KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

2.5M Lives Saved Since 2010 Under U.N.'s Every Woman Every Child Partnership

Reuters: Child and maternal deaths tumble, East Africa leads the way: U.N.
“Maternal and child death rates fell in every one of the poorest 49 countries in the world between 2010 and 2013, largely as a result of a U.N. initiative launched in 2010, the world body said on Tuesday…” (D’Urso, 3/10).

U.N. News Centre: Global health partnership has saved 2.5 million women and children since 2010, says U.N. chief
“At a high-level event [Tuesday] morning at the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said preventable deaths of women and children could be ended ‘within a generation,’ with political commitment, an increase in innovative financing, and strong partnership. … Ban noted that the Every Woman Every Child health partnership was the fastest growing in history…” (3/10).

VOA News: U.N.-Led Partnership Spurs Health Gains for Poor Women, Kids
“…In the nearly five years since the launch of Every Woman Every Child, the program has created momentum that could halt preventable deaths ‘within a generation,’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a United Nations event Tuesday to mark the release of ‘Saving Lives, Protecting Futures.’ Ban started EWEC to speed progress toward international health Millennium Development Goals, or MDGs…” (Putic, 3/10).

Xinhua News: Interview: Scaled-up tech innovations can help end preventable women, children deaths: U.N. official
“Technology innovations can play an effective role in ending preventable maternal and children deaths if they are taken to scale, said a U.N. official in a recent interview with Xinhua. ‘There are now over a thousand new innovations that are in the pipeline, that have been developed under the umbrella of Every Woman and Every Child,’ said Nana Taona Kuo, senior manager of Every Woman Every Child…” (Shi, 3/11).

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WHO Announces Formation Of Independent Panel To Assess Agency's Ebola Response

Associated Press: WHO creates independent panel to assess its Ebola response
“The World Health Organization says it has created a panel of independent experts to assess its response to the biggest-ever Ebola outbreak in history. … The panel will be chaired by Barbara Stocking, a former chief executive of Oxfam GB. A preliminary report is due in May…” (3/10).

The Hill: WHO charges independent panel to examine Ebola response
“…The independent panel will spend the next two months questioning ‘all aspects’ of the WHO’s efforts to fight Ebola in West Africa, according to a release on Tuesday…” (Ferris, 3/10).

Reuters: WHO Seeks Assessment of Its Ebola Response
“…The Geneva-based United Nations health agency was sharply criticized for failing to heed repeated warnings by the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontieres in the early days of the epidemic, which quickly grew to become the largest in history…” (3/10).

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Researchers Hit Snags In Testing Ebola Treatments, Vaccines

Al Jazeera America: Why we’re still waiting on an Ebola vaccine
“Since Ebola hit [Freetown, Sierra Leone,] last summer, nurses at Connaught Hospital have put their lives on the line by working with patients at risk of the deadly disease. Now researchers aim to recruit them as well as ambulance drivers and other hospital staff as subjects in one of the largest Ebola vaccine trials to date. But just a few weeks before the trial begins enrollment, many health care workers are voicing discomfort about the shot…” (Maxmen, 3/11).

Los Angeles Times: New Ebola cases are declining: Why that’s bad news for a cure
“…Unless the outbreak explodes again, potential cures such as ZMapp can’t be given to enough patients to accurately determine their effect. Nor is the virus infecting enough people to let researchers test the efficacy of two potential vaccines that are being given to about 18,000 health and emergency workers in Liberia…” (Morin, 3/9).

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World Must Increase Efforts To End Child Marriage, Experts At U.N. Panel Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Fight to end child marriage must be scaled up — experts
“Advocates against child marriage need to step up efforts to maintain progress against the practice as the world’s youth population swells, experts at a United Nations panel said on Tuesday…” (Anderson, 3/11).

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Punjab Becomes Second Pakistani Province To Impose Punishment For Clerics, Parents Who Allow Child Marriage

Reuters: Second Pakistan province cracks down on child marriage
“Clerics in Pakistan’s most populous province of Punjab will be punished if they allow underage marriages along with the parents of the youngsters under tougher penalties imposed by the second Pakistan province to act to curb child marriage…” (Mustafa, 3/10).

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2 Draft Laws In Iran Would Put Women's Health At Risk, Amnesty International Says

TIME: Iran Mulls Laws That ‘Reduce Women to Baby-Making Machines,’ Says Amnesty
“Amnesty International has slammed Iran for proposing two draft laws aimed at boosting the country’s population, saying the legislating would ‘reduce Iranian women to ‘baby-making’ machines.’ One proposal would ban voluntary sterilization and restrict access to contraceptives, while the other would make it harder for women without children to get jobs…” (Regan, 3/11).

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U.N.-Backed Report Examines Impact Of Syrian Crisis On Nation's Human Development

U.N. News Centre: New U.N.-backed report reflects ‘crushing’ impact of conflict in Syria on its people
“Four years of armed conflict, economic disintegration, and social fragmentation in Syria have hollowed out its population by 15 percent, forced some 10 million people to flee their homes and reduced life expectancy by two decades — from nearly 76 years of age to 56 — according to a United Nations-backed report released today on the ‘catastrophic’ impact of the conflict…” (3/10).

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Somali Families From U.K., U.S. Reportedly Traveling To Kenya To Undergo FGM

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Western girls holiday in Kenya to undergo FGM in secret
“Somali families living in Britain and the United States are bringing their daughters to Kenya to secretly undergo female genital mutilation (FGM) as their home countries crack down on the internationally condemned practice…” (Migiro, 3/11).

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Carlos Slim Foundation Receives Texas Children's Hospital Award, Recognized For NTD Vaccine Research

Forbes: Carlos Slim’s Foundation Recognized For Work On Health, Research To Develop Anti-Chagas Vaccine
“Texas Children’s Hospital, a Houston-based not-for-profit health care organization, announced Monday that the Carlos Slim Foundation is this year’s recipient of the 2015 International Recognition Award of their 25th International Colloquium. … The foundation said that the award was partly in recognition of its initiative for the development of vaccinations against tropical diseases launched in 2010. One of its aims is to develop the first therapeutic vaccine for human beings against chagas…” (Estevez, 3/10).

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Incorrect Condom Disposal Clogging Sewer Lines In Lusaka, Zambia

Bloomberg Business: Condoms Clog Lusaka Sewers as Zambia Battles HIV Spread
“Zambia’s fight against the spread of HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, is having unintended consequences: Used condoms are clogging sewage pipelines in Lusaka, the capital. Every day, an estimated 3,000 latex condoms are flushed down the toilet and end up in pipelines connected to the city’s sewer system, Topsy Sikalinda, spokesman at Lusaka Water and Sewerage Co. Ltd., said in an interview…” (Hill, 3/10).

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Researchers Testing Urine-Powered Toilet Designed To Improve Refugee Safety With Lighted Area

SciDev.Net: Pee-powered toilet designed to keep refugees safe
“A prototype toilet that can generate power from urine was launched last week. The urinal, which is being trialed at the University of the West of England (UWE) in the United Kingdom, is designed to improve security in refugee camps by providing lighting in and around toilets…” (Extance, 3/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

'No Ceilings' Data Show Gains On Gender Equality, But Gaps Remain

Huffington Post: How We Can Overcome the Unacceptable Gaps in Gender Equality
Chelsea Clinton, vice chair of the Clinton Foundation

“…At No Ceilings, we set out to determine what progress has been made since 1995 — more specifically, since the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. … While the data show that we are making progress in a number of important areas — including health, education, and legal protections — it equally reveals that these gains have not been fully realized by all. … We know that by measuring the results, we can change them, because we all stand to gain from the full participation of women and girls…” (3/9).

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Abortion Must Be Included In Gender Equality Discussions

The Guardian: Illegal abortions are unsafe for women. Refusing to talk about abortion is, too
Jessica Valenti, daily columnist for The Guardian

“The Clinton Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — in their new women’s rights initiative No Ceilings — has magically disappeared one of the most important women’s issues from the international conversation on gender equality: abortion. … Abortion is a reality we can’t afford to ignore and a necessity that needs to be discussed, researched and funded to truly guarantee women’s full participation in society. … Putting women’s lives at risk all over the world to appeal to skittish donors or to placate leaders in countries with draconian abortion laws is no way to make gender equality palatable; in many ways, doing so just perpetuates the problem projects like these are trying to solve” (3/10).

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Collaboration, Partnership Among Many Sectors Can Improve Health Access Worldwide

Huffington Post: Hurdling the Health Access Barrier
Cassie Chandler, global manager of microfinance and health protection at Freedom from Hunger

“…Whether in Asia, Latin America, or Africa, one of the most significant barriers to good health is being able to access health services in a timely manner. There are a variety of obstacles that contribute to this. … Overcoming the ‘health access’ hurdle requires holistic, multidisciplinary solutions, as well as a collective commitment. … [W]e can bridge the gap with collaboration and relationship building among a variety of sectors…” (3/10).

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Universal Sex Education Agenda Not Compatible With Global Diversity

Foreign Affairs: Can Sex Education Be Universal?
Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of education and history at New York University

“…Since the 1960s, Americans have split into two camps on sex education: one side wants to teach kids how to make choices about sex, and the other wants to teach them to avoid it. That’s not an issue in most parts of the developing world, where the idea of youth as sexual decision-makers is simply anathema. Sex education thus embodies a central contradiction of trying to spread Western liberalism, which simultaneously celebrates personal and cultural autonomy. That won’t work if the culture on the receiving end rejects the individual freedom to choose. … In an age of diversity, a single shared standard of sex education might always remain out of reach” (3/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID's DART Arranges Ship Transport Of Ebola-Killing Chlorine To Guinea, Sierra Leone

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: USAID Takes to the High Seas to Bring Reinforcements to Guinea’s Ebola Fight
Carol Han, strategic communications leader at USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, discusses efforts by USAID’s Ebola Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to safely deliver high test hypochlorite (HTH), a substance used “to kill the Ebola virus and disinfect contaminated surfaces,” to Guinea and Sierra Leone (3/10).

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Accurate Maternal Health Indicators Critical For Measuring Progress

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Measuring Maternal Health in a Post-MDG World
Linnea Bennet, an intern with the Environmental Change and Security Program, recaps a December Wilson Center panel discussion examining the challenges around determining, collecting, and evaluating maternal health data to accurately measure progress (3/10).

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