KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Michael Bloomberg Pledges $15M To U.N. Toward U.S. Climate Share, Discusses How Proposed U.S. Cuts To Global Health Programs Could Hurt NCD Efforts

The Hill: Bloomberg pledges $15M to U.N. to cover U.S. climate share
“Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) has pledged $15 million from his philanthropy efforts to the United Nations to pay the United States’ contribution under the Paris climate accord. In a press conference Friday, Bloomberg promised to coordinate contributions from the U.S. to the climate fund after President Trump announced that he would withdraw from the accord…” (Bowden, 6/2).

NPR: Michael Bloomberg Aim To Fight Noncommunicable Diseases Complicated By President’s Pitch
“Michael Bloomberg and Dr. Kelly Henning[, who leads the public health program at Bloomberg Philanthropies,] talk to NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro about how the fight against noncommunicable diseases may be complicated by the president’s plan to cut global health spending…” (6/4).

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4K West Africans In U.S. Under TPS Program Because Of Ebola Epidemic Lose Immigration Status

PRI: Ebola is over. Now the U.S. wants a group of West African immigrants to go home.
“Last week, about 4,000 West African immigrants living and working legally in the U.S. lost their immigration status. They were formerly part of the temporary protected status program, or TPS, which the U.S. offers to people from countries in crisis. In 2014, TPS was granted to people from Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea due to the outbreak of Ebola there. … Mit Philips, a health policy analyst for Doctors Without Borders, says even though the Ebola crisis is over in West Africa, it’s had long-lasting impact on the affected countries’ fragile health systems…” (Murriel, 6/2).

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WHO Set To Release 2017 Essential Medicines List This Week

STAT: Health officials set to release a list of drugs everyone on Earth should be able to access
“Once every two years, the World Health Organization releases a list of medications it thinks should be available, if needed, to all the people of the Earth. The latest iteration of the essential medicines list is slated to be released this week. … The list is meant to help countries figure out how to prioritize spending on medications. … Here are some facts about the essential medicines list — its history and some things to look for when the 2017 iteration is published…” (Branswell, 6/5).

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U.N. Receives Pledges For Only 36% Of $6.1B Request To Address Hunger Crises In 4 Nations

Washington Post: The U.N. asked for billions to avert four hunger crises. The money didn’t arrive.
“At the beginning of this year, the United Nations made one of its boldest requests ever for funding. It needed billions of dollars to fund a humanitarian response, said Secretary-General António Guterres, or as many as 20 million people might starve to death. Five months later, the results of that appeal are dismal. … The funding is for four countries facing massive hunger crises: South Sudan, Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen. Of the $6.1 billion requested for those countries, only $2.2 billion, or 36 percent, has been pledged…” (Sieff, 6/3).

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Health Official Says DRC's Ebola Outbreak Under Control; Experimental Vaccine Use On Hold

Reuters: Ebola epidemic in Congo ‘under control’: health minister
“Democratic Republic of Congo has not recorded a new case of Ebola in the last 21 days, the maximum incubation period for the disease, and is now in a phase of heightened surveillance, the health minister said on Friday. … Health authorities have approved the use of a new experimental Ebola vaccine but say it will only be deployed if a new case is confirmed outside existing chains of transmission…” (Ross/Bavier, 6/2).

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Number Of Cholera Cases In Yemen Could Hit 300K Over Coming Month, UNICEF Warns, Calls For Funding

Associated Press: U.N.: 3,000 to 5,000 suspected new Yemen cholera cases daily
“A suspected cholera outbreak is spreading quickly in war-ravaged Yemen, with an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 new cases every day, the U.N. children’s agency said on Saturday…” (McNeil, 6/4).

New York Times: UNICEF Fears Yemen Cholera Outbreak Could Hit 300,000 in Coming Weeks
“Cholera cases in Yemen could quadruple in the next month to 300,000, the regional director of UNICEF said Friday, calling the spread of the disease in the war-ravaged country ‘incredibly dire’…” (Gladstone, 6/2).

U.N. News Centre: Cholera cases in Yemen may reach 130,000 in two weeks, UNICEF warns
“…For its part, UNICEF has been working with partners to respond since the start of this outbreak four weeks ago, providing safe water to over one million people across Yemen and delivered over 40 tonnes of lifesaving medical equipment — including medicine, oral rehydration salts, intravenous fluids, and diarrhea disease kits. [UNICEF Regional Director Geert Cappelaere] called for stepping up global support, as UNICEF urgently requires $16 million to prevent the outbreak from spreading further…” (6/2).

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Mishandled Vaccine, Reused Syringe Lead To Deaths Of 15 Children In South Sudan Measles Vaccination Campaign

New York Times: Mishandled Measles Vaccine Kills 15 Children in South Sudan
“Contaminated vaccines in a rural village in South Sudan killed 15 children last month and endangered dozens more, according to a statement from the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the health ministry of South Sudan. In the remote village of Nachodokopele in southeastern South Sudan, the same syringe was used on multiple people for four days straight. The vaccines were not stored in a cool place, as they should have been, the statement said…” (Fortin, 6/2).

NPR: A Botched Vaccine Campaign For Measles Killed 15 Children in South Sudan
“…The children, all under age five, died of severe sepsis and toxicity due to a botched vaccination campaign, according to a joint statement issued Thursday by UNICEF and the World Health Organization. … We talked to William Moss — a professor of epidemiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the head of epidemiology at the International Vaccine Access Center — about what went wrong…” (Gharib, 6/2).

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India Reports 3 Zika Cases; Experts Say More Likely

New York Times: India Acknowledges Three Cases of Zika Virus
“…Hardly anyone outside the government knew about the three cases until last week, after the World Health Organization announced that it had received reports about them from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Gujarat state government officials then spoke on May 28 with reporters, saying that there were no more confirmed cases beyond those three. … Even so, the cases found in Gujarat are almost undoubtedly not India’s first, Zika experts said…” (Najar et al., 6/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Trump Administration Should Not Force Haitians In U.S. Under TPS Program To Return To Native Country In January

Washington Post: Mr. Trump, don’t send 50,000 Haitians back to a life of hardship
Editorial Board

“Last month, on the very day the State Department cautioned Americans on the dangers of traveling to Haiti, the Trump administration warned more than 50,000 Haitians living legally in the United States that they may be forced to return home en masse next January because conditions in their native country had improved so markedly. … The Haitians in question have been allowed to stay in the United States since 2010, when a massive earthquake struck Haiti, as beneficiaries of a U.S. government program called [Temporary Protected Status (TPS)]. TPS extends humanitarian relief to people from impoverished, war-torn, or disaster-wracked countries who are already in the United States when calamity strikes their homelands. … Haiti is a special hardship case. … The staggering poverty is compounded by the earthquake’s lingering effects, the world’s worst cholera epidemic, and a major hurricane (Matthew) … It’s fair to wonder whether there will ever be, in the foreseeable future, a right time to send more than 50,000 Haitians back to a country so beset with chronic problems. … The question is one of comparative burdens. The truth is that the United States can easily absorb Haitians and others from TPS nations, already living here legally, whose home countries would struggle to receive them. To this country, already home to more than 600,000 Haitian immigrants, the additional 50,000 are a blip. To Haiti, wracked by natural disasters, their arrival en masse would be a new, man-made hardship. Why would the hemisphere’s richest nation do that to the poorest?” (6/3).

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Opinion Pieces Suggest Global Health Priority Areas For WHO Under New Director General

Devex: Opinion: Is the future of global health safe with Dr. Tedros?
Claudia González Romo, special adviser and global chief of public advocacy at UNICEF

“…The global health challenges we face today are so immense, so complex, that it would be a mistake to be complacent about the journey [the new WHO director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,] is embarking upon. A strong, not obsolete, WHO is needed more than ever right now. … [O]ur world and its people stand at a crucial tipping point for survival and his leadership is absolutely critical. Changing climates, drug-resistant superbugs, malnutrition, and the constant threat of nation-crippling disease outbreaks all stand to define the world our children will inherit. For their sake, and for the sake of the billions of people living in vulnerable nations across the global south, I strongly hope he will focus on the following key points … WHO alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals … Making the agency fit for purpose to respond to outbreaks and health emergencies … Trusted engagement with member states … People-centered health policies…” (6/2).

Huffington Post: World Health Transformed
Michael W. Hodin, executive director of the Global Coalition on Aging, managing partner at High Lantern Group, and fellow at Oxford University’s Harris Manchester College

“…[H]ow will the WHO balance communicable disease programs, the traditional focus of health efforts in low- and middle-income countries, with the two exploding health needs of the 21st century, namely, aging-related loss of functional ability and non-communicable diseases (NCDs)? … Already, the WHO has expressed its interest in functional ability with last year’s Ageing and Health Strategy, which was further accented [last] week by the Global Plan on Dementia at the 70th World Health Assembly. Both new strategies reflect how global public health realities are shifting, whether one lives in Africa, the U.S., or anywhere in between. But, for Dr. Tedros to be successful, he will have to build on these early steps with further efforts to truly revamp the WHO for this century’s health challenges. Three steps are essential: Raise the Ageing and Health Strategy to the top of the WHO’s agenda to prepare for the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020-30. … Recognize the near perfect correlation between the aging of global society and the explosion of Alzheimer’s. … Smartly, wisely, but clearly and seriously reform the culture of the WHO — and public health itself…” (6/2).

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'Promise To Leave No One Behind' Links Efforts To End AIDS, Reach SDGs

Inter Press Service: AIDS Pandemic Far From Over: 37 Million Living with HIV Globally
Amina J. Mohammed, U.N. deputy secretary general

“…Achieving our aims on AIDS is interlinked and embedded within the broader 2030 Agenda. Both are grounded in equity, human rights, and a promise to leave no one behind. … [W]e need to do a better job of reaching young women and adolescent girls. … We also need to ensure a more integrated approach to HIV program delivery. In particular, we need to integrate HIV, sexual, and reproductive health programs, including family planning. Just as we must reach young women, we have to make it easier for other key populations to access health services. … The global commitments we have made to eliminate gender inequalities, to promote, protect, respect, and fulfill all human rights, and to achieve universal health coverage, mutually reinforce efforts to eradicate AIDS. … I hope to see our investment in ending the AIDS epidemic and saving lives translate into political and financial investment in UNAIDS. This entity embodies many of the critical elements that we are seeking to incorporate into our broader U.N. reform efforts. … Let us always approach political decisions and meetings … with communities in mind. … If we do that, we can end AIDS” (6/2).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

President Trump's Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord Could Worsen Global Health

Undark: Leaving the Paris Climate Accord Could Lead to a Public Health Disaster
Robin Lloyd, a contributing editor at Scientific American and author at Undark, a digital science magazine published by the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship Program at MIT, writes, “Seven million people died prematurely in 2012 from air pollution caused by fossil fuel combustion, according to a 2014 report by the World Health Organization. So President Trump’s decision to halt U.S. compliance with the 2015 Paris climate agreement is a blow not just to climate science and international diplomacy — it’s also a looming disaster for public health…” (6/1).

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FT Health Discusses Themes From World Health Assembly Meeting, Features Interview With Former Global Fund Executive Director

FT Health: Funding the fight against disease
The latest issue of the Financial Times’ weekly global health newsletter discusses themes that emerged from this year’s World Health Assembly meeting, including the rising concern of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and global health resources. The newsletter also features an interview with Mark Dybul, whose term as executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria recently ended, and provides a roundup of other global health-related news stories (Jack/Dodd, 6/2).

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