Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines PEPFAR's Plans To Cut Funding In Kenya, Tanzania

Devex: What’s behind PEPFAR’s funding cut threats?
“As it wraps up its latest funding round, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is prepared to introduce unprecedented cuts to country programs in sub-Saharan Africa, designed to spur domestic policy changes and programmatic improvements. But observers warn that if enacted, the cuts could undermine advances those countries have made against the HIV epidemic, particularly among marginalized communities that struggle to access health services. … Planned spending in Kenya fell from $505 million in [the FY 2018] Country Operational Plan to $350 million in [the FY 2019] plan. Tanzania fell from $512 million to $395 million. … With these cuts, PEPFAR is intensifying its message that if a country is not making progress toward specific targets, either for programmatic or policy reasons, then the money will go elsewhere. ‘This last COP round has been more of a heavy hand,’ Jen Kates, director of global health and HIV policy at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, told Devex…” (Green, 6/11).

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Nigeria's Government, Population Must Work Together With Institutions, Programs Such As PEPFAR To Curb HIV/AIDS, U.S. Diplomat Says

Premium Times: What Nigeria must do to combat HIV/AIDS — U.S. Diplomat
“In order to curb HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, a diplomat from the United States has appealed for concerted efforts from all Nigerians saying the war against the disease cannot be fought by institutions alone. … [United States Ambassador to Nigeria Stuart Symington] said the war against the disease cannot be fought by one institution or group of officials ‘tasked by the government,’ ‘people, not programs solve problems and they only do it by working together’…” (Adedigba, 6/11).

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Devex Examines Organizations' Communications On Climate Change, Reproductive Rights, Refugee Crises In Trump Era

Devex: On Message: Communications in the Trump era
“Since taking office, U.S. President Donald Trump has made Twitter akin to his press office — he uses it to make official statements on issues, to fire government officials, and share his opinions on his enemy of the day — or week. As a result, the media, public officials, and even Cher, have taken their engagement with President Trump and his administration to the modern ‘public square.’ … I was curious to see how the public debates of climate change, reproductive rights, and refugee crises have impacted the communicators at organizations working on these issues. Several communications officials I spoke with asked to remain anonymous, but here’s what I learned…” (Umuhumuza, 6/11).

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DRC Ebola Outbreak Potentially Slowing With Fewer Weekly Cases Reported, WHO Says

CIDRAP News: DRC daily Ebola totals show possible signs of slowing
“Over the weekend and through [Monday] the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) reported 23 new Ebola cases, 2 of them in health care workers and one involving a reintroduction of the virus into an earlier affected area. In a related development, a snapshot from the World Health Organization (WHO) African regional office notes a continued decline in weekly cases, which it says is encouraging…” (Schnirring, 6/10).

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Dengue Likely To Impact 60% Of World's Population By 2080 As Mosquito Range Spreads Due To Climate Change, Study Predicts

New York Times: How Dengue, a Deadly Mosquito-Borne Disease, Could Spread in a Warming World
“Climate change is poised to increase the spread of dengue fever, which is common in parts of the world with warmer climates like Brazil and India, a new study warns. … The study, published Monday in the journal Nature Microbiology, found a likelihood for significant expansion of dengue in the southeastern United States, coastal areas of China and Japan, as well as to inland regions of Australia…” (Pierre-Louis/Popovich, 6/10).

The Telegraph: Urbanization will make ‘break-bone’ fever one of the most common diseases of the century, say experts
“…Dengue virus — also known as ‘break-bone fever’ because of the joint pain it causes — will threaten 60 percent of the world’s population or six billion people by 2080, a new study predicts. … The incidence of the disease is also predicted to jump in southern Europe, although the study’s authors say health authorities should be able to prevent widespread outbreaks here. The paper … is the first to look at the spread of the mosquito as the key driver of dengue, rather than just climate change, which previous studies have focused on…” (Gulland, 6/10).

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STAT Examines Pandemic Influenza Preparedness 10 Years After Swine Flu Outbreak

STAT: The last pandemic was a ‘quiet killer.’ Ten years after swine flu, no one can predict the next one
“…[A] decade onward, the experience of H1N1 is a reminder that it’s impossible to know from the get-go how a pandemic will play out. Science currently has no way to predict when pandemics will occur. The fact that there were 41 years between the 1968 pandemic — known as the Hong Kong flu — and the 2009 pandemic doesn’t mean the next will take another 30 years or so to materialize. There is no pattern; flu pandemics happen when they happen, and pandemic planning is ever ongoing…” (Branswell, 6/11).

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Botswana High Court Unanimously Overturns Colonial-Era Laws Criminalizing Homosexuality

New York Times: Botswana’s High Court Decriminalizes Gay Sex
“Botswana’s High Court ruled on Tuesday to overturn colonial-era laws that criminalized homosexuality, a decision hailed by activists as a significant step for gay rights on the African continent. … Three judges voted unanimously to revoke the laws, which they said conflicted with Botswana’s Constitution…” (de Greef, 6/11).

Washington Post: Botswana legalizes homosexuality, striking down colonial-era laws
“…Reading the unanimous ruling of a panel of judges in front of a packed courtroom, Justice Michael Leburu said that sexual orientation ‘is not a fashion statement’ and that the laws as they stood violated citizens’ rights to privacy and freedom from discrimination. While seldom enforced in Botswana, the laws carried the possibility of up to a seven-year jail sentence…” (Bearak, 6/11).

Additional coverage of the Botswana High Court ruling is available from Al Jazeera, Associated Press, BBC News, CNN, and The Guardian.

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Treating High Blood Pressure, Reducing Sodium, Trans Fat Intake Could Prevent 94M Early Deaths Worldwide, Study Estimates

The Independent: Tens of millions of premature deaths could be avoided by cutting out salt and trans fats, study finds
“Cutting down on salt, getting rid of trans fats, and treating high blood pressure could prevent almost 100 million premature deaths globally, a new study has revealed. … At the forefront of the plan would be to increase the use of blood pressure medications, many of which are safe and affordable. … Regions expected to benefit most from the targeted interventions include East Asia, the Pacific, and South Asia, as well as countries in sub-Saharan Africa…” (Forrest, 6/10).

UPI: Lowering blood pressure, sodium intake may prevent 94 million early deaths
“…Experts estimate increasing high blood pressure treatment to 70 percent of the world’s population could increase the lifespan of nearly 40 million people, according to a study published Monday in Circulation. Reducing sodium intake could extend the lives of another 40 million people, and eliminating trans fats could cut nearly 15 million premature deaths due to cardiovascular disease…” (Dyson, 6/10).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: Companies pushed baby formula in Peru despite ban (6/10).

Associated Press: When disaster hits, Indonesia’s Islamists are first to help (Wright, 6/11).

BBC News: Big data ‘can stop malaria outbreaks before they start’ (Galpin, 6/10).

Devex: Tech solutions to fight fake medicines (Ravelo, 6/11).

Devex: Q&A: Serve the farmer first, says 2019 World Food Prize winner (Lieberman, 6/10).

The Economist: Drone deliveries are advancing in health care (6/11).

Global Health NOW: Mothers Coping with Prolonged, Complicated Grief (Santos, 6/9).

Nature: Russian biologist plans more CRISPR-edited babies (Cyranoski, 6/10).

New Humanitarian: Drought in Africa leaves 45 million in need across 14 countries (Anyadike, 6/10).

PolitiFact: No, illegal immigrants and refugees are not causing six eradicated diseases to come back (Putterman, 6/10).

PRI: In Nigeria, Twitter therapists and ‘tuk-tuk’ counselors make up for a gap in mental health care (Adeshokan, 6/10).

The Telegraph: Young, disabled and determined: daily discrimination in the developing world (6/10).

The Telegraph: Superbugs: How the world’s rivers have become flooded with antibiotics (Wallen, 6/10).

Washington Post: Living with HIV means increased risk of heart disease (Rapaport, 6/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Should Champion Proposal For World Bank To Allocate More Funding To Disease Outbreak Preparedness

Fox News: Drs. Thomas Frieden, Margaret Hamburg: There’s a limited window to make America safer from epidemics
Tom Frieden and Margaret Hamburg, members of the CSIS Commission on Strengthening America’s Health Security

“…In one week, the World Bank will decide how to allocate more than $50 billion in development funding to lower income countries. The World Bank should dedicate some of its International Development Association (IDA) funds — say, 5 percent, or about $1 billion per year over three years — to help countries become better prepared for infectious disease outbreaks. The United States delegation should champion this initiative and insist on both fundings for preparedness and accountability for progress. … Disease outbreaks can wipe out years of investments and severely damage development. Economic losses can dwarf the cost of response … Because of its global reach, the World Bank is in the best position to take the lead on this critical effort, but the United States delegation has one week to make sure it does so at its annual meeting on June 17. The total needed to close preparedness gaps is estimated at about $4.5 billion annually, less than $1 per person per year. An additional $1 billion infusion each year for the next three years will provide a tremendous jump start — and is a bargain the United States cannot afford to miss” (6/10).

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Trump Administration's Restrictions On Fetal Tissues Research Could Threaten Advancement Of Medical Discoveries, Improvements, Opinion Piece Says

Washington Post: Fetal tissue research like mine saves children’s lives. Banning it is dangerous.
Carolyn Coyne, professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

“…[T]he only certain consequence of the new [Trump administration] policy [on the use of human fetal tissue for medical research] is that it will impede medical discoveries that could advance new treatments to save the lives of infants, the very lives those in favor of this policy claim they are trying to protect. … To say that the new government restrictions could be devastating to scientific research in the United States is an understatement. As a consequence of this policy, our ability to understand and fight many types of human disease may be significantly slowed or completely halted. … The use of fetal tissue has led to fundamental discoveries including improving treatments for HIV, defining the cellular components associated with Alzheimer’s disease, identifying the placental cell types targeted by pathogens associated with fetal disease, the development of treatments aimed at improving dementia or other neurodegenerative disorders, and the development of vaccines that have saved the lives of millions. … [T]the debate on whether fetal tissue should be used for medical research appears to be based far more in politics than in a desire to improve human or infant health…” (6/11).

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Addressing Cervical Cancer Globally Requires Scaling Up HPV Vaccination, Expanding Screening, Treatment For Women

New York Times: We Have the Resources to Prevent Cervical Cancer. Do We Have the Will?
Mia Armstrong, 2019 graduate of Arizona State University and winner of Nicholas Kristof’s 2019 ‘win-a-trip’ contest

“…Although cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer for women globally, claiming more lives than pregnancy and childbirth, we can save those lives if we can only summon the will. Health experts say that the battle against cervical cancer has two fronts. First, we need to scale up HPV vaccination to prevent cervical cancer. Second, we need to expand screening and treatment for women now in danger. These are relatively affordable, straightforward interventions that can make a big difference in a lot of lives. … But here’s the problem: Only around 25 percent of 10-year-old girls live in countries that have introduced the HPV vaccine, according to WHO estimates from October 2018. … [C]hallenges [to vaccine implementation] are not insurmountable. … If vaccines are the sword in the battle of eliminating cervical cancer, screening initiatives are the shield. … While the Pap test is effective if conducted regularly, it requires a medical structure often lacking in poor countries. So public health experts have experimented with two other screening tests, one that uses vinegar to identify cancer and precancerous lesions, and another that uses DNA to identify HPV infections that could cause cervical cancer. They’re both useful…” (6/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

PLOS Medicine Examines Impact Of 'Treat All' Policies On Uptake Of HIV Treatment In 6 African Countries

PLOS Medicine: Changes in rapid HIV treatment initiation after national “treat all” policy adoption in 6 sub-Saharan African countries: Regression discontinuity analysis
Olga Tymejczyk, research scientist at the Institute for Implementation Science in Population Health and NIH Fogarty global health fellow, and colleagues examine the impact of universal HIV treatment, or “treat all” policies, on antiretroviral treatment (ART) uptake across six countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The authors note, “Our analysis indicates that adoption of treat all policies had a strong effect on increasing rates of rapid ART initiation, and that these increases followed different trajectories across the six countries. Young adults and men still require additional attention to further improve rapid ART initiation” (6/10).

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IRC Report Examines Funding To Address Gender-Based Violence In Crisis Settings; IRC President Calls For 'Feminist Approach' To Humanitarian Efforts

International Rescue Committee: New International Rescue Committee Report: Less than $2 of help for each woman or girl at risk of gender-based violence
“It is estimated that less than $2 in gender-based violence (GBV) services is allocated to each woman or girl at risk of GBV on average in crisis and conflict settings, according to new research by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Voice, released [Monday]. ‘Where’s the Money? How the Humanitarian System is Failing to Fund an End of Violence Against Women and Girls’ found that violence against women and girls accounts for just 0.12% of all international humanitarian funding…” (6/10).

International Rescue Committee: “Next steps in the drive for gender equality in crisis settings: How a feminist approach can help” — Speech by The Rt Hon David Miliband President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
In remarks at the Georgetown University Institute for Women, Peace and Security, International Rescue Committee CEO David Miliband discussed challenges to advancing gender equality in crisis settings and ways in which the IRC is working to address these challenges, including through a feminist lens. Miliband said, “[W]e cannot be a truly successful humanitarian organization, defined by the outcomes achieved by and for our beneficiaries, until we are a feminist organization, with equality between our staff, opportunities and barriers for them never defined by their gender, and understanding of inequalities of power and what needs to be done to overcome them driving our programs externally. … [T]ackling inequalities of power that women and girls face is not a diversion from our mission; it is central to its achievement…” (6/10).

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Rotary Announces $100M To Support Global Effort To End Polio

Rotary: Rotary announces US$100 million to eradicate polio
“Rotary is giving US$100 million in grants to support the global effort to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of children each year. The funding comes as Rotary and its partners in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) address the final — and most pressing — challenges to ending poliovirus transmission, and as Nigeria approaches three years without any reported cases of wild poliovirus, bringing the Africa region closer to polio-free status…” (6/10).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Secretary Of State Pompeo Delivers Remarks At World Food Prize Laureate Announcement Ceremony

U.S. Department of State: Remarks at the World Food Prize Laureate Announcement Ceremony
In remarks at the World Food Prize Laureate announcement ceremony, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recognized Simon Groot, the 2019 World Food Prize laureate, for his work addressing poverty and malnutrition by developing new vegetable varieties with enhanced disease resistance and higher yields (6/10).

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