KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

White House Summit Addresses Climate Change's Effects On Human Health

The Hill: White House makes public health pitch for climate change action
“Climate change puts public health at risk and more needs to be done to mitigate that threat, White House officials said on Tuesday. … The White House announced an assortment of measures to minimize the public health impacts on Tuesday … The new initiatives, and the White House’s summit, come the same day a medical journal released a major report on climate change’s effects on public health and after the EPA published a study on the economic results of combating it…” (Henry, 6/23).

U.S. News & World Report: White House Climate Change Summit Highlights Health Dangers
“Calls to counter climate change are nothing new, though they’ve hit a unique crescendo in recent days following a moral case made by Pope Francis for addressing a problem he acknowledged has been caused largely by humans. U.S. officials now also are arguing for the need to combat climate change by highlighting an area they say stands to suffer greatly from global warming: human health…” (Leonard, 6/23).

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Global Health Spending Must Be Invested Wisely Under SDGs, Experts Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: New U.N. goals lack focus, global health experts warn
“Shrinking aid dollars threaten the major advances made over the past decade in fighting disease and preventable deaths, a task that will grow even more difficult under new United Nations’ development goals, experts in global health said. … ‘Health is one piece of a much more crowded space that will compete for attention and finances, when we still haven’t finished the job,’ Jen Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation [vice president and] director of global health and HIV policy, said at a Center for Strategic and International Studies forum on Tuesday. … That means health dollars must be wisely spent where they have the greatest impact, or [global health] achievements to date could slide…” (Dawson, 6/24).

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NIH Expanding Experimental Ebola Treatment Clinical Trial From Liberia Into Sierra Leone, Guinea

Wall Street Journal: NIH Expands Testing of Ebola Drugs and Vaccines Into New Countries
“…The NIH randomized controlled study of ZMapp has expanded from Liberia into Sierra Leone, where about 40 patients have been enrolled so far, according to H. Clifford Lane, deputy director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He said the NIH, in partnership with the Guinean Department of Health and the French national health agency INSERM, will further expand that research in Guinea by late this week or next…” (Burton, 6/23).

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Untreated Malaria During Ebola Epidemic Likely Caused More Deaths Than Usual In Guinea, Analysis Shows

News outlets discuss a study published Tuesday in The Lancet Infectious Diseases examining malaria deaths during the Ebola epidemic in Guinea.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola epidemic was disaster for malaria control: study
“Untreated malaria in Guinea surged as a result of the Ebola scare and probably caused far more deaths than the dreaded hemorrhagic fever itself, doctors reported Wednesday…” (6/23).

Associated Press: Malaria killed more people than usual in Ebola outbreak
“…Mateusz Plucinski of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who led the study, said it was difficult to say how many people among the 74,000 suspected cases might have died of malaria but that it was probably ‘substantially higher’ than the number of Ebola deaths. The research was paid for by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative…” (Cheng, 6/23).

BBC News: Ebola crisis in Guinea ‘has set back malaria fight’
“…Dr. Mateusz Plucinski and colleagues analyzed how many patients clinics in Guinea were seeing before and during the Ebola epidemic that emerged there in early 2014. They sampled 60 health facilities in the most Ebola-affected districts and 60 in districts unaffected by Ebola. And they looked at malaria prescriptions dispensed before and during the epidemic…” (6/24).

The Guardian: Thousands of Guinea malaria cases go untreated amid Ebola fears
“…In the areas of Guinea hit worst by Ebola, the numbers of people seeking treatment at outpatient clinics dropped by up to 42 percent and the numbers seeking care for suspected malaria were down by 69 percent, according to the first systematic survey from one of the three countries affected by the epidemic…” (Boseley, 6/23).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Malaria deaths in Guinea likely to exceed Ebola toll as patients shun clinics
“…Untreated malaria cases were also likely to have contributed to a greater number of people with fever being admitted to overburdened Ebola treatment centers where they might have been exposed to the Ebola virus, [the study] said…” (Mis, 6/24).

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South Korean Health Ministry Says MERS Outbreak At 'Crossroads' With 4 New Cases; 2 Hospitals Close To Prevent Further Spread

Agence France-Presse: South Korean hospitals suspend services as MERS outbreak spreads
“Two major hospitals in South Korea’s capital suspended services to patients on Wednesday in a bid to stop the spread of MERS after four new cases of the deadly virus were reported…” (6/24).

New York Times: Samsung Heir Apparent Apologizes for Hospital’s Role in MERS Outbreak
“The man being groomed to run Samsung Group, the largest of South Korea’s family-controlled conglomerates, apologized Tuesday for a Samsung hospital’s failures in dealing with the country’s outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome. The hospital, Samsung Medical Center, has been at the heart of the outbreak, which has killed 27 South Koreans. Of the country’s 175 confirmed cases of the virus, known as MERS, 85 were found to have been infected at the hospital, which before the outbreak was widely considered the country’s best…” (Sang-Hun, 6/23).

Reuters: With more MERS cases, South Korea says outbreak at crossroads
“South Korea’s health ministry, which reported four new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) on Wednesday, said the outbreak was at a crossroads, backing off from its earlier view that the spread of the often-deadly virus had leveled off…” (Park, 6/24).

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New York Times Examines U.N.'s Zero Hunger Challenge

New York Times: A Road Map for Eradicating World Hunger
“…Around the world, nations as varied as Brazil, Cambodia, Iran, and the Philippines have reported progress toward the goals of the Zero Hunger Challenge, a campaign that the United Nations began in 2012. … The goal is more complex than it may sound, however. The biggest challenge, experts say, is not simply for the world as a whole to produce enough food, though the pressures of a warming climate and a growing global population are likely to make that more difficult. Ending hunger has more to do with making sure that the poorest have the means to buy or grow enough to keep their families well nourished and that infrastructure is strong enough and markets sufficiently robust to get food to where it needs to be, the experts say…” (Gardner, 6/24).

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More Women's, Girls' Rights Advocates Facing Threats, Intimidation, Hindering Work, Progress Against Violence, Report Says

News outlets discuss findings of a report released by ActionAid on violence against advocates of women’s and girls’ rights.

The Guardian: Governments accused of ‘perpetrating violence against women’
“Governments are failing to meet their international obligations to protect women from violence by starving women’s groups of funding and closing the space in which they can operate, according to a report by ActionAid…” (Ford, 6/23).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: World a less safe place for women’s rights activists, charity says
“…A poll by ActionAid of 47 women’s rights defenders in more than 20 countries found that almost two thirds felt their safety and security had deteriorated in the past two years. … The report highlights gaps between commitments to tackle violence against women and the reality — including funding shortfalls and the failure to prosecute attacks…” (Caspani, 6/23).

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WHO Needs $60M To Continue Health Center Operations In Iraq's Conflict-Affected Areas, Spokesperson Says

U.N. News Centre: Iraq: U.N. health agency seeks $60 million to keep critical health centers open in conflict areas
“With temperatures soaring to over 120 degrees Fahrenheit in some parts of Iraq and the number of people fleeing violence topping three million, the World Health Organization fears the closing of nearly 90 percent of the health centers in conflict-affected areas unless donors respond to an urgent appeal to ensure their continuing operation. WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said his agency urgently needs $60 million to ensure the continuing operation of 77 health centers in Iraq, including 12 mobile clinics, which are on the verge of closing this month…” (6/23).

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More Than 3,000 Suspected Dengue Cases In War-Torn Yemen, WHO Reports

U.N. News Centre: At least 3,000 suspected dengue fever cases reported in Yemen — U.N. health agency
“Thousands of suspected cases of the mosquito-borne viral infection dengue fever have been reported in conflict-ravaged Yemen, where a major health crisis is unfolding, the United Nations World Health Organization announced [Tuesday]…” (6/23).

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Editorials and Opinions

Humanitarian Aid To Fragile States Must Be Doubled, Reformed To Improve Effectiveness, Efficiency

Foreign Affairs: Improving Humanitarian Aid
David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, and Ravi Gurumurthy, vice president for strategy and innovation at IRC

“…Over the next decade, donors need to not just double the amount of aid directed to the places of greatest need but also undertake reforms that seek to double the productivity of aid spending. Doing that would require significant shifts in practices and assumptions. … The principles the humanitarian sector lives by — not least, independence and impartiality — are extraordinarily powerful. But the sector is also increasingly a place of missed targets: appeals that are not met, pledges that are not delivered, ideals that are not translated into action. That need not be the case. The sector requires more funding, but it also has to embrace new ways of doing business: more joined together, more evidence-based, more outcome-focused, more hardheaded. This agenda is not a substitute for political action to prevent and stop wars. … In the midst of multiple global crises and pressure across the world for governments to focus on the home front, however, the prospects for renewed political will are slim. That forces the humanitarian sector onto the frontlines. The best armor will be best practices” (July/August).

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Improved Food Storage, Transport Can Help Reduce Global Food Waste

The Guardian: Roads, railways and research can stop global food waste
Bjørn Lomborg, adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School and founder and director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center

“One-quarter of all the food in the world is lost each year, owing to inefficient harvesting, inadequate storage, and wastage in the kitchen. Halve that waste, and the world could feed an extra billion people — and make hunger yesterday’s problem. … There are many remedies for [pre-consumer food] waste — from the ‘curing’ of roots and tubers to minimize damage, to more expensive refrigeration. So why aren’t these technologies — widely used in richer countries — adopted in the developing world? The answer is a lack of infrastructure. … Hunger is a complex problem, exacerbated by financial pressures, volatile commodity prices, natural disasters, and civil wars. But we could take an enormous step toward winning the global campaign against malnutrition, simply by investing in improved infrastructure and in agricultural research and development” (6/24).

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UNITAID Chair Douste-Blazy Speaks About Organization's Efforts To Fund Treatments, Diagnostics For HIV, Malaria, TB

Huffington Post: How Airline Tickets and Oil Barrels Can End Extreme Poverty
Katherine Keating, contributing editor of The WorldPost and executive producer of the One on One Series

“…UNITAID is a global health organization that utilizes innovative financing to increase funding for international development, more specifically; greater access to treatments and diagnostics for HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis in low-income countries. … UNITAID was conceived by French President Jacques Chirac and Brazilian President Lula. The organization is chaired by Philippe Douste-Blazy, former foreign minister under President Nicolas Sarkozy and current under secretary general of the United Nations. Philippe Douste-Blazy and President Sarkozy have been instrumental in supporting UNITAID and as a consequence, France is now the largest donor to UNITAID. The air ticket levy alone has collected over one billion Euros in France since it was implemented in 2006…” The piece includes a video interview with Douste-Blazy (6/23).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Health Advocates Protest TPP On Capitol Hill

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Global health advocates circle U.S. Capitol, but Senators advance toward TPP trade deal
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses a protest held Tuesday on Capitol Hill by global health advocates who oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership. “…At stake was a move in the U.S. Senate to match a House measure last week that would allow the deal, urged by President Obama, to be ‘fast-tracked’ without debate or amendment…” (6/23).

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