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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Imposes Sanctions On Uganda Over Anti-Gay Law

Media sources report on U.S. actions to implement sanctions on Uganda in response to the country’s anti-gay laws.

The Hill: U.S. slaps sanctions on Uganda for anti-gay law
“The United States will discontinue some aid and implement travel bans against Ugandan officials in protest of the country’s recently enacted anti-gay laws, the White House announced Thursday…” (Sink, 6/19).

New York Times: Uganda: Anti-Gay Law Draws Sanctions
“…Certain Ugandan officials will be barred from entering the United States, and some aid money for Ugandan police and health agencies will be cut off or redirected, the administration said. In addition, the Obama administration canceled plans to hold a military aviation exercise in Uganda…” (Baker, 6/19).

Reuters: U.S. cuts aid to Uganda, cancels military exercise over anti-gay law
“…The White House said in a statement the measures were intended to ‘reinforce our support for human rights of all Ugandans regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity’…” (Wroughton, 6/20).

Reuters: Uganda says won’t be ‘blackmailed’ over anti-gay law
“Uganda said on Thursday that any threats to cut aid would not alter its decision to toughen laws against homosexuals, after U.S. officials said they would announce new measures against Kampala over the issue…” (Biryabarema, 6/19).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Law prompts new U.S. responses, including entry restrictions and police program aid suspension
“A White House blog post and National Security Council statement today announced additional responses from the White House to Uganda’s enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act, legislation that led to police action and suspension of work at a U.S.-funded HIV program there…” (Barton, 6/19).

White House Blog: Further U.S. Efforts to Protect Human Rights in Uganda
“…After thorough consideration, the U.S. government is taking a number of actions to underscore the critical importance we place on human rights and fighting against discrimination, protecting vulnerable populations, respecting freedom of expression and association, and advancing inclusive governance…” (Harris/Pomper, 6/19).

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Rep. Cicilline Introduces Bill That Would Ban Anti-Gay Foreigners From U.S.

The Hill: Bill would ban anti-LGBT foreigners from entering U.S.
“Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) on Thursday introduced legislation that would require the State Department to prevent foreigners who have committed human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people from entering the U.S….” (Marcos, 6/19).

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Community-Based Engagement Critical To NCD Efforts, General Assembly President Says

U.N. News Centre: Community engagement key to tackling non-communicable diseases, says Assembly President
“Broader community-based engagement is vital to tackling non-communicable diseases — such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes — which are one of the major challenges for development in the 21st century, the President of the United Nations General Assembly stressed today…” (6/19).

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Gender Equality Campaign Focuses On Discrimination Against Women's Nationality

The Guardian: Women’s nationality is focus of new campaign for gender equality
“A global campaign to revoke discriminatory laws that prohibit women from changing their nationalities, or conferring their nationalities on their children, was launched in Geneva this week. The International Campaign to End Gender Discrimination in Nationality Laws, organized by a coalition of NGOs, U.N. agencies, and academics, is calling on governments to amend any laws that deny women equal rights to men in regard to nationality and citizenship…” (Ford, 6/20).

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Measles Vaccination Campaign Highlights Health Care Delivery Challenges In Syria

Reuters: Stalled measles campaign shows health challenge in rebel-held Syria
“A measles vaccination program in northern Syria has stalled amid disagreement over who should coordinate it, highlighting the challenges of establishing basic health care services in opposition-held parts of the country…” (Afanasieva, 6/19).

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South America Begins To Ease Strict Abortion Laws, Increase Access

The Lancet: Tide begins to turn on abortion access in South America
“Several South American countries are finding ways to ease long-standing restrictive abortion laws, with Chile the latest to indicate a possible change. … An opposite trend has been building in Central America, however, where El Salvador and Nicaragua have banned abortion under any circumstances…” (Fraser, 6/21).

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India's New Health Minister Vows To Provide Universal Health Coverage

The Lancet: New government gears up for India’s health challenges
“Harsh Vardhan, India’s new health minister, has pledged to bring transparency in health care services and provide health insurance to all citizens. Vardhan, an ear, nose, and throat surgeon by qualification, is touted by many health experts as the pioneer of India’s Pulse Polio program. He has also served as the health minister of Delhi from 1993 to 1998…” (Sachan, 6/21).

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South Sudan Facing Food Crisis Amidst Ongoing Conflict

IRIN: War, rain and money — an anatomy of South Sudan’s food crisis
“…[S]ix months of war has uprooted so many [South Sudanese] and destroyed their meager livelihoods that some four million require humanitarian assistance. Relief workers scrambling to avert a famine report daunting obstacles: from the failure of South Sudan’s feuding leaders to halt the conflict, to near-impossible logistics and limited international attention and resources…” (6/19).

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ARV Shortages Endanger Those On HIV Treatment In Mozambique, IPS Reports

Inter Press Service: ARV Shortages Hit Mozambique’s HIV Treatment Program
“Chronic shortages of antiretrovirals across Mozambique are endangering the health and the lives of tens of thousands of HIV-positive people on treatment…” (Zacarias, 6/19).

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Genetically Modified Foods Could Help Deliver Vitamin A To Children In Developing Countries

Healthline News: Golden Rice and ‘Super Bananas’: A Grand Experiment in Delivering Vitamin A to the Poor
“…Among the newest advances in GMO technology are beta-carotene-infused Golden Rice and ‘super’ bananas. … Three food and nutrition experts sounded off on the risks and benefits of GMOs and the ethics of providing these foods to children in developing countries…” (Haskins, 6/19).

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Editorials and Opinions

African Union Leaders Must Bolster Agricultural Sector To Achieve Peace, Food Security

The Guardian: A healthy, peaceful and secure Africa is now within our grasp
Kanayo Nwanze, president of the U.N. International Fund for Agricultural Development

“…African economies have grown impressively. But it is time to stop focusing on GDP figures and instead focus on people. The majority of our people are engaged in agriculture, and the neglect of that sector must stop if we really want to realize the healthy, peaceful and food-secure Africa that we know can be. It is not a dream: it is a responsibility,” Nwanze writes in an open letter to the African Union heads of state (6/20).

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WHO DG Must Engage International Media

The Lancet: WHO and the media: a major impediment to global health?
Pamela Das, Lancet senior executive editor, and Gabriela Sotomayor, president of the Association of Correspondents Accredited to the United Nations

“…For the second year in a row, Margaret Chan did not give a specific address to the media at the [World Health Assembly (WHA)], despite a request before the WHA from the Geneva-based Association of Correspondents Accredited to the United Nations (ACANU) to do so. … These briefings with the press are important because the international media have a responsibility to report properly and accurately. … The transparency and credibility of the organization depends on it. … In terms of public awareness and engagement, the media are important allies to WHO’s mission. It is imperative that by the sixty-eighth WHA, in 2015, efforts to improve the relationship between WHO and the media are made, and the Director-General takes time out of her busy schedule to address the media formally” (6/21).

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FIFA Should Take Responsibility For World Cup Ads Promoting Unhealthy Behaviors

Project Syndicate: The World Cup’s Sickening Message
Kent Buse, chief of political affairs and strategy at UNAIDS, and Sarah Hawkes, Wellcome Trust senior fellow in international public engagement at the Institute for Global Health, University College London

“…Promoting alcohol, sugary drinks, and fast food [at the World Cup] may mean massive profits for corporations. But it also means worse health for individuals and a costly burden on countries’ health care systems. … The World Cup has a profound social impact, including on global health. FIFA has a responsibility to ensure that the tournament’s viewers are not receiving a message that could make them sick” (6/20).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation To Host Town Hall Forum With Ambassador Birx

AIDS.gov: Live Streaming: June 23 — A Town Hall Forum with Ambassador Deborah L. Birx
“On Monday, June 23, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) will host a live town hall forum with Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, M.D., the new global AIDS coordinator. … For those unable to attend in person, a live webcast of the event will be available starting at 10:30 a.m. ET” (6/19).

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World Bank, Partners Recognize Success In Controlling River Blindness

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End The Neglect”: The World Bank and Partners Celebrate 40 Years of Success in Controlling River Blindness
Today, “the World Bank, the World Health Organization (WHO), Merck and other partners will celebrate 40 years of success in controlling river blindness in Africa. … The learning panels will conclude with a celebratory summit and reception launched by World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim. Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra will also be in attendance as a guest of honor. Panelists at the summit will celebrate the history and future of [the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC)] from the continental perspective…” Additional information and a live stream is available online (Gordon, 6/19).

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Blog Post Examines Process Of, Challenges To Calculating Global Burden Of Disease

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: The Known Unknown: Estimating the Global Burden of Disease
Kate McQueston, program coordinator for the global health policy team at the Center for Global Development (CGD), discusses the process of and challenges around calculating the global burden of disease (6/19).

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New Issue Of ‘Global Fund News Flash’ Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
Issue 43 of the Global Fund News Flash reports from a regional workshop for South and East Asia on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s new funding model. A few participants share their insights on gender and human rights issues, as well as challenges of program implementation (6/20).

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