KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

No Need To Delay, Relocate Olympics Because Of Zika, WHO Emergency Committee Says

Deutsche Welle: WHO: No need to delay Olympics over Zika
“The World Health Organization says there’s only a ‘very low risk’ of the Zika virus spreading due to the Olympics. Health officials say there is no need to delay the sporting event…” (6/14).

New York Times: WHO Says Olympics Should Go Ahead in Brazil Despite Zika Virus
“The Olympic Games should go on as planned, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, and athletes and spectators, except for pregnant women, should not hesitate to attend so long as they take precautions against infection with the Zika virus…” (McNeil/Tavernise, 6/14).

Reuters: WHO sees ‘very low’ risk of further Zika spread due to Olympics
“…The WHO’s Emergency Committee on Zika reaffirmed its previous advice that there should be ‘no general restrictions on travel and trade with countries, areas and/or territories’ with Zika transmission including cities in Brazil hosting the Olympics that start on Aug. 5, and with the Paralympic Games that follow in September…” (Nebehay/Steenhuysen, 6/14).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency panel sees ‘very low’ risk of Zika spread from Olympics
“…The Emergency Committee concurred with the international scientific consensus, reached since it last met, that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and, consequently, that Zika virus infection and its associated congenital and other neurological disorders is a public health emergency of international concern…” (6/14).

Wall Street Journal: Risk of Zika’s Spread by Olympics Is ‘Very Low,’ WHO Says
“…The WHO panel’s recommendations come as a disconnect has emerged between some scientists who believe the Games pose a health threat to athletes and visitors and will fuel further spread of the virus globally, and Olympic officials who say they are taking preventive measures and Zika cases are declining…” (McKay et al., 6/14).

Washington Post: WHO: Zika risk not high enough to postpone or move 2016 Olympics
“…[The WHO’s Bruce] Aylward said about 20 percent of the world lives in a Zika-affected region, and 30 percent of global travel already is ‘in and out of Zika-affected areas of the world.’ He said the proportion of travel affected by the Olympics, which is expected to draw up to 500,000 visitors, is ‘very marginal’…” (Sun, 6/14).

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Some U.S. Lawmakers, Medical Groups Urge Republican-Led Congress To Act On Zika Funding

New York Times: Republicans, Who Warned of Dithering on Ebola, Now Hesitate on Zika
“…Now it is the Republican-led Congress moving slowly on providing money to combat the spread of Zika, alarming some lawmakers who fear that their colleagues do not recognize the potential consequences if the mosquito-borne disease begins to spread in the United States…” (Hulse, 6/14).

Washington Times: Medical groups press Congress to move faster on Zika funding
“The American Medical Association told Congress Tuesday to stop dragging its feet and post funds to combat the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus that causes birth defects and is threatening the U.S. mainland. It also told lawmakers to set aside money in a special fund within the Health and Human Services Department, so that Washington doesn’t have to swipe funds from other accounts every time there is a public health emergency…” (Howell, 6/14).

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CDC Releases Draft Zika Response Plan

CIDRAP News: CDC details its Zika response plan
“The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) [Tuesday] publicly unveiled a draft of its Zika response plan, which included tiered steps based on Aedes mosquito activity and illness levels in a given state…” (Schnirring, 6/14).

STAT: CDC preparing to deploy strike teams to limit spread of Zika
“…The 58-page plan outlines how the agency will respond to even a single suspected case of local transmission, which experts say could occur for the first time this summer as mosquitoes grow more active and expand their habitats. The CDC says it will update its plan if new information emerges about the virus’s possible spread…” (Joseph, 6/14).

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U.S. Chamber Of Commerce's Board Members Do Not Support Lobbying Group's Policies On Tobacco, Climate Change, Report Shows

New York Times: U.S. Chamber Out of Step With Its Board, Report Finds
“None of the 108 board members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce came forward to explicitly support the lobbying group’s policies on tobacco and climate change, according to a new report from a group of eight Senate Democrats, including Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders. The report, which was written by Senator Warren and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, followed on reporting by the New York Times that revealed the chamber’s international campaign against antismoking laws and its efforts to undermine policies aimed at curbing global warming…” (Hakim, 6/14).

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Poor Nations Have Opportunity For New Development Approaches Under SDGs, Experts Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Can new global goals transform the world’s poorest countries?
“The world’s poorest countries should seize the opportunity offered by a new set of global goals to come up with a fresh approach to development, as a basis for real change, experts told a debate in London this week…” (Tabary, 6/14).

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WHO Urges Increase In Voluntary Blood Donations On World Day

U.N. News Centre: On World Day, U.N. health agency calls for rapid increase in voluntary blood donations
“On World Blood Donor Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for a rapid increase in voluntary blood donations in more than half of the countries globally in order to ensure a reliable supply of safe blood for patients whose lives depend on it. … The theme of this year’s day — which is marked annually on 14 June — is ‘Blood connects us all,’ highlighting the common bond that all people share in their blood…” (6/14).

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Indian City Of Hyderabad To Vaccinate 300K Children After Active Polio Strain Detected In Sewage Sample

Associated Press: Indian city on alert as polio strain found in sewage water
“A city of nearly seven million people in southern India has declared a ‘high alert’ for polio after an active strain of the virus was found in samples of sewage water, an official said Wednesday…” (Farooq, 6/15).

VOA News: India: Traces of Polio Found in Water Sample
“…Around 300,000 children ages three to six in Hyderabad, a city of nearly seven million, will be vaccinated in the coming week. India’s last case of polio was in 2011, and the country was officially declared polio-free in 2014…” (6/15).

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India Authorities Investigating Illegal Human Organ Trade Network

New York Times: India Police Probe Trade in Human Organs
“…[Indian] authorities said they uncovered a complex nationwide network that was illegally trading in kidneys. … A 1994 law outlawed organ sales but permitted donations between family members. … The United Nations World Health Organization said that despite the official ban, India’s organ market is ‘still existent and resurging’…” (Bhattacharya, 6/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

Prioritizing Women, Girls Critical To Ending Poverty

Medium: 5 Ways to End Poverty by Focusing on Women and Girls
Susan Markham, senior coordinator for gender equality and women’s empowerment at USAID

“…[A]ll too often gender inequality gets pushed aside because of competing priorities or a lack of resources. … The truth is … [w]e cannot end extreme poverty without focusing on women and girls, and the barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential. When we put women and girls at the center of development, we can see a positive ripple effect across their families, communities, and nations. We have the opportunity to make the world more stable, secure, and resilient. How can we do this? 1. We can #LetGirlsLearn … 2. Empower women to engage in their communities … 3. Recognize the unique challenges of women and girls … 4. Work with men and boys … 5. Fill the knowledge gaps … At USAID, we recognize that to #EndPoverty, we need to put women and girls at the center of development…” (6/13).

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International Stakeholders Must Act On Commitments Made At World Humanitarian Summit

The Guardian: Ban Ki-moon: ‘We must work in new ways to help people in crisis’
Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the U.N.

“…Despite their precarious conditions, there is a severe lack of funding to assist [people who need humanitarian aid] — raising basic questions about global solidarity in a world of great wealth. … The international community as a whole must do more. My Agenda for Humanity, drawn up in advance of the [World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul], outlined five areas for collective action: preventing and ending conflict; respect for the rules of war; leaving no one behind; working differently to end needs; and investing in humanity. The summit recorded nearly 3,000 individual and collective commitments in support of these five core areas, including many from countries affected by crisis. … And the summit won significant commitments to bridge the gap between humanitarian and development work; to create a new way of working together to reduce needs, manage risks, and aim at common goals over longer timeframes. … Now we must turn these commitments into action…” (6/14).

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Global Community Should Support Women's Reproductive Rights, Abilities To Make Best Personal Choices

The Guardian: WHO advice that women at Zika risk delay pregnancy isn’t an abortion debate
Ann Neumann, author

“…It is the well being of women, not that of potential children, we are obligated as a global society to support. … Claims that the abortion of microcephaly fetuses amounts to eugenics have muted and complicated the debate over how to address the Zika epidemic. They shouldn’t. Women know best what their capabilities are, what children they are able to raise, what resources they can commit to parenting. In countries, including the U.S., where those who have limited access to reproductive services are predominantly minorities and the poor, concerns for the morality of selective abortion are overwrought. And they are used to further an ideology of reproductive control that should never trump the rights of women. … We should trust women to make their own reproductive decisions, even when their fetuses test positive for microcephaly or any other disability” (6/14).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

In CGD Podcast, Jim O'Neill Discusses Ways To Address Antibiotic Resistance

Center for Global Development’s “CGD Podcast”: ‘Google For Doctors’: How the G20 and World Bank Can Help Tackle Antibiotic Resistance — Podcast with Lord Jim O’Neill
Rajesh Mirchandani, vice president of communications and policy outreach at CGD, speaks with Lord Jim O’Neill, a minister in the U.K. Treasury, about the threat of and efforts to reduce antimicrobial resistance. O’Neill suggests financial commitments from the G20, the World Bank, or other multinational financial mechanisms could play a role in encouraging the development of new drugs and diagnostics, Mirchandani notes (6/14).

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Wilson Center Event Highlights Efforts To Engage Women In Development Efforts, Economic Endeavors

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: New Approaches to Addressing Gender Inequality in Global Development
Sreya Panuganti, intern with the Environmental Change and Security Program at the Wilson Center, recaps a May 19 Wilson Center event, titled “Women Empowered: Transforming the Global Economy,” during which participants discussed the role of women in development by highlighting efforts and approaches to engaging women in the development and economic sectors (6/15).

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Global Switch In Polio Vaccines Brings World One Step Closer To Elimination

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: World Takes Major Step Towards Ending Polio
Suchita Guntakatta, deputy director of strategy planning and management for the global development polio team at the Gates Foundation, discusses her work with colleagues in Kenya as they participated in last month’s global switch in oral polio vaccines (6/14).

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Quick, Affordable TB Diagnostics Could Help Improve Treatment, Reduce Drug Resistance

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Wanted: Continued development of TB diagnostics to reduce antimicrobial resistance
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, reporting from the McGill Summer Institute in Infectious Diseases and Global Health, discusses remarks by Madhukar Pai, director of McGill University’s global health program, on progress on and challenges to developing and implementing new diagnostic technology for tuberculosis, which could help improve treatment and lower the risk of antibiotic resistance (6/14).

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