the sooner that Congress acts on Zika funding the better, a top U.S health official said on Thursday. ‘We really need to make sure that Congress acts quickly,’ Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said. … The Obama administration’s $1.9 billion request, made in February, would allow officials to continue Zika prevention efforts and begin studying long-term effects of people infected by the disease, he said…” (Foody, 6/9).

POLITICO: Obama ratchets up Zika readiness plan
“The White House intensified its coordination with the predominantly Republican governors who lead the states most threatened by Zika on Thursday afternoon, sharing the administration’s freshly completed action plan with the executives in a conference call on Thursday afternoon…” (Wheaton, 6/9).

Roll Call: Rubio Still Pushing Obama’s Full Anti-Zika Funding
“Sen. Marco Rubio is an outlier among Republicans when it comes to funding to fight the Zika virus. And in a new letter Thursday evening, the Florida Republican continued what appears to be an uphill battle to get the full level of assistance pushed by the Obama administration…” (Lesniewski, 6/9).

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Women In Countries With Active Zika Transmission Should Consider Delaying Pregnancy, WHO Guidance Says

CNN: Delay pregnancy in Zika-affected countries, WHO urges
“If you and your partner live in a country where the Zika virus is actively spreading via the bite of an infected mosquito, the World Health Organization wants you to consider delaying pregnancy to avoid having a baby with brain damage or other birth defects…” (LaMotte, 6/9).

The Guardian: WHO advises women to delay pregnancy over Zika virus threat
“…Governments of five countries, as well as Puerto Rico’s health secretary, have individually issued similar advice but this sweeping recommendation applies to the millions of people in countries where the virus has been detected…” (Holpuch, 6/9).

The Hill: New Zika warning from health leaders: Consider delaying pregnancy
“…In its strongest warning yet about the virus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said couples of reproductive age in the affected countries should be ‘correctly informed and oriented to consider delaying pregnancy’…” (Ferris, 6/9).

New York Times: Delay Pregnancy in Areas With Zika, WHO Suggests
“…The advice affects millions of couples in 46 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean where Zika transmission is occurring or expected. According to a recent study, more than five million babies are born each year in parts of the Western Hemisphere where the mosquitoes known to spread the virus are found…” (McNeil, 6/9).

Reuters: Women in areas with Zika transmission should delay pregnancy: WHO
“…The WHO issued the advice last week, but its meaning only became clear on Thursday when the health agency issued a correction to its advice on preventing sexual transmission of the virus…” (Steenhuysen, 6/9).

Washington Post: WHO: People in Zika-affected regions should consider delaying pregnancy
“…The WHO’s advice goes farther than recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has said that the government’s job is to provide the science and information and that it is up to women, their partners and their doctors to make personal decisions about the timing of a pregnancy…” (Sun, 6/9).

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Communicating Risks, Prevention Of Zika Poses Challenges For Public Health Authorities

International Business Times: Zika Virus In The U.S.: How The Outbreak Became A Public Relations Mess
“…[Zika] can cause devastating birth defects in babies, yet the majority of adults suffer no symptoms if they are infected. Communicating those risks accurately to a public informed by a fear-mongering media is a challenging, delicate endeavor. … Social media also reinforce fears resulting from this kind of coverage, which can then inspire measures, proportionate or not, to protect the public. ‘People look to certain people within their social network to validate information,’ said Josh Michaud, an associate director with the global health policy team at the Kaiser Family Foundation … If that information turns out to be wrong, ‘then you have a real recipe for disaster,’ he added…” (Whitman, 6/9).

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Ireland's Abortion Law Discriminatory, Inhumane To Women, U.N. Human Rights Committee Finds

Associated Press: U.N.: Ireland’s abortion ban is cruel, discriminatory to women
“Ireland’s abortion ban subjects women to discriminatory, cruel, and degrading treatment and should be ended immediately for cases involving fatal fetal abnormalities, U.N. human rights experts said Thursday…” (Pogatchnik, 6/9).

The Atlantic: United Nations Panel Tells Ireland to Change its Abortion Ban
“…Abortion is illegal in Ireland, except when a pregnancy threatens a woman’s life, which includes the risk of suicide. The law does not allow abortions in cases of incest, rape, congenital defects, or when it is known the fetus will not survive outside of the womb…” (Koren, 6/9).

U.N. News Centre: Ireland: U.N. experts urge amending abortion ban subjecting women to suffering and discrimination
“…The independent experts, from the Geneva-based Human Rights Committee, issued their findings after considering a complaint by [a] woman … who was told in November 2011 when she was in the 21st week of pregnancy that her fetus had congenital defects, which meant it would die in the womb or shortly after birth. This meant she had to choose ‘between continuing her non-viable pregnancy or traveling to another country while carrying a dying fetus, at personal expense and separated from the support of her family, and to return while not fully recovered,’ the committee said in a press release…” (6/9).

Washington Post: A U.N. judgment says Ireland’s anti-abortion laws are a violation of human rights
“…In a 29-page report, the committee said [the woman’s] human rights had been violated. The language the report used to castigate the Irish government was strong. It said Ireland’s ban on abortion subjected a woman carrying a fetus with a fatal abnormality to discrimination and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment…” (Bearak, 6/9).

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World Bank President Jim Kim Speaks With PBS NewsHour About Pandemic Financing Facility, Humanitarian Crises

PBS NewsHour: World Bank creates new fund to enable faster disaster response
“…[T]he [World Bank] is creating a fast-disbursing fund to provide assistance during pandemics. Hari Sreenivasan spoke recently with the bank’s president, Jim Yong Kim, about that and other humanitarian crises…” (Woodruff, 6/9).

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WHO Proposes Lower-Dose Yellow Fever Vaccinations To Stretch Supplies

Reuters: In yellow fever war, WHO readies plan to stretch vaccine supply
“The worst yellow fever outbreak in decades, which has killed 325 people in Angola and spread as far as China, has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to draw up plans to eke out vaccine supplies by using one-fifth of the normal dose…” (Hirschler, 6/9).

STAT: Running low on yellow fever vaccine, WHO ready to propose smaller doses
“…The proposal comes amid a debate over whether a lower dose would be sufficient to provide protection to children. Concern about the limited global supply of yellow fever vaccine has been mounting over the past few months as a large and still-spreading outbreak in Angola has seeded cases into Kenya, China, and the Democratic Republic of Congo…” (Branswell, 6/9).

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Preventive Malaria Treatment Helps Protect Many Children In Sahel Region, Experts Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Drugs work “like magic” against malaria in Africa’s Sahel, experts say
“When health workers ordered malaria drugs last year to protect millions of children in Africa’s Sahel region from the deadly disease, the only company making them could not deliver enough. … Although the project organizers could only reach 3.2 million of the region’s 25 million children under five years old last year, they believe they saved many lives. Preliminary results from two countries — Gambia and Senegal — show the number of malaria cases fell more than 60 percent…” (Whiting, 6/9).

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Children In DRC Dying Of Malaria Because Parents Cannot Afford Treatment, MSF Warns

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Malaria “out of control” in Congo with sick children dying at home — charity
“Malaria in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is ‘out of control’ with many parents letting their sick children die at home because they cannot afford treatment, a medical charity said as it ramps up its emergency response. Children under 13 made up 80 percent of the 45,000 malaria outpatients Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated in the last four weeks in Haut-Uele Province in northeastern DRC…” (Migiro, 6/9).

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Gates Foundation CEO Susan Desmond-Hellmann Talks About Zika, Global Health Security, Other Issues In WSJ Video Interview

Wall Street Journal: Viewpoints: Desmond-Hellmann of The Gates Foundation
In this 28-minute video, “Susan Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, speaks to WSJ’s Rebecca Blumenstein about the Zika virus, drug pricing, and common core” (6/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.N. Secretary General Must Take Responsibility For, Act To Mitigate Haitian Cholera Outbreak

The Lancet: Dear Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Editorial Board

“…We applaud the considerable work that the U.N. has done since 2010 to improve hygiene standards for peacekeepers and support immunization campaigns. But we are distressed by reports that less than 20 percent of the funds pledged by the U.N. after the [Haitian] outbreak to eradicate cholera have been raised. … Calls for you to do more are intensifying. … Failing to accept the U.N.’s responsibilities sets a poor example for the Haitian government to assume theirs … Your own human rights advisers have implored you to respond. Instead, the U.N. continues to say it is immune from these claims. … The U.N. has enormous power to act. But its power to ignore is what prevails here. We hope you can address this issue. Please endorse the facts. Please acknowledge the injustice. Please apologize for the indifference. Responsibility is not about vengeance, but about accountability from which needed reparation and reconciliation can flow. The U.N. has long emphasized the need for accountability — we urge you to make this a final act in your celebrated career as secretary general” (6/11).

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'People-Driven' Strategy Critical To Ending AIDS, TB, Malaria By 2030

Thomson Reuters Foundation: A people-driven plan to end epidemics
Anita Asiimwe and David Stevenson, former Global Fund board members

“…With ending the three epidemics by 2030 as an agreed goal, sustainability of Global Fund support is essential, so the [Global Fund] strategy considers resilient and sustainable systems for health as the foundation for success. … To achieve greater progress, the partnership must be more innovative in investing in a diverse landscape. … [W]e have emphasized the benefit of putting communities and countries first … The strategy’s aspirations will come to naught if there are not enough resources to implement it. … We believe that having a map and the means to get to a destination is crucial, but more important is being able to put the roadmap and the resources to good use. Just as we reached out to diverse groups for inputs into the strategy, we will need them to deliver on its implementation. We started with a people-driven process of producing the strategy and we must now act together as a stronger partnership until we end the diseases for good” (6/9).

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Addressing Challenge Of Food Waste Critical To Sustainable Development

Huffington Post: The Immorality of Food Waste
Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety

“…[Food waste] is indeed one of the most critical challenges facing the world over the coming decades. Despite dwindling resources, the erosion of soil, and the impact of climate change amongst other problems, we must be in a position to feed 10 billion people. This makes strengthening food sustainability, food security, and the nutrition potential of our food systems a matter of urgency. … Fighting food waste requires concrete action on the ground by all players. … [A] lot can be done if we take measures to clarify and — wherever possible — lift any barriers that prevent the safe use of food resources in the food and feed chains and will develop, in cooperation with [E.U.] Member States and stakeholders, guidelines to facilitate food donation in the E.U. … [W]e will continue raising awareness so that each of us becomes more responsible…” (6/9).

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Sweden Committed To 4 Areas Integral To Achieving Sustainable Development Goals

Huffington Post: First Generation to Eradicate Poverty
Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s minister of international development cooperation and climate and deputy prime minister, and Gustav Fridolin, Sweden’s minister for education

“…[T]he world so far has failed to deal with the greatest challenges of our time. The world needs countries that are willing to lead the way toward the fulfillment of the Agenda 2030. We are proud to declare that Sweden is committed to be such a country. Four areas are especially important in fulfilling the agenda: Including youth … Climate … Feminism … Coherence. … We now have 15 years ahead of us to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030. We are convinced that it is possible to achieve the goals and to create a better future for us all. But we need to get to work at once, and we need to do it together. We are convinced U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is right: We are the first generation that could end poverty and the last one to limit climate change. Let us jointly rise to that challenge” (6/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

PEPFAR Announces Investment Fund To Expand Access To HIV Services For Key Populations

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: HLM 2016 AIDS: PEPFAR directs $100 million to reach gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, people who inject drugs, and prisoners
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses PEPFAR’s announcement of “the creation of a fund to expand outreach and services for … ‘key populations’ … including gay men and other men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers, and people who inject drugs, and prisoners” (6/9).

United States Mission to the United Nations: Remarks at the 2016 United Nations High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS
In a statement delivered at the 2016 U.N. High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. global AIDS coordinator and U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy, said, “This Investment Fund will support innovative, tailored, community-led approaches to address these critical issues and gaps that exist for key populations in the HIV/AIDS response. This Investment Fund will work to identify, measure, and change the complex dynamics driving stigma and discrimination. It will support multi-year and comprehensive approaches to ensuring key population-led community-based organizations are directly funded to develop and improve their capacity for sustainable HIV responses at the local level, driven by data and accountability” (6/9).

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Global Nutrition Report Examines Underlying Causes Of, Challenges To Ending Malnutrition By 2030

Food Tank: What Will it Take to End Global Malnutrition by 2030?
Alexina Cather of the New York City Food Policy Center discusses findings from the upcoming Global Nutrition Report, From Promise to Impact: Ending Malnutrition by 2030, writing, “This independent annual review explores the state of nutrition in the world, the underlying determinants of malnutrition, and the individual and societal challenges that accompany the global health crisis.” Cather notes the official launch of the report will take place on June 14 (6/9).

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