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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Climate Change Poses Global Security Risk, Must Be Prioritized, G7 Study Says

The Guardian: Climate change should be top foreign policy priority, G7 study says
“Tackling climate change risks must become a top foreign policy priority if the world is to combat the global security threat it poses in the 21st century, according to a new study commissioned by the G7 countries. … Written by an international consortium including peacebuilding NGO International Alert and the European Union Institute for Security Studies, it calls climate change ‘the ultimate threat multiplier’ in fragile situations…” (Howard, 6/24).

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Increased Efforts To Treat, Prevent HIV Needed Worldwide To Thwart AIDS Resurgence, UNAIDS-Lancet Commission Report Says

News outlets highlight findings from a UNAIDS-Lancet Commission report titled Defeating AIDS — Advancing Global Health.

Agence France-Presse: Five-year window for preventing AIDS rebound: experts
“High rates of HIV infection combined with rapid population growth mean the next half-decade will be critical for rolling back AIDS, specialists warned on Thursday. … A report compiled by UNAIDS and The Lancet medical journal, with the support of leading figures in the 34-year war on AIDS, called for the disease to be given high priority in the U.N.’s post-2015 development goals…” (Ingham, 6/24).

Reuters: Drastic acceleration of HIV fight needed to stop AIDS resurgence
“… ‘We must face hard truths — if the current rate of new HIV infections continues, merely sustaining the major efforts we already have in place will not be enough to stop deaths from AIDS increasing within five years in many countries,’ said Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a lead author of the report. … ‘Expanding access to treatment is essential, but we will not treat ourselves out of the AIDS epidemic,’ he said, adding that HIV prevention is just as important…” (Kelland, 6/24).

UNAIDS: World must drastically accelerate AIDS efforts or face more HIV infections and deaths than five years ago — says UNAIDS and Lancet Commission
“…While there is scope in many countries for greater shared responsibility by increasing funding for HIV, the report clearly shows the urgent need for substantial global solidarity to front-load investments. The need for investment is particularly acute in low-income countries with a high HIV burden…” (6/24).

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Less Than 2% Of Canada's MCH Funding Under Muskoka Initiative Used For Contraception, CBC News Reports

CBC News: Canada’s foreign aid commitment to contraception low despite great need
“…When Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced Canada’s commitment to maternal, newborn, and child health five years ago, one of the first questions to him and then-International Development Minister Bev Oda was whether that would include family planning and abortion. It took Oda months to confirm that Canada would indeed allow its $2.85 billion in funding to be used for contraceptives. Abortion, however, was out of the question. But in practice, only 1.4 percent of Canada’s funding under the Muskoka Initiative — the name attached to the five-year plan to provide more money to save the lives of women and children — has gone to birth control. That works out to about four percent of overall international aid provided by Canada…” (Payton, 6/25).

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Deutsche Welle Examines Impact Of U.S.-Led Efforts To Identify Osama Bin Laden On Pakistani Polio Vaccination Campaigns

Deutsche Welle: The ‘bin Laden hunt doctor’ case and its impact on polio vaccinations
“Initially sentenced to 33 years in prison for being a member of Lashkar-e-Islam, a militant group based in Pakistan’s Khyber Agency tribal area, Shakil Afridi is better known for his alleged involvement in a fake hepatitis vaccination campaign in which DNA samples were collected to help the U.S. track down former al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in 2011. … But perhaps even more importantly, the controversy surrounding the Afridi case and his alleged role in the killing of bin Laden created a lot of hitches for key vaccination programs, as Ayesha Raza Farooq, the Pakistani prime minister’s focal person for polio eradication, told DW…” (Dominguez, 6/25).

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In Reversal, Pakistan To Allow Save The Children To Continue Operations

New York Times: Reversing Course, Pakistan Says Save the Children Can Stay
“Under pressure from Western allies, the government of Pakistan on Monday reversed its decision to expel Save the Children from the country, indicating that the aid agency could continue its operations albeit on a smaller scale and with tighter restrictions. On June 11, the Interior Ministry gave the agency 15 days to leave Pakistan, after years of hostile scrutiny from Pakistani intelligence agencies, which accused it of having become involved in the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden…” (Masood, 6/22).

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Guinea Quarantines 4 Villages As Country Reports New Ebola Cases; U.N. Ebola Envoy Arrives In Guinea Bissau To Assess Preparedness

Associated Press: Ebola cases not slowing in Guinea, Sierra Leone
“Despite hopes that the deadly Ebola outbreak could soon be contained in West Africa, it shows no signs of abating in Guinea and may be flaring up once more in Sierra Leone as people are flouting rules limiting travel meant to stop it…” (Bah, 6/24).

Reuters: Guinea quarantines villages in reinforced bid to stamp out Ebola
“Guinea will put four villages under a 21-day quarantine as part of a robust strategy to stamp out a lingering Ebola epidemic after new cases of the disease were discovered there. … Health officials will also carry out intensive door-to-door visits to homes in the quarantined areas to try to identify cases of the disease…” (Samb, 6/24).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. envoy on Ebola travels to Guinea Bissau after new cases reported in bordering Guinea
“The United Nations envoy for Ebola response has begun a visit to take stock of prevention and preparedness efforts in Guinea Bissau, which remains at high risk given its proximity to Guinea where new cases of the virus were reported in an urban area bordering the two countries…” (6/24).

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Liberia's Health Care System Deteriorating Since Ebola; Some Expenses Go Unaccounted, Audit Shows

Al Jazeera America: After Ebola outbreak, Liberia’s health care system struggles to rebound
“…[Liberia’s] already anemic health care system has deteriorated further. Though Liberia is awash in donor money, a recent government audit revealed expenses that could not be accounted for. While the amount is relatively small, the revelation has stalled leadership appointments at the Ministry of Health. Bureaucratic hiccups in the distribution of salaries are discouraging health care staff from working during another epidemic. And … it is unclear what the country will do once the cash spigot has been turned off…” (Stokes, 6/25).

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U.N.'s Ban Urges Security Council To Take 'Urgent Action' On War-Torn Syria, Where 12.2M People Need Assistance

Reuters: U.N. chief calls on Security Council to take action on Syria
“United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the U.N. Security Council to take ‘urgent action’ on Syria amid daily atrocities and rights abuses, warning the war-torn country would otherwise slip deeper into chaos. … Ban said some 12.2 million people in Syria need help, including more than five million children. About 7.6 million are internally displaced and more than four million have fled to neighboring countries and North Africa…” (Nichols, 6/24).

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Dengue Outbreak, Threat Of Polio Resurgence Compound Humanitarian Crisis In Yemen, U.N. Warns

Agence France-Presse: U.N. appeals for Yemen ceasefire as famine looms
“The U.N. envoy for Yemen on Wednesday urged warring sides to agree to a ceasefire as fighting pushed the poor Arab country closer to famine and deeper into humanitarian crisis. … Some 80 percent of Yemen’s population — 21 million people — are in need of humanitarian aid and one million people have been displaced in the fighting, the envoy said…” (6/24).

New York Times: U.N.’s Yemen Mediator Depicts Grim Scene of Deprivation
“Painting a dire picture to world powers on Wednesday about life in Yemen, a United Nations envoy warned that polio could soon make a comeback and that a dengue outbreak had struck an estimated 3,000 people…” (Sengupta, 6/24).

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Cholera Outbreak Poses Risk To Children In Conflict-Torn South Sudan, UNICEF Says

U.N. News Centre: South Sudan children at risk from cholera outbreak, warns UNICEF
“A cholera outbreak is threatening South Sudan’s children in the latest blow to a country already teetering on the brink of all-out crisis amid incessant fighting and mass displacement, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported…” (6/24).

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Costa Rica's Doctors, Public Health Authorities Narrowly Define Legal Grounds For Abortion Access, IPS Reports

Inter Press Service: Costa Rican Women Try to Pull Legal Therapeutic Abortion Out of Limbo
“The lack of clear regulations and guidelines on therapeutic abortion in Costa Rica means women depend on the interpretation of doctors with regard to the circumstances under which the procedure can be legally practiced. Article 121 of Costa Rica’s penal code stipulates that abortion is only legal when the mother’s health or life is at risk. But in practice the public health authorities only recognize risk to the mother’s life as legal grounds for terminating a pregnancy…” (Ortiz, 6/24).

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Substandard Condoms In Vietnam Signal Increased Free Market Sales, Less Dependency On Foreign Assistance

NPR: Vietnam Is Having Condom Problems — And That’s A Good Thing
“…Hundreds of thousands of condoms sold [in Vietnam] are substandard. They tear easily and don’t offer reliable protection. While this might seem like a red flag, it’s actually a sign of progress. The condom kerfuffle has its roots in Vietnam’s new prosperity. … Working with USAID and PATH, a Seattle-based nonprofit, the government is winding down handouts; instead, it’s encouraging the sale of condoms…” (Chhabra, 6/24).

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Prioritizing Food Fortification Can Help Address Micronutrient Deficiencies, Gates Foundation Director Of Nutrition Says

Devex: Gates: Promoting the invisible intervention
“Food fortification is an invisible intervention — both literally and often in the way it is viewed by the public and both national and global decision-makers. … But there are several key steps that can be taken to help elevate the profile of food fortification and help better address micronutrient deficiencies, Shawn Baker, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s director of nutrition, said in an interview at the 2015 European Development Days event earlier this month…” (Saldinger, 6/24).

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Editorials and Opinions

Governments Must Make Financing Commitments To Promote Gender Equality Under SDGs

The Guardian: Development finance’s $83bn question: who will pay for gender equality?
Chiara Capraro of Christian Aid and Kasia Staszewska of ActionAid U.K., both co-chairs of the U.K. Gender and Development Working Group on Economic Justice

“…The Addis Ababa [Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD)] is of crucial importance to women. Decisions made in the Ethiopian capital will determine how the SDGs will be financed. Although no specific costing for achieving gender equality and women’s rights within the context of the SDGs has yet been calculated, in the case of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expire this year, the gender equality financing gap in low-income countries was projected at $83 billion (£53 billion) in 2015. Because the new development agenda is universal — and far more ambitious than the MDGs — the costs are likely to be even greater. … [Governments] must reach a consensus on financing methods that can really make a difference for gender equality and women’s rights for years to come…” (6/24).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Panel Members Discuss Financing Global Health 2014 Report At CSIS Event

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Global health assistance, in growing competition with other development areas, continues to decline
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, reports on an event held this week at the Center for Strategic & International Studies discussing the recently released Financing Global Health 2014 report, produced by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. Panel members included report author Christopher Murray; Jen Kates, vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation; and Howard Bauchner, editor in chief of JAMA (6/24).

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Global Fund Reforms Provide Lessons For Other International Organizations, Including WHO

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Lessons from the Global Fund’s Reform
In this report, Todd Summers, a senior adviser with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses reforms at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and their lessons for other international organizations, including the WHO (6/24).

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Creative Communication, Messaging Critical Aspects Of India's Lymphatic Filariasis Campaign

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: India’s Next Public Health Victory
Richard Hatzfeld, communications director at the Sabin Vaccine Institute, discusses India’s campaign to raise awareness about lymphatic filariasis and the importance of developing creative communication materials that will help the country reach elimination targets for the disease within the next few years (6/24).

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