KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

New York Times Examines U.S. Chamber Of Commerce's Global Tobacco Lobbying Efforts

New York Times: U.S. Chamber Works Globally to Fight Antismoking Measures
“…From Ukraine to Uruguay, Moldova to the Philippines, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its foreign affiliates have become the hammer for the tobacco industry, engaging in a worldwide effort to fight antismoking laws of all kinds, according to interviews with government ministers, lobbyists, lawmakers, and public health groups in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States…” (Hakim, 6/30).

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Corpse Of Liberian Tests Positive For Ebola; Health Ministry Investigating How He Became Infected

Associated Press: Liberia quarantines community where corpse tested for Ebola
“Liberian authorities have quarantined the Nedowein area where the corpse of a 17-year-old boy tested positive for Ebola, sparking fears the country could face another outbreak of the disease nearly two months after being declared Ebola-free…” (6/30).

International Business Times: Ebola In Liberia: Corpse Tests Positive For Deadly Virus Weeks After Liberia Declared Ebola-Free, Official Says
“The corpse of a 17-year-old boy, who died last week, has tested positive for Ebola in Liberia, the country’s deputy health minister said late Monday. The news comes seven weeks after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Liberia Ebola-free after it completed 42 days without a case of the disease…” (Varandani, 6/30).

Reuters: Liberia records Ebola death after country declared virus-free
“…The new case will test Liberia’s response capacity at a time when international health organizations have wound down their presence in the affected countries, said Fatoumata Lejeune-Kaba, spokeswoman for the U.N. Ebola response mission…” (Toweh, 6/30).

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Sierra Leone Should Reduce Tax Breaks For Mining Firms To Raise Funds For Equitable Health Systems, Report Says

The Guardian: Sierra Leone urged to get tough on tax to repair battered health system
“Sierra Leone’s government should reduce tax breaks for mining firms and roll out measures to block illicit financial flows in order to raise funds for its decimated health services and help prevent needless loss of lives, a report has said. Sierra Leone, which has more confirmed cases of Ebola than any other country, could inject an extra $94 million into its economy over the next few years if it reduced tax breaks for the five largest mining firms operating in the country, according to a report by Health Poverty Action (HPA)…” (Anderson, 6/29).

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South Korea Marks 3 Days Without New MERS Case

Agence France-Presse: Third day with no new MERS cases in South Korea
“South Korea said Tuesday it had gone three days without any new cases of the deadly MERS virus, in a welcome boost to efforts to tackle the largest outbreak outside Saudi Arabia…” (6/30).

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UNFPA Launches New Transparency Portal To Track Financial Data

Devex: UNFPA support: Where is the money going and coming from?
“Last week, the United Nations Population Fund launched a transparency portal that shows important information about how the U.N. agency spent contributions from its donors in 2014. While UNFPA — which is not funded by the U.N. regular budget and is instead supported by donor governments, intergovernmental organizations, private sector groups, and foundations and individual donors — has long made financial data about its operations available to the public, the transparency portal was the first effort to present income and expenditure figures in a way that is ‘easily viewed and digestible,’ Hanno Ranck, UNFPA’s online communications manager, told Devex…” (Valerio, 6/29).

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UNHCR Commissioner Urges International Community To Boost Humanitarian Support To Afghanistan

U.N. News Centre: Senior U.N. official urges global action to end years-long plight of 2.6 million Afghan refugees
“Expressing concern over the plight of millions of Afghan refugees, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has called on the international community to boost its engagement [and] employ innovative solutions and pro-active joint advocacy to end the world’s largest prolonged humanitarian crisis…” (6/29).

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Continued Violence In Syria Blocks Humanitarian Access To Those In Need, U.N. Relief Official Says

U.N. News Centre: Syria: deputy U.N. relief chief urges political solution amid ‘extremely challenging’ humanitarian crisis
“Humanitarian access to civilians trapped by the Syrian conflict is being increasingly obstructed by the ongoing fighting in the country and a shortfall in critical funding, [Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Kyung-Wha Kang] warned [Monday]…”(6/29).

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Boko Haram Attacks Creating Humanitarian Crisis In Niger Among Locals, Nigerian Refugees

IRIN: Niger: Boko Haram’s neglected crisis
“…Nigerian families first began seeking refuge in Niger in 2013, but Boko Haram-related violence in the region has spiked in recent months, causing the number of refugees to balloon and leading to a fast-growing humanitarian crisis that garners little international media attention. An estimated 150,000 displaced people in Diffa are in urgent need of greater humanitarian assistance, including food, aid agencies say. Boko Haram attacks have now reached Diffa town itself, meaning those who had been hosting refugees are now becoming displaced themselves…” (Balima/Lazuta, 6/29).

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Petitioners File Suit Against Kenyan Government, Call For Safe Abortion Guidelines

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Kenya in court after botched abortion injures raped 15-year-old
“The mother of a 15-year-old rape survivor, who needs a kidney transplant following a botched backstreet abortion, filed a case against Kenya’s government on Monday for denying women and girls safe access to terminations. … The petitioners are calling on the government to restore safe abortion training and introduce guidelines clarifying when legal abortion can be provided…” (Migiro, 6/29).

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Statistics South Africa Report Shows More Than 77K Young Adults Died In 2013

News24: Over 77,000 SA youths died in 2013 — Stats SA
“A total of 77,822 South Africans between the ages of 15 and 34 years old died in 2013, the majority of whom were black Africans or coloured, according to a new Statistics SA report released on Monday. … According to the report on morbidity and mortality levels among South African youth in 2013, more male than female youths died in the 10 year period between 2001 and 2011. … Tuberculosis, HIV, and other viral diseases accounted for just over a quarter of all the deaths among the youth in 2013…” (Wakefield, 6/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

G7, G20 Governments Should Intensify Efforts To Address Antimicrobial Resistance

Project Syndicate: Squashing the Superbugs
Jim O’Neill, commercial secretary to the U.K. Treasury and chair of the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance

“…With the G7 leaders having committed, in a recent joint declaration, to tackle ‘antimicrobial resistance’ (AMR), it is time for the more inclusive G20 — and China, as it chairs the group for the first time — to take the fight to the next level. … [W]hen it comes to AMR, governments have a rare opportunity to preempt a major crisis, at a fraction of the cost of responding to the crisis once it has escalated. … Add to that the savings to health systems and even employers, and concerted action to combat AMR becomes even more cost-effective. That is why the G7 governments should intensify their efforts to address AMR. And it is why China and the other emerging economies should join the fight. Together, we can safeguard the curative powers of our medicines” (6/29).

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International Support, Political Will Can Help Belarus Work Toward Ending AIDS Epidemic

Huffington Post: Postcard From Belarus
Michel D. Kazatchkine, U.N. secretary general’s special envoy on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

“…Belarus has succeeded in maintaining an overall low prevalence (0.4 percent) and incidence rates of HIV, about a third lower than its immediate neighbors. … Belarus has made spectacular progress in fighting TB. It is containing HIV but could — no doubt — significantly enhance its efforts, reach internationally set targets and seriously consider ending the epidemic. This will require support and encouragement from the international community and a commitment at the highest level of government to address the structural, social, and policy issues that contribute to compound risks and increase vulnerability to HIV in the country” (6/29).

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Access To Various Financial Tools Needed For Nations To Wisely Fund SDGs

Forbes: Financing The U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals
Aron Betru, CEO of Financing for Development Corp (F4D), and Paige Robson, special projects and communications manager at F4D

“…Unsurprisingly, the question of just how much capital will need to be raised to implement the SDGs (and, subsequently, how much of that need is currently unaccounted for) is a popular one among think tanks and policy pundits. … Along with searching for additional financial resources, it is critical that the SDG process focus on developing and providing financial tools — such as access to banking, credit, and loans — that better equip development actors with power, choice, and flexibility in the way they manage their programs. … In short, it is critical to not only ask how much money we need to fund the SDGs, but also what additional value can be gained simply by making existing financial tools available in this area” (6/29).

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Philanthropists, Business Leaders, Others Critical To Ending Malaria

Huffington Post U.K.: The World’s Greatest Minds Challenge Mankind’s Oldest Disease
James Whiting, executive director of Malaria No More U.K.

“…Brilliant business minds and entrepreneurial approaches to tackling malaria are in our DNA and paramount to our future work. 10 years ago Wall Street pioneer Ray Chambers co-founded Malaria No More to help unlock private sector clout and expertise to solve the curable crisis of malaria that still keeps so many in poverty. … We need the philanthropists of this world along with scientific genius, pioneering business leaders, creative communicators — and we need you, if we are all to beat this terrible disease…” (6/30).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kenya, IntraHealth Working To Strengthen Nation's Health System, Train HCWs

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: If Ebola Comes, Kenya Will Be Ready
Allison Annette Foster, a senior advisor for Human Resources for Health (HRH) at IntraHealth International; Mathew Thuku, assistant director of National HRH Strengthening for IntraHealth’s USAID-funded Human Resources for Health Capacity Bridge Project; and Isaac Munene, regional training hub manager for IntraHealth’s USAID-funded FUNZOKenya project, discuss why they feel Kenya’s health system is prepared to handle an Ebola outbreak and how the government is working with IntraHealth to bolster its resources (6/29).

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GHTC Provides Roundup Of Recent Global Health Research News

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Research Roundup: a new contraceptive option, China’s role in global health R&D, and vaccines for MERS and pneumonia
Kat Kelley, GHTC’s senior program assistant, highlights some of the past week’s news in global health research (6/29).

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Blog Post Highlights Global Multidimensional Poverty Index

Humanosphere: More than 1.6 billion people live in poverty, new report shows
Humanosphere reporter Tom Murphy discusses findings from this year’s Global Multidimensional Poverty Index, produced by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (6/29).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash discusses highlights from the recent Partnership Forum in Bangkok, Thailand, which “produced vibrant and stimulating discussions on strategies to end HIV, TB, and malaria as epidemics” (6/30).

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