KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

White House Proposal To Overhaul Federal Government Includes Downsizing Of Public Health Service Corps

Washington Post: White House wants to cut this public health service corps by nearly 40 percent
“The White House is proposing to reduce by nearly 40 percent the uniformed public health professionals who deploy during disasters and disease outbreaks, monitor drug safety, and provide health care in some of the nation’s most remote and disadvantaged areas. The proposal is part of a plan announced last week by the Office of Management and Budget to overhaul the federal government. It would cut the size of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps from its current 6,500 officers to ‘no more than 4,000 officers.’ … Nearly 300 officers were sent to staff a U.S. field hospital in Liberia during the 2014 Ebola epidemic…” (Sun, 6/27).

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Heat-Stable Carbetocin Could Save Thousands Of Women's Lives By Preventing Excessive Postpartum Bleeding, WHO Study Shows

BBC News: Revamped drug could save lives of many new mothers — WHO
“A revamped drug that can withstand extreme heat and stay effective for 1,000 days could ‘revolutionize the ability’ to keep new mothers alive, the World Health Organization (WHO) says. The medicine — known as heat-stable carbetocin — helps prevent sometimes fatal bleeding after women give birth…” (Mundasad, 6/28).

NPR: Saving Moms’ Lives During Childbirth Just Got Easier
“…A few years ago, chemists at Ferring Pharmaceuticals developed a heat-stable version of an oxytocin-like molecule, which retains its potency even after sitting at 86 degrees Fahrenheit for three years, or 104 degrees Fahrenheit for six months. WHO then led a massive trial around the world to test the new drug — called heat-stable carbetocin…” (Doucleff, 6/27).

Reuters: Heat-stable drug could save thousands from post-childbirth bleeding: WHO
“…The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday, found that carbetocin — a heat-stable drug — is as safe and effective as oxytocin in preventing postpartum bleeding…” (Kelland, 6/27).

U.N. News: WHO study reveals ‘game-changer’ drug with potential to save thousands of women’s lives in childbirth
“…WHO notes that approximately 70,000 women die annually from postpartum hemorrhage — increasing the risk that their babies will also die within a month. In the largest clinical trial of its kind, close to 30,000 women who gave birth vaginally were studied in Argentina, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Thailand, Uganda, and the United Kingdom…” (6/27).

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Indian Government Rejects Findings Of TRF Survey Showing Country World's Most Dangerous For Women

Times of India: Govt rejects report calling India most unsafe for women
“The government has rejected an ‘opinion poll’ by Thomson Reuters Foundation that said India is the most dangerous country for women, saying the conclusion is not based on any data but solely on subjective opinion. With the report — which names India as more unsafe than strife-hit Syria and Iraq where violence against women is endemic, or deeply conservative Saudi Arabia with its discriminatory laws — sparking a major furore, the government said the poll uses a ‘flawed methodology’ to present an erroneous picture…” (6/28).

Washington Post: India ranked world’s most dangerous place for women, reigniting debate about women’s safety
“…Experts interviewed for the poll said India had topped the list because its government has done little to protect women since the controversial rape and murder of a young student in 2012 prompted widespread outrage and changes in the country’s rape laws. … The poll — based on a survey of 548 experts on women’s issues — ignited an immediate firestorm of controversy on Indian social media, where critics blasted it as based on opinion, not facts…” (Gowen, 6/27).

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Syrian Government Offensive Bombs Medical Facilities, Threatens To Create Greater Humanitarian Crisis

The Guardian: Syrian forces’ push into east Daraa ‘could spark humanitarian crisis’
“A new Syrian government offensive to recapture rebel territory in the south-west of the country is endangering the fragile peace process and could provoke a humanitarian crisis worse than that which followed the siege of Aleppo, a senior U.N. official has warned…” (Wintour, 6/27).

Washington Post: Warplanes bomb 3 hospitals in southern Syria as Assad’s army presses offensive
“Fighter jets bombed at least three medical facilities in southern Syria overnight, a war monitor and local doctors said Wednesday, as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad appeared to ramp up a battle plan that has forced rebel-held areas across the country into submission…” (Loveluck, 6/27).

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Humanitarian Aid Agencies Call For Sanctions In Yemen, More International Pressure To Keep Assistance Flowing

Foreign Affairs: The New Front in Yemen
“…Efforts to reach a political settlement have been fruitless; the last peace talks collapsed in 2016. Meanwhile, the humanitarian situation has dramatically deteriorated. According to the U.N., 8.4 million Yemenis are now on the brink of starvation and another 14 million people require some kind of humanitarian aid. Today, all sides are digging in for what could be the most intensive battle of the war to date…” (Salisbury, 6/27).

VOA News: In Paris, International Experts Meet on Yemen Crisis
“Relief agencies have called for targeted sanctions against Yemen’s warring parties and for international pressure to keep vital humanitarian assistance flowing, as diplomats meet Wednesday on the country’s crisis in Paris. The meeting was downgraded after last week’s Saudi-led coalition attack on Yemen’s main port of Hodeida…” (Bryant, 6/27).

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Sudanese Court Lightens Sentence Of Teenage Woman Who Killed Husband After Reported Rape

New York Times: Sudan Won’t Execute Woman Who Killed Husband After Reported Rape, Lawyer Says
“An appeals court in Sudan has overturned the death sentence of a 19-year-old woman who killed her husband in what she said was self-defense because he tried to rape her, one of her lawyers has said, in a case that has drawn international outrage…” (Yeginsu, 6/27).

Washington Post: This teenager faced hanging for killing her rapist husband. But a Sudanese court just lightened her sentence.
“…The decision is a partial victory for human rights advocates who have shared her story widely over the past month, prompting international outrage and a social media campaign shared under the hashtag #JusticeForNoura. Although groups such as Amnesty International are celebrating that Hussein will not face the death penalty, Amnesty said the new sentence still constitutes ‘disproportionate punishment’ and the teenager was acting in self-defense…” (O’Grady, 6/27).

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More News In Global Health

Bloomberg: The DNA Cops Who Make Sure the World’s Deadliest Viruses Aren’t Rebuilt (Spalding, 6/27).

CBS News: Air pollution killing thousands of infants in Africa, study says (6/27).

Devex: Why training pharmaceutical regulatory professionals is key to improving health in Africa (6/28).

Homeland Preparedness News: New cholera tracking approach may aid control strategies (Clark, 6/27).

News Deeply: Nigeria Turns to Technology to Reduce Food Waste and Fight Hunger (Fallon, 6/27).

New York Times: U.N. Reports Sharp Increase in Children Killed or Maimed in Conflicts (Sugiyama, 6/27).

Reuters: Zambia aims to eradicate malaria by 2021: health minister (Mfula, 6/27).

Xinhua News: East African bloc urges expanding access to quality-assured medicines (6/27).

Xinhua News: Uganda’s introduction of diarrhea vaccine to reduce child deaths: U.N. (6/27).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.K.'s Ministry Of Defense, DFID Working Together To Advance Diplomacy, Development

The Times: Harnessing the power of armed forces and aid
Penny Mordaunt, U.K. secretary of state for international development

“…[T]he connection between U.K. aid and our armed forces is deep and strong. Defense depends on diplomacy and development to reduce the crises it’s dealing with. … The Ministry of Defense and my own department, the Department for International Development (DFID), are both operationally focused departments. We are experts at getting the job done, often in difficult environments. … Together we have acted and continue to act swiftly and decisively. … It is my ambition to get defense and development working much more closely together in [the] future: to save lives, boost prosperity, and create much needed stability around the world, to support our veterans. By funding work that will support the British people or causes that they care passionately about, we do not dilute the good aid does, we will double it. We will seek a win for the developing world and a win for the U.K. in all we do” (6/28).

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DRC Ebola Outbreak Suggests Implementing Lessons Learned, Using Technology Critical To Containing Disease's Spread

WIRED U.K.: To stop another Ebola outbreak, science went open source
Alexander Kumar, medical doctor at King’s College London

“…[I]t’s now been two weeks with no Ebola-positive patients in DRC. So what have we done right the second time around [since the West Africa epidemic], and how can the data gathered during these two outbreaks help us confront Ebola in the future? … When Ebola struck in West Africa in 2013 — for the first time in that region — it caught local and international medical communities off guard. Nobody knew what to do, which resulted in a tragic delay of months and thousands of deaths. The tide turned only once the international community agreed and implemented a new policy, giving intravenous fluids to patients. … The DRC’s previous experience with Ebola has also proved useful. The MSF rapidly employed 470 trained experts in the field, mainly locals — who all knew how to deal with an outbreak. … Crucially, in the DRC there has been no deadly delay in administering intravenous fluids. … Just as importantly, the medical teams had useful data from the 2013 epidemic. … This time around, … data collection combined with other data streams have helped implement rapidly a targeted vaccination campaign to control the outbreak…” (6/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Experts Discuss Senate Committee Markup, Approval Of BUILD Act

Center for Global Development: Another Step Closer to a New and Improved U.S. Development Finance Institution
Erin Collinson, director of policy outreach, and Todd Moss, senior fellow, both at CGD, highlight changes made by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in its markup and subsequent approval of the BUILD Act. Key changes include: “More time to plan a smooth transition … More transparency (of project-level data) … Establishing a development advisory council … Adding an independent accountability mechanism” (6/27).

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Bill Gates Discusses Role Of U.S. Investment In Global Development, Health At JHU SAIS Event

Johns Hopkins University’s “Hub”: Bill Gates: ‘I hope countries will compete in generosity’
Saralyn Cruickshank, communications specialist at Johns Hopkins University, discusses remarks made by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, at an event hosted by Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) on philanthropy and health leadership. During the event, “Gates discussed the importance of U.S. investment in the developing world, especially in terms of health” (6/27).

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UNAIDS Welcomes Announcement Of Additional Funding From Australia To Scale Up HIV Prevention In Asia-Pacific Region

UNAIDS: UNAIDS welcomes additional funding from Australia
“UNAIDS welcomes the announcement by the Government of Australia confirming an additional AUD 1.3 million (US$ 977,000) for the AIDS response. The additional funding, announced at the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board meeting on 26 June 2018, will be used to scale up HIV prevention in Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Papua New Guinea. The funds will add to the AUD 4.5 million (US$ 3.3 million) annual contribution to UNAIDS that Australia has pledged for the next five years…” (6/27).

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Parasitic Infections, Undernutrition Impact Girls' Health, Education, Participation In Economy

Chicago Council on Global Affairs: Guest Commentary — Hidden Infections Deplete Girls’ Education Momentum and Undercut Economic Growth for All
Madeleine Nicholson, intern at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, discusses the importance of access to quality education for girls and the role of poor health in preventing girls and women from economic participation. Nicholson writes, “In order for rural girls to succeed and contribute to global economic growth, global leaders, economists, and public health professionals must collaborate to ensure that rural girls are able to stay healthy and engaged in school. Nutrition-focused programming and investments in deworming are essential steps in empowering girls and tapping into the … economic growth they can help produce” (6/27).

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IntraHealth Expert Outlines 3 Lessons For Creating Sustainable, Scalable CHW Programs

IntraHealth’s “VITAL”: Three Lessons We Can Learn from 40+ Years of Community Health Worker Programs
Laura Hoemeke, director of health policy and systems at IntraHealth International, discusses three key lessons for creating sustainable and scalable community health worker (CHW) programs, writing, “Community health workers need to be an integral part of functional health systems — not (another) NGO pilot program … Community health workers need a mutually trusting relationship with the communities they serve, as well as the health system … Community health workers need motivation” (6/27).

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