KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Bipartisan Group Of U.S. Lawmakers Introduces Legislation To Overhaul International Food Aid Rules

Reuters: U.S. lawmakers seek overhaul of overseas food aid rules
“…Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and House of Representatives introduced the ‘Food for Peace Modernization Act of 2018,’ which they want to include in the 2018 farm bill, a giant piece of legislation governing U.S. agriculture. Among other things, the bill would end a requirement that 100 percent of food aid commodities be produced in the United States, changing it to 25 percent…” (Zengerle, 3/14).

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Tillerson's Departure, Pompeo's Nomination Raise Questions About U.S., Africa Relations

Devex: Tillerson’s firing leaves Africa trip a missed opportunity for U.S.
“The sudden firing of Rex Tillerson as U.S. secretary of state on Tuesday came less than four hours after America’s now ex-top diplomat landed back in Washington, D.C., following an early return from his first official visit to Africa, a move that some development experts argue has undermined diplomatic advances made during his time there. … Experts pointed out that relations between African countries and the U.S. were already on rocky ground … Some African experts are not convinced that Tillerson’s truncated visit changed local opinions that Africa is a low development priority to the U.S., and some warned that [Trump’s nominee to replace Tillerson, CIA Director Mike Pompeo,] might even change tack or retreat from Tillerson’s commitments…” (Roby, 3/13).

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New U.S. Secretary Of State Likely Will Not Impact U.S. Relations At U.N., According To Experts

Devex: Pompeo not expected to shake up U.S. relations at the United Nations
“President Donald Trump’s sudden firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is unlikely to have any immediate major impact on U.S. relations at the United Nations, international affairs experts say…” (Lieberman, 3/13).

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USAID West Africa Regional Mission Shifts Focus To Promoting Peace, Security To Achieve Development Goals

Devex: USAID West Africa focus pivots to regional support for peace and security
“The spread of insecurity in West Africa beyond the Boko Haram stronghold of northeast Nigeria has seen violence break out in Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, and Chad, and has put peace and security at the forefront of most development efforts there. In response, the West Africa Regional mission of the United States Agency for International Development has shifted focus to promote regional stability by aligning closer with priorities set by regional political and development leaders including countering violent extremism, helping build a regional crisis early warning alert system and promoting peaceful elections…” (Roby, 3/13).

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Resolve To Save Lives Head Tom Frieden Discusses Organization's Priorities, CDC's Budgetary Needs In GHN Interview Series

Global Health NOW: Inside Resolve’s Global Health Mission to Save 100 Million Lives
“After eight years of leading the CDC, Tom Frieden wanted another challenge. He picked a good one: Save 100 million lives in 30 years. That’s the goal of Resolve to Save Lives. He launched the initiative (as part of Vital Strategies) in September 2017 with $225 million in funding from Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, and the Gates Foundation. Resolve zeroed in on cardiovascular disease and epidemics as its twin priorities…” (Simpson, 3/13).

Global Health NOW: Tom Frieden: Proposed CDC Cuts Would Mean More Cancer, Heart Disease, and Stroke
“…In this second part of a Q&A with Global Health NOW, Frieden shares his insights on the CDC’s budget needs, differences in federal funding for the NIH vs. the CDC, and the challenge of fighting noncommunicable diseases…” (Simpson, 3/14).

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ILO Leadership Aims To Cease Further Collaboration With Tobacco Industry

Devex: ILO chief wants to cut ties with big tobacco. Will the governing body heed the call?
“The International Labour Organization is again under intense pressure from a growing number of stakeholders to put an end to its relationship with big tobacco. But after ILO postponed a long-awaited vote on divestment Wednesday, many wonder whether the governing body will be able to reach an agreement by the end of its ongoing 332nd session in Geneva on March 22…” (Ravelo, 3/15).

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Devex Highlights Takeaways From 2nd Australian SDG Summit

Devex: Takeaways from the 2018 Australian SDGs Summit
“At the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 13, the second Australian Sustainable Development Goals Summit was an opportunity bring together government, NGOs, research institutions, and the private sector to discuss Australia’s progress and challenges in implementing and monitoring the SDGs. … The country is collating a baseline of data that will enable it to monitor progress on the goals — but some expressed concern over a lack of consultation and collaboration. Here are the takeaways from the day’s discussion…” (Cornish, 3/14).

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U.N. Agencies Call For Peace, Safe Aid Delivery As Syrian War Enters 8th Year; Civilians Leave Eastern Ghouta For Medical Care

Reuters: Civilians needing medical aid leave Syria’s Ghouta for second day
“Civilians in need of medical treatment left Syria’s besieged Eastern Ghouta enclave for the second straight day on Wednesday under a medical evacuation agreement, a rebel official said…” (Nehme/Barrington, 3/14).

U.N. News: As Syria conflict enters eighth year, U.N. agencies join call for peace and safe aid delivery
“Two United Nations relief agencies on Wednesday joined a chorus of international organizations and partners in the quest to end seven years of conflict in Syria, urging warring parties to allow humanitarian access for the delivery of life-saving assistance to those desperately in need…” (3/14).

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Calls Grow For Decriminalization Of Abortion In Argentina; Bill In Congress Would Allow Procedure Up To 14 Weeks

The Guardian: ‘Women in Argentina live in hell’: calls for legal abortion grow
“…The country has very restrictive abortion laws. … But a shift in public opinion in this traditionally conservative country has forced congress to vote on a bill to change the law later this month. The amendment would allow terminations in the first 14 weeks of pregnancy. … This growing demand for legal changes has even prompted Mauricio Macri, Argentina’s center-right president — who has repeatedly declared himself pro-life — to change his tune. Last week, he said that if congress votes to relax abortion laws on 20 March, he would not veto the decision…” (Goñi, 3/14).

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India's Drop In Child Marriage Might Not Reflect Realities Due To Underreporting, Regional Differences, Advocates Say

NPR: UNICEF’s Good News About Child Marriage Isn’t Quite As Good As It Sounds
“A report released this month by UNICEF has been cause for celebration in India, the country with the highest number of child marriages in South Asia each year. According to the newly released data, the annual number of child marriages in the country has dropped by nearly half in the last decade. … But several activists say the report may not quite reflect reality on the ground. There are two main issues: The numbers are likely not as low as they appear in the report. And they do not reflect the notable differences in the rate of child marriage in different parts of India…” (Sachdev, 3/14).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: India aims to eliminate TB by 2025 (Seiff/Cousins, 3/15).

Quartz: A new test can diagnose malaria in under two minutes — without taking blood (Makri, 3/13).

Reuters Health: Birth defect rate pegged at 7 percent for babies born to Zika-infected women (Emery, 3/14).

U.N. News: U.N. aid chief urges international support to tackle ‘spiraling humanitarian needs’ in DR Congo (3/14).

U.S. News & World Report: Air Pollution Linked to Fetal Brain Development Problems (Levy, 3/14).

Wall Street Journal: China’s Notorious Family Planning Agency Fades Into History (Qi/Wang, 3/15).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorials, Opinion Pieces Discuss U.S. Secretary Of State Rex Tillerson's Ouster, Nomination Of CIA Director Mike Pompeo As Replacement

The following editorials and opinion pieces discuss U.S. President Trump’s decision to replace Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo as secretary of state.

New York Times: Trump May Make America Miss Rex Tillerson (Editorial Board, 3/13).
Wall Street Journal: Pompeo’s Promise at State (Editorial Board, 3/13).
Washington Post: Trump humiliates Rex Tillerson for the last time (Editorial Board, 3/13).
Bloomberg View: Pompeo at State Would Send a Bad Message Globally (Alaimo, 3/13).
Washington Post: The tragedy of Secretary Tillerson’s last trip to Africa (Attiah, 3/14).
The Atlantic: The Rise of Right-Wing Foreign Policy in America (Beinart, 3/14).
The Hill: Rex Tillerson never stood a chance (Boyle, 3/14).
POLITICO: Tillerson Was a Disaster for the State Department. Can Pompeo Do Better? (Chaudhary, 3/14).
Foreign Policy: A Requiem for Rex’s Redesign (Goldenberg, 3/13).
New York Times: Samantha Power: How Mike Pompeo Could Save the State Department (Power, 3/13).
New York Times: Mike Pompeo Is Good for Diplomacy (Stephens, 3/15).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

ODI Experts Comment On China's New National Development And Cooperation Agency

Overseas Development Institute: China’s new development agency: five expert views
“China’s announcement that it will be setting up the National Development and Cooperation Agency — a new foreign aid agency — signals development is a critical state function deserving of dedicated high-level attention and institutional support. … Institutional reform was expected but what does this new architecture offer Chinese development cooperation and the world at large? Five of our experts offer their thoughts…” (3/14).

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New Innovation May Allow Global Community To Better Understand Environmental Enteric Dysfunction

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Innovation: A New Lens on Child Nutrition
Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED), which makes it “harder for children to extract essential nutrients from food.” Mundel highlights the work of Guillermo Tearney, a professor at Harvard Medical School who is developing “a device that allows us to take pictures of babies’ small intestines” in hopes of being able to better understand EED (3/13).

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Study Documents Legal, Clandestine Abortion Rates Among Ethiopian Adolescents

Guttmacher Institute: First Study on the Incidence of Abortion Among Ethiopian Adolescents Released
“A new study finds that adolescent women have benefited greatly from the 2005 expansion of Ethiopia’s abortion law that gave them access to safe, legal abortion services. [The study] documents for the first time legal and clandestine abortion rates among Ethiopian adolescents (aged 15-19), and the severity of abortion-related complications in this age group. The study found that adolescents are more likely than older women to obtain legal abortion services, and that complications from unsafe abortion are just as severe among adolescents as they are among other age groups…” (3/14).

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#MalariaMustDie Animated Video Highlights Progress Against Disease, Importance Of Continued Investments

Friends of the Global Fight: New Animation: #MalariaMustDie So Millions Can Live
Berk Ehrmantraut, communications intern at Friends of the Global Fight, discusses a new animated video from the #MalariaMustDie campaign, writing, “This video lays out the amazing progress the world has made in the fight against malaria, and the critical importance of continued investment to end this deadly epidemic” (3/14).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Remains Committed To Strengthening Human, Animal Health Systems To Prevent Future Outbreaks

USAID/Medium: Preventing the Next Outbreak
Richard Greene, USAID lead for the Global Health Security Agenda, discusses the U.S. government’s work in “building local expertise to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats before they spillover from animals to people” (3/13).

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