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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

NIAID Director Fauci Discusses PEPFAR's Creation, Successes, Challenges In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: PEPFAR architect Anthony Fauci on the initiative’s transformational impact
“The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a partnership between the United States government and African countries, has contributed to a transformation in health systems across the continent. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, was one of PEPFAR’s key architects. … On the 15th anniversary of PEPFAR’s creation, Fauci spoke to Devex about the initiative’s inception, its impact on U.S. global health efforts, and the challenges that lie ahead…” (Igoe, 6/8).

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Nutrition Advocates, U.S. At WHA Disagree Over Regulating Breast Milk Substitute Advertisements

News Deeply: A Moment of Reckoning for Nutrition Advocates at the WHA
“…Advocates at the [recent World Health Assembly] accused the U.S. delegation of trying to stop a resolution on infant and young child feeding from being introduced. The U.S. representatives later pushed for diluted text that removes references to regulating aggressive marketing of breast milk substitutes. The move underscores the influence the private sector still wields in this discussion, experts said, despite the consistent evidence that exclusive breastfeeding is far better for infants than commercially available breast milk substitutes…” (Byatnal, 6/7).

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U.S. House Committee Requests New Director Of WHO's IARC Testify At July Hearing

Reuters: U.S lawmakers seek answers from new head of WHO’s cancer agency
“A U.S. congressional committee called on Thursday for the newly elected director of the World Health Organization’s cancer research agency to testify at a July hearing on its operations in an ongoing dispute about the agency’s scientific conclusions. In a letter to Elisabete Weiderpass, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), released in a press statement, the U.S. House of Representatives Science, Space, and Technology (SST) Committee, said the way the agency had operated under her predecessor ‘was an affront to scientific integrity’…” (Kelland, 6/7).

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Media Outlets Continue To Highlight CHANGE Report On Impacts Of Reinstated Mexico City Policy

Quartz: Study: The White House’s international aid cuts could cause millions more abortions by 2020
“…On June 5, the Center for Gender and Health Equity (CHANGE) published an evaluation of the [Mexico City] policy’s impact, comparing it to prior iterations of the same rule. Its analysis shows that Trump’s version of the rule is the furthest-reaching in history…” (Merelli, 6/7).

Yahoo! News: Abortion restrictions tied to foreign aid threaten fight against AIDS, report says
“…That policy was spelled out in a memorandum issued three days after Trump’s inauguration. It instructed his incoming Secretary of State, Rex W. Tillerson, ‘to implement a plan to extend the requirements of the reinstated Memorandum to global health assistance furnished by all departments or agencies’…” (Nazaryan, 6/6).

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First-Ever G7 Gender Advisory Council Encourages Leaders To Keep Focus On Equality Talks At Meeting

The Guardian: Don’t let Trump derail gender equality talks, experts warn G7 leaders
“Members of the G7’s first gender advisory council have vowed that talks about U.S. tariffs will not overshadow discussions about women’s empowerment as they prepare to meet world leaders this weekend. Justin Trudeau created the advisory council to provide leaders with expert guidance on gender equality and to ensure the issue takes centre stage at the G7 summit which begins in Quebec on Friday…” (McVeigh, 6/8).

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DRC Confirms 1 New Ebola Case; 62 Total Cases Reported, 27 Deaths

Associated Press: Congo says new confirmed Ebola case; outbreak marks 1 month
“Congo’s health ministry says another Ebola case has been confirmed as the pace of new cases slows one month after the outbreak was officially declared…” (Mwanamilongo/Petesch, 6/8).

Additional reporting on the Ebola outbreak, including information on prevention efforts and research into experimental vaccines and treatments, is available from ABC, CIDRAP News, IRIN, The Lancet, Reuters, STAT, and UPI. For up-to-date information on the number of confirmed, probable, and suspected cases, visit the Twitter feed of WHO Deputy Director-General for Emergency Preparedness and Response Peter Salama.

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Gates Foundation Launches Nonprofit Biotech Research Institute To Focus On Malaria, TB, Enteric Diseases

Forbes: Bill And Melinda Gates Start A Nonprofit Biotech In Boston
“…The Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute … will aim to develop new medicines and vaccines for malaria, tuberculosis, and diarrhea, which together account for 2.6 million deaths a year globally, many of them in children…” (Harper, 6/7).

STAT: The Gates Foundation rolls outs details of its new biotech, one without a profit motive
“…The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spun out a nonprofit biotech offspring, the Bill & Melinda Gates Medical Research Institute. With funding of $273 million for its first four years, the organization is in an enviable position. ‘We don’t have to worry about revenue, return on investment. Our bottom line is lives saved. So it’s a pretty exciting place to be,’ Dr. Penny Heaton, the institute’s CEO, explained in an interview with STAT this week…” (Branswell, 6/7).

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UNITAID, Cipla Announce Agreement To Lower Cost Of Combination HIV Medication

Devex: Deal slashes drug price of 3 in 1 pill for people living with HIV
“…UNITAID and Indian pharmaceutical company CIPLA have entered into an agreement that allows the latter to slash the prices of its drug, Q-TIB, by 30 percent. This means that a person living with HIV will soon have access to a full month’s worth of the drug for only $1.99…” (Ravelo, 6/8).

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More News In Global Health

CIDRAP News: WHO aims to build health worker knowledge of antimicrobial stewardship (Roos, 6/7).

Devex: Tackling the hidden cause of maternal mortality in Nigeria (6/7).

Devex: Inside the SDG innovation lab that aims to build a 13,000-person movement (Rogers, 6/7).

EURACTIV: Health and vaccine research set to lose out from new E.U. research budget (Fox, 6/7).

The Lancet: Health ministers adopt African Medicines Agency treaty (Zarocostas, 6/9).

The Lancet: Resolution on snakebite envenoming adopted at the WHA (Burki, 6/9).

Mail & Guardian: Tedros aims to turn the WHO around (Sayagues, 6/8).

News Deeply: To End Famines, Prosecute Leaders Who Use Hunger as a Weapon: Expert (Green, 6/7).

News Deeply: New Report Highlights Global Disparities in Breastfeeding Rates (Byatnal, 6/7).

The Telegraph: How African drug sellers are getting a makeover in an effort to combat superbugs (Gulland, 6/7).

U.N. News: Hunger surges amid deadly conflicts, poor weather conditions in many countries — U.N. agriculture agency (6/7).

VOA News: U.N.: Ugandan Refugees, Host Communities Equally Deprived (Athumani, 6/6).

VOA News: Charity: More Than Half of Children Worldwide at Risk (Eagle, 6/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces, Editorial Discuss Responses To DRC Ebola Outbreak, U.S. Epidemic Preparedness

Science: Still not ready for Ebola
Thomas R. Frieden, president and chief executive officer of Resolve to Save Lives

“…No matter how long this Ebola outbreak [in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)] continues, the world faces critical tests in its battle against deadly pathogens. … Globally, we must address three issues to tackle Ebola and other deadly pathogens. One is community engagement. … Another issue is WHO’s effectiveness. … Most important, the entire world needs to support countries, including DRC, that have undergone voluntary external assessments of preparedness, known as Joint External Evaluations (JEEs). … The United States, historically a leader on global health security, now risks falling behind in pandemic preparedness. … As the latest Ebola outbreak reminds us, if the CDC’s funding is not protected, the agency will not be able to help protect us. Because an outbreak can spread from a remote area to any major city in the world in 36 hours or less, we are all at risk. And as long as some countries remain at risk, none of us is safe” (6/8).

Global Health NOW: Lessons Learned and Forgotten in Ebola Response
Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and assistant professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

“…As a professor who teaches about the ‘lessons unlearned’ in public health emergencies — and as an Ebola survivor myself — the swift and improved international response to the DRC Ebola outbreak is heartening. … Thankfully the improvements at the international level have helped contain the DRC outbreak. However, if it developed into a global epidemic, the U.S. would be poorly positioned to respond and American lives would be at risk. … I’m not optimistic this administration will heed [experts’] advice to identify the funding and leadership necessary for epidemic response. … The U.S. cannot forget the lessons learned from our previous public health failures. We need to commit the financial resources to the places where the next epidemic might occur and ensure we have strong global health leadership in place to lead our response” (6/7).

Dallas Morning News: Ebola funding restored by the White House shouldn’t have been cut in the first place
Editorial Board

“Here’s the thing about a health crisis. When you are in the middle of it, nearly everyone is on board with pulling out the stops to solve it. But once it passes, apathy can set in and inertia can rule the day. That’s a simplified version of where we nearly ended up with Ebola. Four years ago, the highly contagious and deadly virus showed up in our city and fears of an outbreak spread across the nation. … [I]n recent weeks President Donald Trump announced he would [rescind] $252 million in federal Ebola funds… This week the White House reversed course and restored the Ebola funds (and a few hundred million in other spending). We commend the president for this decision, but then this Ebola funding never should have been on the chopping block. … Preventing such a disease from reaching an American city requires investing now, before a crisis is again upon us” (6/6).

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Letters To Editor Address Women's Reproductive Rights, Global Population, Family Planning

The Guardian: Letters: Respecting women’s rights and the planet key to family planning
Arthur Erken, director for the division of communications and strategic partnerships at UNFPA, and Robin Maynard, director at Population Matters

“I read with interest your editorial … The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) strongly agrees that ‘crude attempts to raise and lower birthrates are unlikely to produce sustainable solutions.’ Instead, they are more likely to violate internationally agreed human rights standards and cost women their freedom or lives. UNFPA promotes the view that family planning should always be firmly based on the right of all individuals to control their fertility and therefore determine freely the number of their children, which your sensible recommendations on education and empowerment of women and greater access to family planning support. … [Meeting the demand for access to modern contraception] requires a collective will and funding to provide women with the means to exercise their right to determine their family size” (Erken, 6/7).

“Your editorial on the implications of family size and population erroneously bought into the narrow economic narrative that this is simply an issue of productivity, resources, and dependency ratios. It is partly about those things — but far more importantly and fundamentally it is about our planetary crisis. … Everyone on Earth deserves a fair, sustainable share of our planet’s resources — but that human right will only be possible if we learn to moderate both our numbers and consumption. Yes, there are challenges associated with lowering birthrate and promoting smaller families. Those are infinitely easier to solve than the environmental devastation exacerbated by the increasing billions of people on our finite planet. This is solvable through ethical, non-coercive means and the available technology of family planning — but only if we grasp the nettle now and take positive action” (Maynard, 6/7).

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Global Coordinated Action Required To Address Antibiotic Resistance

Foreign Policy: Superbugs Are Going to Eat Us Alive
Riju Agrawal, engineer and policy analyst

“…Like global climate change, the scourge of antibiotic resistance is a problem that will require some form of coordinated global action. … Mirroring the Paris climate agreement, a global framework that enables countries to make individually determined contributions to help fight antimicrobial resistance may be the best way to assemble a broad coalition of actors and galvanize interest in the shared challenge ahead of us. However, to help correct the Paris agreement’s inability to hold countries accountable for meeting their own commitments, there should also be financial rewards in the form of a global reward fund for countries that meet or exceed their individually determined commitments. … Resistance to the antibiotic of last resort is spreading rapidly … If the global community fails to act soon, and this last silver bullet ceases to work, modern medicine as we know it will be changed forever” (6/6).

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TB Research Community Must Engage Patients, Advocates In Research, Policy Activities

HuffPost: We Need To Science The Shit Out Of Tuberculosis
Madhukar Pai, professor & director of Global Health at McGill University

“…For too long, TB patients and care providers have been fighting a protracted battle with antiquated, inefficient tools … While we wait for new tools, we must scale-up the best tools we already have. … But research is not just product development. … And science is not just about researchers. … [F]or TB research to have an impact, we must engage two stakeholders that have been on the sidelines: The first group is TB researchers and care providers in low- and middle-income countries. … The second group is TB patients and advocates. … [W]e must create space for TB survivors and advocates to speak at scientific conferences and publish in mainstream journals. We must seek their help designing and conducting studies, and empower them to serve on ethics and policy committees. As we have seen with the HIV epidemic, when patients advocate for R&D, they are invariably more powerful and impactful than scientists” (6/7).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

WFP Director Discusses Food Security Situations In Sahel, North Korea On 'Global Dispatches Podcast'

U.N. Dispatch’s “Global Dispatches Podcast”: World Food Programme Chief David Beasley Discusses Food Crises in the Sahel and North Korea
Mark Leon Goldberg, editor of U.N. Dispatch and host of the Global Dispatches Podcast, speaks with David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Programme, on “the situation in the Sahel, where food security conditions are rapidly deteriorating because of a combination of lower-than-normal rainfall and insurgent activities. Beasley describes the situation there, and also the link between food security and extremism. [The two] then discuss a trip [Beasley] took to North Korea a few weeks ago, including his overall impressions of food availability in North Korea and how nuclear diplomacy with North Korea may impact the humanitarian situation there” (6/7).

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Substantial Scale-Up Of Resources Needed To Address Global Mental Health Challenges, WHO's Mental Health Atlas 2017 Says

WHO: Mental health: massive scale-up of resources needed if global targets are to be met
“WHO’s Mental Health Atlas 2017 reveals that although some countries have made progress in mental health policymaking and planning, there is a global shortage of health workers trained in mental health and a lack of investment in community-based mental health facilities…” (6/6).

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Shame, Misinformation Surrounding Menstruation Contribute To Human Rights Concerns For Women, Girls, UNFPA Report Suggests

UNFPA: Period shame, misinformation linked to serious human rights concerns
“Shame, stigma, and misinformation surrounding menstruation are contributing to serious human rights concerns for women and girls, emphasizes a new report commissioned by UNFPA. The report, a comprehensive review of available evidence on menstrual health management in East and Southern Africa, … underscores the ways period shame and misinformation undermine the well-being of women and girls, making them vulnerable to gender discrimination, child marriage, exclusion, violence, poverty, and untreated health problems…” (6/7).

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From the U.S. Government

PEPFAR Provides HIV Tests, Shares Health Information At Soccer Tournament In Zimbabwe

U.S. Embassy Zimbabwe: PEPFAR adds strength, endurance to Homeless World Cup preps
“[The] President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) tested over 100 individuals for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, and shared health information with over 1,000 community members at the first preparatory tournament for the Homeless World Cup held in Harare’s Hatcliffe township June 2nd. … At the event, participants … had access to health services and health information from PEPFAR partners…” (6/6).

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