KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Birx Warns 'Complacency' Over AIDS Risk Could Have Global Consequences

Washington Times: Obama’s AIDS director calls for more attention to global epidemic
“…At a town hall forum hosted by the Kaiser Family Foundation [on Monday], [U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx] warned that underestimating the threat still posed by AIDS could have global consequences. ‘If there’s complacency in the U.S., there will be complacency throughout the globe,’ said Dr. Birx, who was sworn in as ambassador in April. ‘We have a collective moral obligation to get past these issues’…” (East, 6/23). A webcast of the event is available online from the Kaiser Family Foundation (6/23).

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Congress Considering Lifting Ban On Abortion Funding For Peace Corps Volunteers

National Journal Daily: Is Congress Going to Lift Its Ban on Abortion Funding for the Peace Corps’ Rape Victims?
“Current law allows for an exception to the ban on federal funding for abortions in the event of rape, incest, or life endangerment. Unless you’re a Peace Corps volunteer. … Without support from both chambers, attempts to change the policy have repeatedly fallen flat…” (Novak, 6/23).

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U.N. Official Calls For Greater Risk Management To Prevent Humanitarian Crises

U.N. News Centre: Top U.N. humanitarian official urges greater effort to foresee, prevent crises
“While the United Nations and its partners continued over the past year to meet the needs of an ever-increasing number of desperate people — from Syria to the Central African Republic, the Philippines and beyond — the world body’s Emergency Coordinator today called for ‘a new [humanitarian] business model’ — one that manages risks rather than deals with crises…” (6/23).

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Pakistan Military Offensive Offers Opportunity To Vaccinate Children Against Polio But Risks Disease Spread

Wall Street Journal: Pakistan Military Offensive Poses New Perils in Country’s Polio Crisis
“Tens of thousands of children who haven’t been immunized against polio are pouring out of the Pakistani region of North Waziristan with their families to escape a military offensive there, bringing new perils to a country already struggling to cope with the crippling disease…” (Shah, 6/22).

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Wild Poliovirus Strain Detected In Brazilian Sewage Sample; No Human Cases Reported

News outlets report on the detection of a strain of wild poliovirus in a sewage sample from Brazil.

BBC News: Polio virus sample found at Brazil airport
“A strain of the polio virus has been found at an international airport in Brazil, but there are no human cases, the World Health Organization has said…” (6/23).

Los Angeles Times: Poliovirus discovered in Brazilian sewage, WHO reports
“…Wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) was discovered during a routine health check at the city’s Viracopos International Airport and reported to the WHO on June 18, officials said…” (Morin, 6/23).

New York Times: Brazil: Polio Virus Detected in Sewage
“…[The sample] was collected in March and matched a strain recently found in Equatorial Guinea on the central African coast…” (McNeil, 6/23).

Reuters: Polio virus found in Sao Paulo sewage, no human case: WHO
“The polio virus has been found in sewage samples near Sao Paulo, one of the venues for the soccer World Cup in Brazil, but no human case of the disease has been reported so far, the World Health Organization said on Monday…” (Nebehay, 6/23).

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Activists Call On U.N. To Investigate Human Rights Violations Against Women In Egypt

VOA News: Activists Call for Sexual Abuse Investigation in Egypt
“A group of Egyptian human rights activists is calling on the United Nations to send a fact-finding mission to Egypt to investigate human rights violations against women, including sexual abuse and rape. The group is attending the U.N. Human Rights Council…” (Schlein, 6/23).

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U.N. Agency Ready To Resume, Expand Humanitarian Work In Syrian Camp After Ceasefire

U.N. News Centre: Syria: U.N. agency ready to expand aid work in Yarmouk, if reported truce holds
“Following a reported ceasefire in the besieged Yarmouk camp in Syria, the United Nations agency that administers aid to Palestinian refugees across the Middle East said it is ready to resume and expand its humanitarian activities as soon as it has access to the site…” (6/23).

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Indian Government Likely To Increase Number Of Price-Capped Drugs, Sources Say

Reuters: Exclusive: India likely to extend price caps to more drugs — sources
“The government of India is likely to raise the number of drugs deemed essential and subject to price caps, people directly involved in the process said. … The move would make the drugs more affordable in a country where 70 percent of the people live on less than $2 a day…” (Siddiqui, 6/24).

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Indonesia Introduces Graphic Health Warnings On Cigarette Packs; Some Companies Fail To Comply

News outlets report on the rollout of Indonesia’s new law requiring tobacco companies to put graphic health warnings on cigarette packs.

Associated Press: Big tobacco snubs health warning law in Indonesia
“Tobacco companies have largely snubbed an Indonesian law requiring them to put graphic health warnings on all cigarette packs, another setback for anti-smoking efforts in a country that’s home to the world’s highest rate of male smokers and a wild, wild west of advertising…” (Mason, 6/24).

Reuters: Indonesia rolls out graphic health warnings on cigarette packs
“Cigarette manufactures in Indonesia, one of the world’s biggest tobacco markets, began printing graphic health warnings on packets on Tuesday, but they have yet to appear in shops and the companies involved do not seem too worried about plunging sales…” (Nangoy/Kapoor, 6/24).

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Oral Cholera Vaccine Effective In Africa, MSF Reports

New York Times: Oral Vaccine for Cholera Found Effective in Africa
“A new, inexpensive, easy-to-use cholera vaccine that is stockpiled for emergencies worked very well during a cholera outbreak in Africa, Doctors Without Borders reported recently…” (McNeil, 6/23).

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Chronic Kidney Disease Spreads Through Central America Sugar Belt

Al Jazeera: Silent kidney epidemic ravages Central America sugar belt
“…[T]ens of thousands [of people are] cut down by a new form of chronic kidney disease striking like a scythe across the sweltering plains of Central America’s sugar belt from Mexico to Costa Rica. … Dubbed chronic kidney disease of unknown causes, it has since killed at least 20,000 people, and probably many more…” (Gaynor, 6/22).

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New Study Maps H7N9 Avian Flu Risk In Asia

New York Times: Mapping the Risk of Bird Flu’s Spread
“A strain of bird flu that has infected at least 367 people in mainland China over the past year poses a threat to several other parts of Asia, including the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and India, according to a new study mapping the risk posed by the H7N9 strain…” (Ramzy, 6/24).

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Editorials and Opinions

View Foreign Aid As Long-Term Investment, Not Charity

Bloomberg Businessweek: Foreign Aid Isn’t Charity. It’s an Investment
Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development

“…It’s time to view aid as an investment — like spending on roads and schools here in the U.S. — rather than an act of charity. In the long term, that will lead to more effective aid and possibly more assistance overall. … To make aid more effective, we should see it as an investment and focus on making sure we get what we want back from that investment. … It’s time to think of aid as one of a number of tools — alongside other financial flows, trade, the movement of people, and the creation and spread of new technologies — that promote sustainable development abroad to the benefit of all, here and overseas. And when we use aid as a tool to buy that development, it’s no use just demanding a receipt. We should demand results” (6/23).

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U.S. Must Continue Leadership To End Preventable Maternal, Child Deaths

The Hill: The U.S. child survival summit is a booster shot to a healthy future
Seth Berkley, CEO of the GAVI Alliance

“…While we have made great progress together [on ending preventable maternal, newborn and child death], there still is a long way to go. That is what is so important about this week’s U.S.-hosted event, Acting on the Call: Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths, under leadership of USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah and the governments of India and Ethiopia. … Just like children need [vaccine] boosters to ensure lasting immunity, American leadership emerging from Acting on the Call is our booster shot to ensure that all mothers and children have a fair start at a healthy life and contribute to their countries’ healthy future” (6/23).

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Egypt's Men Must Stand With Women Against Gender-Based Violence

New York Times: Egypt Has a Sexual Violence Problem
Mona Eltahawy, Egyptian-American writer and author

“…Mohamed Ibrahim, [Egypt’s] interior minister, said this week that he would create a new department to combat violence, including sexual assault and harassment, against women. But throwing men in jail must not be considered a panacea. Accountability is necessary, but we also need a societal shift that aims for both justice and respect for women. I know that will take a long time. We must connect domestic violence, marital rape, and female genital mutilation with street sexual violence and clearly call them all crimes against women. And just as we stood next to men to overthrow President [Hosni] Mubarak, we need men to stand alongside us now…” (6/20).

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Beninoise Singer-Songwriter Urges African Mothers To Vaccinate Children Against Polio

Al Jazeera: War on polio: A call to African mothers
Angelique Kidjo, Beninoise singer-songwriter, activist, Rotary polio ambassador, and founder of Batonga Foundation

“…I urge every African mother: Be sure to have your children vaccinated against polio, for that is the only way we can wipe out the disease permanently. When all of the world’s children have been vaccinated, polio will have nowhere to go, other than to the history books, where it will join smallpox as the only human diseases to be totally vanquished…” (6/24).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Coca-Cola Announces Public-Private Partnership Expansion To Provide Medicines In Africa

Coca-Cola Company: “Project Last Mile” Expands to Improve Availability of Life-Saving Medicines in Additional Regions of Africa
“The Coca-Cola Company and its Foundations, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [on Monday] announced the expansion of ‘Project Last Mile’ to include 10 African countries over the next five years. This public-private partnership — currently focused on Tanzania and Ghana — applies Coca-Cola’s logistic, supply chain, distribution and marketing expertise to help African governments maximize the ability to get critical medicines and medical supplies the ‘last mile’ to those who need it most in remote communities in Africa…” (6/23).

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Event Highlights Need To Improve Access To Pediatric HIV Medicines

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Targeting the pediatric HIV treatment gap, speeding drug development, imagining a world of equitable treatment access, the Medicines Patent Pool aims for breakthroughs
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, writes about a recent event hosted by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and organized by the Medicines Patent Pool that highlighted the need to improve access to HIV treatments for pediatric patients (6/23).

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Regulating E-Cigarettes Necessary To Maintain Chances Of Public Health Benefits

Council on Foreign Relations: How to Save Electronic Cigarettes
In an expert brief, Thomas Bollyky, senior fellow for global health, economics, and development, discusses how e-cigarettes should be regulated if they are to contribute to reductions in rates of tobacco use (6/23).

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GHTC Provides Roundup Of Recent Global Health Research News

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Research Roundup: FY 2015 appropriations, the Human Vaccines Project, Global Development Lab legislation, new HIV treatments, and more
Nick Taylor, senior program assistant at the Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC), highlights “some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week” (6/23).

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