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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Congressional Negotiations On Zika Funding Could Begin This Week

CQ News: Talks on Zika Appropriations Deal Could Begin Later This Week
“A weeklong recess appears to have yielded little progress on a Zika virus response package, but ongoing talks between House and Senate leaders could turn to formal conference negotiations this week as lawmakers return to the Capitol. The House voted in May to go to conference over its Zika appropriations bill and other legislation, and the Senate could follow suit this week, according to appropriators and aides familiar with the talks…” (McCrimmon, 6/6).

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WHO Expert Panel To Discuss Zika, Olympics Next Week; Studies, Brazil Sports Minister Downplay Risks

Reuters: WHO expert panel on Zika to meet next week, review Olympics guidance
“The World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee on Zika will meet early next week to consider new evidence and review its recommendations, including regarding the Rio Olympics, a WHO spokesman said on Tuesday…” (Nebehay, 6/7).

Reuters: New research finds low risk of Zika virus at Olympics
“New research attempting to calculate the risk of the Zika virus at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro may reassure organizers and many of the more than 500,000 athletes and fans expected to travel to the epicenter of the epidemic…” (Steenhuysen, 6/7).

Reuters: Brazil sports minister plays down Zika fears for Rio
“Brazil’s Sports Minister Leonardo Picciani expects there to be almost no cases of the Zika virus during the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, adding that the country is prepared for the Games, despite health concerns and political instability…” (Shankar, 6/7).

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Guinea Worm Set To Be Eliminated Due To Efforts By Carter Center, Partners

NPR: The Last Days Of Guinea Worm
“…From more than three million cases of Guinea worm disease a year in the 1980s, the world tally in 2016 stands at just two confirmed cases. Both are in Chad and are believed to have been contained before they had a chance to spread. (There are also two suspected cases, one in Chad and one in Ethiopia.) If Guinea worm is pushed into extinction, then Guinea worm disease would be just the second human disease to be eradicated after smallpox…” (Beaubien, 6/6).

NPR: Jimmy Carter May Soon Get His 90th Birthday Wish: No More Guinea Worm
“Former President Jimmy Carter may be on the brink of celebrating the birthday wish he made last year: the global eradication of Guinea worm disease. … It’s a medical milestone that took a nearly 30-year effort by the Carter Center and its partners. Carter spoke to NPR’s Robert Siegel about the fight against Guinea worm. An edited version of the interview follows…” (6/6).

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High-Level U.N. Meeting On AIDS Aims To Fast-Track Approach To Ending Epidemic By 2030

U.N. News Centre: U.N. urges collective action ahead of forum to fast-track AIDS response over next five years
“While much has been done over the past few years to halt and reverse the AIDS epidemic, the international community is set to gather for a three-day meeting at United Nations Headquarters in New York later this week in order to propel the global response on a fast-track approach and chart the way towards ending AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)…” (6/6).

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Presidents, Billionaires Lead Efforts To Eliminate Malaria In Africa

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Presidents and billionaires drive battle against Africa’s deadliest creature
“…[Former Tanzania President Jakaya] Kikwete, who also lost his brother to malaria as a child, is committed to eradicating the disease, which killed an estimated 438,000 people globally in 2015 … Global plans to eliminate malaria were abandoned in 1969 as the goal was seen as prohibitively complicated and expensive, despite success in eradicating the disease in the 1950s in parts of Europe, North America, and the Caribbean. The ‘e-word’ has been revived in recent years, with support from the world’s richest couple Bill and Melinda Gates and U.S. President Barack Obama, who called malaria a ‘moral outrage’…” (Migiro, 6/7).

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Cancer Drugs Cost Less In Poorer Nations But Not More Affordable, Study Shows

Associated Press: Study: Cancer drugs less affordable in poor nations than U.S.
“Cancer drugs predictably cost much more in the U.S. than in poor countries and even other wealthy nations, but a study shows they are less affordable in some developing countries despite the lower price. Relative to their ability to pay, cancer patients in China and India face much higher prices than wealthier U.S. patients, according to the research released Monday. … The pilot study examined list prices, also called retail prices, and affordability in Australia, China, India, Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States, and South Africa…” (6/6).

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Food Insecurity Increasing In Malawi Because Of El Niño-Induced Crop Failures

VOA News: Child Hunger Climbing in Malawi in Wake of Drought
“Food shortages are growing worse in Malawi as the yield from this year’s disappointing harvest runs out for many small farmers. Across southern Africa, El Niño-induced drought and flooding since last year have left over 30 million people in need of food aid…” (Masina, 6/6).

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Census Data Reliable Predictor Of Imported Malaria Cases, Study Says

SciDev.Net: Census data predicts imported malaria risk
“Mexico and Central American countries can use census data to predict where people will migrate and better focus their efforts to control malaria, a study says. The study confirms that long-term government census data can be used as a proxy to predict people’s short-term movement patterns…” (Chaves, 6/6).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Discuss U.S. Funding For Zika Virus

Washington Post: Rep. Brooks: House Republicans have acted on Zika virus
Rep. Susan W. Brooks (R-Ind.)

“…We can’t continue to respond from crisis to crisis. … [L]ong-term work is critical to enhancing our national biodefense preparedness, but it doesn’t change or diminish the need for immediate action to protect Americans from the devastating birth defects and complications associated with Zika virus. … The Obama administration has been critical of House Republicans’ response to the crisis. In reality, however, we have been taking action to respond to and help prepare for the threats that Zika virus poses since early this year. … The House and Senate will continue to work together to finalize a package of funding that is responsible and timely, and will help equip our country to meet the threat of Zika virus. … [and] to bolster the underlying biodefense enterprise so that when the next threat presents itself, we’re ready” (6/6).

The Hill: Zika virus threatening U.S. health security while Congress bickers
Tom Kenyon, president and CEO of Project HOPE

“…The Zika funding currently on the table is in itself insufficient. … Lawmakers are making a risky gamble that reduced Zika funding is sufficient when experts say it isn’t, that the Zika virus won’t be actively transmitted on the mainland when experts say it will, and that stepping back from Ebola control in Africa won’t threaten millions on the continent and U.S. soil again when experts say it could. Congress should rise above politics and fully fund the president’s full request quickly, before it is too late and we awaken one day to the tragic reality of American babies being born with serious birth defects from mosquito-borne Zika virus” (6/6).

The Hill: The time for action on Zika virus is now
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

“…The longer we wait for Congress to act, the more this virus will spread and the worse this problem will become. … As we head into these warmer summer months, the number of Americans infected with Zika will inevitably rise — especially in southern states such as Florida that will likely see a dramatic increase in the number of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes capable of transmitting the virus. Congress cannot simply sit back and rest its hopes on two bills likely to fail. Our country is facing a serious threat and Congress must act immediately. Any further delay is simply unacceptable” (6/6).

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Public, Private Collective Engagement Critical To Responding To Global Health Emergencies

Huffington Post: The time is now: How we can work together to address the Global Health Security Agenda
David Barash, executive director of the Global Health Portfolio and chief medical officer for the GE Foundation

“…To respond to any global emergency, whether it be nature-wrought or vector-borne, preparedness, engagement of all stakeholders, and pre-coordination of all key resources is critical. … [T]he Zika virus is a pressing reminder that we must have processes in place to both ensure effective response to outbreaks and to prevent the breakdown of systems that we saw with Ebola. … To be truly successful, we will need many more of our global private sector partners to join us. Further, multi-sector collaboratives thrive off the ideas and aspirations of those we serve. … Partnerships with community members on the ground are just as valuable as those with public sector leaders in our efforts to create emergency response action plans that have everyone’s best interest at heart. … If we work together on this, we will be better positioned and prepared to respond to emergencies and outbreaks in the future” (6/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

In Blog Post, CDC Director Lauds Private Sector's Response To Zika, Urges Congress To Act Quickly

White House Blog: The Private Sector Is Stepping Up to Combat the Zika Virus — Congress Should Too
Writing that the Zika virus outbreak “poses a serious threat to pregnant women,” CDC Director Tom Frieden adds, “Make no mistake: The Zika virus is an emergency that we need to address. It will take all of us — leaders in both the public and private sectors — to ensure we mount a robust and comprehensive response in the United States.” He concludes, “Leaders in the private sector are not standing by. They’re doing what they can to provide a life raft to those who are most at risk. My hope is that Congress will do the same — and soon. When it comes to fighting an epidemic, every day counts” (6/6).

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CDC Recognizes Importance Of Hand Hygiene On World Day, Launches New Campaign

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Saving Lives with Hand Hygiene in Sierra Leone
Benjamin Park, chief of the CDC’s International Infection Control Program, discusses the importance of hand hygiene in health care; the Clean Hands Count campaign launched by CDC and partners on May 5, recognized as World Hand Hygiene Day; and related activities that took place in Sierra Leone (6/6).

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'Science Speaks' Discusses Concerns Around Next U.N. Declaration On HIV/AIDS

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Men who have sex with men, sex workers groups ask: Will next U.N. political declaration on HIV and AIDS exclude most affected, least reached populations?
Antigone Barton, senior writer and editor of “Science Speaks,” discusses the 2011 U.N. declaration on eliminating HIV/AIDS, progress made since then, and the concerns of some advocates regarding the upcoming 2016 High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, including whether the new international declaration could exclude language on key populations such as men who have sex with men, transgender women, sex workers, and people who inject drugs (6/6).

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Women, Children Face Social Challenges, More Adversely Affected By Malnutrition

ONE Campaign: “A stunted child anywhere is a stunted child everywhere:” An interview with ‘1,000 Days’ author Roger Thurow
In an interview with Samantha Urban, the ONE Campaign’s content manager, Roger Thurow, senior fellow at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and author of The First 1,000 Days: A Crucial Time for Mothers and Children — And the World, discusses “how mothers and children are more adversely affected by malnutrition, and what we can do to help” (6/6).

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