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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

The Atlantic Examines Global, U.S. Disease Outbreak Preparedness

The Atlantic: The Next Plague Is Coming. Is America Ready?
“…On average, in one corner of the world or another, a new infectious disease has emerged every year for the past 30 years: MERS, Nipah, Hendra, and many more. Researchers estimate that birds and mammals harbor anywhere from 631,000 to 827,000 unknown viruses that could potentially leap into humans. Valiant efforts are under way to identify them all … Still, we likely won’t ever be able to predict which will spill over next; even long-known viruses like Zika, which was discovered in 1947, can suddenly develop into unforeseen epidemics…” (Yong, July/August 2018).

The Atlantic: Is Trump Ready for a Global Outbreak?
“…Should another pandemic break out, nations must be prepared to collaborate meaningfully in order to eradicate it. … So, is Trump’s America up to the task? Writer Ed Yong doesn’t think so. ‘(Trump’s) nationalism could be catastrophic because diseases demand global cooperation,’ he says in a new animated video based on his recent Atlantic article, ‘When the Next Plague Hits.’ To illustrate Trump’s potential inability to effectively deal with a global pandemic, Yong points to the president’s xenophobic response to the [2014 West Africa] Ebola outbreak — and contrasts it with that of New York City’s health commissioner Mary T. Bassett, who mitigated public panic and fought against discrimination” (Cadieux, 6/14).

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U.S. Releases Previously Frozen Funds For Syria's White Helmets Group

The Hill: Trump administration releases funding for Syria’s ‘White Helmets’
“The United States will release some $6.6 million in previously frozen funding for a humanitarian aid group in Syria, the State Department announced Thursday. The move comes over a month after the Trump administration froze funding for the Syrian Civil Defense — known as the ‘White Helmets’ — a group of volunteer first-responders that provides aid to war-ravaged areas of Syria…” (Greenwood, 6/14).

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U.S. Turns Down Request For Intelligence From UAE In Yemen As Hodeida Offensive Continues

IRIN: Hodeidah: What the assault means for Yemen’s civilians and the aid effort
“After months of diplomatic wrangling and despite repeated warnings of humanitarian catastrophe, the long-threatened assault on Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Hodeidah is now underway. … No one can be sure how the battle will play out, but everyone agrees that in a country that has been on the brink of famine for years, the offensive will make life for 27 million Yemenis even worse…” (Slemrod, 6/14).

Washington Post: U.S. turns down UAE request for aid in offensive against rebel-held Yemeni port
“The United States on Wednesday turned down a request from the United Arab Emirates to provide intelligence, overhead reconnaissance, and mine-sweeping aid to a newly launched military offensive against the rebel-occupied Yemeni port of Hodeida, according to Emirati and U.S. officials. The denial came as the United Nations continued a last-minute effort to avoid the attempt to retake the port, through which the majority of food, fuel and medical assistance flows to civilians in what aid groups already consider the world’s worst humanitarian disaster…” (DeYoung et al., 6/14).

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Science, PBS NewsHour Continue 'Far From Over' Series On HIV/AIDS In Nigeria, Russia, Florida

Science: Ending AIDS? These three places show the epidemic is far from over
“At first glance, Nigeria, Russia, and Florida have little in common. But each has had difficulty mounting an effective response to HIV/AIDS at a time when neighboring countries or states, buoyed by recent research advances, have made progress toward bringing their epidemics to an end. … [T]hese stories describe the distinct challenges that have hampered each locale’s response to HIV/AIDS. And they highlight people who are confronting those shortcomings and coming up with tailor-made, local solutions. Science produced these stories in collaboration with the PBS NewsHour, which is airing a companion five-part series. Reporting for this project was supported by the Pulitzer Center…” (Cohen/You, 6/14).

PBS NewsHour: Why Miami is the epicenter of new HIV cases in the U.S.
“The tourist mecca of Miami is also a hotbed of HIV transmission. While city and state officials have launched an ambitious plan to tackle the crisis, William Brangham and Jason Kane join Jon Cohen of Science magazine to look at how and why it’s gotten so bad. This report is part of the NewsHour’s ongoing series ‘The End of AIDS: Far From Over,’ with support from the Pulitzer Center” (Brangham/Kane, 6/14).

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92 Countries Have No National Policy Allowing Paid Paternity Leave, UNICEF Analysis Shows

NPR: Which Countries Guarantee That New Dads Get Paid Paternity Leave?
“What do China, India, South Sudan, and the United States have in common? They are among the 92 countries where there is no national policy that allow dads to take paid time off work to care for their newborns…” (Gharib, 6/14).

Quartz: The shameful state of paid paternal leave worldwide
“…[I]n 92 countries, new dads don’t have access to adequate paid time off to bond with their newborn babies. A new analysis released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) shows that ‘almost two-thirds of the world’s children under one year old — nearly 90 million — live in countries where their fathers are not entitled by law to a single day of paid paternity leave’…” (Timsit, 6/14).

U.N. News: UNICEF urges all countries to provide ‘Super Dads’ with paid leave
“…Evidence suggests that when fathers bond with their infants, they are more likely to play an active role in their child’s development. Research also suggests that when children positively interact with their fathers, they have better psychological health, self-esteem, and long-term satisfaction in life…” (6/14).

Xinhua News: Two-thirds of children live in countries where Dads don’t get paternity leave: UNICEF
“…UNICEF urged governments to implement national family-friendly policies that support early childhood development, including paid paternity leave, to help provide parents with the time, resources, and information they need to care for their children…” (6/14).

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Argentina's Lower House Of Congress Passes Bill To Legalize Abortion During First 14 Weeks Of Pregnancy

Financial Times: Argentina’s lower house of Congress approves abortion bill
“Argentina’s lower house of Congress narrowly approved a bill to decriminalize abortion on Thursday, in a move that could put the home of Pope Francis at the vanguard of a region that has some of the world’s most restrictive abortion laws…” (Mander, 6/14).

The Guardian: Argentina congress takes historic step towards legalizing abortion
“The lower house of Argentina’s Congress has narrowly approved a bill that would legalize abortion in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy, in a historic victory for the country’s growing women’s movement…” (Goñi, 6/14).

New York Times: Bid to Legalize Abortion in Argentina Clears First Hurdle in Congress
“…Hours after women popped open bottles of Champagne and shed tears of joy outside Congress following the 129-to-125 vote, several key members of the upper chamber announced that they would support the measure…” (Politi/Londoño, 6/14).

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More News In Global Health

BBC News: Ugandan wins Africa prize for bloodless malaria test (6/14).

Christian Science Monitor: Gay Kenyans hope for legal win, eyeing broader shift in Africa (Gikandi/Brownb, 6/14).

CIDRAP News: Vaccine trial shows more hospitalizations for dengue-naive kids (Soucheray, 6/14).

Devex: Q&A: E.U. development chief on the challenges of uniting Europe around aid (Welsh, 6/14).

Devex: Invest in youth, not another big institution, says Mark Dybul (Ravelo, 6/15).

The Guardian: Tobacco industry seeking to control anti-smuggling measures, say critics (Boseley, 6/14).

The Lancet: From Ireland to Northern Ireland: campaigns for abortion law (Li, 6/16).

Popular Science: A warmer planet might make deadly bacteria more resistant to antibiotics (Cimons, 6/14).

SciDev.Net: DRC first to approve widespread use of Ebola drugs (Makri, 6/14).

Xinhua News: South Sudan calls for increased investment amid blood shortage (6/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

Investing In Systematic Recordkeeping Of Lives, Deaths Could Improve Public Health

Bloomberg: All Lives Count. So Should All Deaths.
Editorial Board

“Across the world, tens of millions of deaths go unrecorded each year. This lack of information is a killer in its own right: Without an accurate measure of deaths and their causes, fighting disease in low- and middle-income countries is much harder. Investing in the means to keep track of lives and deaths would be money well spent. Knowing how people die is essential to stemming epidemics of infectious illnesses and to steering people toward behaviors that protect them from lifestyle-related conditions including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, certain cancers, and even dementia. … Done promptly, this recording can alert public officials to early signs of an influenza outbreak or other epidemic. … These efforts require no technology. But when combined with electronic recordkeeping, they can ensure that the living benefit. It might seem unexciting, but counting deaths and their causes saves lives” (6/14).

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Greater Commitment, Investment Needed To Meet SDG HIV Targets By 2030

Science: HIV — No time for complacency
Quarraisha Abdool Karim, associate scientific director, and Salim S. Abdool Karim, director, both at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA), and both professors at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University

“Today, the global HIV epidemic is widely viewed as triumph over tragedy. … But have we turned the tide on HIV sufficiently to warrant directing our attention and investments elsewhere? … There is no room for complacency when so much more remains to be done for HIV prevention and treatment. The task of breaking down barriers and building bridges needs greater commitment and impetus. Now is not the time to take the foot off the pedal of the global AIDS response if the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal target of a 90 percent reduction in HIV incidence by 2030 is to be met. The social mobilization and activism that characterized the early HIV response are even more critical now. More effort and investment are needed to support ongoing treatment, increase testing and treatment, deliver effective prevention programs to those most at risk, and expand the available prevention strategies, ultimately with a vaccine and a cure” (6/15).

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Local Partnerships, Implementation Of Antibiotic Treatments Vital To Eliminating Trachoma

Devex: Opinion: Eliminating trachoma means more than an end to blindness
Caroline Roan, vice president of corporate responsibility at Pfizer and president of the Pfizer Foundation, and Edridah Muheki Tukahebwa, assistant commissioner of health services for vector control tropical diseases and national coordinator of the NTD control program for the Uganda Ministry of Health

“…A number of challenges remain to achieve our shared goal of a trachoma-free world. … Despite these hurdles, we and the rest of the trachoma community remain confident that elimination is possible. Thanks to better disease mapping, today we know the regions still struggling with trachoma. We have local partnerships in place that can help us reach the remote communities where the disease still thrives. And with Pfizer’s donation recommitment, we know that trachoma partners will have an ample supply of antibiotics to implement the SAFE Strategy and eliminate the disease. A future without trachoma is within reach … [E]liminating NTDs such as trachoma is a foundational step in creating a more just, equitable world — one where [children] have an opportunity to live the healthiest, most productive, and most rewarding life possible” (6/14).

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The Lancet's Horton Discusses WHO's Independent High-Level Commission On NCDs, Highlights Controversies, Successes

The Lancet: Offline: NCDs, WHO, and the neoliberal utopia
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“The WHO Independent High-Level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases presented an important opportunity. Yet, by common consensus, it failed to deliver. … When you look at the totality of the Commission’s proposals, it is far too harsh to call it a failure. On the contrary, it has set a high bar to judge progress in countries and has provided an ambitious manifesto for the U.N. High-Level Meeting on NCDs, to be held later this year. … There are two further important reasons why the Commission should be judged a success. First, it flushed out the chief opponent of political progress — the U.S. government. … Second, the controversy over the Commission’s report highlights the context of the debate about NCDs — namely, the pervasive and escalating dangers of neoliberalism. We should thank the Commission for so expertly clarifying the terms on which the struggle against NCDs must now be fought” (6/16).

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True Inclusion Of Persons With Disabilities In Global Health Efforts Requires More Action

The Lancet Global Health: Global disability: an emerging issue
Nora Ellen Groce, director of the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Inclusive Development Centre at University College London

“…Increasingly, the question is no longer if but how people with disabilities are included in global health efforts. Nevertheless, many initiatives are still at the level of well-intentioned statements and broadly defined policy objectives. These efforts must be translated into effective implementation and followed-up carefully by solid monitoring and assessment mechanisms if true global inclusion of persons with disabilities is to succeed. Leading journals, such as The Lancet Global Health, can make an important contribution to this effort by supporting and disseminating cutting edge research and evidence-based advocacy that ensures that previously marginalized populations, such as people with disabilities, become part of all mainstream global health efforts” (July 2018).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Examines Global Health-Related Items In House LHHS, SFOPs Appropriations Bills

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: House bills reject Trump retreat from U.S. leadership of global infectious disease responses
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses global health-related items in the House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee bill released earlier this week, noting, “The bill repeats a trend of sustained … responses demonstrated in the House Appropriations State and Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee bill released earlier in the week” (6/14).

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Gavi Approves Core Funding For Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine Until 2020 To Continue Work To End Polio

Global Polio Eradication Initiative: Gavi Board Funds Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine Until 2020
“In the fight against the virus, two important tools are used to help prevent polio — two safe, effective vaccines. Only through full funding of these vaccines can worldwide immunity be achieved, and the virus eradicated. Redoubling commitment towards this goal, last week, Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance approved core funding for the inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) for 2019 and 2020 to continue work to end polio and protect every child…” (6/14).

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Experts Highlight Paper Examining Media Outlet, Academic Journal Coverage Of Global Development Goals

Brookings Institution’s “Future Development”: Who is talking about the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals?
John McArthur, senior fellow, and Christine Zhang, former research analyst, both in global economy and development at the Brookings Institution, discuss “findings from our recent article published in Global Policy, which tracks the evolution of predecessor Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and SDG mentions in a cross-section of 16 major print media outlets and 13 academic journals from 2000 to 2016, updating results from a working paper first published in 2015…” (6/14).

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