KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Senate To Take Key Procedural Vote On Zika Funding Measure; Democrats, White House Oppose Bill

The Atlantic: The Senate Races to Battle Zika and Help Puerto Rico
“The U.S. Senate is under time pressure to stave off a default by Puerto Rico and approve $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus before lawmakers go off on a July 4 recess…” (Berman, 6/27).

CNN: GOP senators warn Democrats not to block Zika funds
“Top Senate Republicans urged Democrats not to block a Zika funding measure that faces a key vote Tuesday, cautioning that Democrats will be blamed if children are born with the birth defects caused by the dangerous mosquito-borne virus…” (Barrett, 6/27).

The Hill: House Republicans: Zika travel alert is not strong enough
“A group of 17 House Republicans is calling on the Obama administration to strengthen its travel warnings to countries hit hard by the Zika virus so as to advise against ‘nonessential’ travel to the countries…” (Sullivan, 6/27).

POLITICO: Congress’ Zika fail could bite GOP in election
“Congress is poised for an epic failure in its efforts to combat Zika before lawmakers leave Washington for a seven-week vacation — and it could come back to bite Republicans at the ballot box if there’s an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus in the United States this summer…” (Everett/Haberkorn, 6/28).

Reuters: Funding to fight Zika virus faces uphill battle in U.S. Senate
“…Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said Monday that the minority had ‘no choice’ but to oppose the Republican legislation [providing $1.1 billion to fight the Zika virus]. Among other things, Democrats were unhappy that the proposal would not allow funding to go to private entities such as the women’s health care provider Planned Parenthood…” (Cornwell, 6/27).

USA TODAY: House Zika funding deal likely to die in Senate
“…If no bill is passed into law this week, Congress will have less than two weeks left in July to try to work out a compromise before both the House and Senate adjourn for the national political conventions and the August recess. By the time lawmakers come back from their long summer break, it will be past Labor Day and the peak mosquito season will be over…” (Kelly, 6/27).

Washington Times: Zika virus spending package sitting in partisan gridlock
“…The White House reiterated its opposition [to the funding measure] Monday, saying the only way out of the impasse is for House Republicans to ‘stop playing games’…” (Howell, 6/27).

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U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama On 3-Nation Tour To Promote Let Girls Learn Initiative

Deutsche Welle: Michelle Obama on international tour to promote girls’ education
“U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters are heading to Liberia, Morocco, and Spain as part of the White House’s Let Girls Learn Initiative. They will address the obstacles girls face in obtaining an education…” (6/26).

NPR: Girl Talk: What Teens Want Michelle Obama To Know About Liberia
“…The first lady is meeting President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and spending around six hours just outside the capital, Monrovia, to observe a Peace Corps training facility and participate in a roundtable with a group of girls and young women about challenges they face when trying to pursue their education. Then they’re rushing off to Morocco in the early evening…” (MacDougall, 6/27).

VOA News: First Lady on Mission to Promote Girls’ Education in Africa
“…Let Girls Learn is a global initiative launched by the president and first lady in 2015. The program addresses obstacles — such as forced marriage, poverty, and violence — that keep more than 62 million girls globally out of school…” (6/25).

Washington Post: Michelle Obama begins three-nation trip with visit to Liberia to advocate for girls’ education
“…[Michelle Obama] also announced that USAID will begin training teachers and policymakers to prevent violence against women and girls, and she highlighted other federal programs — a $6.2 million project to reduce child labor in Liberia’s rubber-growing areas, and a $20 million child-nutrition program that gives grade-school girls a monthly take-home ratio of food if they maintain a good school attendance record. Obama also planned to spotlight ‘second-chance’ schools supported by the U.S. government that allow girls who were raped or impregnated to finish their educations…” (Thompson, 6/27).

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International Community Must Tackle Inequality To Prevent 69M Child Deaths Through 2030, UNICEF Report Says

Associated Press: U.N. report: Tackle inequality to prevent children from dying
“The U.N. children’s agency warned Monday that 69 million youngsters under the age of five will die from preventable causes between now and 2030 if all countries don’t accelerate action to improve health and education for the most disadvantaged…” (6/27).

Deutsche Welle: UNICEF report: Combating inequality will save children’s lives
“A UNICEF report released Tuesday painted a stark picture for the world’s young people — the rate of child marriages has not decreased in decades, the number of children not in school has continued to climb, and millions of children will die from mainly preventable deaths by 2030. The root of all these ills, according to the report, is drastically widening economic inequality…” (6/28).

The Guardian: 69m children will die of preventable causes, says UNICEF
“…In its latest State of the World’s Children report, UNICEF also says 750 million women will have been married as children by 2030, the date by which the Sustainable Development Goals to tackle poverty and secure the planet’s future are supposed to have been achieved…” (Chonghaile, 6/27).

New York Times: UNICEF Says Its Development Goals for Children Are at Risk
“…The officials said the 172-page report was an emphatic warning that the so-called Sustainable Development Goals created by the United Nations in 2015 might not be achieved by the 2030 target date…” (Gladstone, 6/27).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: UNICEF finds dramatic inequality among world’s poorest, richest children
“…Poor children are twice as likely as rich children to die before age five, and poor girls are more than twice as likely to become child brides in signs of troubling inequality, said the annual report by the United Nations’ children’s agency…” (Malo, 6/27).

TIME: Preventable Causes Will Kill 69 Million Children Under Five by 2030: UNICEF
“…The report notes that significant progress has been made since the the 1990s. Global mortality rates for children under age five and people living in extreme poverty have decreased by half or almost half, and boys and girls attend primary school in equal numbers in 129 countries. But these advances have been ‘neither even nor fair,’ the report finds…” (Quackenbush, 6/28).

VOA News: UNICEF Warns Disadvantaged Youth Face Death, Poverty
“…UNICEF warns that if current trends continue, and 2030 development targets are missed, nearly 35 million African children could die before their fifth birthdays from mostly preventable causes. Those who do survive will have poor primary school attendance and nine out of 10 will live in extreme poverty” (Besheer, 6/28).

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More Than 26M Children At Risk In Eastern, Southern Africa Due To El Niño Weather Pattern, UNICEF Says

U.N. News Centre: El Niño puts more than 26 million children at risk in Eastern and Southern Africa — UNICEF
“One of the strongest El Niño events ever recorded has placed the lives of 26.5 million children at risk of malnutrition, water shortages, and disease in 10 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has reported…” (6/27).

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6.5M Deaths Worldwide Linked To Air Pollution, International Energy Agency Says, Calling For Efforts To Reduce Emissions

Associated Press: Report links 6.5 million deaths worldwide to air pollution
“Each year about 6.5 million deaths worldwide are linked to air pollution, a number that could grow in coming decades unless the energy sector steps up its efforts to slash emissions, the International Energy Agency warned Monday. In the Paris-based agency’s first report on the subject, the IEA said air pollution is the fourth biggest threat to human health, after high blood pressure, bad diets, and smoking…” (6/27).

New York Times: Study Links 6.5 Million Deaths Each Year to Air Pollution
“…[IEA Executive Director Fatih] Birol, an economist, argues that pressing concerns about climate change and the emergence of countries like China and India as major energy consumers and polluters mean that the agency needs to shift its strategy. … Helping these countries solve problems through increasing energy efficiency or filtering out pollutants can make progress on climate change goals. We need to make these countries ‘understand that their problems are our problems,’ Mr. Birol said…” (Reed, 6/26).

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Middle East Health Systems Strained By Conflict; Refugees With Poor Living Conditions Susceptible To Communicable Diseases

Wall Street Journal: Refugee Crises in Mideast Spawn Health Threats
“…Years of conflict in the Middle East have collapsed health care systems and strained government budgets for public health efforts. The cumulative result — millions of people constantly on the move, living in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions — has been the re-emergence of deadly diseases…” (Malas, 6/27).

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Philippine President-Elect Duterte Promotes Birth Control Despite Catholic Church's Opposition

The Atlantic: Contraception in the Philippines
“Filipino president-elect Rodrigo Duterte said Monday he would promote birth control in his country even though it goes against the teachings of the Catholic Church…” (Phippen, 6/27).

International Business Times: Philippines’ President-Elect Duterte Ready To Lock Horns With Catholic Church Over Contraception
“…Duterte, who is to be sworn in as president on Thursday, reportedly said that having too many children had forced poor families deeper into poverty and recommended that people have three children at most. The Philippines has one of Asia’s fastest-growing populations…” (Pascaline, 6/27).

Religion News Service/USA TODAY: Philippines’ Duterte takes on Catholic Church over contraception
“…The president elect said he was aware the move would position him against the church — in a country where 80 percent of people are Catholic. ‘I’ve also been colliding with the church because it’s no longer realistic,’ the president said referring to the church’s stand…” (Scammell, 6/27).

Washington Post: Philippines tough-guy leader defies Catholic Church on birth control
“…Roman Catholic officials in the Philippines have opposed artificial birth control and advocate only natural family-planning methods…” (Constable, 6/27).

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Women's Rights, Aid Groups Implore Economist Magazine To Recall Article Advocating Some Forms Of FGM Permissible

The Guardian: The Economist prompts outrage as it backs ‘minor FGM’
“An article in the Economist magazine has angered anti-FGM campaigners by suggesting that some forms of female genital mutilation (FGM) should be permissible. Campaign groups have condemned the leading article, which argues that allowing ‘minor’ forms of the practice might prevent girls from more extreme harm. The London-based FGM charity Orchid Project has called the article ‘grossly irresponsible’ and started a petition calling for the Economist to retract its position on FGM…” (Wright, 6/27).

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Motherboard Features Series Of Articles On Efforts To Eliminate Malaria

Motherboard: Malaria’s Last Stand: Will We Defeat Malaria?
“…Malaria’s Last Stand is an expository look at the ongoing burden of one of humanity’s oldest diseases. Staff writer Kaleigh Rogers traveled to Tanzania to capture the scope of malaria’s impact on the road to elimination” (6/27).

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Editorials and Opinions

Investing In Gender Equity Critical To Global Economic Prosperity, Security

Aspen Institute/Medium: Building a Better Future for Girls and Women Worldwide
Donna Shalala, president of the Clinton Foundation

“…[G]ender equality won’t just change the lives of girls and women  –  it will change the world. Want to defeat poverty? Invest in women. Want to combat climate change? Invest in women. Want to reduce violence? Invest in women. … Investments in gender equity are among the smartest we can make. … All of us  –  girls and women, boys and men  –  have a responsibility to work together to achieve gender equality. We have a responsibility to ensure women’s equality under the law and in practice, as well as to eliminate social barriers that limit girls’ and women’s potential, and to provide resources, opportunities, and role models. All of these efforts will help to make girls strong inside. Building a better future for girls and women is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. Together, we can not only inspire full participation, but achieve it” (6/26).

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Rapid Urbanization Threatens World's Ability To Prevent, Control Infectious Diseases

The Guardian: More people in less space: rapid urbanization threatens global health
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…The combination of more people living in less space and placing more strain on already limited sanitation represents a fertile breeding ground for infectious disease and the insect vectors spreading them. At the same time, the sheer scale of cities has the potential to overstretch vaccine supplies, limiting our ability to prevent or respond to outbreaks. … The best way to avoid outbreaks is to close the gaps through which infection can spread. That means improving routine immunization coverage and highlighting urban blind spots. At the same time, we need to review regularly our risk assessment for infectious disease to ensure that we have enough doses of vaccine to cope with worst-case scenarios. We also need to make sure that those scenarios accurately reflect how diseases scale. … With infectious disease, without vaccines there’s no safety in numbers” (6/28).

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'Uruguay Model' Offers Opportunity For Women To Undergo Safer Abortions Despite Legal Conditions

New York Times: From Uruguay, a Model for Making Abortion Safer
Patrick Adams, freelance journalist

“…It started 10 years before [Uruguay legalized abortion in 2012], with a medical protocol called the ‘Uruguay Model.’ Described by its architects as an ‘intermediate step’ toward allowing abortion, the protocol was designed to make safer the many abortions then being carried out clandestinely. … [A] pilot program at Pereira Rossell [hospital, led by a group called ‘Iniciativas Sanitarias,’ had] one aim: to provide women contemplating an abortion with judgment-free, factually accurate information on, among other things, the use of medicines to terminate a pregnancy. … Though the physician would explain how to correctly use misoprostol, he or she would provide no information on how or where to obtain the drug, because doing so was against the law. … Over the next several years, Iniciativas Sanitarias worked with international organizations to replicate the Uruguay Model in nine other countries — all of them larger, poorer, and more socially conservative than Uruguay. … [A]dvocates say it has had a clear impact on unsafe abortion in many of the communities where it was piloted … [and] also emboldened providers in those places to speak out publicly…” (6/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Ahead Of Replenishment Conference, France, Italy Announce Pledges To Global Fund

Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: France, Italy Announce Robust Pledges Ahead of Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment
Sarah Marston, director of communications at Friends of the Global Fight, discusses the government of France’s announcement of a pledge of €1.08 billion and the government of Italy’s announcement of a pledge of €130 million to the Global Fund’s Fifth Replenishment for the 2017-2019 period. Marston notes, “Ahead of the Fifth Replenishment Conference to be hosted by the government of Canada on Sept. 16, these new pledges serve as an important signal to world leaders — that it is critical for countries to work together to end these epidemics for good. The Global Fund aims to raise $13 billion through the Fifth Replenishment cycle” (6/27).

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PLOS Blog Discusses Debate Over Responsibility For Haitian Cholera Epidemic

PLOS Blogs’ “Public Health Perspectives”: Why the Haitian Cholera Victims Deserve Their Day in Court
Jason Silverstein, lecturer and writer-in-residence at Harvard Medical School in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, discusses the debate over the Haitian cholera epidemic, which is believed to have begun in a U.N. peacekeeping camp established without proper sanitation facilities. He writes, “The United Nations should account for their role in one of the deadliest outbreaks of cholera in recent history” (6/27).

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Rapid Diagnostics, Shorter Treatment Regimens, Health Care Provider Involvement Critical To Reducing TB Burden In Afghanistan

PLOS Blogs’ “Speaking of Medicine”: Ending Tuberculosis in Afghanistan: working together towards a common goal
Mohammad Razai, a medical doctor and global health researcher, discusses the challenges and progress of TB efforts in Afghanistan, including the need to focus on shorter, less-expensive treatments and rapid diagnostic tests for MDR-TB by involving all health care providers (6/27).

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New Issue Of 'Global Health: Science And Practice' Journal Available Online

Global Health: Science and Practice: June 2016
The new issue of “Global Health: Science and Practice” features articles on various topics, including an editorial on expanding family planning services, particularly long-acting reversible contraceptives, in Nigeria; a commentary on how investing in family planning can accelerate achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals; and articles on several global health case studies (June 2016).

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