KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Annual Development Assistance For Health In Developing Countries Up Since 1990, But Dips From 2013 To 2014, Study Shows

News outlets highlight a study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation published Tuesday in JAMA that examines trends in global health development aid to low-income nations.

HealthDay News: Health Assistance to Developing Countries Up Since 1990: Study
“There has been an increase in health-related development assistance to low-income countries since 1990, a new study finds. The increased funding has focused mostly on HIV/AIDS, maternal health, and newborn and child health. … Between 1990 and 2014, $458 billion was distributed from high-income countries to developing countries to maintain or improve health. Assistance was almost $7 billion in 1990. That increased to nearly $36 billion in 2014. The U.S. government was the largest source of health-related development assistance…” (Preidt, 6/16).

International Business Times: The Price Of Good Health: Nations Have Spent $228 Billion On Global Health Projects In Poor Countries Over The Past 15 Years
“For only the second time in 15 years, global spending on health programs in impoverished nations dropped in 2014 as compared to the year prior. … The analysis shows that funding for global health grew at an annual rate of 5.4 percent in the decade prior to 2000 but jumped to 11.3 percent from 2000 to 2010. Lately, though, the world’s generosity has leveled off and begun to drop. From 2013 to 2014, the amount of funding dedicated to health projects actually decreased by 1.6 percent…” (Nordrum, 6/16).

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A.U. Condemns Child Marriage; Child Advocates Encourage More Political Action To End Practice

Bernama: Child Marriage Is Statutory Rape, African Union Declares
“African leaders have taken a tough stance regarding the issue of child marriage, with the African Union (A.U.) delivering its formal position on ending child marriage in Africa at the 25th Ordinary Summit of A.U. Heads of State and Government. … The panel condemned child marriage, describing child marriage as ‘statutory rape’ and ‘a crime against humanity’ among others…” (6/16).

The Guardian: African leaders must take ‘concrete steps’ to end child marriage
“African leaders need to back their political ambitions to end child marriage with effective policies and the money to see them through, according to a global partnership fighting to end the practice. On the annual Day of the African Child on Tuesday, which this year focuses on child marriage, Françoise Kpeglo Moudouthe, head of Africa engagement at Girls Not Brides, said the continent’s leaders had taken big steps in making political commitments to end the practice, but needed to do more…” (Ford, 6/16).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: African campaigners urge end to ‘scandal’ of child marriage in a generation
“It’s a scandal that any family in a continent as rich as Africa, with its vast oil and mineral wealth, should be so poor they feel forced to sell their daughter, the African Union’s goodwill ambassador on child marriage said. … [Nyaradzayi] Gumbonzvanda, a human rights lawyer from Zimbabwe, whose mother was married as a girl, said child marriage sanctioned rape and forced labor, and entrenched poverty…” (Batha, 6/16).

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South Korean MERS Outbreak Not Global Health Emergency, WHO Says; Germany Reports 1 MERS-Related Death, No Other Cases

Bloomberg Business: MERS Isn’t Global Health Emergency as Korea Cases Wane, WHO Says
“South Korea’s outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome isn’t a global health emergency, a World Health Organization committee decided after finding the virus hasn’t developed the ability to spread easily between people…” (Bennett, 6/17).

Deutsche Welle: MERS outbreak a ‘wake up call’ but ‘not a global health emergency,’ says WHO
“In a statement released on Wednesday, the United Nations (U.N.) health agency said although the spread of MERS didn’t yet merit being of international concern, the growing number of cases shows how deadly infectious diseases may strike at any time, and urged all countries to prepare for potential outbreaks…” (6/17).

Reuters: WHO says South Korea’s MERS outbreak ‘wake-up call’ as new cases reported
“…Members of the WHO’s emergency committee agreed unanimously that the outbreak did not qualify as a public health emergency of international concern — a rating that would have triggered a coordinated, worldwide response…” (Munroe/Nebehay, 6/17).

Reuters: Korean MERS outbreak a wake-up call for increasingly mobile world: WHO
“… ‘One of the things about this (South Korean) outbreak is that it has received a lot of attention and has raised anxiety levels internationally,’ the WHO’s assistant director general for health security, Keiji Fukuda, told reporters at a briefing. He said the situation highlights the need to strengthen collaboration between health and other key sectors, such as aviation, and to enhance communication processes…” (Nebehay/Kelland, 6/17).

Reuters: Eight new MERS cases in South Korea; 20th patient dies
“South Korea on Wednesday reported eight new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), while another person infected with the virus died, health officials said, bringing to 20 the number of fatalities in the outbreak that began last month. A total of 162 people in South Korea have been infected in the outbreak, the largest outside Saudi Arabia…” (Park et al., 6/17).

Reuters: German man dies of complications stemming from MERS: health ministry of Lower Saxony
“A 65-year-old German man who was infected with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus earlier this year has died in hospital, the health ministry of the German state of Lower Saxony said on Tuesday. … It is the first German death from the MERS virus…” (Copley, 6/16).

Washington Post: Why MERS spread so far, so fast in South Korea
“…The WHO says that each of the 15 deaths and 150 cases of infections in the country were linked to a man who had been traveling in the Middle East and was diagnosed and isolated on May 20. Most of the others who were infected got MERS from being in the health care facilities where he was treated, and there is ‘no known spillover into the general population,’ the WHO said…” (Cha, 6/16).

WHO: WHO statement on the ninth meeting of the IHR Emergency Committee regarding MERS-CoV
“…WHO does not recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions and considers screening at points of entry to be unnecessary at this time. Raising awareness about MERS and its symptoms among those travelling to and from affected areas is good public health practice…” (6/17).

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On London Visit, First Lady Michelle Obama Launches U.S./U.K. Partnership To Educate Girls In DRC, Other African Nations

BBC News: Education key, Michelle Obama tells London schoolgirls
“U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama has told pupils at a girls’ school in east London that education is the ‘ultimate key’ to their success. … The visit is part of her global initiative to promote female education…” (6/16).

CNN: Michelle Obama unveils girls’ education initiative during London trip
“…[The U.S. and U.K.] are launching ‘a nearly $200 million partnership to continue their collective support for adolescent girls’ education,’ according to a news release from Obama’s office. … Special attention and portions of the funds will be devoted ‘to countries affected by conflict and crisis,’ with the Democratic Republic of the Congo set to receive $180 million over five years, benefiting ‘more than 755,000 girls aged 10 to 18,’ according to the press release…” (Wright, 6/16).

VOA News: Michelle Obama Launches $200M Effort for Girls’ Education
“…Supporters of the program say helping girls get a quality education can improve the chances to earn a decent living, raise a healthy family, and improve quality of life for families and the community…” (Ridgwell, 6/16).

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WHO Prequalifies China's Single-Use, Disposable Male Circumcision Device

Financial Times: Circumcision device challenges China copycat image
“China’s leaders have long lamented a perceived lack of innovation in the country but, according to the World Health Organization, there is at least one area where Chinese companies have taken the lead — male circumcision. The WHO has prequalified a Chinese-made sterile, single-use, disposable device called Shangring that is used to circumcise boys and men over 13 years old without resorting to surgery…” (Anderlini, 6/17).

Wall Street Journal: In Global Fight Against HIV, China’s Circumcision Device Makes the Cut
“…The device, which doesn’t require hospital surgical facilities, will be key in reducing HIV transmission, the WHO said in a statement. Trials in African countries such as Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa have shown that male circumcision reduces the risk of infection in men by 60 percent, the WHO said. The approval, a so-called ‘prequalification’ that signals international organizations that it’s okay to use the product, is meaningful for China, which wants to play a bigger role on the global health stage and burnish its image overseas by offering humanitarian aid…” (Burkitt, 6/17).

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Improved Access To Preventives, Treatments In Developing Countries Important For Reducing Antimicrobial Resistance

GlobalPost: Why antibiotic resistance could be the most important infectious disease threat of our time
“…Politicians in the U.S. and abroad have put the spotlight on the growing threat of drug resistance, most recently at the G7 summit, where leaders from some of the world’s wealthiest countries embraced a global action plan on antimicrobial resistance adopted by the World Health Organization last month. While that plan emphasized how critical disease prevention is to curbing resistance, there is mounting concern that the world will not be able to tackle ‘superbugs’ unless there is a shift to make diagnostics, vaccines, and medicines accessible and affordable in developing nations…” (Hogan, 6/16).

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More Funding Needed To Respond To Humanitarian Emergencies, U.N. Report Says

U.N. News Centre: Latest U.N. humanitarian report reveals surge in financing needs for relief efforts
“Amid a widespread diffusion of conflicts and crises across the globe, an increasing amount of funding is now required to respond to the world’s growing humanitarian calamities, according to the latest report released [Tuesday] by the United Nations’ relief arm…” (6/16).

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Chelsea Clinton Introduces First 'State Of The World's Fathers' Report

Associated Press: Chelsea Clinton launches first report on world’s fathers
“New mother Chelsea Clinton helped launch the first report on the ‘State of the World’s Fathers’ Tuesday which says major inequalities persist between parents with women spending between two and 10 times longer than men caring for children. … The report was produced by MenCare, a global campaign to promote men and boys as equal caregivers, and was supported by several U.N. agencies and many non-governmental organizations and foundations. It brings together international research findings, with global examples…” (Lederer, 6/16).

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World Must Learn From Ebola To Avoid Future Disasters, U.K. Expert Says

The Guardian: U.K. expert warns of disaster if lessons are not learned from Ebola outbreak
“Failure to learn the lessons of the Ebola outbreak will have unthinkable consequences when the next global health emergency erupts, the former head of the U.K.’s Ebola taskforce in Sierra Leone has warned. Donal Brown, who led British efforts to tackle the disease in the West African country, said the outbreak had exposed serious technical and collaborative failings in the international community’s response mechanisms…” (Jones, 6/17).

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Pakistan Announces Aid Groups Must Register With Government Within 3 Months To Continue Operations Over Next 6 Months

Associated Press: Pakistan says aid groups can operate for another 6 months
“Pakistan’s government announced Tuesday that international aid groups can operate for another six months provided they register with officials in three months’ time, a relief for humanitarian groups worried since authorities suddenly shut the offices of Save the Children…” (Ahmed, 6/16).

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Improving Menstrual Hygiene Gets More Traction As Global Health Issue

NPR: People Are Finally Talking About The Thing Nobody Wants To Talk About
“…[A]ddressing [menstrual hygiene] is a challenge, says [Elynn Walter, an activist who works at WASH Advocates], because even otherwise level-headed experts on poverty tend to get squeamish when the talk turns to periods. In fact, Walter thinks the squeamishness over menstrual hygiene is a big reason global health and development advocates ignored the subject for decades. … Now there’s a gathering effort to change that, at least partly due to the work of a growing number of researchers who, starting about a decade ago, began studying the impact of menstrual hygiene challenges on girl’s lives…” (Aizenman, 6/16).

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Russian Government's Focus On HIV Treatment Poses Challenges For Advocates Working To Prevent Disease

Agence France-Presse: Activists struggle in fight with Russian AIDS epidemic
“…The figures show the [Russian] government’s [HIV/AIDS] policy — focusing exclusively on treatment rather than prevention — is having disastrous consequences. The number of Russians registered with HIV rose to around 930,000 as of last year from around 500,000 in 2010, according to official statistics, but some caution these figures are likely to be an underestimate…” (Delany, 6/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Should Invest In West Africa's Health Care Infrastructure

Roll Call: Spike in West Africa Ebola Cases Shows Need to Address Underlying Health Care Needs
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.)

“…The lesson from [the West Africa Ebola epidemic] is clear: For our own safety and for the long-term stability of the African economy we need to assist with investments in [the] health care infrastructure of West Africa — from hospitals and clinics to medication and vaccines and training doctors and nurses. … While Liberia was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization in early May, it cannot be deemed fully free from the threat of Ebola while the outbreak still maintains a hold in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone. This fact not only underscores the importance of a fully funded, regionally coordinated and sustained crisis and recovery effort, it also highlights the need to address the underlying causes of this outbreak’s devastation, specifically the inadequate and overstretched health care infrastructures of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone” (6/16).

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Investment In Innovation Critical To Achieving Health-Related SDGs

Devex: We won’t meet health-related SDGs if we don’t invest in innovation
Amie Batson, chief strategy officer at PATH

“The sustainable development goals won’t be finalized until September, but people are already debating whether we can reach them. At least for the proposed health targets one thing is clear, they won’t be achieved without innovations that make better health care more affordable, accessible, and effective. #GlobalGoalsWork, but only if we have the tools we need to reach them. … This is why PATH is leading the Innovation Countdown 2030 initiative. Learning from the MDGs, we have created a transparent, inclusive, and global platform to engage experts across disciplines, sectors, and geographies in identifying innovations that could have big impact by 2030. … As world leaders gather in the coming months to finalize the SDGs and strategize about how to finance and scale up solutions to help meet them, let’s ensure they know how important investments in R&D and delivery are to this process. Let’s also make sure that we, as a community, are prepared to think more strategically about how we accelerate innovation in the next 15 years” (6/16).

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African Nations Must End Child Marriage To Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

CNN: Is this the beginning of the end of child marriage?
Lakshmi Sundaram, executive director of Girls Not Brides

“…This year, the theme for the [Day of the African Child] is ending child marriage in Africa, and it represents a timely call to end a practice that devastates the lives of millions of girls across the continent. … Without major progress on this issue, the number of child brides will double by 2050 and child marriage will continue to hamper Africa’s development. In fact, the persistence of child marriage has hindered Africa’s efforts to achieve six of the eight Millennium Development Goals. That’s why it is so crucial that we tackle child marriage head on in the forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)…” (6/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation Budget Summary Discusses Global Health Aspects Of FY16 Labor-HHS Draft Appropriations Bill

Kaiser Family Foundation: House Appropriations Committee releases FY16 Health & Human Services Appropriations Bill
This budget summary highlights global health-related funding contained in a draft FY 2016 Departments of Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill, released on Tuesday by the House Committee on Appropriations. “The bill specifies $426.9 million for global health activities at CDC, which includes $128.4 million for HIV. The bill also provides $68.6 million for research activities at the Fogarty International Center (FIC) at NIH. Additional information on CDC global health programs and funding for global health research programs at NIH is not yet available,” the summary states (6/16).

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U.S. Announces More Than $133M In Additional Humanitarian Assistance To South Sudan

U.S. Department of State: U.S. Pledges Additional Humanitarian Assistance for People Affected by the South Sudan Crisis
“The United States announced more than $133 million in additional humanitarian assistance [Tuesday] in response to a surge in conflict and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian conditions in South Sudan over the last two months. … Including this additional contribution, the U.S. government has contributed more than $1.2 billion in humanitarian assistance since the outbreak of the conflict in December 2013…” (6/16).

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IHME Study Examines Global Health Funding Trends

Humanosphere: Visualizing stagnation: Funding stalled for global health
Katie Leach-Kemon, a policy translation specialist at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and Humanosphere contributor, uses graphs and infographics to discuss findings from an IHME study on health assistance to developing countries. She notes, “[The study] shows that development assistance for improving health in low- and middle-income countries dropped slightly between 2013 and 2014” (6/16).

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Blog Post Highlights Articles On Health-Related Aspects Of TPP

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Down, but not out … We’re still reading about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its impact on health
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” reviews several recent articles discussing global health-related aspects of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, as well as trade-related actions in the U.S. Congress (6/16).

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