KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Experts Discuss Disease Outbreak Preparedness, Zika Response At U.N. Meeting On Global Health Crises

Associated Press: Experts Only Beginning to Grasp the Damage From Zika Virus
“Even though the explosive spread of the Zika virus has been met with a new level of international response, thanks to lessons learned from the Ebola crisis, experts warn they are only beginning to grasp the damage the mosquito-borne virus can do. Doctors speaking at a U.N. meeting on Global Health Crises said Monday that the Zika virus has already affected 60 countries on four continents, and a major outbreak on the Atlantic Ocean island nation of Cape Verde suggests the disease is now poised to enter continental Africa. Zika has already become epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean…” (Astor, 6/20).

U.N. News Centre: Ban underlines progress towards strengthening responses to global health crises
“With the continued increase in the number and gravity of health emergencies globally, the international community must continue to work towards charting a path for how nations and communities can proactively prepare for and respond to such challenges in the future, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized [Monday]. …[T]he secretary general [spoke] at the opening of an informal meeting of the [General] Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York, during which he briefed on his report, Strengthening the global health architecture: implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises…” (6/20).

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First Human Trial Of Experimental Zika Vaccine To Begin In U.S. Soon

CNN: First Zika vaccine to be tested in humans
“The first human trial of a Zika vaccine will begin soon, Inovio Pharmaceuticals said Monday. Inovio, which is based in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania, and GeneOne Life Science, which is based in Seoul, South Korea, worked together on the vaccine…” (Christensen, 6/20).

The Guardian: Human testing of experimental Zika vaccine to begin
“Scientists expect to test the first experimental Zika vaccine on humans in the coming weeks, after the pharmaceutical company Inovio received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to start a small clinical trial…” (Glenza, 6/20).

The Hill: Zika vaccine approved for first human testing
“…Funding for vaccine research is one of the aspects of the $1.9 billion the White House requested to Congress…” (Sullivan, 6/20).

STAT: Experimental Zika vaccine is approved for clinical trials for first time in U.S.
“…Interim results from the trial, which will involve 40 healthy adults, are expected later this year. Testing in mice and monkeys has shown the vaccine triggered what Inovio called a robust antibody response…” (Branswell, 6/20).

Washington Post: Scientists announce important Zika milestone: First vaccine ready for human trials
“…Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said he believes the world’s best hope against Zika is a vaccine and that, because of previous research on West Nile and dengue, a Zika vaccine should take less time to develop than vaccines for many other infectious diseases…” (Cha, 6/20).

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U.S. Government To Help Fund Technologies Aimed At Detecting, Eliminating Zika, Other Diseases In Blood Supplies

Reuters: U.S. to help fund technology to eliminate Zika in blood supply
“The U.S. government said on Monday it has agreed to help fund two pathogen reduction technologies to help reduce the risk of Zika virus and other infections from being transmitted through the blood supply. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said the funding will flow through its Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) unit, which will provide initial funding of $30.8 million to Cerus Corp. and $17.5 million to the U.S. division of Japan’s Terumo Corp…” (Clarke, 6/20).

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Pediatric Specialists Must Employ New Strategies To Address Zika Among Children In Americas, Hotez Says

Reuters: Zika’s impact on children will require new medical approach: expert
“The spread of Zika virus through the Americas is likely to affect tens of thousands of children with a wide range of neurological and psychiatric problems in the next year, requiring a new approach to their care, a leading U.S. disease expert said on Monday. Dr. Peter Hotez of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine wrote in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics that a host of pediatric specialists, including neurologists and experts in rehabilitation medicine, ‘will need to mobilize quickly to get ahead of this fast-moving train’…” (Berkrot, 6/20).

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Devex Examines USAID Forward's Local Spending Goal

Devex: USAID inches closer to local spending goal
“In 2010, the U.S. Agency for International Development launched USAID Forward, an agency-wide reform agenda aimed at strengthening aid mechanisms, improving the impact of development programs and fostering innovative solutions for the most pressing development challenges. One key component of this strategy involves allocating 30 percent of agency funding to local partners by 2015. Five years on, USAID remains below that target. … Devex takes a closer look at the most recent data to see how aid spending for local solutions has taken shape under USAID Forward…” (Orlina, 6/20).

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News Magazines Examine Continuing Challenges Of Liberia's Ebola Epidemic

The Atlantic: After Ebola
“…Now, about a year and a half after the peak of the outbreak, the vast assemblage of foreign disease experts and health care workers and crisis-response teams who finally helped contain [Ebola] has largely departed. But the virus keeps resurfacing. Ten flare-ups have been recorded in West Africa since Liberia was first declared Ebola-free, in May 2015. Three have occurred in Liberia itself. Like the dead, survivors of the initial epidemic number in the thousands. Experts believe the virus can be sexually transmitted for many months after symptoms abate…” (Parshley, July/August 2016).

Scientific American: From Liberia, Ebola Survivors Report They Are Still Afflicted with Disabling Symptoms
“Brain deficits and more torment many virus survivors in Liberia. The top suspects are hidden viral remnants and immune system overreactions…” (Yasmin, 7/1).

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The Guardian Examines Contraception Options, Including Sterilization, Under India's Family Planning Programs

The Guardian: Sterilized at 20: the Indian women seeking permanent contraceptive solutions
“…More than four million [Indian] women were permanently sterilized in 2014-15. In contrast, only about 90,000 men had vasectomies. The government says 1,434 people died from the procedures between 2003 and 2012, almost all of them women. Social stigma, and the legacy of India’s forced family planning programs, has kept men away from clinics. However, a new government policy could see the decades-long female-centered family planning initiatives shift their focus to men…” (Doshi, 6/21).

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Editorials and Opinions

NYT Letters To Editor Address Efforts Needed To End AIDS By 2030

New York Times: New Strategies to Fight AIDS
Multiple authors

The New York Times published three letters to the editor in response to its recent editorial on the need for vigorous global efforts to end AIDS by 2030. The authors, who include Kimberly Cernak, deputy director of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; Judith Bruce, senior associate and policy analyst at the Population Council; and Greg Perry, executive director of Medicines Patent Pool, highlight several strategies including community engagement and public-private partnerships (6/20).

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Global Community Must Ensure Access To Health Care For Refugees, Displaced People

Huffington Post: The right to health for everyone, no matter where people live or travel
Flavia Bustreo, assistant director general for family, women’s and children’s health at the WHO, and vice chair of the Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…[W]hat can be done to empower women, children, and adolescents — whether refugees or asylum-seekers — to access the health care and protection they need? First, the international community and receiving countries must face up to their responsibilities and obligations under international law, echoed in political commitments, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). … Second, all countries and humanitarian partners should deploy the Minimum Initial Service Package for reproductive health during emergencies. … Third, countries need to develop strong and resilient health systems that are accessible to all populations within their jurisdiction, including refugees, asylum-seekers, and other forcibly displaced populations. … As we mark World Refugee Day, let us live up to the commitment to ensure the right to health applies equally to every human being, whatever their circumstances…” (6/20).

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More Focus On Nutrition In First 1,000 Days Needed To Help Cognitive, Physical Development Of World's Children

New York Times: Why The First 1,000 Days Matter Most
Roger Thurow, author and senior fellow for global agriculture and food policy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

“…[E]nsuring brain development in the first 1,000 days so children are actually capable of learning once they get to school has been largely ignored. … In the [past] decade …, nutrition has gradually moved closer to center stage. The Obama administration launched its Feed the Future initiative, aiming to reduce hunger, malnutrition, and stunting through agricultural development, especially in Africa. A broad group of nations and foundations pledged to increase investments at a series of Nutrition for Growth summits. At the recent World Bank spring meetings in Washington, D.C., finance ministers and bankers acknowledged that investing in ‘gray matter infrastructure’ — the brains of young children — is as important for national and global economic growth as is investing in roads, ports, and buildings. Ending hunger and malnutrition has always been seen as the moral thing to do. Now we know it is also the smart thing to do” (6/20).

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Health Practitioners Must Ask Parents About Child-Feeding Practices To Avoid Dangerous Formula Substitutions

Global Health NOW: Cheap Milk Substitutes Endanger Babies
Afifa Tanweer, nutritionist in India and honorable mention winner in the 2016 Untold Global Health Stories Contest

“…Finding a total of five tea creamer-fed children during [a] three-months period, I was convinced that poverty, lack of knowledge, and advertising can play a significant role in child-feeding practices. Many health practitioners … may overlook this root cause of undernourishment. But it must be highlighted. Not only can it have an impact on [a] child’s health, it can also improve the efficiency of diagnostic interventions. Convincing the pediatric health practitioners to start asking the type/brand of milk being given to the patient and intervening accordingly is a small investment compared to its potential benefits. Moreover, the tea whitener manufacturers must be pressed to put a clear pictorial explanation in their advertisements and on packages that it must not be used for feeding children. This issue must also be included in the community-based nutrition campaigns for promoting healthy feeding practices during formative early years of life” (6/20).

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International Council On Women's Health Issues Congress Important Opportunity To Address Violence Against Women

Huffington Post: This Congress Is Undivided On Violence Against Women
Patricia M. Davidson, dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing

“The lives and freedom of women and girls across the globe have suffered attacks both subtle and horrific, political and personal, in peace and in war. … The toll of such emotional and physical stress is monumental, and the health fallout is as predictable as it should be preventable. … In poverty, in civil war, and in seasons of political discontent, gender equality and even basic human rights for women are often first to be sacrificed. That is why the 2016 [International Council on Women’s Health Issues (ICOWHI)] Congress is so essential, and why any and all of us should move mountains to be there. It is an opportunity to foster global resilience. It is a time to grieve together what’s been lost in a period of unimaginable global suffering. It is a chance to pool our deep resources of resilience, empathy, and brainpower to stem the tide” (6/20).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation Fact Sheets Examine U.S. Role In Global Family Planning, Reproductive Health, Maternal & Child Health Efforts

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government and International Family Planning & Reproductive Health Efforts
This updated fact sheet examines international family planning and reproductive health efforts and the U.S. government’s role in FP/RH efforts, including funding and challenges (6/20).

Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government and Global Maternal & Child Health Efforts
This updated fact sheet examines global maternal and child health efforts and the U.S. government’s history of support for these efforts, including funding (6/20).

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Starting ART Early May Reduce Risk Of Developing More Serious HIV-Related Infections, WHO-Supported Studies Confirm

WHO: WHO confirms antiretroviral therapy reduces the risk of life-threatening HIV-related infections
“Adults and children with HIV who start antiretroviral therapy (ART) as early as possible reduce their risk of developing serious HIV-related infections, according to new findings published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on 15 June 2016…” (6/20).

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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
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash recognizes World Refugee Day and “emphasizes that to defeat HIV, TB, and malaria we must follow the people wherever they are. The Middle East Response, one of [the fund’s] Focus On series, explains a new initiative in a region suffering from conflict and coping with large numbers of refugees and internally displaced people” (6/20).

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