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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

White House Forum To Discuss Efforts To Decrease Antibiotic Overuse, Prevent Drug-Resistant Microbes

The Hill: White House moves to curb use of antibiotics
“The White House is ramping up its push to fight bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics. Pharmaceutical companies, agricultural companies, and other groups are coming together for a forum at the White House on Tuesday to discuss ways to prevent the overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals, which fuels the rise of deadly bacteria resistant to medicine…” (Sullivan, 6/2).

Reuters: White House announces forum to fight antibiotic overuse
“…The White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship will bring together some 150 representatives from food companies, retailers, drugmakers, farmers, medical societies, and others involved in human and animal health to discuss limiting the overuse of antibiotics in livestock, animal feed, and humans. … CDC Director Thomas Frieden said antibiotic resistance might be the single most important infectious disease threat today…” (Berkrot, 6/2).

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South Korea Reports 2 MERS Deaths Among 25 Total Cases, Isolates Around 700 Possibly Exposed People

Agence France-Presse: S. Korea reports first MERS deaths as alarm grows
“South Korea on Tuesday reported its first deaths from an outbreak of the MERS virus that has infected 25 people, caused widespread alarm, and triggered a closer watch by Asian neighbors on Korean arrivals…” (Jung, 6/2).

Al Jazeera America: South Korea confirms two deaths from MERS virus
“…About 750 people in South Korea were isolated at their homes or in state-run facilities after having contact with patients infected with the virus, officials said Tuesday…” (6/2).

CNN: 2 MERS patients die in South Korea
“…The victims included a 58-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man who both had contact with the country’s first MERS patient, South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare said…” (Fantz et al., 6/1).

Reuters: South Korea reports first two deaths from MERS respiratory illness
“…The ministry reported new confirmed cases on Tuesday, bringing the total to 25. South Korea now has the third highest number of cases after Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control…” (Park/Kim, 6/1).

VOA News: Asia MERS Outbreak Alarms Authorities
“…South Korean authorities say this week will be critical to see if they have contained the outbreak by preventing third-level exposure, the spread of the disease to a person who did not have direct contact with the first infected patient…” (Padden, 6/1).

Washington Post: MERS fears in South Korea: Nearly 700 isolated as health officials seek to block spread
“…South Korea has been on high alert since May 20 when a 68-year-old man who had been traveling in Bahrain tested positive for the virus. Since then, the virus has been detected in a number of patients and visitors to the hospital where he was treated — triggering global concern about whether the virus had mutated or genetic or environmental factors may have been at play…” (Cha, 6/1).

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Japanese Drug Companies Open Chemical Compound Libraries To DNDi In Effort To Improve NTD Therapies

New York Times: Japanese Companies Attack Neglected Diseases
“Several Japanese drug companies have joined a new project to find medicines to treat two neglected parasitic diseases, Chagas and leishmaniasis. Eisai Co., Shionogi & Co., and Takeda Pharmaceutical will join AstraZeneca, a London-based company, in opening their libraries of millions of chemical compounds to the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative, allowing researchers to look for chemicals that kill the parasites in infected cells…” (McNeil, 6/1).

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WHO Updates Medical Eligibility Criteria For Contraceptive Options

Al Jazeera America: WHO expands list of recommended birth control options
“The World Health Organization on Monday added a series of long-acting, hormonal contraceptives to the list of globally recommended birth control methods, which will significantly reduce mothers’ risk of dying during childbirth, experts say. The WHO’s guidelines relax restrictions on the use of hormonal methods for breastfeeding women who are less than six weeks postpartum, according to researchers at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health…” (6/1).

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WHO Distributes Medical Camp Kits In Nepal To Bolster Quake-Hit Health Care System Before Monsoon Season

U.N. News Centre: In Nepal, U.N. rushes to replace quake-damaged health care facilities ahead of monsoon
“…In a press release issued [Monday], the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed it will be distributing 50 medical camp kits, also known as MCKs, in collaboration with Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population and the World Food Programme (WFP) as part of the U.N.’s continuing on-the-ground relief efforts aimed at patching up the country’s beleaguered health care networks…” (6/1).

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U.N., Health Officials Concerned Over Continued Spread Of Ebola In Guinea, Hope Outbreak Soon Over In Sierra Leone

Associated Press: U.N. official says Ebola will end in Sierra Leone in weeks
“The U.N. Ebola chief said Monday he believes ‘it’s only a matter of weeks’ before the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone ends, but stopping the deadly disease in Guinea will take more time because in some areas unsafe traditions still hold sway over what’s good for people’s health…” (Lederer, 6/1).

Reuters: Ebola threat to Guinea Bissau rises as border zone heats up
“Violent protests against Ebola controls in a north Guinea town have prompted the Red Cross to withdraw workers, undermining efforts to stop the spread of Ebola into neighboring Guinea Bissau…” (Brice, 6/1).

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Pakistani Army's Campaign Against Militants Also Helps Improve Polio Eradication Efforts

Los Angeles Times: Pakistan’s campaign against militants curbs another menace: polio
“The Pakistani army’s nearly yearlong campaign against Islamist militants in the northern tribal belt has its skeptics, but one area where experts say its effect has been unmistakable is in battling polio. Six cases have been reported this year in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, down from 56 in the same period last year…” (Ali/Bengali, 6/1).

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Food Aid Diverted From Yemen Because Of Fighting, WFP Says; Country's Health Care System In Shambles, Aid Groups Say

Reuters: Thousands of tonnes of Yemen food aid diverted by fighting: U.N. officials
“Thousands of tonnes of food aid for war-ravaged Yemen have been diverted from the port of Aden because of heavy fighting there, U.N. officials said on Monday…” (Arsenault, 6/1).

U.N. News Centre: Amid reports of fighting, U.N. ship with vital food aid for Yemen diverted from Aden
“…The MV Amsterdam was on its way from Djibouti carrying over 5,700 metric tons of food including wheat, pulses, vegetable oil, and micronutrient powder, which is used to protect young children against malnutrition and anemia, said a statement released from WFP [on Monday]…” (6/1).

Washington Post: War in Yemen is pushing health care facilities to the brink of collapse
“Two months of war have devastated Yemen’s health sector, aggravating a dire humanitarian crisis by depriving millions of people of urgent medical care and threatening outbreaks of diseases such as polio and measles, according to doctors and international aid organizations…” (al-Mujahed/Naylor, 5/31).

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Boko Haram Militants Creating Acute Food Shortages For Nearly Half Million People Fleeing Violence

VOA News: WFP Warns Boko Haram Has Created Food Crisis
“The U.N. food agency is warning of an acute food shortage for people in Nigeria and the surrounding region who are fleeing Islamic Boko Haram militants. The World Food Programme says nearly a half million people are facing a food crisis in Nigeria and bordering countries…” (6/1).

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NPR Interviews PIH Official On Efforts To Control Cholera In Haiti

NPR: Haiti Sees Spike In Cholera Cases 4 Years After Outbreak Began
“Haiti has been struggling to control a cholera epidemic that began after the 2010 earthquake. Renee Montagne talks to Dr. Louise Ivers, the senior health adviser for Partners in Health…” (Montagne, 6/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

Comprehensive WASH Targets Essential To Achieve Post-2015 Agenda

Huffington Post: Where Do We Go From Here? WASH in the SDGs
Hanna Woodburn, deputy secretariat director at the Global Public-Private Partnership for Handwashing with Soap

“…WASH must be included in mandatory, global-level indicators that address both the availability of facilities in key locations (including households, schools, and health care centers) and promotion of appropriate behaviors to encourage good WASH practices. … The ripple effect of WASH cannot be overstated and it cannot be overlooked. As September approaches, the clock is ticking down not only to the MDG deadline, but also to the opportunity to ensure that the SDGs set us up to make as big of an impact on poverty reduction as possible. Comprehensive goals, targets, and indicators around water, sanitation, and hygiene are essential to making the post-2015 era better than ever before” (6/2).

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India's Air Pollution Causing Lung Damage Among Millions Of Children

New York Times: Holding Your Breath in India
Gardiner Harris, Washington correspondent for the New York Times

“…When I became a South Asia correspondent for the New York Times three years ago, my wife and I were both excited and prepared for difficulties — insistent beggars, endemic dengue, and summertime temperatures that reach 120 degrees. But we had little inkling just how dangerous this city would be for our boys. We gradually learned that Delhi’s true menace came from its air, water, food, and flies. These perils sicken, disable, and kill millions in India annually, making for one of the worst public health disasters in the world. Delhi, we discovered, is quietly suffering from a dire pediatric respiratory crisis, with a recent study showing that nearly half of the city’s 4.4 million schoolchildren have irreversible lung damage from the poisonous air…” (5/29).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Blog Post Examines Criteria For Continuation Of Health-Related Aid In Middle-Income Countries

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: In Health Spending, Middle-Income Countries Face a Priorities Ditch, Not a Financing Ditch — But That Still Merits Aid
Amanda Glassman, vice president for programs, director of Global Health Policy, and senior fellow at CGD, and Charles Kenny, senior fellow at CGD, discuss criteria for health-related aid financing in middle-income countries, concluding, “Donors at Gavi (and the Global Fund) need to use better tools to ensure aid financing delivers a bigger global health benefit for the dollar — especially amongst richer aid recipients” (6/1).

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Updated WHO Contraceptive Guidelines Could Improve Maternal, Child Survival

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s “Global Health NOW”: Ready for Action: The WHO Expands Postpartum Family Planning, Increasing Chances for Maternal and Child Survival
Anne Pfitzer, family planning team leader for USAID’s Maternal and Child Survival Program, led by Jhpiego; Rehana Gubin, Jhpiego’s technical adviser for global health practice and policy research; and Kelsey Cannon, an MPH candidate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, discuss updated WHO Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use guidelines, especially as they relate to postpartum women and the role some contraceptives can play in improving maternal and child survival (6/1).

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New Issue Of USAID's 'FrontLines' Available Online

USAID’s “Impact”: FrontLines: Science, Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships
FrontLines Production Editor Angela Rucker previews the latest edition of the USAID publication, including articles on mobile banking in sub-Saharan Africa, drought resiliency in Jamaica, and maternal health in Timor-Leste (6/1).

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Conflict, Drought Creating Tenuous Food Security Situation In West Africa

Humanosphere: Sahel: Drought, displacement, and conflict leave 20 million food insecure
Humanosphere reporter Tom Murphy writes, “Conflict and drought are working in tandem to leave more than 23 million people food insecure in West Africa. Yet again, there are concerns that the region is on the brink of crisis. And predictions of an El Niño year could make matters worse…” (6/1).

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Blog Post Highlights Journal Article On Developing TB Treatments For Underserved Populations

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Children, people with HIV, pregnant women, and others underserved by TB drug development present ethical imperative, opportunities for global disease approaches, authors say
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses “an article [published] in a recently released Journal of Infectious Diseases supplement on tuberculosis drug development [that] explores the challenges [of] developing products of appropriate doses and formulations for children, people with HIV, people with diabetes, and pregnant women, as well as the opportunities that meeting those challenges present…” (6/1).

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