KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Delegation To U.N. Human Rights Council Refuses To Endorse Section Supporting Right To Safe Abortion In Resolution Condemning Abuse, Discrimination Of Women

Agence France-Presse: U.S. balks at ‘abortion’ mention in U.N. call to fight abuse of women
“The U.N. Human Rights Council unanimously adopted a resolution Thursday condemning abuse and discrimination of women, but Washington refused to back one paragraph mentioning access to safe abortions. The strongly worded resolution, tabled by Canada, expressed ‘outrage at the persistence and pervasiveness of all forms of violence against women and girls worldwide,’ calling on countries to take immediate steps to prevent gender-based violence and discrimination…” (6/22).

Reuters: United States rejects U.N. call for access to safe abortions
“…U.S. First Secretary to the U.N. in Geneva Jason Mack said, after a resolution from Canada on eliminating violence against women was adopted by consensus, that the U.S. ‘must dissociate from the consensus’ specifically on access to safe abortions. ‘We do not recognize abortion as a method of family planning, nor do we support abortion in our reproductive health assistance,’ he said in a statement read to the Council…” (Nebehay, 6/22).

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Republican Senators Of Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Unanimously Oppose Trump Administration's Proposed Cuts To NIH Budget

CQ News: Senate Republicans Assail Proposed NIH Cuts
“The senator who oversees funding for the National Institutes of Health on Thursday said lawmakers were unwilling to go along with the Trump administration’s proposed [cuts to the] research agency. ‘The budget, of course, proposes cuts that I think you can rest assured the committee will find unacceptable,’ said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., the chairman of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Health and Human Services Department and its agencies. Blunt and other Republicans at a Thursday hearing of the subcommittee were unanimously opposed to the cuts, which they said would result in job losses and setbacks for research…” (Siddons, 6/22).

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Former U.N. Official Paul Spiegel Speaks With NPR About How To Fix 'Broken' Humanitarian Aid System

NPR: Humanitarian Aid Is ‘Broken,’ Says Former U.N. Official
“The humanitarian aid system is broken. That’s the message of a new paper by Paul Spiegel, a former senior official at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The piece was part of a special series on health and humanitarian crises published by the British medical journal The Lancet in early June. … Spiegel, a physician and a professor at Johns Hopkins University, explains what the humanitarian system needs to do to fix itself…” (Gharib, 6/22).

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Devex Examines Bloomberg Philanthropies' 'Partnership For Healthy Cities' Initiative

Devex: A peek into Bloomberg’s new public health initiative
“For the next 18 months, Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies, will be working with cities across the globe to tackle the different factors contributing to noncommunicable diseases. A total of 46 out of a goal of 50 cities have signed up to date to be part of ‘Partnership for Healthy Cities,’ the foundation’s latest initiative launched just last month, just before the 70th World Health Assembly…” (Ravelo, 6/23).

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Safe Burial Teams Likely Prevented Significant Number Of Additional Ebola Cases In West African Outbreak, Study Shows

Agence France-Presse: Ebola burial teams dramatically reduced West Africa outbreak: study
“Red Cross volunteers prevented a significant number of Ebola cases during the 2013-2016 epidemic in West Africa by using safe burial techniques, according to a study released Thursday…” (Larson, 6/22).

BBC News: Ebola virus burial teams may have ‘saved thousands of lives’
“…The study, published in the PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases journal, used statistical modeling to measure the impact of the Red Cross safe and dignified burial program. Researchers focused on 45 unsafe community burials and the 310 people who were identified as having had contact with the infected bodies. They found, on average, just over two people went on to develop Ebola for every unsafe community burial that took place…” (Mazumdar, 6/22).

PLOS Research News: From the Frontline: How unsafe burials impact Ebola transmission
“…[As a senior technical adviser in the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Amanda McClelland’s] work during the Ebola outbreak won her the Florence Nightingale Medal for exceptional courage in 2015. It also brought home the importance of burial practices in reducing Ebola transmission, and Amanda is publishing a study in the journal on the impact of unsafe burial of Ebola victims during the epidemic. I interviewed her about her experiences and her research…” (Jones, 6/22).

VOA News: Red Cross: Safe Burial Practices Helped Prevent Spread of Ebola in West Africa
“…McClelland says the Red Cross had to change its approach in dealing with communities that adhered to traditional burial practices. Aid workers stopped talking about management of the remains and instead spoke about safe and dignified burials, she said. … This action, McClelland said, may have prevented more than 10,000 people from becoming infected with the virus…” (Schlein, 6/23).

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In Haiti, U.N. Security Council Stresses Support To End Nation's Cholera Epidemic

Reuters: United Nations stresses for support for Haiti cholera fight
“The United Nations stressed on Thursday its support for eradicating cholera in Haiti, an epidemic it accidentally started, although the government said residents would be better served if aid funding was channeled through it. … Haiti’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Aviol Fleuriant said the U.N. Security Council and the government had discussed plans for better management of aid in a closed-door meeting…” (Brice, 6/23).

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U.N. Office On Drugs And Crime Releases 2017 World Drug Report Highlighting Growing Problem Of Opioid Use

U.N. News Centre: Global narcotics market ‘thriving’; range of available drugs diversifying at alarming pace — U.N.
“Of the quarter of a billion people who used drugs in 2015, about 29.5 million — or 0.6 percent of the global adult population — were engaged in ‘problematic use’ and suffered from drug use disorders, including dependence, according to report out [Thursday] from the United Nations drugs and crime agency…” (6/22).

VOA News: U.N.: Treatment, Not Prison, Way to Deal With Global Drug Epidemic
“…The World Drug Report 2017 launched Thursday by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said that opioids were the most harmful drug type, accounting for 70 percent of drug-linked health problems worldwide. It said opioids, including heroin, legal painkillers, such as morphine, and synthetic drugs like fentanyl were responsible for many premature drug deaths…” (Schlein, 6/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

WHO's Travel Spending Does Not Represent 'Warped Priorities' But Reflects Necessary Operations To Fulfill Global Health Mandate

Washington Post: The World Health Organization spends more on travel than on key diseases. That’s actually okay.
Mara Pillinger, PhD candidate in political science at George Washington University

“…[C]omplaints about U.N. spending and priorities tend not to understand how U.N. agencies such as the WHO work, and who gets to decide what these agencies do and how they spend money. Here’s what’s really going on. … Claims that the WHO secretariat spends $200 million annually on staff travel are a misrepresentation. Staff travel accounts for about 40 percent of that figure. About 60 percent of the budget pays for WHO member state representatives to attend biannual governance meetings, and for experts from around the world to serve on advisory panels and provide technical assistance to governments. … Without travel, WHO would have a hard time knowing what is happening on the ground. … WHO’s overall budget and spending limits are set by member states, including the United States. … The big sweeping claim, that WHO’s travel spending epitomizes bureaucratic waste and warped priorities, is wrong. That said, the AP report raises important issues. … Senior WHO officials have acknowledged and are attempting to curb these problems (with limited success). … [O]n the whole, WHO’s travel spending is a basic feature of its mandate as an international organization, not a symptom of bureaucracy run amok” (6/22).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Trump Administration's Global Health Policies, Proposed Reductions In Foreign Aid Spending Could Have Significant Impacts Worldwide, Kaiser Family Foundation Report Shows

Undark: Trump’s Cuts to Global Health Aid Could Prove Deadly
Robin Lloyd, a contributing editor at Scientific American and author at Undark, a digital science magazine published by the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program at MIT, writes, “A new report from the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that if Congress approves even a modest fraction of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts, the worldwide consequences will be dire … The budget cuts to global health in the [president’s budget request for the] 2018 fiscal year are ‘unprecedented,’ Jennifer Kates, KFF’s director of global health and HIV policy, tweeted on June 13, the day the report was published online. … ‘The U.S. has changed the face of the world, particularly in Africa, in terms of its health outcomes in the last 15 years,’ says Kates, one of the report’s co-authors. ‘What about the next 15? What happens with this administration will have a big impact on that’…” (6/22).

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Senate Subcommittee Hearing Focuses On Future Of NIH, Fogarty International Center

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: “The impact of Fogarty training has been extraordinary, and we really need to continue”
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses a Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee hearing focused on the Trump administration’s proposal to cut funding and make changes to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), including the elimination of the Fogarty International Center. NIH Director Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, testified at the hearing (6/22).

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USGLC Posts Discuss U.S. Development, Diplomacy Reforms, Ambassador Mark Green's Confirmation Hearing Testimony

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: Reforming Diplomacy: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
Abhik Pramanik, policy assistant at the USGLC, discusses the efforts of the four most recent secretaries of state to strengthen the State Department. Pramanik revisits their efforts in response to current Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s statements regarding the need for reform at the department and USAID (6/22).

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: Reasons for Optimism at USAID
Sean Hansen, government relations and policy associate at the USGLC, highlights comments made by Ambassador Mark Green, President Trump’s nominee for USAID administrator, at his recent Senate confirmation hearing. Hansen expands upon certain points Green made addressing the evolution of U.S. development policy since 9/11 (6/22).

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CSIS Podcast Features Episodes Discussing Links Between Climate Change, Infectious Diseases; U.S. Military's Engagement In Global Health

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Take as Directed”: Global Health Security and Climate Change
Steve Morrison, senior vice president at CSIS and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, speaks with Ron Klain, general counsel of Revolution LLC and White House Ebola response coordinator from fall 2014 to spring 2015. “We asked him to reflect on his time as White House Ebola Response Coordinator and on the links between climate change and the spread of dangerous diseases” (6/16).

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Take as Directed”: The Military’s Engagement in Global Health
Morrison interviews Lt. Gen. (Dr.) Mark A. Ediger, the surgeon general of the Air Force. “He exercises direction, guidance, and technical management of a $5.9 billion, 44,000-person integrated health care delivery system serving 2.6 million beneficiaries at 75 military treatment facilities worldwide. We asked him to reflect on his time as Air Force surgeon general and to share his thoughts on the military’s global health engagement, including during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa” (6/13).

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Blog Post Examines Carbon Financing As Method To Help Improved Cook Stove Suppliers Sell More Stoves

Brookings Institution: New finance for old (technology) problems? Saving the planet with better cook stoves
Lauren Masatsugu, a research associate with the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, and Subhrendu K. Pattanayak, a professor of public policy and environmental economics with Duke University and faculty director of Duke’s Sustainable Energy Transitions Initiative, write, “Although improved cook stoves (ICS) help everyone — they lower emissions, cut firewood use, and reduce forest degradation — the uptake of such stoves has been slow. We’ve been working to come up with a fix. … One such promising mechanism is carbon financing, which can use market forces to both bring new money to ICS suppliers and correct for the negative environmental externalities (a fancy term for carbon emissions) of burning dirty fuels in traditional stoves…” (6/22).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC MMWR Summarizes Polio Type 2 Containment Efforts Globally

CDC’s “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report”: Progress Toward Containment of Poliovirus Type 2 — Worldwide, 2017
In a recently released MMWR report, Nicoletta Previsani of the WHO and colleagues from the WHO and CDC summarize “the progress toward implementation of the World Health Organization Global Action Plan for containment (GAPIII), achieved since the declaration of eradication of wild poliovirus type 2 in September 2015 and the withdrawal of Sabin type 2 poliovirus from the trivalent oral poliovirus vaccine in April 2016. Since then, the majority of countries decided not to retain poliovirus type 2, and 30 countries designated 86 poliovirus-essential facilities to address the critical needs for poliovirus vaccine production, disease diagnosis, and research” (6/23).

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