KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

MCC CEO Speaks To Devex About Integrating Gender Equality Into Programs

Devex: How to mainstream gender in foreign aid: Lessons from MCC
“When the Millennium Challenge Corp. looks at constraints to economic growth within a partner country, one of the most important considerations is whether women and men have access to the same tools for building their economies. MCC’s CEO Daniel Yohannes spoke with Devex in an exclusive interview about the agency’s strides — and his own leadership — to integrate gender equality and social inclusion as core pathways to achieving economic growth for poverty reduction…” (Igoe, 3/11).

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Men, Boys Must Be Active In Gender Equality Agenda, U.N. Experts Say

U.N. News Centre: WOMEN: Experts call for engaging men and boys as allies in fight for gender equality
“Gender equality is not just a concern for women and girls, a panel of experts gathered at the United Nations in New York stressed today, highlighting the need to engage men and boys as allies and agents of change in this global struggle…” (3/12).

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UNAIDS Ready To Join Lawsuit Challenging Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Law

BuzzFeed: UNAIDS Is ‘Prepared’ To Join Lawsuit Against Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, Top Official Says
“Luiz Loures, deputy director of UNAIDS and assistant secretary general of the United Nations, said Wednesday that UNAIDS is ready to join a lawsuit filed in a Ugandan court on Tuesday challenging the country’s Anti-Homosexuality Act…” (Feder, 3/12).

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Ugandan Human Rights Activists Working To Overturn Anti-Gay Law

Inter Press Service: Anti-Gay Law Will be Overturned Say Uganda’s Campaigners
“Human rights campaigners who filed a recent legal petition against Uganda’s draconian anti-gay law believe that they have a compelling case for its nullification. … On Tuesday, Mar. 11, a coalition of campaigners filed a petition with Uganda’s Constitutional Court in Kampala in response to the Anti-Homosexuality Act 2014. President Yoweri Museveni signed the bill into law on Feb. 24…” (Fallon, 3/13).

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Stigma Contributes To Men's Theft Of HIV Drugs From Wives In Uganda

Key Correspondents: Ugandan men steal AIDS drugs from wives
“Ugandan men who are living with HIV but are not open about their status are stealing antiretroviral medication from their wives who get the drugs from health facilities. A report released on 19 December 2013 by The AIDS Support Organization (TASO), which supports 19,000 people living with HIV, reveals how stigma, secrecy and fear of disclosure prevent men from going to health facilities themselves…” (Odong, 3/11).

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Virtual Doctors Could Help Improve Uganda's Health Care System

VOA News: Are Virtual Doctors the Answer for Ugandan Health Care?
“A new telemedicine facility in one of the most remote regions of Uganda allows local health care workers to consult online with doctors in Kampala. The potential for Uganda’s poorly staffed health centers could be huge…” (Heuler, 3/12).

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Controversy Expected Over WHO Sugar Recommendations, Nature Reports

Nature: Storm brewing over WHO sugar proposal
“Scientists are gearing up for a battle with the food industry after the World Health Organization (WHO) moved to halve its recommendation on sugar intake. Nutrition researchers fear a backlash similar to that seen in 2003, when the WHO released its current guidelines stating that no more than 10 percent of an adult’s daily calories should come from ‘free’ sugars…” (Owens, 3/11).

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Melinda Gates Says India Moving Toward Poverty Eradication, Universal Health Access

LiveMint: Melinda Gates: Poverty eradication, health care for all closer than ever for India
“Philanthropist Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and one of the most influential women in the world, maintains that India is closer than ever to the goal of eradicating poverty and improving access to health for all…” (Krishnan, 3/11).

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Experts Urge Laos To Increase Efforts To Address HIV/AIDS

IRIN: More work on HIV in Laos needed
“Health officials say more work is needed to fight HIV/AIDS in Laos, which has an over-reliance on foreign donors and lack of government support, as well as limited treatment coverage and a widespread gap of awareness and testing…” (3/12).

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U.S. Foundation Supports Obstetric Fistula Treatment In Africa, South Asia

VOA News: U.S. Foundation Supports Fistula Treatment in Africa
“For hundreds of thousands of women in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, obstructed childbirth leads to a life of pain and, in many cases, public shame and isolation. … For the half-million women now suffering obstetric fistula, surgery can address the physical damage…” (Lewis, 3/12).

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Food Insecurity In Senegal Could Worsen, IRIN Reports

IRIN: An alarming outlook for Senegal’s hungry
“The number of food insecure in the Sahel is expected to grow from 11.3 million in 2013 to more than 20 million in 2014, mainly due to an increase in cases in northern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, and Senegal…” (3/12).

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Parliamentarians Work To Have Voices Heard At U.N.

Inter Press Service: Legislators Seek Rightful Place at U.N. Talkfests
“When the United Nations hosts one of its mega conferences — whether on population, human rights, food security or sustainable development — there is always a demand for full and active participation of often-marginalized groups, including women, civil society, indigenous peoples and youth. But some of the world’s parliamentarians — who help implement most of the U.N.’s programs of action through national legislation — are also battling to find their rightful place at international conferences…” (Deen, 3/12).

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Study Published Showing Meningitis Vaccine Remains Stable Without Refrigeration

Financial Times: Vaccine breakthrough could help millions
“On Thursday, the publication ‘Vaccine’ publishes a study that shows the mass vaccination in Africa does not require constant refrigeration in specific cases. To be precise, 155,000 people in Benin got a vaccination against meningitis, with a vaccine kept in temperatures of up to 39°C…” (Vanham, 3/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

Flat Funding Of U.S. Science Research Likely To Continue

Nature: Don’t hide the decline
President Barack Obama’s FY 2015 budget proposal “leaves the budgets of major scientific funders, such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the research efforts at the Department of Energy, essentially flat. … Meanwhile, the economic strain on the country is immense. Mandatory spending obligations — on retirement and health care programs, for example — are soaring, squeezing discretionary spending on other worthy areas, including research. … Rather than a relief, apparently flat budgets are a sure sign that competition for funds will grow still further. And that things will get worse before they get better” (3/11).

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Haiti's Sanitation System Needs Donor Assistance To Improve

New Yorker: Haiti’s Shadow Sanitation System
Jonathan Katz, writer based in Durham, N.C.

“…Building a nationwide water and sanitation infrastructure would cost $1.6 billion, Pedro Medrano Rojas, the new U.N. senior coordinator for cholera response in Haiti, told me. … Many advocates argue that the billions in needed investments must be made now, and that they should be made through the United Nations. … Without outside help, there is little chance that sanitation in Haiti will improve. The country’s newly formed National Directorate for Potable Water and Sanitation, or DINEPA, which opened its doors in 2009, has just nine staffers to oversee sanitation for a nation of ten million…” (3/12).

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'Long Way To Go' To Reach Universal Sanitation Access In Mali

Devex: Rebuilding taps and toilets in Mali
Fatoumata Haidara, WaterAid country representative in Zambia

“Just over a year ago, Mali was plunged into civil war as militants took over the north of the country and France staged a military intervention to push them back. … Before the war, the situation with regards to access to clean drinking water and adequate sanitation was poor. Now it is even worse. … WaterAid reached 43,000 people in Mali last year with safe water, and 39,000 people with sanitation. But we have a long way to go in the area of sanitation as 78 percent of Malians still do not have anywhere safe or hygienic to go to the toilet…” (3/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Health Is Key To Reducing Extreme Poverty, Report Says

In Humanosphere, development blogger Tom Paulson discusses findings from a new report (.pdf) published in the Lancet called “Global health 2035: a world converging within a generation.” Paulson summarizes key findings of the report, noting, “If you could only do one thing to reduce poverty and inequity around the world, say experts in global development, the best thing you could do is reduce the disproportionate burden of disease on those living in the poorest communities. Improving health … remains the most powerful tool for improving lives and reducing extreme poverty worldwide…” (3/12).

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World Water Day Promotes Access To WASH

“…The adverse impact of dirty water and poor hygiene and sanitation reaches far beyond health. The diseases that stem from a lack of WASH keep children out of school and prevent parents from working, thereby decreasing human capital, worker productivity and gross domestic product. However, by addressing these diseases together with WASH, we can work to alleviate poverty and promote development worldwide. … World Water Day provides all of us with an opportunity to work together to achieve a common goal: A healthy and more prosperous world for everyone,” Michelle Brooks, policy director at the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases, writes in the blog’s “End the Neglect” blog (3/12).

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Blog Summarizes CROI Symposium, Recent Articles

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” reports on a symposium that took place at last week’s Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI), which “showed how existing information, including from Demographic and Health Surveys, combined with sentinel surveillance from more limited populations, can gather critical information on the path of epidemics and be used to inform the policies and practice of HIV responses.” The blog also summarizes recent articles on how homophobia is affecting efforts against HIV/AIDS (Barton, 3/12).

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New Issue Of ‘Global Fund News Flash’ Available Online

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has published Issue 39 of its newsletter, the “Global Fund News Flash.” The issue features an article on the fund’s allocation amounts to countries for 2014-2016 and also features a video giving an overview of the new funding model (3/12).

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