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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Administration's Family Separation Policy Could Have Lasting Health Impacts On Children, Experts Warn; Trump Orders End To Practice But Challenges Remain

CBS News: Medical group warns family separation policy may lead to lifetime of harm to children
“As hundreds of children are being separated from their parents at the border between the United States and Mexico, pediatricians are sounding the alarm on the potential health effects and developmental damage this can cause. Child health experts have likened the policy to child abuse and are calling for the end of the practice immediately…” (6/20).

Los Angeles Times: The long-lasting health effects of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border
“…U.S. immigration officials have taken more than 2,300 child migrants from their parents since May, when the Trump administration initiated a ‘zero tolerance’ policy and began detaining the adults for criminal prosecution. Amid nationwide outrage, President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to bring an end to his controversial family separation policy…” (Healy, 6/20).

New York Times: Trump Retreats on Separating Families, but Thousands May Remain Apart
“…[T]he president’s order does nothing to address the plight of the more than 2,300 children who have already been separated from their parents under the president’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy. Federal officials initially said those children would not be immediately reunited with their families while the adults remain in federal custody during their immigration proceedings…” (Shear et al., 6/20).

Washington Post: Trump’s family-separation policy faces international condemnation from Pope Francis, Theresa May and others
“…President Trump’s immigration policies drew international condemnation Wednesday from allies and religious leaders, including Pope Francis, who took aim on moral grounds at the administration’s practice of separating migrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. … Leaders from London to Ottawa to Tehran described the separations as unjust and cruel…” (Harlan et al., 6/20).

Additional coverage of this story is available from Roll Call, Wall Street Journal (2), and Washington Post (2).

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USAID's Green Undergoes Questioning About U.S. Foreign Assistance In Senate Committee Hearing

Devex: Trump’s Central America threat backs USAID chief into a corner
“United States lawmakers who oppose President Donald Trump’s repeated proposals to slash U.S. foreign affairs spending have largely spared the administration’s development chief from their denouncements. Mark Green, the Trump-appointed U.S. Agency for International Development administrator, is both a former congressman who enjoys a solid rapport with bipartisan lawmakers and a long-time development leader who has shown his commitment to the cause. When he testifies about U.S. foreign assistance on Capitol Hill, some members of Congress have a tendency to couch their objections to Trump’s proposals with phrases such as, ‘this is not directed at you,’ or ‘you’re in an awkward spot.’ Their questioning can give the impression that they regard Green as an administration official not responsible for the administration’s policies or positions. … But for parts of Wednesday’s [Senate Committee on Foreign Relations] hearing, that dynamic appeared to reach its limit…” (Igoe, 6/21).

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Conflict, Climate Change Pose Challenges To SDG Efforts, U.N. Report Says

U.N. News: Conflict and climate change challenge sustainable development effort: U.N. report
“Although more people are leading better lives than a decade ago, persistent poverty and hunger, as well as rapid urbanization, are challenging global efforts to create a more just and equitable world, according to a United Nations report launched on Wednesday. The study provides a snapshot of progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders nearly three years ago…” (6/20).

Reuters: Conflict, climate change choke efforts to cure poverty, inequality: U.N.
“…Progress has been hampered by climate change-related extreme weather and by violence and war, said Francesca Perucci, assistant director of the Statistics Division at the U.N. Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). ‘Countries face mounting challenges — a fast-changing climate, increased numbers of conflicts and inequality, and persistent pockets of poverty and hunger,’ she said at a U.N. news conference…” (Wulfhorst, 6/20).

Xinhua News: Conflict, climate change major factors behind growth in hunger, displacement: U.N. report
“…The newly launched Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 said that there was an increase of 38 million more hungry people in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, and that conflict is one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries. … At the same time, the report found that overall more people are leading better lives than before, as the proportion of the world’s workers living with their families on less than 1.90 U.S. dollars a day declined from 26.9 percent in 2000 to 9.2 percent in 2017. The under-five mortality rate dropped by almost 50 percent between 2000 and 2016 and in the least-developed countries, the proportion of population with access to electricity more than doubled during that same period, the report said…” (6/20).

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U.N. Officials Call For Protection Of Refugee Children On World Refugee Day

Fast Company: 5 ways to help refugees on World Refugee Day 2018
“According to UNICEF, over 50 million children around the world are currently on the move, 28 million of whom have been forcibly displaced by conflict and violence. Many are traveling with their families, but many others are on their own, making their way to places they can only hope will offer them better, safer lives…” (Locker, 6/20).

U.N. News: U.N. agency chiefs issue ‘call to action’ on behalf of refugee children
“Protecting refugee children is ‘a test of our shared humanity,’ two top United Nations officials said on Wednesday. The statement by Filippo Grandi, U.N. high commissioner for refugees, and Henrietta Fore, executive director of the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) came in an editorial published on the website for CNN, the U.S.-based cable and online news network. Wednesday [was] World Refugee Day, which is marked annually, each 20 June, when the U.N. system highlights the strength, courage, and perseverance of refugees across the world, and calls on the public to show support for families forced to flee…” (6/20).

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Neglecting Children With TB 'Constitutes A Human Rights Violation,' Report Says

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Neglecting childhood tuberculosis ‘a human rights violation’
“On May 23, 2018, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (the Union) issued a report, Silent Epidemic: A Call to Action Against Child Tuberculosis. Launched at the World Health Assembly, the report noted that an estimated 239,000 children aged younger than 15 years died from tuberculosis in 2015, 90 percent of whom were untreated. The authors say: ‘the continuing medical neglect of child TB, resulting in millions of avoidable deaths, constitutes a human rights violation’…” (Burki, July 2018).

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North Korea Experiences Small Improvements In Health Indicators But Challenges Remain, U.N. Report Shows

Deutsche Welle: In North Korea, stunted growth still rife among children
“A U.N. report published on Wednesday showed that malnourishment remained widespread in North Korea despite a ‘slight’ improvement across the country. Around one in five children in North Korea is smaller than the average for his or her age, the report said…” (6/20).

Reuters: Tackling North Korea’s chronically poor sewage ‘not rocket science’: U.N.
“North Korea has a problem with human waste which is threatening the health of its children, according to a rare survey of family life in the reclusive country by a U.N. agency that also praised Pyongyang’s ‘improved openness’ with data…” (Miles, 6/20).

U.N. News: Challenges remain in DPRK despite ‘slight’ improvements in health, wellbeing: UNICEF
“…According to the DPRK survey, nearly 40,000 severely malnourished children received treatment in 2017 and more than 700,000 youngsters and mothers took nutritional supplements last year. The survey, which was carried out with UNICEF’s support on the ground, also shows that one in five children was stunted in 2017, compared with more than one in four in 2012…” (6/20).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Q&A: Innovation in integration for health gains (6/21).

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: WHO launches Essential Diagnostics List (Bagcchi, July 2018).

News Deeply: In India, Experts Look to Climate Trends to Tackle Malnutrition (Shetty, 6/20).

Reuters: GSK takes billion-dollar drug fight with Gilead to top AIDS meeting (Hirschler, 6/20).

U.S. News & World Report: Countries With the Highest Rates of Suicide (Radu, 6/20).

Xinhua News: 21 killed by dengue in Thailand so far this year: official (6/20).

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Editorials and Opinions

World Leaders Must Address TB In Children To Stop 'Human Rights Catastrophe'

Project Syndicate: The Epidemic We Must Stop Ignoring
José Luis Castro, executive director of the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

“…Among those [children with tuberculosis] who are fortunate enough to get the standard antibiotic treatment and have no complicating factors such as HIV, 99 percent will survive. And yet 90 percent of the children who die from TB have been deprived of treatment, and a quarter-million children will die from the disease this year alone. There are no nuances to this story: health care authorities around the world are leaving kids with TB to fate. … To be sure, individual health workers are not knowingly leaving children with TB to suffer and die. But health systems are. Globally, efforts to combat TB are under-resourced. And with more than 10 million people contracting the disease every year, funds tend to be directed toward stopping its spread. So, even though children are one of the most vulnerable patient populations, their needs are ignored, because they are less contagious. Owing to these system-level priorities, one million children are dying from a preventable, treatable condition every four years. That is a human rights catastrophe. … One hopes that world leaders will come to understand that the pediatric TB epidemic reflects widespread neglect of children’s fundamental rights, and could be dramatically curtailed with existing policy interventions. There is no longer any excuse for ignoring this scourge” (6/20).

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International Community Must Improve Response Capacity, Surveillance, Vaccine Preparedness To Address Next Flu Pandemic

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: How to be ready for the next influenza pandemic
Editorial Board

“…[O]n the centenary of the 1918 [influenza] pandemic, it is timely to ask ourselves whether the world would be prepared now for such an event. The answer sadly is no: we do not know what virus will cause the next pandemic, there is no way to rapidly develop and deploy an effective vaccine against a pandemic virus, differences in quality of health systems hamper a prompt response, and surveillance data on influenza have major gaps. … In order to improve the preparedness of the global health community to a pandemic, three areas are crucial: vaccination, surveillance, and building response capacity. … The next influenza pandemic will be a real test for the international health community. We should not find ourselves unprepared — to be so could cost millions of lives” (July 2018).

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New Global Strategic Plan Will Help Eliminate Dog-Mediated Rabies By 2030

The Lancet Global Health: New global strategic plan to eliminate dog-mediated rabies by 2030
Ren Minghui of the WHO, Matthew Stone of the World Organisation for Animal Health, Maria Helena Semedo of the FAO, and Louis Nel of the Global Alliance for Rabies Control

“…Until recently, the global response to rabies was fragmented and uncoordinated. Now, for the first time, WHO, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) are joining forces to support countries as they seek to accelerate their actions towards the elimination of dog-mediated rabies by 2030. Following extensive consultation with affected countries, we have developed and [published] a Global strategic plan to end human deaths from dog-mediated rabies by 2030. This ambitious, three-phase plan maps out the societal changes that are needed to reach this goal. It prioritizes action in a way that targets the disease reservoir in dogs and aligns the rabies response to efforts to strengthen health systems. … Our new rabies-focused partnership — known as United Against Rabies — gives us a platform to mobilize resources and leverage existing tools and expertise in a coordinated way. … Our organizations will continue to support countries to bring an end to human deaths from dog rabies, and invite others to join United Against Rabies in this historic effort” (6/18).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Panel Highlights Trends, Consequences Of U.S. Refugee Policy

Center for Global Development: Reflecting on World Refugee Day: The Trends and Consequences of U.S. Refugee Policy
Cindy Huang, co-director of migration, displacement, and humanitarian policy and senior policy fellow, and Jimmy Graham, research assistant, both with CGD, note World Refugee Day, recognized on June 20, and highlight comments from a recent panel discussion held “as part of the launch of CGD’s migration, displacement and humanitarian policy program” (6/20).

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U.N. Dispatch Examines U.S. Withdrawal From U.N. Human Rights Council

U.N. Dispatch: The United States is Quitting the U.N. Human Rights Council. Here’s Why That’s a Bad Idea
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch, examines the recent voluntary withdrawal of the U.S. from the U.N. Human Rights Council, discussing the U.S. government’s role in the council over the years, as well as the implications of its withdrawal. Goldberg concludes, “The United States doesn’t stand to gain much from leaving the Human Rights Council and the Trump administration is committing yet another unforced error by ceding this platform for upholding human rights around the world” (6/19).

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Report Examines How Domestic Laws, Regulations Affect Provision Of Health Care Amid Conflict, National Security Challenges

Safeguarding Health In Conflict/Johns Hopkins University/University of Essex: The Criminalization of Healthcare
“This report is an initial effort to explore how domestic laws and regulations are used to prosecute and otherwise sanction professionals who provide health care, as well as emerging best practices to shield health care professionals from harassment and prosecution for the same. It focuses on situations where the provision of health care leads to illegitimate prosecution, sanctions, and harassment of health care professionals by states. … Of the 16 countries surveyed for this report, practices in at least 10 countries appear to suggest that the authorities interpret support to terrorism to include the provision of health care…” (6/20).

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Independent Review Examines Successes, Challenges Of Grand Bargain

Overseas Development Institute’s “Insight”: The Grand Bargain at two: collapsing under its own weight?
Christina Bennett, head of program for ODI’s Humanitarian Policy Group, summarizes findings from an independent review examining the successes and challenges of the Grand Bargain two years after its inception (6/19).

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UNDP Ranks High On Aid Transparency Index, Continues Efforts To Improve Transparency

UNDP: UNDP remains one of the world’s most transparent aid organizations
Abdul Riza, senior operations specialist in transparency at UNDP, highlights Publish What You Fund’s recently released 2018 Aid Transparency Index. Riza discusses UNDP’s high ranking in the index, as well as the steps the organization has taken to improve aid transparency (6/20).

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New Report Shows Funding For Malaria Basic Research, Product Development Falls Short Of Need

PATH/Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI): Bridging the gaps in malaria R&D: An analysis of funding — from basic research and product development to research for implementation
“A new report, Bridging the gaps in malaria R&D: An analysis of funding — from basic research and product development to research for implementation, shows that funding for basic research and product development falls short of the need. The report combines regularly reported data on funding for these elements of malaria research and development (R&D) with original research on funding levels and organizational commitments to the research required to improve access to products. This research for implementation included implementation research, operational research, and health systems research” (6/19).

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Blog Posts Discuss Use Of Bedaquiline To Treat Drug-Resistant TB In India, South Africa

The BMJ Opinion: Kanchan Mukherjee: Bedaquiline for multidrug resistant TB in India — at what cost?
Kanchan Mukherjee, a medical doctor and professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, discusses the potential benefits and challenges of a wider government rollout of bedaquiline to treat multidrug-resistant TB in India (6/20).

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Advocates hail South Africa bedaquiline recommendation, replacing toxic injection for patients with drug-resistant tuberculosis
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” highlights South Africa’s decision to begin using bedaquiline to treat patients with drug-resistant TB and advocates’ reactions to the policy change (6/20).

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