KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Obama Commends U.S. Role In Liberian Ebola Outbreak, As Sirleaf Johnson Requests Continued Assistance In White House Meeting

The Hill: Obama touts Ebola progress with Liberian president
“President Obama touted progress on stopping Ebola in a meeting with Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Friday. The number of cases has fallen 95 percent from its peak, down to a ‘handful’ a week, Obama said…” (Sullivan, 2/27).

New York Times: Liberia’s President Urges U.S. to Continue Ebola Aid
“…In a meeting at the White House with President Obama, Ms. Johnson Sirleaf asked for help with power projects to keep the country’s hospitals and new treatment centers running, for clean water and sanitation facilities to stop the disease from spreading, and for road construction to make it easier for sick people in rural areas to get to hospitals…” (Cooper, 2/27).

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U.S. Military Transitions Out Of Ebola Response Efforts In Liberia Following Successful Mission, According To Leadership

DoD News: U.S. Added Speed, Scale to West Africa Ebola Fight
“Since Sept. 2014, when U.S. Army Africa leadership arrived in Liberia to help contain the historic outbreak of Ebola virus disease in West Africa, the United States is transitioning its contributions to civilian and nongovernmental organizations there as the World Health Organization reports a drop in confirmed cases…” (Pellerin, 2/27).

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HIV/AIDS Care, Treatment Interrupted In Sierra Leone Because Of Ebola Epidemic, UNDP Report Says

Intellectual Property Watch: Ebola Crisis Has Severe Impact On AIDS Response In Sierra Leone, UNDP Report Says
“According to an internal report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Global Fund Partnership team, the Ebola epidemic has virtually halted national HIV efforts in Sierra Leone. In particular, patients stopped their treatments and the supply chain was disrupted…” (Saez, 2/27).

Reuters: Ebola halts HIV progress in Sierra Leone, says U.N.
“…In an internal document seen by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) raised concerns that HIV prevalence and drug resistance in the country could increase as a result [of the Ebola epidemic]…” (Hussain, 2/27).

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Partners Hope Mental Health Services Project Will Help Foster Economic Growth In Liberia

Devex: Can mental health services spur economic growth in Ebola-affected West Africa?
“The World Bank and the Liberian government, in partnership with the government of Japan, launched Wednesday a project designed to tackle unaddressed psychological trauma in Liberian communities affected by protracted civil war and a relentless Ebola outbreak. Developers of the project hope that an increased focus on mental health will help spur economic recovery and growth in the devastated region…” (Tyson, 2/27).

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More West African Ebola Patients Surviving For Unknown Reasons, MSF Says

New York Times: Fatality Rate Is Falling in West African Ebola Clinics
“As the Ebola epidemic in West Africa wanes, physicians from Doctors Without Borders are confronting a mystery: More of their patients are surviving. They do not know why…” (McNeil, 2/26).

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Pakistani Provincial Police Issue Arrest Warrants For Parents Who Refuse Polio Vaccinations For Children

New York Times: Pakistani Officials Issue Arrest Warrants Over Refusals of Polio Vaccine
“Determined to curb Pakistan’s polio crisis, police officials in the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa said Friday that they had issued hundreds of arrest warrants for parents for refusing to vaccinate their children…” (Khan, 2/27).

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In Series On Polio's Resurgence In Pakistan, National Geographic Profiles Doctor Who Helped CIA Identify Bin Laden In 2011

National Geographic: He Led the CIA to bin Laden — and Unwittingly Fueled a Vaccine Backlash
“In his native Pakistan, Dr. Shakil Afridi is considered a traitor by many people for helping the Central Intelligence Agency track down and kill Osama bin Laden. In the United States, he is hailed as a hero. In global health circles, his story is a cautionary tale about the consequences that can spiral out of control when health professionals get too close to intelligence operations…” (Mullaney/Hassan, 2/27).

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Malawi Risks Widespread Cholera Outbreak Following Floods, U.N. Warns, Urges Action

U.N. News Centre: Humanitarian community must move quickly to halt cholera spread in Malawi — U.N.
“With 39 cases of cholera in the last two weeks, including two deaths, the United Nations children’s agency in Malawi is on high alert for spread in southern border areas where highly populated camps for people displaced by the floods are located, according to a press statement released [Friday]…” (2/27).

VOA News: Cholera Outbreak In Malawi Causes Concern
“…U.N. aid workers are alarmed at the prospect of a large, nationwide outbreak of cholera in Malawi. This is because the disease is located in the southern border areas where flood victims are living in overcrowded camps, an environment in which cholera flourishes…” (Schlein, 2/27).

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Proposal Would Limit International Access To Ketamine, Drug Used As Anesthetic In C-Sections, Campaigners Say

The Verge: Plan to crack down on ketamine puts millions of women at risk, say campaigners
“A new proposal to limit access to ketamine around the world would have a devastating effect on the health of millions of women in poorer countries, say campaigners. Although in developed nations ketamine is known primarily as a party drug, in lower income countries it’s one of the most widely used anesthetics available, and is particularly notable for its use during caesarean sections…” (Vincent, 2/27).

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Editorials and Opinions

Innovation, 'Diversity Of Approaches' Needed To End Global Hunger

The Guardian: Wanted: innovative ideas on how to feed nine billion people
Gerda Verburg, chair of the U.N. Committee on World Food Security

“…As daunting as it may be, there are many opportunities available if we are willing to think smarter and use all our individual strength and the tools available to collectively end hunger. We need to stop approaching food and nutrition security in silos and fully embrace the linkages in order to take necessary action. … If we are serious about our commitment to end hunger in our lifetimes, then we must build bridges across existing divides — between rich and poor nations, industry and civil society, and so on. Out of a diversity of voices will come a diversity of approaches” (2/27).

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SDGs Should Include Specific Indicators To Mark Improvements In Reducing Maternal, Newborn Mortality

Washington Post: Letter to the Editor: Strengthen the commitment to save new mothers and newborns
Carolyn Miles, president and chief executive of Save the Children USA

“…[Michael Gerson’s Feb. 24 op-ed column, ‘Saving lives at the start,’] comes at a critical time when the United Nations and stakeholders are reexamining their health priorities for the next 15 years. Last May, health ministers from 194 countries at the World Health Assembly adopted the Every Newborn Action Plan, a critically important step in helping countries focus more on improving care during pregnancy, childbirth, and the weeks after birth. This year, as the United Nations develops human development goals for maternal and newborn health, it needs also to set specific indicators to mark progress in reducing maternal and newborn deaths…” (3/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Toolkit Aims To Help Integrate LGBT Rights Into Development Programming

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: New Tools for LGBT-Inclusive Development
Laura Adams, an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at USAID, writes about the launch of a USAID “publication to help development professionals implement LGBT-inclusive programs in the countries of Europe and Eurasia: the Toolkit for Integrating LGBT Rights Activities into Programming in the E&E Region” (2/27).

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Blog Post Summarizes Kerry's Congressional Testimony On State, USAID Budget

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: The FY 2016 State Department and USAID Budget: A Statement of U.S. Priorities and Values
Hari Sastry, director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Assistance Resources, and Barbara Retzlaff, director of the Bureau of Budget and Planning at the U.S. Department of State, discuss Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent congressional testimony regarding the State Department and USAID budget. “…The Secretary underscored how the budget request would promote American leadership as well as national security, diplomatic, and development priorities in pursuit of global stability and economic prosperity…” (2/27).

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State Department Fact Sheet On U.S.-Liberia Relations Includes Information On Ebola Efforts

U.S. Department of State: U.S.-Liberia Relationship
This fact sheet describes several areas of cooperation between the U.S. and Liberia, including efforts to halt the Ebola epidemic (2/27).

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Global Fund, Health Partners Discuss Equitable Access Initiative To Establish Better Access To Health Resources

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Health Partners Begin Building a New Approach to Ensure Equitable Access to Medicines
The announcement describes a recent meeting of global health partners to discuss the “Equitable Access Initiative, [a new framework that] aims to better inform international decision making processes on health and development, particularly where they rely on traditional gross-national-income classification as a measure of where to invest global health resources…” (2/26).

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Health Affairs Study Examines Public Health Care Perceptions In Sub-Saharan Africa

Health Affairs Blog: Health Affairs Web First: Assessing Health And Health Care Perceptions In sub-Saharan Africa
Chris Fleming, social media manager at Health Affairs, writes, “…The authors of a February 25 Health Affairs Web First study used data from the Gallup Organization’s 2012 World Poll to investigate health and health care perceptions in sub-Saharan Africa compared to other regions of the world. … When asked in 2012 whether their health care has improved over the previous five years, the poll found that public perceptions were positively related to the prevalence of HIV only in the countries with the highest prevalence…” (2/27).

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Analysis Examines Framework Convention for Tobacco Control On 10th Anniversary

Council on Foreign Relations: The Tobacco Treaty Turns Ten
Thomas J. Bollyky, senior fellow for global health, economics, and development, and David P. Fidler, visiting fellow for cybersecurity, discuss the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control (FCTC), which recognized its 10th anniversary on February 27. “…A decade later, the FCTC has been ratified by 180 countries representing nearly 90 percent of the world’s population. It is a qualified success for improving tobacco control. Yet the reasons for its success are unlikely to be replicated for other global health threats, and the convention offers lessons on the limits of improving global health through international law…” (2/27).

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First Blog Post In Series Examines History Of Artemisinin Development

Council on Foreign Relations’ “Asia Unbound”: Artemisinin’s Rocky Road to Globalization: Part I
Yanzhong Huang, CFR senior fellow for global health, examines the history of artemisinin drug development in China during the Cold War era. “…It would take another two decades before [artemisinin-combination therapies (ACTs)] were officially adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) as frontline drugs in the global fight against malaria. Paradoxically, even today artemisinin-based drugs made in China only accounts for one percent of the international market share. Why? This will be the subject of my next blog post” (2/27).

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March 2015 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The March 2015 WHO Bulletin includes news, research, and policy articles on various topics, as well as editorials on the South African census and maternal mortality and morbidity in the U.S. (March 2015).

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