KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Administration's Withdrawal From Paris Climate Agreement Will Weaken U.S. Status As Global Development Leader, Experts Say

Devex: Development experts dismayed as U.S. exits Paris climate agreement
“Development organizations and environmental groups reacted with dismay to President Donald Trump’s decision to leave the landmark Paris Agreement, warning that the exit would weaken the United States’ standing as a global development leader, and, ultimately, derail crucial progress on climate change and global poverty reduction. … Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change Thursday afternoon…” (Lieberman, 6/1).

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U.S. Sens. Van Hollen, Sullivan Ask Secretary Of State Tillerson For Briefing On State Department, USAID Reorganization

The Hill: Senators press Tillerson on potential State Department cuts
“A bipartisan pair of senators is pressing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the nascent plans to reorganize the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), warning of the potential for damaging reductions to foreign assistance. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) wrote to Tillerson on Thursday, according to a letter shared with The Hill, asking for a briefing on his reorganization plans, which were triggered by an executive order that President Trump signed in March…” (Chalfant, 6/1).

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Trump Administration Will Not Contribute To U.N. Cholera Relief Fund For Haiti, U.S., U.N. Officials Say

Foreign Policy: Trump Won’t Pay a Penny For U.N. Cholera Relief Fund in Haiti
“The Trump administration will rebuff a recent U.N. appeal to contribute millions of dollars to a cash-short trust fund established last year to provide relief to victims of a cholera epidemic that has killed more than 9,000 Haitians and sickened more than 800,000 more, according to U.S. and U.N. officials. The move will be the latest blow to U.N. efforts to raise $400 million dollars from member states to provide assistance to the Haitian victims of cholera…” (Lynch, 6/1).

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Global Health Experts Urge Congress To Maintain Funding For Fogarty International Center

Devex: Global health experts call on Trump to protect the Fogarty Center from elimination
“Global health experts have called on the United States Congress and development community to defend a ‘vital, lifesaving, modestly funded’ global health training and research facility which is earmarked for elimination under U.S. President Donald Trump’s latest budget proposal. … Speaking at a webinar hosted by the Fogarty [International Center] last week, Christine Lubinski, vice president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, said the work the Fogarty center funds was necessary to help predict and contain epidemics, and called on the global health community to defend it…” (Edwards, 6/1).

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WFP, FAO Directors Discuss Donor Fatigue, Need For Greater Attention To Famine In South Sudan

Devex: Q&A: WFP and FAO chiefs on South Sudan’s creeping donor fatigue
“…Less than two months into his new position [as World Food Programme executive director], the former governor of South Carolina[, David Beasley,] is taking his first trip to South Sudan, together with José Graziano da Silva, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. In an exclusive interview with Devex, they speak about what their respective organizations are doing to combat the famine, and the potential dire consequences of donor fatigue. … Both directors say that if the funding gap in South Sudan isn’t bridged, the situation could become increasingly devastating…” (Mednick, 5/30).

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Backed By Global South, WHO DG-Elect Tedros To Focus On Agency's Funding, Universal Health Coverage

The Lancet: Tedros elected as next WHO Director General
“Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, former minister of health and foreign affairs of Ethiopia, was elected on May 23 to the post of WHO director general. The first African to head the agency promised to place special emphasis on universal health care, to focus resources on the most vulnerable, and to lead the global agency from the front and center…” (Zarocostas, 6/3).

SciDev.Net: The tough job facing Tedros, WHO’s first African head
“…[W]hen Tedros succeeds Margaret Chan on 1 July he will have an unprecedented mandate from the countries with the world’s most pressing health problems. From dreaded new diseases like Ebola to HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, the burden is vastly higher in developing countries than in developed ones — and is now worsened by soaring rates of non-communicable diseases like cancer and diabetes. Funding will be at the top of the agenda, according to global health experts…” (Nordling, 6/2).

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WHO Adopts New Global Strategy To Strengthen Vector Control

U.N. News Centre: With innovative strategy, U.N. health agency launches new offensive against vector-borne diseases
“…Starting in June 2016, the U.N. health agency began developing a comprehensive response to strategically guide countries and partners to urgently strengthen vector control as a fundamental approach to preventing disease and responding to outbreaks. The unique fast-track process culminated this week with the adoption of the Global Vector Control Response 2017-2030 by the World Health Assembly (at its seventieth session)…” (6/1).

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U.N. Agencies Working With Local Partners In West Africa To Deliver Millions Of Bed Nets, Information On Malaria Prevention

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Millions of bed nets delivered to fight malaria in West Africa
“Millions of insecticide-treated bed nets are being delivered to protect people from malaria in the West African nations of Guinea-Bissau and Sierra Leone, where the mosquito-borne disease is one of the biggest killers, aid agencies said on Thursday. The countries’ health ministries are working with United Nations agencies and local partners in a drive to ensure every household receives at least one bed net in the coming weeks…” (Guilbert, 6/1).

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African Humanitarian Crises Causing Human Displacement Garner Least World Attention, Report Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Crisis? What crisis? World ignores displaced Africans — aid agency
“The world pays the least attention to humanitarian crises when they force Africans from their homes, dashing hopes of peace, hindering reconstruction, and increasing the risk of radicalization, an aid agency said on Thursday. Central African Republic topped the Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) annual list of neglected displacement crises…” (Guilbert, 6/1).

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Editorials and Opinions

Lancet Editor Offers Reflections On Priorities For New WHO Director General

The Lancet: Offline: Dear Tedros…
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“…You made several [promises during your campaign to be WHO director general] — delivering universal health coverage, protecting countries from health emergencies, strengthening the front-line work of WHO, transforming WHO into a world-class institution, and putting accountability at the heart of the agency’s culture. Yet, as you acknowledged: ‘It’s going to be tough.’ … You will receive much wise advice. … What follows … [is] simply a few reflections on what might make the difference between success and failure. First, it’s not all about you. … [Y]our success depends on the quality of the team you appoint … Second, think strategically. … Choose a limited number of objectives to achieve during the next five years. Third, don’t waste the goodwill you begin with on more WHO reform. … [Y]ou take over WHO at a difficult moment in its history. … You must rebuild trust and confidence in the organization. That means recognizing WHO’s special strengths. There are three. Science. … [S]cience and the accumulation of reliable knowledge are a powerful means of resistance to the forces that undermine health. Convening power. Whatever the critics of global institutions might say … WHO’s ability to use its moral leadership to accelerate progress on health remains undiluted. … The voice of the voiceless. … WHO represents those who have no voice. … WHO is more than a health agency. It stands for the possibility of human perfection. Believe in that vision. And hold all of us accountable for delivering it” (5/29).

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World Needs Better Way To Develop, Test TB Drugs, Diagnostics

The Guardian: We had to run our own trial for TB drugs — nobody else was doing it
Bern-Thomas Nyang’wa, TB specialist at Médecins Sans Frontières

“…Despite the fact that the number of new people being diagnosed with TB every year is decreasing, the overall number of people living with TB is at an all-time high as we fail to cure people already living with the disease. … The inadequate diagnostics and medicines mean that the complexity and severity of the disease is getting worse. … One key reason for the lack of investment in TB is that most people with the disease live in low- and middle-income countries, so there is little financial incentive for pharmaceutical companies to develop or research new drugs. It is also because drug companies make financial gains by patenting drugs. … As a result, the only two new drugs developed in the past 50 years remain out of reach of most patients. … [We] need better diagnostic tools that are also accessible to those who need them most. We need improved ways of developing individual drugs and quicker ways of combining them into regimens. We need combinations that are suitable for children, and all treatment needs to be affordable. With thousands of people dying from TB each day, there needs to be a global response to this global crisis” (6/1).

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Venezuela Faces Hunger Crisis, Needs To Accept Humanitarian Aid

Washington Post: Venezuela’s hunger crisis is for real
Francisco Toro, executive editor of the Caracas Chronicles

“…More and more, … households [in Venezuela are] pursuing the kind of emergency adaptation strategies usually associated with famines in war-torn countries. Sixty-three percent report turning to ‘unusual foods,’ 70 percent report that they’ve stopped consuming types of food they consider important, and 85 percent of families in at-risk areas report they are eating less. … Overall, 34 percent of families are now resorting to at least one emergency coping strategy — a sign of acute food insecurity … Venezuela needs serious and sustained humanitarian aid to stem the current deaths and prevent an entire generation of children from being stunted. But a government that consistently refuses to acknowledge this reality has stubbornly resisted declaring a humanitarian emergency and accepting the aid much of the world — including the United States — is offering. As the rainy season approaches, and with it a seasonal upsurge in infectious diseases, [Susana Raffalli, humanitarian specialist in food emergencies for Caritas Venezuela,] is especially concerned: Malnourished children often struggle to fight off infections that better-fed children can breeze through…” (6/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Donors Pledge More Than $200M For 2nd Phase Of Global Health Innovative Technology Fund

Global Health Innovative Technology Fund: GHIT Fund Secures Commitments of Over US$200 Million to its Replenishment for the Acceleration of Japanese Innovation for Infectious Diseases of the Developing World
“…GHIT’s funding partners, including the Government of Japan (GOJ), private companies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust have committed over US$200 million in a significant vote of confidence in the institution’s work. The new commitment for GHIT’s second phase is double the initial US$100 million investment GHIT received when it was created in 2013. The GOJ will contribute roughly half of the replenishment, with other partners splitting the remaining half…” (6/1).

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CSIS Blog Posts Highlight Informal Health Worker Training, TB Treatment Programs In India

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Training the Informal Health Workforce in India
Richard Downie, deputy director and fellow of the Africa Program at CSIS, discusses a program in India that trains informal health care providers in an effort to address health worker shortages in rural areas, writing, “Innovations like these are not without risks — particularly during the scale-up phase — and it would be incorrect to view them as alternatives to the formal health system. However, they offer practical solutions to the shortage of qualified health professionals” (5/22).

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Achieving TB Milestones Through Last Mile Delivery in India
Deen L. Garba, research assistant with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses one program’s efforts in India to make progress against TB by taking treatment directly to patients, writing, “While this approach is certainly not the only solution to a TB epidemic that requires a multifaceted approach, it does offer a compelling example of how last mile delivery can be a financially pragmatic approach to treating those with TB in the world’s most difficult-to-reach locales” (5/25).

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June 2017 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The June 2017 WHO Bulletin includes editorials, news, and research and policy articles on various issues related to the month’s special theme of “measuring quality of care” (June 2017).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID's May 2017 Global Health Newsletter Focuses On Human-Centered Design

USAID: GH Newsletter — Focus on Human-Centered Design
USAID’s May 2017 Global Health Newsletter focuses on human-centered design, “a way of thinking that places the people you’re trying to serve at the center of the design and implementation process.” Articles discuss various topics, including neonatal health care, HIV prevention for women, and Ebola outbreak response. The newsletter also features a podcast interview with David Milestone, acting director of USAID’s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact, and Robert Fabricant, co-founder of Dalberg Design Impact Group (DIG) and partner at Dalberg Global Development Advisors (May 2017).

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From KFF

Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Mexico City Policy Explainer

Kaiser Family Foundation: The Mexico City Policy: An Explainer
This updated explainer from the Kaiser Family Foundation includes information on the Trump administration’s implementation plan for the Mexico City policy released on May 15, as well as an overview of the policy, its history, and changes over time (6/1).

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