KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Senate Confirms Sylvia Mathews Burwell As HHS Secretary

News outlets report on the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the next secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Associated Press/Huffington Post: Sylvia Mathews Burwell Confirmed As HHS Secretary By Senate
“The Senate confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services on Thursday. Burwell was confirmed by a vote of 78-17…” (6/5).

New York Times: Burwell Wins Confirmation as Secretary of Health
“The Senate on Thursday confirmed the nomination of Sylvia Mathews Burwell to be secretary of health and human services, which will make her responsible for delivering health insurance to more than one-third of all Americans…” (Pear, 6/5).

NPR: Senate Confirms Burwell To Top Post At Health And Human Services
“The Senate has voted to confirm Sylvia Mathews Burwell to the post of secretary of health and human services, where she will replace Kathleen Sebelius, who presided over the troubled rollout of the HealthCare.gov website…” (Neuman, 6/5).

Wall Street Journal: Burwell Confirmed as Health and Human Services Secretary
“…Thursday’s Senate confirmation of Ms. Burwell as secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in a 78-17 vote, marks a shift for an agency that has been headed by former state governors for the past 14 years and that over the past several months has been beset by the disastrous Obamacare rollout…” (Radnofsky, 6/5).

Washington Post: Senate confirms Sylvia Mathews Burwell as new secretary of HHS
“…In her new role, the 48-year-old veteran of the Clinton administration’s economic team will oversee 11 far-flung agencies that make up HHS, including the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the enormous public insurance programs, Medicare and Medicaid…” (Goldstein, 6/5).

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NIH Funding To Support Malaria, Influenza Research

Reuters: U.S. backs new genetic research on infectious diseases
“The U.S. National Institutes of Health [NIH] has awarded $25 million to the J. Craig Venter Institute to back an initiative to study infectious diseases like malaria and influenza at the genetic level to help find better treatments and preventive measures…” (Dunham, 6/5).

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Researchers Stepping Up Efforts To Fight Drug-Resistant Malaria In Burma

The Guardian: New wave of drug-resistant malaria threatens millions
“…A leading researcher at the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU), a research center based on the border [of Thailand and Burma] and funded primarily by the Wellcome Trust, is taking radical measures to stop the spread of the new [drug-resistant malaria] strain before it becomes uncontrollable…” (McLaughlin, 6/5).

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Advocacy Groups Condemn Ugandan Bill For Stigmatizing HIV

The Lancet: Uganda takes “another step backward” with HIV bill
“HIV advocacy and human rights groups have condemned the passing by the Ugandan parliament of a bill they say will severely impede the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as stigmatize and discriminate against those with the disease…” (Devi, 6/7).

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Increase In Saudi MERS Cases Raises Questions About Transparency

Reuters: Scientists question Saudi openness on deadly MERS virus outbreak
“A dramatic upward revision in the number of people killed by the MERS virus in Saudi Arabia may signal a fresh approach from Riyadh, but also raises new questions about how the two-year-old outbreak has been handled…” (Kelland, 6/5).

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U.N.'s 'Decade Of Sustainable Energy For All' Focuses First On Women, Children

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.N. sustainable energy campaign focuses on women and children’s health
“The United Nations launched its Decade of Sustainable Energy for All campaign on Thursday and announced that the focus of the first two years will be the impacts of access to clean and affordable energy on the health of women and children…” (Anderson, 6/6).

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Global Food Prices Drop Again In May, FAO Says

U.N. News Centre: Global food prices down for second straight month in May, U.N. agency reports
“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reported today that global food prices were down for the second straight month in May and that the outlook for worldwide cereal supply has improved considerably since last month…” (6/5).

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Researchers Examine Why Married Swazi Women Delay, Drop Out Of HIV Treatment

Inter Press Service: Marriage a Barrier to ARV treatment for Swazi Women
“…[Thandeka Dlamini] and other researchers set out to find why married women [in Swaziland] start [antiretroviral therapy (ART)] late or drop out. Their study, conducted by MarxART, a project by the Swaziland National AIDS Programme (SNAP), found ‘distinct socio-cultural challenges faced by women before initiating ART that result in specific gendered decision making patterns’…” (Phakathi, 6/5).

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International Midwifery Meeting Ends In Prague

Xinhua/GlobalPost: Prague hosts int’l midwives conference
“Prague hosted some 3,500 delegates attending the 30th Triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives, the largest event of its kind, during June 1-5…” (6/6).

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Editorials and Opinions

Gates Foundation Should Include Abortion In Family Planning Efforts

Daily Beast: A Plea To Melinda Gates: Stop Stigmatizing Abortion
Sally Kohn, progressive activist and writer

“…According to the World Health Organization, every eight minutes a woman dies somewhere in the developing world from complications arising from an unsafe abortion. These are preventable deaths, deaths suffered by women and communities the Gates Foundation desperately wants to help and could help — if Bill and Melinda Gates were willing to be part of [the] solution in supporting practical access to safe abortion services, rather than part of the problem by perpetuating stigma and leaving only dangerous alternatives to prevail” (6/5).

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Investing In Local Capacity Will Bolster Global Nutrition Programs

Huffington Post: The Nutrition for Growth Summit One Year Later: Big Plans Require Bigger Investment in Local Capacity
Kathy Spahn, president and CEO of Helen Keller International

“…The Nutrition for Growth Summit and other recent initiatives throughout the global community have raised unprecedented levels of funding for nutrition programming and there is now a coordinated global effort through the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. … The next step toward success should be ensuring that this promising climate be bolstered by the best possible models for sustainable and country-owned and locally-led delivery…” (6/5).

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#Commit2Deliver Campaign Showcases MCH Successes

Huffington Post: #Commit2Deliver: Together, We Are Going Further for Women and Children
Nicole Schiegg, former USAID senior adviser and communications consultant

“…With a little more than 500 days to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), #Commit2Deliver is an advocacy platform led by Every Woman Every Child partners that is showcasing results and encouraging accountability among commitment makers. A few global movements are also charting the course to ensure women’s and children’s health remains central in 2015 and beyond. … By coming together under a common narrative and reinforcing advocacy efforts, Every Woman Every Child is creating an echo chamber that we must keep our promises to women and children around the world…” (6/5).

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Kenyan Commitment To Affordable Maternal Health Care Exists, But Action Needed

Huffington Post: Maternal and Child Health in Kenya
Annie Sparrow, deputy director of the Human Rights Program at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

“…Kenya’s challenge is now two-fold. It must expand access and information regarding health care and it must make maternal health care affordable. The commitment to the cause already exists in Kenya. What is needed now is smart and decisive action…” (6/5).

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Three Key Findings Form Framework For Public Health Interventions

Devex: 3 key lessons for global health progress
Fiona Samuels, a research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute and the health dimension lead for the Development Progress project

“…[W]e believe that health professionals need to reconsider the way in which we prioritize, design, and implement interventions that affect the lives of some of the most marginalized populations. … There are three key findings to highlight here: 1. Genuine political buy-in is the bedrock of health progress; … 2. Collaboration at implementation level can boost sustainability and effectiveness; … [and] 3. Community power can create huge impact…” (6/5).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Efforts To Reduce Post-Harvest Loss In Africa May Reduce Hunger, Boost Incomes

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: A Lot to Lose, But Much to Gain
Emily Alpert, deputy director at Agriculture for Impact, discusses food security in Africa, specifically how “the prevention of post-harvest loss can add to the radical difference that raising yields can make to a farmers’ level of food production and consequently their income…” (6/6).

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NIH Investigates Mysterious 'Nodding Syndrome' In Uganda

NIH “Director’s Blog”: From Uganda to NIH, to Solve a Seizure Mystery
Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), discusses the NIH’s efforts to discover the cause of “nodding syndrome,” a “mysterious illness striking children between ages 5 and 15 in Acholi, [Uganda] … [and] characterized by seizures, staring, and varying degrees of mental retardation” (6/3).

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Global Press Journal Releases Issue 2, 'Focus On: Maternal and Reproductive Health'

Global Press Journal: Issue No. 2 June 2014
Global Press Journal releases Issue No. 2, “Focus On: Maternal & Reproductive Health,” which includes stories on maternal and reproductive health care in Mexico, Nepal, Zambia, Uganda, Argentina, and Kenya (June 2014).

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