KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Removes U.S. Secretary Of State Tillerson; Plans To Nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo As Replacement

Washington Post: Trump ousts Tillerson, will replace him as secretary of state with CIA chief Pompeo
“President Trump has ousted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him as the nation’s top diplomat, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate negotiations with North Korea, White House officials said Tuesday. Trump last Friday asked Tillerson to step aside, and the embattled diplomat cut short his trip to Africa on Monday to return to Washington. Pompeo will replace him at the State Department, and Gina Haspel — the deputy director at the CIA — will succeed him at the CIA, becoming the first woman to run the spy agency, if confirmed…” (Parker/Rucker, 3/13).

Additional coverage on this developing story is available from CNN, The Hill, New York Times, NPR, and POLITICO.

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Devex Reports On PAI Analyses Examining Impacts Of Mexico City Policy In 2 African Countries, U.S. Decision To Continue Withholding UNFPA Funding

Devex: ‘Global gag rule’ prompts uncertainty in Uganda, Nigeria, PAI finds
“It could take several years before United States aid recipient countries such as Uganda and Nigeria feel the full impact of the expanded Mexico City policy. But new analysis shows there are already clear signs now that the policy is pushing these countries to limit their expansion of key health services, including for women’s health care. This is according to research conducted by the global health organization PAI, following country visits in November 2017 to Uganda and Nigeria. The findings from these trips were released last week. … The Trump administration’s cuts to global health assistance have also extended beyond the ‘global gag rule,’ as it also announced on Monday it would not fund the U.N. Population Fund for a second year running. … ‘This unfortunate decision will impede UNFPA’s crucial work to protect the health and lives of hundreds of millions of women and girls around the globe, including in humanitarian settings,’ UNFPA said in a statement. ‘Therefore, UNFPA hopes that the United States will reconsider its position’…” (Lieberman, 3/13).

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USAID To Handle Agency's Hiring Decisions Following End Of State Department Hiring Freeze

Devex: As State lifts freeze, USAID to manage own hiring decisions
“U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green on Monday sent a general notice to staff informing them that [the State Department’s] hiring freeze has come to an end and that USAID will now handle its own hiring decisions…” (Igoe, 3/12).

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India PM Modi Launches TB-Free India Campaign With Aim Of Eradicating Disease By 2025

PTI/Livemint: PM Modi launches campaign to eradicate TB from India by 2025
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched a campaign to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from India by 2025, five years ahead of a [global] deadline. After inaugurating the Delhi End-TB Summit here, the prime minister launched the TB-free India Campaign to take the activities under the National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination forward in a mission mode for ending the epidemic by 2025…” (3/13).

PTI/Business Standard: TB-free India by 2025: PM says time to change approach to eradicate the disease
“…Modi said the government is moving ahead with the principle of ‘treat every TB patient best at the very first opportunity’ and is roping in the private sector as well. He also called for multi-sectoral engagement and participation of all stakeholders at every level to create ‘TB-free village, panchayat, district and state,’ noting that frontline TB physicians and workers can make a major contribution in this direction…” (3/13).

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World Bank Confirms Nigeria's Lassa Fever Outbreak Qualifies As 'Eligible Event' Under Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility

Artemis: Lassa fever outbreak an “Eligible Event” for pandemic cat bond: World Bank
“The World Bank has confirmed that it believes the recent outbreak of Lassa fever in Nigeria is an ‘Eligible Event’ under the terms of the Class B pandemic swaps and pandemic catastrophe bonds that were issued to support the financing of the Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF)…” (3/13).

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Tobacco Control Advocates From LMICs Describe Threats, Violence Likely Related To Efforts

New York Times: In Poor Countries, Antismoking Activists Face Threats and Violence
“…[S]everal tobacco control advocates at last week’s 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Cape Town … in telephone conversations described violence or threats they faced as they fought the expansion of smoking in their countries. … The discussion of threats was an undercurrent at what was already a contentious conference held to highlight the tobacco industry’s focus on poor and middle-income countries…” (McNeil, 3/12).

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U.N. Leaders Promote Partnerships To Address Narcotic Drug Challenges, Achieve SDGs At Commission Meeting

U.N. News: U.N. anti-drug conference offers ‘opportunity to chart a better and balanced path’ forward — U.N. chief
Inclusive partnerships are essential to addressing drug challenges and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), according to the top United Nations panel dealing with all aspects of narcotic drugs. ‘With the U.N. General Assembly special session consensus as our blueprint, we can promote efforts to stop organized crime while protecting human rights, enabling development, and ensuring rights-based treatment and support,’ Secretary-General António Guterres said Monday in a video message at the opening session of the 61st Commission on Narcotic Drugs…” (3/12).

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Commission On The Status Of Women, U.N. Women Hosting Events On Gender Equality, Other Women's Issues

CBS News: For 2 weeks, full spotlight on women at the U.N.
“…[T]he Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) [is] hosting dozens of meetings on gender equality and violence against women. U.N. sponsors believe 6,000 delegates, civil society organizations, and activists will be at the event, which runs for two weeks, to put the spotlight on women and girls around the world. The organizer of the event, U.N. Women, calls it the largest gathering on gender equality and women’s rights in the world…” (Falk, 3/12).

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Egypt's Higher Birthrates Following Arab Spring Could Lead To Economic Destabilization, Food, Water Scarcities

Bloomberg Businessweek: The Arab Spring’s Riskiest Legacy May Be Egypt’s Baby Boom
“…Higher birthrates may prove the most lasting of many unforeseen consequences of Egypt’s Arab Spring. … The country added about 11 million people — the population of Greece — in a span of just seven years, as fertility surged to 3.5 children per woman rather than continuing its gradual decline to the government’s target of 2.1, the so-called replacement rate. … Failure to reduce birthrates will lead to scarcities of water and food, as the productivity of agricultural land degrades, says [Tarek Tawfik, an epidemiologist who is Egypt’s deputy minister of health and population.] … Tawfik says the trouble began before the revolution, when the U.S. Agency for International Development, an arm of the American government that funds development initiatives abroad, began winding down generous funding for family planning programs in Egypt in 2005…” (Champion/El-Tablawy, 3/13).

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More News In Global Health

CNN: World Health Organization gets ready for ‘Disease X’ (Scutti, 3/12).

Devex: WASH is ‘fundamental’ to Australia SDG aims, minister says (Cornish, 3/12).

Financial Times: Mali study leads to huge cuts in child mortality (Pilling, 3/12).

SciDev.Net: Mapping techniques to ‘leave no one behind’ (Willmer, 3/13).

SciDev.Net: One-dose cholera vaccine gives 90 percent protection (Makoni, 3/13).

Science: Health workers scramble to contain deadly rat-borne fever in Nigeria (Roberts, 3/12).

Xinhua News: U.N. seeks to immunize over 4.7 mln Somali children against measles (3/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

Routine Immunization Has 'Profound' Health, Economic, Financial Impacts

Project Syndicate: Vaccinating Against Poverty
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…The fact that [a new study published in Health Affairs] found that the greatest benefits of vaccination were among the poorest suggests not only that poorer people are more vulnerable and have a higher risk of developing preventable diseases, but also that the impact on their lives is potentially greater. For the governments of low-income countries, this is an opportunity, because it shows what they could achieve in terms of improving health equity and reducing poverty by targeting higher vaccination rates in poorer and more marginalized communities. Moreover, by making affordable, quality health care available to everyone, regardless of their income, governments can take an important step toward universal health care coverage (UHC). That is because national immunization programs can act as a platform upon which to build a primary care system. … And now, as this new study implies, immunization has an additional, indirect role to play. In the absence of a government-backed national health service or affordable health insurance, routine immunization has a profound financial impact, by saving millions of people from needing health care in the first place, through disease prevention…” (3/12).

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MDBs, DFIs Should Direct More Capital Toward Infrastructure Projects To Achieve SDGs

Project Syndicate: A New Approach to Infrastructure Finance
Justin Yifu Lin, director of the Center for New Structural Economics, dean of the Institute of South-South Cooperation and Development, and honorary dean at the National School of Development at Peking University; Håvard Halland, visiting scholar at the Stanford Global Projects Center (GPC); and Yan Wang, senior fellow at the Center for New Structural Economics at Peking University

“…To achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the world’s multilateral development banks (MDBs) and their private-sector branches, the [development finance institutions (DFIs)], have committed to increasing private-sector finance by as much as 35 percent over the next three years. … Yet they have made only limited investments in infrastructure equity … To increase their impact, MDBs and DFIs need to direct far more capital toward infrastructure projects in the preparation and construction stages, when the private sector invests less. … If the private sector won’t fill this void, then the onus is on MDBs and DFIs … MDBs and DFIs have rightly increased their efforts to mobilize private capital. A shift toward early-stage equity investment in infrastructure, and engagement with strategic investment funds, could significantly strengthen their capacity on this front, and increase the likelihood of the world achieving the SDGs” (3/13).

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Nursing Now Campaign Aims To Raise Global Profile, Status Of Nursing

The Lancet: Nursing Now campaign: raising the status of nurses
Nigel Crisp, co-chair of Nursing Now, and Elizabeth Iro, chief nursing officer at the WHO

“…Several governments … have recognized the growing potential of nursing and are expanding and developing their nursing workforce. Many health leaders are committed to doing so, but evidence shows that nurses are too often undervalued and underused. … This analysis has led us to be part of Nursing Now, a new global campaign to raise the profile and status of nursing worldwide. Launched on Feb 27, 2018, Nursing Now aims to empower nurses so that they can make an even greater contribution to improving health globally. … Change at this scale will take years, but we are looking for a step change in the perception of nurses and nursing. Most importantly, we encourage more governments and organizations to understand the true potential of nursing and act to develop nursing and maximize the impact that nurses have on improving health” (2/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Friends Of The Global Fight Updates Brief On Impacts Of U.S. Investment In Global Fund, Global Health

Friends of the Global Fight: Updated Brief: The Case for U.S. Investment in the Global Fund and Global Health
“Friends of the Global Fight [Monday] released an updated, two-page edition of its policy brief, ‘The Case for U.S. Investment in the Global Fund and Global Health.’ This short edition includes updated data and talking points to show how U.S. support for the Global Fund offers extraordinary return on investment. The brief illustrates how, as an innovative public-private partnership, the Global Fund is challenging the status quo in the way the world fights disease, saving millions of lives, and producing economic, security, and humanitarian gains for the U.S. in the process…” (3/12).

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Group Of International NGOs Call On U.S. Congress To Maintain Current Foreign Assistance Budget Funding Levels

International Rescue Committee: Ahead of Secretary Tillerson’s Budget Testimony, Humanitarian, Development and Global Health Organizations Release New Data Showing the Devastating Human Costs of Proposed Administration Cuts to Foreign Assistance
“…[A] leading group of humanitarian, development, and global health organizations are releasing new data that show just how devastating [the Trump administration’s] proposed cuts to the United States’ foreign aid budget would be to millions of people in the poorest countries. … The organizations … called on Congress to reject the administration’s request for drastic reductions in foreign assistance and instead maintain current funding levels…” (3/12).

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UNFPA Releases Statement On U.S. Decision To Again Withhold Funding

UNFPA: Statement on the United States Decision to Again Withhold Funding from UNFPA
“UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, notes with regret the determination by the United States of America to withhold funds from UNFPA for the second consecutive year. This unfortunate decision will impede UNFPA’s crucial work to protect the health and lives of hundreds of millions of women and girls around the globe, including in humanitarian settings. Therefore, UNFPA hopes that the United States will reconsider its position…” (3/12).

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Trump Administration's Proposal To Consolidate Development Finance Initiatives Gaining Support In Congress, Brookings Visiting Fellow Says

Brookings Institution’s “FixGov”: On development finance, Trump’s budget request makes sense
Thomas M. Hill, visiting fellow for governance studies at Brookings, discusses the Trump administration’s proposal for the new Development Finance Institution (DFI). The DFI would “incorporate the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and USAID’s Development Credit Authority (DCA), thereby creating a single entity charged with leveraging private sector investment to advance U.S. foreign policy interests. The proposed consolidation has appeal even at the poles of the political spectrum,” Hill writes (3/13).

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ODI Researcher Examines DFID's New Strategic Vision For Gender Equality

Overseas Development Institute: Reviewing DFID’s new approach to gender equality
Abigail Hunt, research fellow within ODI’s Growth, Poverty and Inequality Program specializing in women’s empowerment and gender equality, discusses the U.K. Department for International Development’s (DFID) new Strategic Vision for Gender Equality and whether “DFID’s new approach will cut the mustard” (3/12).

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From the U.S. Government

White House Releases Report On Impact Of U.S. Investments In Global Health Security Agenda

White House: Statement from the Press Secretary on the Global Health Security Agenda
“[Monday], the White House [released] a report, ‘Implementing the Global Health Security Agenda: Progress and Impact from U.S. Government Investments,’ that … shows how the investments made by taxpayers to improve global health security are paying dividends…” (3/12).

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From KFF

KFF Holds Event Addressing U.S. Global Health Security Efforts

On Monday, March 12, the Kaiser Family Foundation hosted an event to explore questions on the future of U.S. global health security efforts with a panel of leading experts. Jen Kates, vice president and director of Global Health and HIV Policy at KFF, provided opening remarks, and Anne Schuchat, acting director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gave a keynote address on U.S. global health security efforts. Josh Michaud, associate director of Global Health Policy at KFF, then moderated a  discussion with Beth Cameron, vice president for Global Biological Policy and Programs at the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI); Rebecca Katz, associate professor and co-director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University; Nancy Knight, director of the division of Global Health Protection at CDC; and J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center. An archived webcast of the event is available online.

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