Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- World Bank Announces 'Pandemic Bond' To Help Developing Countries Finance Disease Outbreak Responses
Financial Times: ‘Pandemic bonds’ are latest idea to beat disease
“Investors are being offered the chance to save the world and earn a juicy return at the same time, with the launch of a new type of bond to tackle outbreaks of pandemics. The World Bank launched the first-ever pandemic bond on Wednesday, raising $322m in two separate three-year issues. It also issued over $100m of swaps offering pandemic protection…” (Allen, 6/28).
Financial Times: World Bank issues first bond to tackle pandemic disease
“…The proceeds will be channelled to developing countries facing a pandemic, and to charities and rescue organizations working in those countries, in a bid to tackle what the Bank regards as one of the greatest systemic risks facing the world…” (Allen, 6/28).
Reuters: World Bank launches ‘pandemic bond’ to tackle major outbreaks
“…The [Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF)] will offer coverage to all countries eligible for financing from the International Development Agency (IDA), the arm of the World Bank dedicated to the world’s poorest countries. It covers outbreaks of infectious diseases most likely to cause major epidemics, including pandemic influenza strains; coronaviruses, including SARS; filoviruses, which include Ebola and Marburg; plus others such as Crimean Congo fever, Rift Valley fever, and Lassa fever…” (Milhench, 628).
- Cholera Continues To Spread In South Sudan, As Civil War Causes Instability, Displaces People
Associated Press: As South Sudan’s civil war rages, cholera takes deadly toll
“…Since [South Sudan’s cholera] outbreak began one year ago, over 11,000 cases have been reported, including at least 190 deaths, according to the World Health Organization and South Sudan’s government. WHO says 2017 shows a slight increase in cases, which coincides with the recent surge of displaced people across the country as civil war moves well into its fourth year…” (Mednick, 6/29).
- Conflict Driving Cholera Outbreak, Food Insecurity In Yemen
Associated Press: From destruction to cholera, Yemen war brings disasters
“…In May, a senior U.N. humanitarian official declared that Yemen was site of ‘the world’s largest food security crisis.’ More than 17 million desperately need food, and nearly seven million of those are ‘one step away from famine.’ Last week came the newest horrible superlative. The World Health Organization said Yemen faced ‘the worst cholera outbreak in the world.’ … Those nightmares come on top of other intertwined effects of the war…” (Michael, 6/29).
ScienceInsider: Cholera vaccine faces major test in war-torn Yemen
“Imagine a poor, war-ravaged country the size of Spain where more than 20 million people are threatened by a deadly disease that’s spreading fast from city to city. You have one million doses of a vaccine at your disposal. Who would you try to protect? That’s the question facing public health experts and international groups fighting an explosive cholera outbreak in Yemen…” (Kupferschmidt, 6/28).
USA TODAY: Yemen faces worst cholera outbreak in the world, health authorities say
“…The [cholera] outbreak has surpassed 200,000 cases, and that number is growing by 5,000 a day, [international health authorities] say. … More than 1,300 people have already died — one quarter of them children — and the death toll is expected to rise…” (Toy, 6/28).
- 21 Cases Of Vaccine-Derived Polio Reported So Far In 2017, Compared With 6 Wild Type Virus Cases
NPR: Mutant Strains Of Polio Vaccine Now Cause More Paralysis Than Wild Polio
“For the first time, the number of children paralyzed by mutant strains of the polio vaccine are greater than the number of children paralyzed by polio itself. So far in 2017, there have been only six cases of ‘wild’ polio reported anywhere in the world. … By contrast, there have been 21 cases of vaccine-derived polio this year…” (Beaubien, 6/28).
- Gates Foundation CEO Discusses Potential Impacts Of Cuts To U.S. Foreign Aid Spending In POLITICO Interview
POLITICO: PLAYBOOK INTERVIEW: Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“Sue Desmond-Hellmann, the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was drawn to one particular item in President Donald Trump’s proposed budget — the massive cuts to foreign aid. … Desmond-Hellman says she is concerned that if the cuts came into fruition, it could stymie the progress of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations to eradicate diseases like polio and promote family planning for women…” (Montellaro, 6/29).
- Public, Private Investments Must Be Made To Ensure Vaccine Coverage, R&D Into New Immunizations, Takeda Executive Says
Devex: Q&A: Rajeev Venkayya on why vaccines are a worthy investment
“…The success of vaccines going forward, [Rajeev Venkayya, the president of the Global Vaccine Business Unit at Takeda Pharmaceuticals,] says, requires public and policy support for investments ‘to make sure that we’re driving strong immunization coverage everywhere but also investing in new vaccines for the diseases that should be vaccine preventable,’ he said. … Devex sat down with Venkayya in Geneva at a summit held last month during the World Health Assembly…” (Saldinger, 6/28).
Editorials and Opinions
- U.S. Should Strengthen Investments In Foreign Aid, Not Merge USAID, State Department
Washington Post: Tillerson wants to merge the State Dept. and USAID. That’s a bad idea.
Andrew Natsios, professor at the Bush School of Government, director of the Scowcroft Institute at Texas A&M University, and former USAID administrator under President George W. Bush
“Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has set in motion a plan to merge all or parts of the U.S. Agency for International Development into the State Department and close 40 percent of USAID missions abroad, theoretically to ‘pursue greater efficiencies.’ While the Trump administration’s proposed … cuts to foreign aid have been the focus of Washington debate, the misguided absorption of USAID into State is a much graver danger to the effectiveness of the U.S. government’s aid program. Budget cuts can be quickly restored, particularly in the face of new and unexpected crises. A merger, however, could permanently diminish our ability to help and save lives around the world. … The United States needs to invest in foreign aid to protect itself from the chaos spreading across the world. We should be strengthening our aid programs and infrastructure, not weakening them. The State Department should focus on conducting diplomacy, which is what it excels at, and USAID should do its job as development professionals with more independence, not less” (6/28).
- Trump Administration's Cuts To Family Planning Will Greatly Impact Women's, Children's Livelihoods
Newsweek: Trump’s Contraceptive Cuts Will Make The World Poorer
Robert Walker, president of the Population Institute
“…[T]he Trump administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 would end America’s support for international family planning assistance. It has already terminated America’s support for the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), which is a major supplier of contraceptives to women in the developing world. The termination of family planning assistance is President Trump’s idea of putting America first. But if America comes first, who comes last? The answer is women and children. When women in the developing world are denied access to birth control, maternal and child mortality rates rise. When they are unable to plan their families, their children are far more likely to be malnourished and far less likely to receive the education they need. Indeed, without family planning, families are far less likely to escape from severe poverty. … Congress, it is hoped, will reject Trump administration plans to slash funding for the State Department and international programs, including family planning. But as Congress prepares to pave the way for large tax cuts this fall, foreign assistance and other discretionary spending programs could face severe budget cuts” (6/29).
- Enhancing Food Security In Africa, Asia Requires Investment, Sound Policies, Targeted Interventions
Devex: Opinion: Ending famines and chronic hunger requires good governance
Paul A. Dorosh, director of the International Food Policy Research Institute’s development strategy and governance division
“The United Nations’ urgent call in February for hunger relief for 20 million people in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Nigeria has drawn the world’s attention to the connection between conflict and hunger. While there is no doubt that armed conflicts are a main driver of these hunger crises, more mundane problems such as bad governance and poor public policies also leave many with insufficient access to food and demand attention. Food shortages in peaceful places such as Malawi and Zimbabwe illustrate that good governance, like peace, is a precondition for preventing famine. The historical examples of Bangladesh and Ethiopia provide valuable insight into how to combat chronic hunger through principled governance and sound policies. … Enhancing food security in Eastern Africa and elsewhere in the world will require a multi-faceted set of public and private investments, sound policies, and targeted interventions for especially vulnerable households. The examples of Bangladesh and Ethiopia show it can be done” (6/28).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- Friends Blog Post Examines Benefits Of U.S. Investments In Bilateral, Multilateral Global Health Programs
Friends of the Global Fight: New study: U.S. global health investments see major payoffs
Katie Broendel, senior communications manager at Friends, discusses a recently published “PLOS Medicine study that found that U.S. investments in the fight against malaria have saved the lives of nearly two million children in sub-Saharan Africa.” She notes, “Bilateral programs like PMI team up with public-private partnerships like the Global Fund to create even more impact,” adding, “Global health investments, including PMI, PEPFAR, and the Global Fund, among others, make up only a quarter of one percent of the U.S. federal budget. Budget cuts to these programs and the larger foreign assistance account could have devastating outcomes…” (6/28).
- More Global Investment Needed To Meet Sexual, Reproductive Health Needs Of Women In Developing Countries, Guttmacher CEO, Report Say
BMJ Opinion: Ann Starrs: A critical moment to increase investments in women’s family planning needs
Ann M. Starrs, president and CEO of the Guttmacher Institute, writes, “Investments in sexual and reproductive health are critical for saving lives and reducing ill-health among women and their children — and for fulfilling their internationally recognized right to good health. Investing in reproductive and sexual health services in developing regions is key to reducing poverty and promoting development, and saves money overall.” Starrs discusses new research by the Guttmacher Institute showing the importance of investments in family planning services in developing countries (6/29).
Guttmacher Institute: Greater Investments Needed to Meet Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs in Developing Regions
“A new study published today by the Guttmacher Institute finds that contraceptive services and maternal and newborn health (MNH) services fall far short of needs in developing regions. The study, Adding It Up: Investing in Contraception and Maternal and Newborn Health, 2017, finds that 214 million women in developing countries want to avoid pregnancy but — for a variety of reasons — are not using a modern method of contraception. … Fully meeting contraceptive and MNH care needs in developing regions can be achieved by spending $52.5 billion annually, or just $8.39 per person per year (in 2017 U.S. dollars). The new research shows that meeting the needs for modern contraception and pregnancy-related care together is a cost-saving investment…” (6/29).
- Global Fund Advocates Network Releases Civil Society Version Of Moscow Declaration On TB
Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Moscow TB meeting declaration gets a civil society makeover and is up for signers
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses “a civil society version of the Moscow Declaration that could serve as a blueprint for commitments and action toward ending the global impacts of tuberculosis over the next decade and a half.” Barton notes individuals and organizations wishing to sign the Global Fund Advocates Network’s version of the declaration have until 5pm ET on June 29 to do so (6/28).
From the U.S. Government
- New Issue Of NIH Fogarty International Center's 'Global Health Matters' Newsletter Available Online
NIH Fogarty International Center: Global Health Matters
The most recent issue of the Fogarty International Center’s newsletter contains various articles addressing global health issues, including an article on congressional appropriators’ discussions about the center’s impact and an opinion piece by Fogarty Director Roger I. Glass on empowering developing countries to direct their own research (May/June 2017).
From the Kaiser Family Foundation
- Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Fact Sheet On Statutory Requirements & Policies Governing U.S. Global Family Planning, Reproductive Health Efforts
Kaiser Family Foundation: The U.S. Government and International Family Planning & Reproductive Health: Statutory Requirements and Policies
This updated fact sheet “summarizes the major statutory requirements and policies pertaining to U.S. global family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) efforts over time and identifies those currently in effect. These laws and policies collectively serve to direct how U.S. funds are spent, to where and which organizations funds are provided, and generally shape the implementation and define the scope of U.S. global FP/RH activities” (6/28).
- Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Fact Sheet On Key U.S. Government Officials In Global Health
Kaiser Family Foundation: Key Global Health Positions and Officials in the U.S. Government
This updated fact sheet lists U.S. government positions and officials related to global health operations, including links to agencies and officials’ profiles, when available (6/29).