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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Senate Democrats Will Try To Force Vote On Zika Funding, Minority Leader Reid Says

The Hill: Senate Dems to force vote on Zika funding
“Senate Democrats will try to force a vote next week on nearly $2 billion to bolster the national response to the Zika virus. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said at a press conference Thursday he will dig in on Zika funding as GOP leaders in both chambers work on hammering out a compromise…” (Ferris, 6/2).

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No Immediate Plans To Begin Food Aid Airdrops In Syria, U.N. Says

New York Times: U.N. Plans No Imminent Airdrops of Aid in Syria, Despite Expired Deadline
“The United Nations on Thursday dimmed any prospect of immediate airdrops of aid to Syrian civilians trapped by the war, despite an expired deadline imposed on Syria’s government to allow unfettered humanitarian access by land. United Nations officials said the World Food Programme, its anti-hunger agency, had no imminent plans for airdrops even though the organization had known for more than two weeks about the deadline, which expired on Wednesday…” (Cumming-Bruce/Gladstone, 6/2).

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More Effort Needed To Reach LGBT Communities With HIV Prevention, Treatment Strategies, UNAIDS Report Notes

Inter Press Service: LGBT Communities Silenced in HIV Reduction Efforts
“…In a new report, published ahead of the upcoming High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, the Joint U.N. Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) found immense gains in access to antiretroviral therapy (ART) across 160 countries. However, UNAIDS noted that HIV reduction and prevention efforts must be scaled up since many so-called key groups such as LGBT communities are still not being reached…” (Yakupitiyage, 6/2).

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Drought, Conflict Worsening Food Insecurity Worldwide, FAO Report Shows

U.N. News Centre: Droughts and persisting conflicts exacerbate global food needs — U.N. agency
“Droughts linked to El Niño and civil conflicts have pushed the number of countries currently in need of external food assistance up to 37 from 34 in March, a new report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has found. The new edition of the Crop Prospects and Food Situation report adds Papua New Guinea, Haiti, and Nigeria to the list of countries requiring outside help to feed their own populations or communities of refugees they are hosting…” (6/2).

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More Than 17M Women, Children Collect Water In Africa, Increasing Risk Of Sexual Abuse, Disease, Study Shows

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Over 17 mln women and girls collect water in Africa, at risk of rape and disease
“At least 17 million women and girls in Africa collect water every day, which increases their risk of sexual abuse, disease, and dropping out of school, a study published on Wednesday has found. It is one of the first studies to calculate how many women and children were responsible for water collection in Africa, the researchers said…” (Taylor, 6/1).

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Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates Speaks About Efforts To Improve Contraception Access At Code Conference

Recode: Melinda Gates is going ‘all in’ on contraception in her philanthropy efforts
“Melinda Gates is on a mission to help women around the world decide when and if they have children. ‘What I’m trying to do is bend the curve,’ the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said in an interview with Walt Mossberg at the Code Conference on Wednesday morning, joined by her husband, Bill Gates. That curve represents the pace of getting 110 million more women around the world access to birth control, which given current trends would take until 2035. Melinda Gates says the foundation is trying to shorten that to 2020…” (Hesseldahl, 6/1).

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Botswana To Purchase ViiV Healthcare HIV Medicine In Largest-Ever African Transaction

Financial Times: GSK’s HIV unit secures biggest ever tender in sub-Saharan Africa
“GlaxoSmithKline’s HIV drugs business, ViiV Healthcare, has secured its biggest ever tender in sub-Saharan Africa that will see its dolutegravir treatment made available to people living with the virus through a national health program for the first time…” (6/3).

Reuters: Botswana gets GSK’s modern HIV drug in largest-ever Africa tender
“…Campaign groups like Médecins Sans Frontières have been pushing for the new drug to be offered to people in developing countries since it was first approved in the United States in 2013, as the drug is well tolerated and extremely effective. No financial details were given of the contract between ViiV and the Ministry of Health in Botswana, and a GSK spokesman declined comment on price…” (Hirschler, 6/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.N. Leadership, World Humanitarian Summit Attendees Must Take Next Steps To Follow Up On Meeting's Outcomes

The Lancet: World Humanitarian Summit: next steps crucial
Editorial Board

“Ban Ki-moon’s final flagship initiative for his tenure as U.N. secretary general, the World Humanitarian Summit, was held in Istanbul, Turkey, last week (May 23-24). The meeting, the first of its kind, was marred in controversy before it started … On the positive side, the summit started an important conversation about how the world can better respond to, and prevent, humanitarian crises. … However, there are problems. The summit was not a formal decision-making meeting and the commitments made by U.N. member states are not legally binding. Furthermore, no independent accountability mechanism or robust framework to track progress was announced. And, disappointingly, no substantial, concrete action was achieved for refugees, displaced people, or their hosts. High-level support from major world powers was also absent. … There is a risk that the summit will become what critics feared — an expensive talking shop that tried to put a plaster on gaping wounds in the way the world collectively responds to humanitarian crises. It is now left to the attendees, Ban Ki-moon in his final seven months in position, and, importantly, whoever is elected as the next U.N. secretary general, to prevent such a dismal prediction from becoming reality” (6/4).

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OECD's Development Assistance Committee Working To Become 'More Inclusive And Broader' To Help Reach SDGs

Devex: Setting out a new path for development aid
Erik Solheim, chair of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) and incoming executive director of the U.N. Environment Programme

“…We must move away from the perception that the OECD-DAC is an exclusive club of traditional donors that alone takes decisions on what counts as development cooperation. We need to change this, so that growing economies and recipients of aid have an active role in how the decisions are made. … Our future work will have to be even more inclusive and broader. That is why we now set down a panel that will propose options for a transformation and reformation of the DAC. … By sharing experiences and working with the same framework, both developing and developed countries will be better equipped to make sure all aid is spent well and effectively. I am optimistic that the new, transformed DAC will continue to be essential on our way to reaching the new and ambitious [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] — aiming for a future of peace, prosperity, and dignity for all” (6/2).

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Public Policy, Medical Innovations Needed To Address Antibiotic Resistance

Bloomberg: Fight to Save Antibiotics
Editorial Board

“For once, the headlines about the latest health scare are not hyperbole: The end of the Antibiotics Era may be nigh. Staving it off will require fast and creative thinking not only in medical science, but also in public policy. … Ideally, medical science would maintain a full pipeline of new antibiotics to keep one step ahead of germ evolution. … Even more ideal would be to have novel formulations that are sparingly used, so as not to overexpose them to the bacterial resistance machinery. What’s needed, from an economic standpoint, is a … guarantee that drugmakers can get paid for effective new formulations. … Improved medical technology is also necessary … [I]f public money is to be spent in support of basic science aimed at discovering new kinds of germ-killing compounds, then drug companies should be prepared to share their proprietary compound libraries. … [A]ntibiotics aren’t quite useless yet. But public health officials are right to warn that they soon will be — unless humans make a concerted effort to find new ways to fight the bacteria that threaten their existence” (6/2).

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Investments In Partnerships To Empower Women, Girls Can Benefit Global Society

Devex: What it means to create a ‘women’s health development army’
Tedros Adhanom, minister of foreign affairs and former minister of health for Ethiopia

“…We will achieve a better future for girls and women if we make them the center of our actions and decisions. … In order to realize success, governments need to listen to the communities, invest in their needs, and include them in decision-making, all the while collaborating with a range of global partners. Smart investments in training, infrastructure, and health service expansion are catalyzed by outside support — but they should be determined by each country. In this context, I cannot stress enough the importance of empowering girls and women. … They have a right to healthy childhoods, safe pregnancies, quality educations, and equal opportunity to employment. And when investments are made in girls and women, all of global society stands to benefit. … I also witnessed this fact through the three million women volunteers whom we empowered as a health development army to transform their society. Each and every woman has her own unique story of change, story of empowerment and story of transformation not only in health but also in education, nutrition, and development…” (6/2).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

At CSIS Event, World Bank President Jim Kim Discusses New Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: From HIV to Ebola to Zika, Dr. Jim Kim of World Bank makes a case for pandemic insurance
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses an event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) during which World Bank President Jim Kim highlighted the potential impact of the World Bank’s new Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, an insurance plan for funding disease outbreak responses (6/2).

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CGD Podcast Discusses Tobacco Control Versus Eradication

Center for Global Development’s “CGD Podcast”: Tobacco: Control or Eradicate? — Podcast with David Sweanor and Bill Savedoff
In this podcast, Rajesh Mirchandani, vice president of communications and policy outreach at CGD, speaks with CGD Senior Fellow Bill Savedoff and University of Ottawa Professor David Sweanor, who helped develop Canada’s tobacco control laws, about whether “switching our focus to [nicotine use] harm reduction mean[s] letting go of the ‘endgame’ — a completely tobacco-free future?” (5/31).

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