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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

HIV/AIDS Efforts Must Be Stepped Up To Maintain Progress, UNAIDS-Lancet Commission Study Says

Financial Times: U.N.-backed report warns against complacency in fight against AIDS
“…[Peter Piot, the] director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine said the world must step up its battle against HIV if the big advances of recent years are not to be squandered. High quality global journalism requires investment. He was speaking as co-chair of a U.N.-backed commission on AIDS whose latest report said there were ‘impressive achievements’ against the disease but warns that progress is fragile, with signs of complacency and even resurgent levels of infection in some population groups…” (Ward, 6/25).

The Guardian: HIV epidemic will rebound dramatically without more funding, warn experts
“The world could see the HIV epidemic rebound dramatically if countries fail to increase funding and expand access to drugs in the next five years, according to a major report. The analysis, by the UNAIDS and Lancet Commission, highlights a ‘fragile window of opportunity’ for maintaining progress on curbing deaths and infections and suggests that progress made during the past decade could easily be reversed…” (Devlin, 6/25).

U.N. News Centre: New U.N. study calls for major surge in AIDS treatment to avoid ‘catastrophic’ resurgence of HIV
“…According to the findings of the study released [Thursday] by the Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and famed medical journal, The Lancet, sustaining current HIV treatment and prevention efforts in the most affected African countries over the next 15 years would require at least a third of total government health expenditures, emphasizing the growing need for continued international support for these countries…” (6/25).

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Donors Pledge $3B To Nepal; U.N. Organizations Discuss Recovery Efforts

Business Insider/Reuters: Post-quake recovery in patriarchal Nepal should boost women: U.N.
“Post-quake recovery in Nepal should be an opportunity to change patriarchal attitudes and stop women being pushed to the margins of society, a U.N. organization promoting women’s equality said on Thursday…” (Mis, 6/25).

The Guardian/Agence France-Presse: Nepal donors pledge $3bn for rebuilding in aftermath of earthquakes
“International donors led by India and China have pledged approximately $3bn (£1.91bn) to rebuild Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes that hit the country…” (6/25).

New York Times: Foreign Donors Pledge $3 Billion to Help Rebuild Quake-Ravaged Nepal
“As foreign donors and agencies pledged more than $3 billion in aid for Nepal on Thursday to support its post-earthquake reconstruction, the government sought to assure would-be contributors that the funds would be used effectively…” (Sharma/Najar, 6/25).

U.N. News Centre: Massive damage to Nepal’s healthcare services has put millions of quake survivors at risk, U.N. warns
“The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today warned the health of the people who survived Nepal’s twin earthquakes could be at risk if regular services are not urgently rebuilt and restored in a country where 80 per cent of health facilities in the 14 most affected districts are damaged…” (6/25).

VOA News: Donors Pledge Billions to Help Rebuild Earthquake-hit Nepal
“…Hailing Nepal’s steely determination and indomitable spirit, India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj announced $ 1 billion assistance to the country…” (Pasricha, 6/25).

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U.N. To Provide $25M In Emergency Funding To War-Torn Yemen

U.N. News Centre: Yemen: U.N. releases emergency funding for relief efforts in crisis-torn country
“The United Nations humanitarian arm [Thursday] announce[d] it will provide a critical injection of emergency funding in order to accelerate relief efforts to war-trapped civilians in Yemen, the Organization has confirmed. According to an announcement made by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), $25 million will be released from the U.N. Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) in order to support lifesaving projects including the provision of fuel, medicine, emergency supplies, clean water, sanitation services, and nutrition programs to Yemenis in need…” (6/25).

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Funding Gap Leaves Millions Of Syrian Refugees At Risk, Aid Groups Warn

Associated Press/Washington Post: Aid groups say funds for Syrian refugees ‘dangerously low’
“More than 200 groups helping 3.9 million Syrian war refugees are calling on international donors to send promised aid, saying they are fast running out of funds to deliver basic services…” (6/25).

Reuters: Aid agencies say funding gap endangers Syrian refugees
“United Nations aid agencies said on Thursday that a $4.5 billion appeal to tackle the Syrian refugee crisis in 2015 was less than a quarter funded, putting millions of vulnerable people at risk, and had already led to cuts in vital assistance…” (Westall, 6/25).

U.N. News Centre: Aid efforts for Syrian refugees imperiled by ‘staggering’ $3 billion funding gap — U.N.
“…According to a report released earlier this afternoon by more than 200 partners in the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan in Response to the Syria Crisis, also known as the ‘3RP,’ the U.N.’s current programs targeting Syrian refugees are facing a $3.47 billion funding gap. The shortfall, the report adds, means 1.6 million refugees have had their food assistance reduced so far this year; that 750,000 children are unable to attend school; and that life-saving health services are becoming too expensive for many…” (6/25).

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News Outlets Discuss Ebola In Sierra Leone; Quarantine Of 31 Health Workers, Economic Recovery

Agence France-Presse: Ebola-hit Sierra Leone quarantines 31 health workers
“Authorities in Sierra Leone quarantined three doctors and 28 nurses in the capital Freetown when a mother tested positive for Ebola after giving birth, the health ministry said on Thursday…” (Johnson, 6/25).

The Guardian: Sierra Leone: ‘needs a Marshall Plan, not a multitude of micro initiatives’
“Where should Sierra Leone’s post-Ebola economic recovery start? Our experts offer 20 steps to getting the country open for business…” (Banning-Lover, 6/25).

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Use Of Rapid, Finger-Prick Blood Test To Diagnose Ebola Examined In Field Validation Study

News outlets report on the results of a study published in The Lancet on rapid diagnostic testing for Ebola.

Science Magazine: Fingerprick test quickly diagnoses Ebola
“As the Ebola outbreak simmers on in West Africa, researchers have shown the utility of a rapid test for the virus that could help contain another epidemic. The ReEBOV test, which needs only a fingerprick of blood and gives results in about 15 minutes, was granted Emergency Use Authorization by the World Health Organization (WHO) in February, based on laboratory assessments. Now, data collected from ReEBOV’s use on the ground in Africa have added further evidence of its accuracy…” (Williams, 6/25).

Washington Post: Finger-prick, blood test for Ebola takes just minutes
“…The development of the rapid diagnostic test, reported in The Lancet Thursday, represents a significant victory for scientists around the world who have been experimenting over the past year with all manner of vaccines, treatments and other ways of eradicating the virus…” (Cha, 6/26).

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South Korea Takes Steps To Monitor, Prevent Spread Of MERS

New York Times: After MERS, South Korea Authorizes Prison for Quarantine Scofflaws
“Stung by the outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome, South Korea has passed a law authorizing prison terms of up to two years for people who defy quarantine orders or lie about their potential exposure to an infectious disease…” (Sang-Hun, 6/26).

Reuters: South Korea hospitals to monitor emergency room visitors in battle on MERS
“South Korea has ordered hospitals to track all emergency ward visitors, after a large outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) was blamed on difficulties locating every person exposed to the disease, the health ministry said on Thursday…” (Kim, 6/25).

Reuters: South Korean man who was China’s only MERS case recovers
“A South Korean man who became China’s only case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has fully recovered and is being released from a Chinese hospital on Friday, the South Korean health ministry said…” (Park, 6/26).

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Nigeria Nears Full Year With No New Cases Of Polio

NPR: Polio Is Active In Only 3 Countries. Soon It Could Be Down To 2
“Nigeria is on the verge of being polio-free. And that would mean that for the first time ever there’s no ongoing polio transmission on the African continent. Nigeria is one of just three countries in the world, along with Pakistan and Afghanistan, where polio transmission has never been fully stopped. … If the West African nation reaches a full year with no new cases, the World Health Organization will strike Nigeria off the list of countries with active polio transmission…” (Beaubien, 6/26).

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Pakistan Heat Wave Leads To 860 Deaths, Health Officials Say

Associated Press: Heat wave subsides in Pakistan as death toll reaches 860
“The devastating heat wave that struck southern Pakistan last weekend is slowly subsiding but the toll was still climbing Thursday, to a total of 860 confirmed deaths, a senior health official said. Pakistan’s deadliest heat wave on record comes just weeks after soaring temperatures caused nearly 2,200 deaths in neighboring India, raising fears that South Asia could be seeing some of the devastating effects of human-caused climate change…” (Jawad, 6/25).

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U.N. Human Rights Chief Warns Of Famine In North Korea

CNN: North Korea’s historic drought expected to cause famine, U.N. says
“…North Koreans are again facing a ‘looming humanitarian disaster in the DPRK,’ or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, according to the United Nations human rights chief. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told CNN, ‘We call for the international community to support the DPRK and help the DPRK in a respect of what is going to be a very difficult famine.’ State media, which usually paint only a rosy picture of life for North Korea’s citizens, have been publishing reports about what they call the worst drought in 100 years…” (Novak, 6/25).

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Editorials and Opinions

Complex Framework Of SDGs Should Aspire To 'Sustainable Equality' for Women, Children

The Lancet: Sustainable equality — a goal to aspire to
Editorial Board

“2015 marks a transition point for development which is, in its own way, exhilarating. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will shortly expire… A new set of aspirations must be fashioned to prepare the world’s people for times of continuing, indeed perhaps intensifying, change and uncertainty. … The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being composed in a process that is, deliberately, more inclusive and comprehensive than that which produced their predecessors. Although health is, at the time of writing, restricted to a single SDG, two explicit goals focus, respectively, on achievement of gender equality and empowerment of all women and girls, and on reduction of inequality within and among countries. The SDGs will result in a complex framework in which health, sustainability, and economics compete for priority. How the new set of goals will be operationalised and evaluated will be fundamental to ensuring that the development trajectory of the 21st century is soundly based — on provision for and equality of all women and children” (6/27).

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NTDs, Other Public Health Threats Require Attention In Ebola-Hit West Africa

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Neglected Tropical Diseases in the Ebola-Affected Countries of West Africa
Peter Hotez, co-editor in chief of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and a U.S. science envoy

“While global attention in West Africa is focused on the emergence of Ebola virus infection, new information from the published literature and World Health Organization databases reveals that many other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are far more widespread and also require urgent attention. … A massive global response is now underway in the Ebola-affected countries of West Africa. Success on this front may depend on simultaneously fighting Ebola virus infection, NTDs, malaria, and other public health threats” (6/25).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Blog Examines UNAIDS-Lancet Commission Report

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: UNAIDS, Lancet: Take accelerated action on HIV treatment access, research and development, and address epidemic drivers, or risk rebound
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses the recently released UNAIDS-Lancet Commission report titled Defeating AIDS — Advancing Global Health (6/25).

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Blog Outlines Six Strategies To Help Women In Developing Countries With FP/RH Needs

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: What women, girls and their partners want
Angela Mutunga, the East Africa program adviser for Advance Family Planning, discusses six strategies for helping women in developing countries prevent unwanted pregnancies and protect their health (6/24).

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Post-Earthquake Tent City In Nepal Highlighted As Example Of Public-Private Partnership Success

U.S. State Department’s “DipNote”: Setting an Example, Emblematic of Recovery Possible in Nepal
Beth Dunford, USAID/Nepal’s Mission Director, profiles Camp Hope, a tent city in Jorpati, Kathmandu serving hundreds of households that USAID is helping to support. She writes, “Camp Hope demonstrates the positive outcomes that are possible when private and public sector partners work together…” Dunford also discusses other U.S. government earthquake relief efforts in Nepal (6/25).

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