KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO Responds To Urgent Health Needs In Conflict-Ridden Iraq

News outlets report on the WHO’s response to the worsening humanitarian situation in Iraq, where renewed conflict is increasing health risks.

Global Dispatch: Iraq crisis prompts WHO action: Polio, measles, and diarrhea of utmost concern
“With the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, the World Health Organization (WHO) is working with local and international partners in Iraq to meet the urgent health needs of populations affected by the ongoing crisis. … Immediate and critical health risks of concern to WHO include the spread of measles, which is endemic in Mosul and could potentially lead to outbreaks, especially in overcrowded areas where internally displaced persons are located. The spread of polio is also a high risk as new cases were reported in the country earlier this year as a result of the Syria crisis…” (Herriman, 6/16).

Xinhua/GlobalPost: WHO responds to worsened humanitarian situation in Iraq
“The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday said it is working with local and international partners in Iraq to meet the urgent health needs of population affected by the ongoing crisis…” (6/16).

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U.N.'s Top Humanitarian Official Urges More Funding, Aid Delivery Access For Multiple Crises

U.N. News Centre: As crises grow, U.N. humanitarian chief cites need for funding, access to ensure aid delivery
“As the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance worldwide continues to grow, the top United Nations relief official today urged the international community to provide the requisite funding and access needed to enable aid workers to do their jobs effectively…” (6/16).

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Doctors, Epidemiologists Urge Strict WHO Regulations For E-Cigarettes

Reuters: Scientists ask U.N. health group for strict rules on e-cigarettes
“A group of 129 physicians, epidemiologists, and others from 31 countries sent an open letter to the World Health Organization on Monday urging the United Nations agency to hold firm in what seems to be its intention to impose strict regulations on electronic cigarettes…” (Begley, 6/16).

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Devex Interviews UNDP Special Adviser On SDGs

Devex: ‘Crunch time’ for post-2015 talks — UNDP
“How close is the international aid community to crafting the next development framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals? In this video interview, Devex reporter Paul Stephens asked Olav Kjørven, special adviser on the post-2015 agenda to U.N. Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark…” (Santamaria, 6/16).

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NIH To Launch Global Study In Attempt To Replicate 'Mississippi Baby' Results

Scientific American: HIV on Trial: An Attempt to Cure the World’s Smallest Patients
“…Through a series of rare circumstances the so-called ‘Mississippi baby’ began standard HIV treatment 30 hours after birth, but the potent drug cocktail regimen was abruptly halted when the child was 18 months old. Surprisingly, even after treatment stopped the child’s blood plasma continued to show no signs of the virus. … This month the NIH expects to launch a global study that will attempt to replicate the Mississippi baby results…” (Maron, 6/16).

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FGM Promotes Gender Inequality, Must Be Eradicated, U.N. Official Says

Reuters: Female mutilation a means of male power over women: U.N. rights chief
“Female genital mutilation, the excision of the clitoris practiced widely in African and many Muslim countries, is a means for men to maintain control of women and must be eradicated, U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said on Monday…” (Evans, 6/16).

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Chile, China, Morocco Make Progress Against Hunger, Malnutrition, FAO Says

U.N. News Centre: U.N. recognizes Chile, China, and Morocco for progress on fighting hunger, malnutrition
“Chile, China, and Morocco [on Monday] joined a growing group of countries that are making successful strides in fighting hunger and malnutrition, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) announced [Monday]…” (6/16).

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Wall Street Journal Examines Quest For Universal Health Care In India

Wall Street Journal: Is Universal Health Care Possible?
“…’It’s not something that can be done overnight,’ said India’s new Health Minister Harsh Vardhan to the Wall Street Journal on the government’s pledge to create a universally affordable health care system in a country that struggles to provide even basic medical services to a large portion of its 1.2 billion population. Last week, India’s new government pledged to remedy persistent shortcomings in basic infrastructure including health care but the speech did not offer details on how these projects would be financed or carried out…” (Seervai, 6/16).

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Sierra Leone Promotes Breastfeeding To Reduce Child Stunting, Malnutrition

The Guardian: Nutrition: in Sierra Leone breast is best
“…As the country moves from post-conflict (the civil war ended in 2002) to emerging market (GDP growth was 15 percent in 2012), the government realizes that it must shift from treatment of malnutrition to prevention. Agriculture, education, gender equality and sanitation all have a role to play in this. … [Sierra Leone] focuses on promoting breastfeeding as a key policy for reducing stunting and malnutrition among younger generations…” (Leach, 6/16).

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Indian Firm Develops Affordable Cholera Vaccine

Wall Street Journal: Indian Firm Develops Inexpensive Vaccine for Battle With Cholera
“…New Delhi-based Hilleman Laboratories Pvt. — which is backed by Merck & Co. and the Wellcome Trust charity — said Tuesday that it has created an inexpensive [cholera] vaccine that can survive without refrigeration in the far-flung tropical villages where it is most needed…” (McLain, 6/17).

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Researchers Develop Faster Way To Determine Malaria Parasite Origin In Local Outbreaks

New York Times: A Faster Way to Find the Origin of Malaria
“By using a DNA ‘bar code’ of 23 short snips from the genes of parasites that cause malaria, scientists can now often quickly determine where they originated, British researchers report. The information could be useful in fighting local outbreaks, which may be caused by parasites from other parts of the world…” (McNeil, 6/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

Congress Should Act To Ensure Humanitarian Care For Immigrant Children

New York Times: Innocents at the Border: Immigrant Children Need Safety, Shelter and Lawyers
“The surge of desperate young migrants across the southwest [U.S.] border has the Obama administration scrambling to respond. … The administration needs to mount a sustained surge of its own, of humanitarian care, shelter, and legal assistance for children who have faced horrific traumas in fleeing violence in their home countries, mainly Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. … Congress should meanwhile approve the administration’s $1.4 billion request to handle the emergency on this side of the border, though more will surely be needed to assure health, safety, and due process for these young migrants…” (6/16).

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Advancing Gender Equality Vital For Global Development Success

Huffington Post: A Call to Prioritize Gender in Development
Patrick Fine, CEO of FHI 360

“The most effective 21st century international development organizations will be those that ask — and come up with workable answers to — the right questions about gender. … Recognizing the importance of advancing gender issues is one of the great lessons from the 20th century about what fuels prosperity. The time is now to make gender transformation a reality in our work and change the lives of women, girls, men, and boys for the better. Join the FHI 360 Gender 360 Summit conversation by using #Gender360Summit on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or Instagram” (6/13).

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New Development Goals Must Aim To Prevent Early Childhood Mortality, Morbidity

Huffington Post: The Obligation to End Preventable Deaths and a Stunted Childhood Is a Responsibility We All Bear
Dame Tessa Jowell, British member of parliament and former secretary of state for culture, media and sport

“Today I will be addressing a number of Member States at the U.N. in New York and presenting a cross-party global petition calling on the U.N. to enshrine investment in early childhood in the new Millennium Development Goals which are to be finalized at the General Assembly in 2015. There is global support for this action with over 11,000 signatures from 170 countries. … There is a great prize to be won and global support for our petition to the U.N. for the inclusion of early childhood development in the post-2015 framework is evidence that the will to achieve this exists…” (6/16).

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Continued Efforts Needed To Maintain Success Against Schistosomiasis In Yemen

Global Arab Network: The Enemy Within: Tackling Schistosomiasis in Yemen
Alaa Hamed, senior health specialist in the Middle East and North Africa at the World Bank

“…The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called schistosomiasis ‘the world’s most deadly, neglected tropical disease’: this is no longer the case in Yemen. It is being tackled and the prevalence of the disease has been radically reduced since the World Bank scaled-up its national control program. … Although Yemen has taken huge strides toward curtailing schistosomiasis, efforts need to continue beyond the lifespan of this national project. Since there is no vaccine to prevent re-infection, massive drug distribution, combined with public awareness, has to remain part of the strategy to keep schistosomiasis at bay…” (6/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Sen. Markey Introduces International Human Rights Defense Act

Blogs discuss Sen. Edward Markey’s (D-Mass.) introduction in the Senate of the International Human Rights Defense Act (.pdf), which would make LGBT rights a U.S. foreign policy priority.

RH Reality Check: The Right to Dignity: Prioritizing LGBTQ Human Rights in U.S. Foreign Policy
M.A. Keifer of Advocates for Youth notes, “On Friday, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), along with 24 co-sponsors, introduced a bill that aims to ensure the rights of the international LGBTQ community are at the forefront of U.S. foreign policy, by directing the State Department to author a strategy aimed at preventing and responding to discrimination and violence…” (6/16).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Senator Markey introduces global LGBT human rights bill
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses some of the directives in the bill, including the creation of the position of “Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBT Peoples” in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “which will be responsible for all inter-bureau and inter-agency coordination of the United States government’s efforts to defend human rights for the LGBT community internationally…” (6/16).

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UNITAID, Global Fund Announce Collaboration To Maximize Health Investments

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: UNITAID and the Global Fund Announce Formal Collaboration
“UNITAID and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria have signed a collaboration agreement around a market-shaping agenda to maximize the value for money from each organization’s investments…” (6/13).

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Cholera Vaccine Becomes Accepted Tool In Outbreak Responses

Humanosphere: The Cholera Vaccine: from shunned idea to celebrated response
Development blogger Tom Murphy examines how research using the cholera vaccine in local outbreaks has helped the vaccine become an accepted prevention tool during outbreaks (6/16).

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WHO Issues Statement On Emergency Committee Meeting On MERS-CoV

World Health Organization: WHO statement on the Sixth Meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee concerning MERS-CoV
The WHO issued a statement on outcomes from the convening of the International Health Regulations (IHR) emergency committee regarding Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), stating that while the outbreak remains serious it does not qualify as a public health emergency (6/17).

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