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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

South Korea Reports 122 MERS Cases, 10 Deaths; WHO Working With Government On Prevention, Control Measures

New York Times: South Korean Hamlet, Under MERS Quarantine, Symbolizes Weaknesses in System
“No one in this tiny village of 73 households can leave. … Jangdeok represents the most extreme of the quarantine measures that embarrassed South Korean authorities have scrambled to assemble in recent days to stop the disease, known as MERS, from spreading further through the suddenly exposed loopholes of the public health system…” (Sang-Hun, 6/10).

Reuters: South Korea reports 14 new MERS cases, takes total to 122
“South Korea’s health ministry on Thursday reported 14 new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), taking the total to 122 in an outbreak that is the largest outside Saudi Arabia…” (Park/Kim, 6/10).

Reuters: South Korea cuts rates as MERS clouds outlook; 10th patient dies
“A deadly outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) forced South Korea to cut interest rates on Thursday in the hope of softening the blow to an economy already beset by slack demand, as authorities reported 14 new cases and a 10th fatality…” (Park/Yoo, 6/11).

Scientific American: MERS Outbreak in South Korea Will Taper Off, Experts Say
“…Although experts do not think the virus spreads through the air, infections in hospitals have occurred in patients that shared the same room or waiting room, even if they were up to two meters apart. Doctors suspect that the use of the same medical instruments on infected and uninfected patients might be responsible for these transmissions…” (Ponchner, 6/10).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency begins review of MERS outbreak in Republic of Korea
“A joint mission by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) and the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare to review the situation regarding the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has begun its work in Seoul, the agency confirmed [Wednesday]…” (6/10).

WHO Western Pacific Region: Joint mission to Republic of Korea on MERS-CoV begins well
“…[Keiji Fukuda, WHO assistant director general for health security, who is co-leading the mission,] said that current efforts to control the outbreak and prevent further spread are being intensified. WHO has been working closely with the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on response measures since the outbreak began…” (6/10).

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Ebola Case Numbers Rise In Guinea, Sierra Leone, Stoking Fears Of Disease Resurgence

Agence France-Presse: Ebola spikes again in Guinea, Sierra Leone: WHO
“The number of Ebola cases has risen in Guinea and Sierra Leone for the second consecutive week, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. In Guinea, 16 new cases were found in the week ending June 7, with 15 more found in neighboring Sierra Leone…” (6/10).

The Guardian: Charities fear Ebola resurgence after spike in cases
“…The spike in infections comes weeks after the World Health Organization reported a 10-month low, with just nine cases in both countries in the week ending 10 May. … The spike has also been blamed on not just porous borders but a return to traditional burials, which had been banned after they were identified as one of the key factors in the spread of Ebola earlier in this epidemic…” (O’Carroll, 6/11).

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Ghana Halts Experimental Ebola Vaccine Trial; Latest Setback In Efforts To Test Candidates

PBS NewsHour: How close is the Ebola vaccine?
“The quest for an Ebola vaccine has been a journey filled with excruciating delays and mad dashes. The latest outbreak in West Africa caused governments and drug companies to jumpstart research that had languished back when the threat of Ebola wasn’t big enough to sustain a commercial market…” (Hellerman, 6/10).

Reuters: Ghana halts Ebola vaccine trial due to community protests
“Ghana has halted a plan to test two Ebola vaccines in an eastern town after legislators backed local protests against the trials sparked by fears of contamination, officials said on Wednesday…” (Kpodo, 6/10).

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UNAIDS, A.U. Joint Report Addresses HIV Prevention, Treatment Among African Women, Girls

U.N. News Centre: Women and girls in Africa ‘being left behind’ in fight against HIV/AIDS — U.N. report
“…In order to guide regional and global advocacy and inform political dialogue on HIV prevention and treatment among young women and adolescent girls, UNAIDS and the African Union have launched a joint report entitled Empower young women and adolescent girls: Fast-Tracking the end of the AIDS epidemic in Africa. The document outlines three political commitments to advance the rights and empowerment of Africa’s young women and girls to help fast track an AIDS response firmly rooted in gender equality and social justice…” (6/10).

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International Community Needs To Invest More In Development, Equality, U.K.'s Greening Says

The Guardian: Justine Greening: The days of ignoring poverty because it’s far away are over
“The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Mediterranean migrant crisis, and the enduring terror threat have shown prosperous countries that ‘the days of being able to simply ignore poverty around the other side of the world are over,’ according to the [U.K.] international development secretary, Justine Greening. Greening … said the international community needs to work harder to ‘level up’ the world by investing more in development, opportunity, and equality…” (Jones, 6/10).

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Some Experts Say Critical Analyses Of Gates Foundation's Global Health Funding Needed, Vox Reports

Vox: The media loves the Gates Foundation. These experts are more skeptical.
“…To be sure, plenty of experts think the Gates Foundation does important work in fighting neglected diseases and boosting vaccinat[ion] rates in children. The foundation has taken private funding for global health to an unprecedented level, giving away more than $30 billion with an emphasis on data-driven decision-making. … But precisely because the private organization is so large and influential, some researchers say, critical analysis is so much more important…” (Belluz, 6/10).

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Vatican Official Calls For Measures To Improve Access To Medicines, Vaccines In Developing Nations

Vatican Radio: Holy See: Poor countries need better access to medicines
“The Vatican has called for waivers for the least-developed countries from certain obligations of intellectual property treaties in order to give them better access to essential medicines and vaccines. Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, permanent representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva, said this [is] particularly needed to help fight HIV/AIDS…” (6/10).

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U.S. Will Maintain Technical Presence In South Africa's AIDS Programming, Ambassador Says

News24: U.S. to remain involved in SA’s fight against AIDS
“…U.S. Ambassador Patrick Gaspard said [on the sidelines of the South African AIDS Conference in Durban that] while the world’s largest economy and South Africa’s biggest donor in fighting HIV/AIDS is slowly reducing their financial aid, the U.S. intends [on] maintaining a technical presence, staying involved at grassroots level and youth ­development…” (Erasmus, 6/11).

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Despite International Assistance, South Sudan Running Out Of Money, Facing Food Insecurity Amid Civil War

Wall Street Journal: World’s Newest Country Struggles to Survive
“South Sudan is running out of money, which along with a civil war and mass food shortages is putting the world’s youngest country at risk of becoming its youngest failed state. In the past two years, the U.S. government has spent more than $1 billion to try to help stave off escalating violence in South Sudan, government figures show. Other Western countries have also given massive amounts. … But the South Sudanese government has run through its cash reserves and is trying to pay for a war with credit and a trickle of oil money…” (Vogt, 6/10).

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Drop In Crop Production Due To Drought Could Lead To Food Shortages In North Korea

International Business Times: Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea Faces Historic Famine As Drought Threatens Crop Production
“A drought in North Korea could shrink the isolated country’s crop production by as much as 20 percent, South Korea’s Ministry of Unification said Tuesday. The country, which often faces food shortages, is in the middle of one of its worst droughts in years…” (Marcin, 6/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

NEJM Perspective Piece Examines TPP's Potential Impact On Health Policy Issues

New England Journal of Medicine: The Trans-Pacific Partnership — Is It Bad for Your Health?
Amy Kapczynski, professor of law at Yale Law School and faculty director of the Global Health Justice Partnership

“International trade deals once focused primarily on tariffs. As a result, they had little direct effect on health, and health experts could reasonably leave their details to trade professionals. Not so today. Modern trade pacts have implications for a wide range of health policy issues, from medicine prices to tobacco regulation, not only in the developing world but also in the United States. The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) is a case in point…” (6/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation Analysis Examines Global Health Components Of House SFOPs Bill

Kaiser Family Foundation: House Appropriations Committee Releases FY 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill
According to the foundation’s analysis of the House Committee on Appropriations’ FY 2016 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations bill, which includes funding for U.S. global health programs at USAID and the State Department, “Funding in the bill for global health would total $8.454 billion, $273 million (3%) above the President’s request and matching the FY 2015 enacted level…” The analysis outlines funding contained in the bill by agency and program area (6/11).

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Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Updated Primer On U.S. Engagement In Global Health

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government Engagement in Global Health: A Primer
This updated primer provides a comprehensive overview of the U.S. government’s engagement in global health issues. Specifically, the document includes basic information about global health challenges; provides a brief history of the evolving response from the U.S. government and other stakeholders; describes the U.S. agencies and programs involved in global health and the federal budget supporting these efforts; explores how the U.S. engages with multilateral organizations; and outlines current global health policy issues facing the U.S. government (6/10).

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U.S. Feed The Future Initiative Making Strides In Improving Global Food Security

Feed the Future Blog: Meet the U.S. Government Team Making a Difference in the Fight to End Global Hunger
Richard Greene, acting assistant to the administrator in the USAID Bureau for Food Security, writes about the efforts of “Feed the Future, the U.S. government’s cornerstone global hunger and food security initiative. … Later this year, we’ll be releasing new data that show some important declines in rates of poverty and child stunting in the countries where Feed the Future works…” (6/9).

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USAID Adviser Discusses Social Mobilization, Behavior Change Communication In Ebola Response

USAID’s “Impact”: Q&A: How Changing Behaviors is Helping Stop Ebola’s Spread in West Africa
Clara Wagner, a former intern for USAID’s Bureau of Legislative and Public Affairs working on content and public engagement, interviews Kama Garrison, a senior public health adviser for USAID’s Neglected Tropical Disease Program, about her work on social mobilization and behavior change communication during the Ebola response effort in West Africa (6/10).

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WHO Marks World Blood Donor Day, Underscores Need For Voluntary Blood Donations

WHO: WHO calls for increase in voluntary blood donors to save millions of lives
In a news release in advance of World Blood Donor Day, the World Health Organization discusses the importance of increasing voluntary blood donations around the world and improving the safety and accessibility of blood and blood products (6/11).

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Blog Post Discusses XDR-TB Case In U.S., Challenges Of Treating Disease

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: XDR-TB patient in U.S. highlights global reach of infectious disease
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) in light of the identification of a women with XDR-TB who traveled from India to the U.S. (6/10).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash discusses the Stop TB Partnership’s launch of an online consultation process for the development of the Global Plan to Stop TB 2016-2020; efforts to expand viral load testing; the status of the fund’s strategic review process; and tracing TB cases in South Africa (6/10).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.