KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Sen. Menendez Questions Trump Nominee For U.S. Representative To U.N. In Geneva About Abortion Views

The Hill: Democrat, Trump nominee have fiery exchange over abortion rights for rape victims
“President Trump’s nominee to be the U.S. Representative to the United Nations Office in Geneva sparred with the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday over whether rape victims should be allowed to have abortions. ‘Should victims of sexual violence be able to terminate the pregnancy where legal?,’ the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), asked nominee Andrew Bremberg, currently the director of the Domestic Policy Council for the White House. ‘Senator, I don’t believe that abortion is a moral solution to any problem,’ Bremberg replied. … The U.S. representative to the U.N. in Geneva is responsible for representing the U.S. on over 20 U.N. agencies, including the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights…” (Siegel, 6/20).

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Devex Publishes Shortlist Of UNAIDS Executive Director Candidates

Devex: Exclusive: UNAIDS executive shortlist
“Three candidates are known to be competing for the top job at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, Devex has learned. The shortlist includes: Chris Beyrer, professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Salim Abdool Karim, director of the Centre for the AIDS Program of Research in South Africa or CAPRISA; [and] Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International…” (Ravelo, 6/21).

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Telegraph Examines Innovative Financing For Global Health As Development Assistance For Health Shrinks Worldwide

The Telegraph: World leaders urged to think creatively to boost dwindling global health funds
“…With foreign aid from governments and donors falling … increasingly creative and efficient ways of funding global health have emerged in recent years. Between 2002 and 2015, 10 so-called ‘innovative financing instruments’ (IFIs) mobilized US$8.9 billion, according to [an] analysis published in The Lancet. These initiatives have raised vital funding to tackle major killers such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria but the money raised still only amounted to 2.3 percent of global aid spent on health in that period. So is there potential to scale these schemes up? Is this the start of a new way of thinking about how to improve health worldwide?…” (Arie, 6/21).

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Ebola Continues To Flare Up In New Areas Of DRC; Health Officials Worried About Virus Crossing At Porous Borders

CIDRAP News: Ebola hot spot shifts amid urgent call for funds
“Over the last 2 days, the number of people infected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) Ebola outbreak rose by 23, and though cases have tapered off some in the main epicenters, the World Health Organization (WHO) [Thursday] reported a worrying spike in activity in Mabalako, one of the smaller hot spots. In other developments, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, PhD, who just returned from his ninth trip [to] the DRC since the outbreak began, called for bipartisan political cooperation in the DRC to end the outbreak and appealed to the global community for more money to support the response…” (Schnirring, 6/20).

Washington Post: Ebola has spread for nearly a year in Congo. Officials are scrambling to ‘reset’ the response
“…Health officials are confident the outbreak is not spiraling out of control but are worried the holes in that dam are opening up faster than they can plug them. Along the four international borders near the outbreak zone, hundreds of thousands of people move unimpeded from country to country each day using countless footpaths that save them the hassle of immigration authorities and, now, health checkpoints. Although the WHO has repeatedly declined to declare a global health emergency, the countries surrounding Congo are scrambling to find a way to contain the virus. Health workers fear the looming chance that Ebola could spread to the Congolese city of Goma, a provincial capital of more than 1 million where as many as 70,000 people cross the border with Rwanda each day…” (Bearak, 6/20).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak and response is available from CNN, Devex, The Lancet, Pulitzer Center, Reuters, TIME (2), and Xinhua News (2) (3).

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At International Conference, Global Community, Religious Leaders Asked To Do More To Prevent Child Marriage, FGM, Treat Women Survivors

Agence France-Presse: African religious leaders called on to help tackle genital mutilation
“Religious leaders in Africa must speak up against the practice of female genital mutilation, which affects millions of children across the continent, an international conference in Dakar said Tuesday…” (6/18).

The Guardian: Senior Islamic cleric issues fatwa against child marriage
“One of the world’s most prestigious centers of Islamic learning has issued a fatwa against child marriage, saying marriage should be based on the consent of both parties and ‘particularly the young woman.’ The deputy grand imam of al-Azhar, considered by some Muslims to be the highest authority of Islamic jurisprudence, hammered out the document with his team and young activists at the first African summit on child marriage and female genital mutilation, which took place in Senegal this week…” (Maclean, 6/21).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: African survivors of female circumcision call for help with mental trauma
“African survivors of female genital mutilation (FGM) said mental health services are their biggest need and urged governments and charities to provide support for dealing with long-term trauma. Survivors and activists from across the continent attending a summit on FGM and child marriage in Senegal this week said mental health should have been on the agenda…” (Peyton, 6/18).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: New dresses, youth action: ending female circumcision in Africa
“…Here are some quotes from participants at the summit, which ended on Tuesday, on priorities for ending FGM in Africa…” (Peyton, 6/18).

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World Food Programme Begins Partial Suspension Of Food Aid To Certain Areas Of Yemen Over Alleged Diversions

Associated Press: U.N. food agency starts partial suspension of Yemen food aid
“The U.N. food agency has begun a partial suspension of food aid to areas of Yemen controlled by the rebels amid accusations they were diverting aid from the war-torn country’s hungriest people, the group said Thursday. The World Food Programme said it suspended its operations in the capital, Sanaa, which has been under Houthi control since 2014. The suspension would affect 850,000 people, it said in a statement…” (Magdy, 6/20).

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New Humanitarian Examines Challenges Facing Record Number Of Refugees On World Day

New Humanitarian: On World Refugee Day, the challenges facing a record 25 million refugees
“The U.N. estimates the number of refugees has reached a record high — nearly 26 million worldwide, not counting the tens of millions internally displaced within their own countries, nor millions more rendered stateless. The majority of the world’s refugees come from just three countries — Syria, South Sudan, and Afghanistan — and it is often their neighbors that bear the burden of providing sanctuary. … On World Refugee Day, take a look at TNH’s reporting from around the globe, telling the stories of those who have been forced to flee their homes, from farmers in Somalia to Syrians in Lebanon…” (6/20).

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More News In Global Health

CIDRAP News: FAO launches new vehicle to fund antimicrobial resistance (Soucheray, 6/20).

Devex: ‘Unacceptable workplace behaviors’ at UNICEF, leaked report summary says (Lieberman, 6/21).

Inter Press Service: Poor Outlook for HIV-positive Children in Pakistan (Munns, 6/20).

The Lancet: India: health workers strike after attack on junior doctor (Sharma, 6/22).

The Lancet: Rebecca Katz: leading light in global health security (Lane, 6/18).

Nature: A battle against antibiotic resistance (Gewin, 6/21).

Reuters: Displaced families suffering subhuman conditions in Ethiopia: Egeland (Endeshaw/Houreld, 6/20).

Reuters: ‘Brain fever’ blamed for India child deaths preventable: doctors (Pal/Kumar, 6/21).

U.N. News: First-ever WHO global report on epilepsy highlights care gap in poorer countries (6/20).

U.N. News: U.N. Security Council calls for protection of persons with disabilities in conflict zones (6/20).

U.N. News: Ripple effect of sexual violence in conflict threatens ‘collective security,’ stains ‘our common humanity,’ says U.N. chief (6/19).

VICE News: The First Vaccine for Malaria Has Arrived (Walton, 6/20).

Wall Street Journal: WHO Removes Opioid Guidelines After Report Claims Drug-Industry Influence (Calfas, 6/20).

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Editorials and Opinions

Designating Ebola In DRC As Public Health Emergency Of International Concern Could Result In 'Force For Good'

The Lancet: The politics of PHEIC
Editorial Board

“An emergency committee decided on June 14 that the current Ebola virus disease outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo did not warrant a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). … We disagree. The decision appears more political than technical and that is a mistake. The committee seems to have favored local protectiveness over global galvanizing. Yes, Uganda deserves visible credit for its preparedness, collaboration, and transparency. Yes, nearby countries should feel bolstered by the confidence of WHO and its director general. And yes, recalcitrant donors should be reassured of the ability of African countries to prepare for and contain infectious disease outbreaks, and thus be deserving of investment. But calling a PHEIC would not distract from any of these local interests, and the decision might backfire in terms of not inciting a sense of urgency from the international community. PHEIC could be a force for good, mobilizing global resources and communities to build solidarity, preparedness, trust, and resolution of conflict. … Global financial and political support is badly needed, and a PHEIC declaration would have produced that” (6/18).

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Colorado Has Role To Play In Ensuring U.S. Remains Leader In Supporting Global Fund

The Gazette: Guest Column: Colorado’s role in fighting three epidemics
Christie Renner, researcher

“…As each country defines its financial commitment [to the Global Fund replenishment in October], U.S. leadership is critical to continued progress against [AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria], each of which is also present in the United States. … As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner is in a unique position to influence the president on this issue. By serving on that committee, the senator has assumed responsibility for making sure the United States maintains its Global Fund commitments, keeping with the original vision of former President Bush. As Sen. Gardner’s constituents, it’s our responsibility to make sure the senator knows that we expect the United States to remain a leader in fighting these diseases by continuing to provide one-third of the Global Fund’s resources. The situation requires no less. When the U.S. shows up, other countries do the same, and people get well. When a country’s citizens are healthy, economic development occurs naturally. With economic stability, international peace is possible. Already countries who began as recipients of Global Fund investment have seen such success that they’ve become donors to the fund. Maintaining U.S. support of the Global Fund is a wise investment with impressive returns” (6/20).

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Feminist Approach To Humanitarian Aid Critical To Achieving Gender Equality

CNN: The world is failing women and girls in crisis, but feminism can help
David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee

“…[T]he world will continue to fail in its commitment to achieve gender equality until we take seriously the power differentials that drive these inequities — until we take a feminist approach. The successful application of feminist aid will see women and girls equally safe, educated, healthy, empowered, consulted, and in control of resources, no matter the context. … IRC is adopting a feminist approach to humanitarian aid, which requires us to engage more systematically with the questions of power that are raised by feminist thinking. It means a continued emphasis on preventing and responding to violence against women and girls — ensuring it is neither invisible nor underfunded — and it calls for the humanitarian sector to institutionalize a proactive approach to tackling inequalities. At a minimum, this should include setting targets within the Sustainable Development Goals that serve women and girls in crisis, codifying a set of gender-based violence safeguarding measures in emergencies, integrating women’s voices and leadership in program design, and establishing gender equality scorecards to track progress. … [T]ackling the inequalities of power that women and girls face is not a diversion from our mission but is central to its achievement. It is precisely the scale of the humanitarian crisis that demands that we address it now” (6/20).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Dispatches Podcast Discusses International Response To Ebola Outbreak In DRC

U.N. Dispatch’s “Global Dispatches Podcast”: How the World is Responding to the Ebola Outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast, speaks with Ambassador John Lange, senior fellow for global health diplomacy at the United Nations Foundation, about the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s (DRC) Ebola outbreak, the challenges of containing it, and control strategies the international community is using (6/20).

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Pharmaphorum Podcast Discusses IAVI's Impact On Global Health Discovery, Development

pharmaphorum: Addressing global health challenges: the pharmaphorum podcast
Dominic Tyer, creative and editorial director at pharmaphorum, highlights a podcast during which Paul Tunnah, CEO and founder of pharmaphorum, speaks with a panel of experts from the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) about the organization’s contributions to global health discovery and development. Tyer writes, “[T]he panel also covered IAVI’s impact on global health, the value it brings to pharmaceutical companies, and the gaps in HIV research that its work looks to address” (6/19).

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'Science Speaks' Continues Coverage Of Global Health Security Conference

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Global Health Security 2019: Pharmacists play key role in reducing antimicrobial resistance in countries with limited health resources
Rabita Aziz, senior global health policy specialist at the Infectious Diseases Society of America, who is covering the Global Health Security conference in Sydney, Australia, which took place from June 18-20, highlights research presented at a session on antibiotic resistance. According to Aziz, the study’s researchers “identified six factors driving antibiotics misuse [in South Asia]: poor medicines regulation, lack of qualified staff at pharmacies, community pressure for access to antibiotics, lack of awareness on appropriate use, inappropriate prescribing practices, and consumer demand” (6/20).

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Global Health Security 2019: Preparation for outbreaks and for climate change impacts overlap in Pacific Islands
Aziz highlights a session during which Josephine Herman, secretary of health of the Cook Islands, discussed the unique challenges the Pacific islands face in preparing for outbreaks and potential climate change impacts (6/19).

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From the U.S. Government

Ambassador Deborah Birx Recognizes U.S. Global HIV/AIDS Response Efforts

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Chronicling the Turning Tide in the Global HIV/AIDS Response
Ambassador-at-Large Deborah Birx, coordinator of U.S. government activities to combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy, highlights the U.S. Global HIV/AIDS Leadership Exhibition, which is on display in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and discusses U.S. efforts to respond to the global HIV/AIDS epidemic (6/20).

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U.S. Department Of State Official Recognizes World Refugee Day, Highlights U.S. Humanitarian Assistance Efforts

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Stepping up to the Challenge: U.S. Leadership in Humanitarian Response
Carol Thompson O’Connell, acting assistant secretary in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the State Department, recognizes World Refugee Day, which takes place annually on June 20, and discusses ways in which the U.S. has provided humanitarian assistance to assist refugees and other displaced people. O’Connell writes, “The best way to help the most people is to work to end conflicts that drive displacement in the first place, to target the application of foreign aid in a smarter way, and to promote burden-sharing with partners and allies. This means donors, governments, communities, and the private sector will need to step up to provide greater resources to address the urgent needs of refugees. We applaud those already on the frontline of that effort, and the United States will continue to work with all refugee-hosting countries to find solutions to help alleviate these challenges” (6/20).

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From KFF

KFF Summary Discusses Passage Of House Minibus That Includes Global Health Funding In FY20 SFOPs, LHHS Bills

Kaiser Family Foundation: House Passes Minibus That Includes Global Health Funding In FY 2020 State & Foreign Operations (SFOPs) and Health & Human Services (HHS) Appropriations Bills
On June 19, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a package of FY 2020 appropriations bills (minibus), which includes global health funding for the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The global health funding amounts in the minibus matched those passed by the House Appropriations Committee. This KFF summary provides links to global health funding amounts included in the minibus through prior appropriations bills (6/20).

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