Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Science Examines Trump Administration's New Fetal Tissue Research Policy

Science: In wake of Trump’s fetal tissue clampdown, scientists strain to adjust
“…The new Trump policy, issued 5 June after a 9-month review led by officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has three major components. One kills a long-standing contract between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, and the University of California (UC), San Francisco, under which the university used fetal tissue to develop humanized mice for HIV drug testing. Another ends research using fetal tissue conducted by any scientist directly employed by NIH. The third and widest-reaching provision adds a lengthy and uncertain step to NIH’s process for awarding new or renewal grants to university scientists … for studies that use human fetal tissue. … Enacting the new policy ‘was the president’s decision … to protect the dignity of human life,’ Judd Deere, deputy White House press secretary, told Science. … Many biomedical researchers were stunned, noting that the tissue, which would otherwise be discarded, has properties that make it valuable for research…” (Wadman/Kaiser, 6/11).

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Co-Author Of USAID-Commissioned Assessment On Rapid Expeditionary Development Teams Discusses Feedback, Messages In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: USAID RED teams and working ‘outside the wire’
“In February Devex published an article that explored a U.S. Agency for International Development proposal to establish ‘rapid expeditionary development’ — or RED — teams. It evoked a strong reaction. The concept of RED teams was developed by USAID’s Global Development Lab as a potential option for expanding the agency’s ability to operate in fragile and conflict-affected environments. … Alexa Courtney, CEO and founder of Frontier Design Group and an author of [a USAID-commissioned ‘demand and feasibility assessment’ of RED teams], spoke to Devex about the feedback she has received since publication of the Devex article, and what she considers some of the key messages contained in the report…” (Igoe, 6/12).

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Uganda Confirms 3 Ebola Cases After Exposed Family Crosses Border From DRC; WHO Convening Committee To Reconsider Outbreak's International Emergency Status

Associated Press: 5-year-old boy dies of Ebola as Uganda cases rise to 3
“A 5-year-old boy vomiting blood became the first cross-border victim of Ebola in the current outbreak on Wednesday, while two more people in Uganda tested positive for the highly contagious disease that has killed nearly 1,400 in Congo. The boy, part of a Congolese family who crossed into Uganda earlier in the week, died overnight, the World Health Organization said. Ugandan authorities said the two new cases are his 3-year-old brother and 50-year-old grandmother, who have been isolated at a hospital near the Congo border. Uganda now has three confirmed Ebola cases…” (Muhumuza et al., 6/12).

STAT: Uganda confirms first Ebola case outside outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo
“…The news will likely increase pressure on the World Health Organization to declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern. The agency’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told STAT he will convene an advisory body — called an emergency committee — as quickly as possible to review the situation and decide whether the outbreak now poses a global health threat…” (Branswell, 6/11).

Wall Street Journal: Ebola Case Surfaces in Uganda Despite Efforts to Contain Congo Outbreak
“…The spread of the disease across the border is a major setback for local and international health officials who have failed to contain the Ebola outbreak in Congo’s Ituri and North Kivu provinces, the world’s first in an active conflict zone. The World Health Organization and other groups have worked for months to prevent Ebola from crossing into Congo’s neighbors, including Uganda, Rwanda, and war-torn South Sudan. Their efforts have been hindered by violent militia attacks on Ebola treatment centers and health care workers, as well as by wider community distrust…” (Bariyo/Steinhauser, 6/11).

Additional coverage of the Ebola outbreak in DRC and Uganda is available from Axios, CIDRAP News, CNN (2), Financial Times, The Guardian, The Hill, New York Times, NPR, Reuters, Science, The Telegraph, U.N. News, Washington Post, and Washington Times.

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DRC Declares Measles Epidemic Amid Ongoing Ebola Outbreak; MSF Calls For More Efforts To Curb Cases

CIDRAP News: DRC declares measles outbreak after 1,500 deaths
“Alongside a tough battle against Ebola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) health ministry [Monday] declared a measles outbreak, spanning 23 of the country’s 26 provinces and piling up 87,000 suspected cases since the first of the year. In a related development, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) [Tuesday] said massive efforts are needed to curb the DRC’s quickly spreading measles outbreak, its worst since 2012. MSF said the disease has claimed more than 1,500 lives…” (Schnirring, 6/11).

Additional coverage of the declaration of a measles outbreak is DRC is available from Al Jazeera, Reuters, and The Telegraph.

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1 In 5 People In Conflict Zones Experiences Mental Illness, Analysis Shows; WHO Calls For Increased Investment In Services

U.N. News: One-in-five suffers mental health condition in conflict zones, new U.N. figures reveal
“More than one-in-five people living in conflict-affected areas suffers from a mental illness, according to a new report based on U.N. figures, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to call for increased, sustained investment in mental health services in those zones. Around 22 percent of those affected suffer depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder, according to an analysis of 129 studies published in The Lancet…” (6/11).

Additional coverage of the study is available from The BMJ, The Guardian, and Reuters.

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England's Charity Commission Censures Oxfam GB For Mishandling Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct By Employees

Devex: Oxfam: Safeguarding failings laid bare
“Oxfam has been hit with an official warning from the United Kingdom charity regulator as two long-anticipated reports accuse it of putting communities at risk of exploitation and abuse in order to protect its programs and funding…” (Edwards, 6/12).

Financial Times: Aid group Oxfam GB censured by England’s charity watchdog
“…An inquiry, by the Charity Commission, the watchdog for charities in England and Wales, led to the group being issued with an official warning that it had failed to address the Haiti allegations adequately, which date back to 2011, and its handling of safeguarding matters before the claims became public in 2018…” (Wright, 6/11).

The Guardian: Oxfam failed to report child abuse claims in Haiti, inquiry finds
“…The Haiti scandal prompted resignations from Oxfam GB’s chief executive, Mark Goldring, and its deputy chief executive, Penny Lawrence, and caused the charity to lose U.K. aid. In the immediate aftermath of the allegations, the charity lost thousands of donors. The allegations also placed the aid sector under intense scrutiny, and prompted the U.K. government to host a safeguarding summit to improve accountability…” (Ratcliffe, 6/11).

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More News In Global Health

CNBC Africa: How Africa can archive its targets on Sustainable Development Goals (6/11).

Devex: Q&A: Why women farmers are key to good nutrition (Root, 6/12).

The Guardian: Patients sleep under the stars in long queue for medical visas (Glinski, 6/12).

New York Times: Brazil Fails to Replace Cuban Doctors, Hurting Health Care of 28 Million (Darlington/Casado, 6/11).

NPR: The Queen Honors Two Women Who Seek To End Female Genital Mutilation (Neilson, 6/11).

Reuters: Cholera surge stalks Yemen’s hungry and displaced (al-Rajehy/Barrington, 6/11).

U.N. News: Sudan: ‘Violence must stop’, says UNICEF chief, ‘gravely concerned’ over 19 child deaths since military backlash (6/11).

U.S. News & World Report: Lessons From a Pandemic, a Decade Later (Sternberg, 6/11).

VOA News: Many Zimbabweans Still Distressed 3 Months After Cyclone Idai (Mavhunga, 6/10).

Washington Post: C-sections are all the rage in Brazil. So too, now, are fancy parties to watch them (Lopes, 6/11).

Xinhua News: Chinese envoy urges int’l community to redouble efforts to eradicate poverty (6/11).

Xinhua News: Ethiopia says 525 people infected by cholera outbreak (6/11).

Xinhua News: S. Africa’s AIDS conference focuses on combining efforts to end HIV epidemic (6/11).

Xinhua News: WHO urges more vigilance against dengue amid rainy season (6/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

Stewardship, Accountability, Assessment Of Advantages, Risks Critical To Ensuring Digital Health Innovation Improves Health For All

Project Syndicate: Taming the Wild West of Digital Health Innovation
Asha George, chair of Health Systems Global and professor at the School of Public Health at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa; Amnesty LeFevre, associate professor at the School of Public Health and Family Medicine at the University of Cape Town; and Rajani Ved, director of India’s National Health Systems Resource Center

“Digital technology is revolutionizing our daily lives. … While such innovations have their advantages, they also carry significant risks, including potentially widening existing inequalities within our societies. This prospect is particularly worrying when it comes to global health. … [T]here is no guarantee that digital innovations in health will bring shared benefits. That is why, before moving forward with any new digital tool, it is vital to consider who it will reach, the motivations of the various actors involved in its development and deployment, and the implications and opportunity costs for users and health systems alike. … Next year’s Sixth Global Symposium on Health Systems Research will focus on the nexus between government stewardship, innovation, and accountability. Only with a clear-eyed assessment of a new technology — including who is responsible for it and who could be left behind if it is deployed — can we ensure that the digital revolution delivers on its promise to improve global health” (6/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

WEF Blog Post Discusses Global Efforts To Reach Gender Equality

World Economic Forum: There isn’t a single country on track to make the U.N.’s targets for gender equality
Charlotte Edmond of Formative Content discusses global efforts to achieve gender equality, writing, “Not a single nation is doing enough to improve the lives of women and girls — one of the U.N.’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which countries have pledged to meet by 2030 — according to the first index created to track progress towards the goal.” Edmond concludes, “The findings reflect The World Economic Forum’s own Global Gender Gap report, which shows that at the current rate of change the global gender gap will take 108 years to close. In 2018, women’s access to health and education and political empowerment all saw the gender gap increase” (6/11).

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Chicago Council Expert Outlines Strategies To Improve Global Water, Food Security

Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ “Global Food for Thought”: Food Security Depends on Water Security — And We Need to Act Now
Mark W. Rosegrant, nonresident fellow for global food and agriculture at the Chicago Council, discusses challenges to ensuring global water and food security, detailing ways in which water security impacts food security, and outlining strategies to “guide the design of regional and local priorities and begin to move the world toward greater food and nutrition security” (6/11).

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Gates Foundation Expert Discusses Ways To End Cholera Globally

World Economic Forum: How we can defeat cholera for good
Anita Zaidi, director of vaccine development, surveillance, and enteric and diarrheal diseases programs at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses the efforts of the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC) and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance to address cholera globally. Zaidi details steps to ensure continued progress toward ending the disease, including donor investment in Gavi and cholera-affected countries’ collaboration with the WHO to develop a cholera control plan. This post also appeared on Project Syndicate (6/11).

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From the U.S. Government

Trump Administration Releases U.S. Strategy On Women, Peace, Security

White House: Statement from the Press Secretary Regarding the United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security
“[On Tuesday], President Donald J. Trump released the United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security, which focuses both on increasing women’s participation in political, civic, and security endeavors to prevent and resolve conflicts and on creating conditions for long-term peace around the world. The strategy aims to ensure women are no longer absent from, or overlooked at, the negotiating table, and it modernizes international programs to improve equality for, and the empowerment of, women…” (6/11).

White House: President Donald J. Trump Is Supporting Women’s Political Empowerment Through Increased Participation in Global Security Processes
This fact sheet provides details on the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security (6/11).

U.S. Department of State: Release of the United States Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security
In this press statement, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says, “The Department of State will mobilize the unique contributions of American diplomacy through the implementation of this strategy. The United States recognizes that societies which empower women economically and politically are more stable and peaceful. As such, the strategy is a government-wide effort, complementing the recently announced Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative. Both efforts underscore President Trump’s emphasis on the importance of empowering women to participate fully in civic and economic life, leading to more peaceful and prosperous societies” (6/11).

USAID: Statement by USAID Administrator Mark Green on the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security
In a statement on the release of the U.S. Strategy on Women, Peace, and Security, USAID Administrator Mark Green notes, “USAID is committed to full implementation of the WPS Strategy because we know that investing in women’s leadership and empowerment can help break cycles of conflict and violence that threaten global security and undermine development progress. USAID will continue to support countries on a path to self-reliance through a focus on WPS in our development and disaster assistance efforts…” (6/11).

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