KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Publishes Last Article In Series Examining How Mexico City Policy Will Impact Family Planning, Reproductive Health Activities Of Colombia's Profamilia

Devex: A Trump-induced competition for women’s health funding in Colombia
“…Complying with U.S. President Donald Trump’s reinstated ‘global gag rule’ in January, then, was never an option for Profamilia, Colombia’s biggest nongovernmental family planning services and safe abortion provider. … For Profamilia, which serves 600,000 people a year, this translates to a loss of $1.2 million in U.S. Agency for International Development funding for community strengthening and reproductive health programs for vulnerable populations in 11 municipalities. … After mourning the passage of the expanded [Mexico City] policy — which impacts about 15 times more U.S. funding than past iterations, including Profamilia’s $300,000 Zika education project that won’t get off the ground — the Profamilia fundraising team jumped into action. They began searching for support to compensate [for] what will be lost when programs are forced to close at the end of the year, a full 12 months earlier than planned. They haven’t gotten very far, [the organization’s president Marta Royo] said…” (Rogers, 6/21).

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Sweden's Secretary Of State For International Development Speaks With Devex About Multilateralism, Future Of Aid, Trump Administration

Devex: Q&A: Sweden’s aid chief on Trump, multilateralism, and the securitization of aid
“Multilateral institutions such as the United Nations offer the only route to solving global problems, according to Sweden’s international development chief. Speaking exclusively to Devex, Ulrika Modéer, Sweden’s secretary of state for international development, said that her country — the world’s third biggest donor — will continue channeling a large portion of its aid money through multilaterals. … Modéer talked to Devex about Trump, multilateralism, and the future of aid on the sidelines of the recent European Development Days summit in Brussels…” (Edwards, 6/21).

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Conflict, Humanitarian Crises Fuel Cholera, Polio Outbreaks In Yemen, Syria

Washington Post: How war brought cholera and polio back to the Middle East
“As war ravages public health systems in Yemen and Syria, doctors are treating epidemics and diseases they once thought were things of the past. In Yemen, it is cholera, a bacterial disease spreading so fast, [more than] 160,000 people have fallen sick since April. In Syria, it is polio, almost two decades after government efforts to eradicate the illness were hailed as a textbook example of a good practice…” (Loveluck, 6/21).

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WHO Confirms 15 New Polio Cases In Syria; Immunization Efforts Planned For Next Month

Reuters: WHO says child from Raqqa among 15 new polio cases in Syria
“Fifteen new cases of polio have been confirmed in Syria, including a child who may have caught the disease in Raqqa, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday. Aid workers are unable to vaccinate the population in and around Raqqa, a city held by Islamic State militants and a target of U.S.-led airstrikes…” (Miles, 6/20).

STAT: Polio outbreak expands in Syria, as health officials plan immunization campaign
“…The other 16 [confirmed polio cases] are in Mayadeen district in the Deir-Ez-Zor governorate of eastern Syria. … Planning is underway to conduct two special rounds of immunization. The first round is expected to begin no later than July 8 and will use a special oral vaccine that targets type 2 polio. The goal is to vaccinate 328,000 children under the age of five. A second round, which will use injectable polio vaccine … will aim to vaccinate 114,500 children between the ages of two months and 24 months…” (Branswell, 6/20).

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U.N. Agencies Work To Contain Yemen's Cholera Outbreak; More Than 172K Suspected Cases, WHO Reports

U.N. News Centre: Aid workers race to contain Yemen cholera outbreak, U.N. agencies report
“A ‘race’ is under way to contain the cholera epidemic in Yemen where 20 out of 22 governorates are affected, United Nations agencies said [Tuesday]. … Nearly 1,200 people have died in the latest outbreak and there are more than 172,000 suspected cases in the crisis-torn country, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)…” (6/20).

VOA News: Yemen Struggling With Cholera Outbreak, Currently World’s Largest
“…[WHO s]pokesman Tarik Jasarevic says aid agencies are scaling up their operation and refining their response. He says it is not possible to cover the country at all times, so WHO and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) workers are going to so-called hotspots — the most affected areas — to treat cholera victims who are most at risk. He calls the situation a very challenging one…” (Schlein, 6/20).

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U.N. SG Guterres Announces Appointment Of New High-Level Envoy For Haiti; Josette Sheeran To Be Responsible For Cholera Fundraising Strategy

Miami Herald: With little money to combat cholera in Haiti, U.N. names new fundraising chief
“A former top State Department official and head of the United Nations’ World Food Programme has been tapped to develop a comprehensive fundraising strategy to finance the U.N.’s plan to clean up cholera in Haiti — a disease introduced there by U.N. peacekeepers. Josette Sheeran’s appointment as a high-level envoy for Haiti was announced Tuesday by U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres…” (Charles, 6/20).

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South Sudan No Longer In Famine Situation, Report Says; Country's Refugees Straining Uganda's Health System

Reuters: South Sudan no longer classified as in famine: U.N.-backed report
“South Sudan is no longer classified as being in famine, although 45,000 people in Jonglei and Unity states are expected to remain in famine-like conditions and the situation is still critical, a U.N.-backed food security report said on Wednesday. … The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report was based on a survey by a working group including government and U.N. officials…” (Dumo/Miles, 6/21).

VOA News: South Sudan Refugee Crisis Strains Uganda’s Health System
“…The massive influx of South Sudanese refugees into northern Uganda during the past year has strained the country’s already overburdened health care system. Health centers near refugee settlements in the country’s Adjumani district are overwhelmed, especially those providing maternity care…” (Athumani, 6/19).

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Universal HIV Test & Treat Strategy Could Help Reduce Virus's Spread In Resource-Limited Settings, Study Shows

SciDev.Net: Universal test and treat strategy could cut HIV spread
“A program to increase the proportion of people aware of their HIV status and receiving antiretroviral therapy could cut viral spread in resource-limited settings with high rates of HIV infection, preliminary findings of a trial suggest. The trial known as PopART is being conducted to assess the feasibility of achieving the UNAIDS goal of 90 percent of people infected with HIV knowing their status, 90 percent of people diagnosed with HIV receiving antiretroviral therapy, and 90 percent of those on treatment having viral suppression…” (Achieng, 6/20).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Congress Should Fund Mechanisms To Gather Evidence On Development Outcomes, Impacts Of Foreign Aid

Devex: Opinion: Federal budget claims support for evidence, but slashes funding for it
Shiro Gnanaselvam, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Social Impact

“…I agree with [U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s] statement that ‘more money doesn’t necessarily mean better outcomes.’ However, I would argue you do need to fund the mechanisms designed to gather evidence about the outcomes and impact of foreign aid. The proposed fiscal year 2018 foreign assistance budget slashes funding for the very activities that provide this evidence. If we want the U.S. taxpayer to believe the U.S. government is serious about using evidence for effective foreign aid, Congress should restore this funding. … While further improvement is certainly needed, decimating the very mechanisms in the agency that will enable meaningful reform and increase programmatic impact is not the way to go. So, what is the way to go? Here are three things that should happen as the USAID budget moves through Congress. Use the principles outlined in Chapter 6 of the budget to make downstream budget decisions. Protect the funding mechanisms responsible for monitoring, evaluation, and learning. Build up (and reform where necessary) the structures, tools, and systems for evidence-based decision-making. Do not eliminate them just as they are starting to deliver results…” (6/20).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. Foreign Aid Needed Today Just As Europe Needed Marshall Plan After WWII

WBUR’s “Cognoscenti”: Why We Need Foreign Aid
Cognoscenti contributor Rich Barlow discusses President Trump’s proposed cuts to foreign aid; the history of foreign aid, focusing on the Marshall Plan undertaken by President Harry Truman after World War II; and the importance of foreign aid in today’s world. Barlow notes, “If Trump’s no Truman, he leads a citizenry famously unaware that we spend a trifle on foreign aid; the average answer in a 2016 Kaiser Family Foundation public opinion poll estimated the amount the United States spends abroad to be one-third of the federal budget. Actual amount: one percent. This ignorance abets Trump’s insistence that we’re overspending on others when it should be America First…” (6/21).

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World Refugee Day Serves As Opportunity For Malaria Control Programs To Step Up Efforts To Protect All People

Tropical Health Matters: Refugees and Malaria
Bill Brieger, professor in the health systems program of the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins University, recognizes World Refugee Day, which takes place annually on June 20, and discusses efforts to prevent malaria among refugees, a population that has an increased risk of malaria exposure. Brieger writes, “World Refugee Day is a time for people in malaria national control/elimination programs to take note of the refugee and displaced populations within their boundaries and step up efforts to protect everyone” (6/20).

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Mass Bed Net Distribution Campaigns Across Sub-Saharan Africa Can Improve Health Equity

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Mass bed net distribution campaigns reduce health disparities across sub-Saharan Africa
In a guest post, Courtney Chiaparas, writing for MEASURE Evaluation, discusses a study that examined the effectiveness of bed net distribution campaigns to prevent and control malaria across sub-Saharan Africa. Chiaparas writes, “The study makes a case for future investments in malaria control via national distribution, shown to increase access to [insecticide treated nets (ITNs)] across socioeconomic subgroups. Campaigns providing free insecticide treated nets to mass populations should continue” (6/19).

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Director Of Stanford's Center For Innovation In Global Health Discusses Importance Of Women Leaders In Global Health

Stanford Medicine’s “Scope”: Stanford’s Michele Barry on why we need more women leaders in global health
Holly MacCormick, social media producer at the Stanford University School of Medicine, speaks with Michele Barry, director of Stanford’s Center for Innovation in Global Health, on the need for more women in global health leadership positions (6/20).

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'Science Speaks' Highlights Recently Published Articles On Global Health-Related Topics

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: We’re reading about the values and value behind health services, security, and science
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” highlights recently published pieces on several global health-related topics, including an article on the potential impact of the administration’s proposed FY18 cuts to NIH; a report from the World Bank on investing in pandemic preparedness at a national level; and an article on the importance of philanthropic foundations’ investments in advocacy to preserve the momentum of the global response to AIDS (6/20).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Recognizes World Refugee Day, Remains Committed To Providing Aid To Refugees

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Recognizing World Refugee Day
Simon Henshaw, acting assistant secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the State Department, writes, “The United States commemorates World Refugee Day on June 20th each year to acknowledge the challenges refugees face, commend the humanitarian work being done to help these populations, and encourage a continued global effort to address refugee crises. In his World Refugee Day statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson underlines U.S. recognition of ‘the plight of those forced by persecution and war to flee their home countries,’ and ‘the pressing challenges posed by ongoing refugee crises.’ Today, there are over 22 million refugees around the world. The United States and the international community remain committed to providing aid to refugees…” (6/20).

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