KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump's Rumored Top Pick For CDC Director Brings Clinical, Academic Experience; Some Question Past Views On HIV Prevention Strategies

Washington Post: Top candidate to lead CDC is an HIV/AIDS researcher
“The top candidate to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a longtime AIDS researcher who is well-respected for his clinical work but once took controversial positions on HIV testing. He has no apparent experience running a governmental public-health agency. Robert Redfield, a professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has emerged as the leading candidate to be CDC director, according to several public health sources…” (Sun/Crites, 3/16).

Becker’s Hospital Review: 7 things to know about the HIV/AIDS expert who could be next CDC chief
“AIDS researcher Robert Redfield, MD, has surfaced as the White House’s favored pick to lead the CDC. Here are seven things to know about Dr. Redfield…” (Gooch, 3/19).

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13M People In DR Congo Need Humanitarian Aid, U.N. Official, USAID Administrator Tell U.N. Security Council

Al Jazeera: UNSC: 13 million people need humanitarian aid in DR Congo
“Humanitarian needs caused by conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have doubled over the last year, the U.N. Security Council said. Speaking on Monday, the U.N.’s Under-Secretary-General Mark Lowcock said 13 million people are affected by internal conflict gripping the country and require humanitarian assistance…” (3/19).

VOA News: U.N.: $1.7 Billion Needed for DRC Humanitarian Crisis
“International donors will meet next month in Geneva to address the growing humanitarian disaster in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the lack of funding for 13 million people in dire need. … U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green said the United States and the international community should be ready to respond to the crisis…” (Besheer, 3/19).

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Climate Change Could Displace More Than 140M People By 2050 Without Efforts To Meet Paris Agreement Limits, World Bank Report Says

CNN: Climate change could create 143 million migrants, World Bank says
“Tens of millions of people in some of the world’s poorest areas could be displaced by climate change in just a few decades, the World Bank has warned in a report. The report, ‘Groundswell — Preparing for Internal Climate Migration,’ suggests that more than 143 million people across South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and Latin America are at risk of the effects of ‘slow-onset’ climate change…” (McKirdy, 3/20).

The Guardian: Climate change soon to cause mass movement, World Bank warns
“Climate change will result in a massive movement of people inside countries and across borders, creating ‘hotspots’ where tens of millions pour into already crowded slums, according to the World Bank. More than 140 million people in just three regions of the developing world are likely to migrate within their native countries between now and 2050, the first report on the subject has found…” (Harvey, 3/19).

National Geographic: 143 Million People May Soon Become Climate Migrants
“…Most of this population shift will take place in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America — three ‘hot spots’ that represent 55 percent of the developing world’s populations…” (Parker, 3/19).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Climate migration to surge by 2050 unless emissions are curbed — World Bank
“…Globally, the numbers of people forced to leave home because of water shortages, crop failures, sea-level rise, storm surges, and other climate threats are likely to be much higher, researchers said. But if global warming is effectively kept to limits set in the Paris Agreement on climate change, and people are helped to adapt, then the numbers migrating in the three regions will drop to about 40 million people, the study predicted…” (Whiting, 3/19).

TIME: 143 Million People Could Soon Be Displaced Because of Climate Change, World Bank Says
“…The shift will likely involve the poorest people from the poorest countries moving in large numbers from rural regions to increasingly overburdened urban areas. Without prior planning, such dramatic swells of migration could lead to major disruption and instability, the report says…” (Barron, 3/20).

VOA News: World Bank Says Climate Change Could Create 140 Million Migrants by 2050
“…The report recommends key actions to help prevent wide-scale climate migration: cutting global greenhouse gas emissions; improving development planning at the local level for climate migration; and investing in data to better understand climate migration trends in each country…” (3/19).

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Protectionist Policies, Climate Change Threaten Efforts To End Malnutrition, Improve Food Security, Report Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Climate change and protectionism could harm efforts to feed the world: report
“Rising protectionist and anti-trade sentiments threaten efforts to curb malnutrition even as more people go hungry and climate pressures rise, a U.S.-based think-tank said on Tuesday. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) noted the benefits of a free flow of goods — it improves the availability of food and keeps supplies stable, which prevents droughts from becoming famines. It also helps nutrition by ensuring food variety…” (Win, 3/20).

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Venezuela's Health System In Disarray Amid Economic Crisis, Survey Shows; TB Cases Increase Significantly

New York Times: ‘We’re Losing the Fight’: Tuberculosis Batters a Venezuela in Crisis
“…Tuberculosis, a disease that until recently seemed to be under control in Venezuela, is making an aggressive comeback, overwhelming a broken health care system ill equipped for its return, doctors and infectious disease specialists say. The illness — like malaria, diphtheria, and measles — has surged in Venezuela during a profound economic crisis that has battered almost every aspect of life and driven an exodus of Venezuelans, including many experienced doctors. … [A]t two vital tuberculosis centers in Caracas, the capital, the share of new patients who tested positive for the disease increased 40 percent or more in the last year alone. Some experts fear that the death rate associated with the illness has increased as well…” (Semple/Herrera, 3/20).

Reuters: Venezuelan health system decays further, opposition-led survey says
“Venezuela’s health system is sinking into further disarray, a survey led by the opposition-dominated Congress showed on Monday, with most hospitals plagued by water outages, unable to feed patients, and lacking even basic devices like catheters. In the midst of a crushing economic crisis that has caused medicine shortages and emigration of doctors, President Nicolas Maduro’s socialist government has stopped issuing weekly bulletins on health…” (Ulmer, 3/19).

Washington Post: Venezuelan hospitals are even worse off than we knew, an independent poll shows
“…The survey was conducted by Venezuela’s opposition-led National Assembly and the independent Doctors for Health Organization and went directly to doctors in 104 public and 33 private hospitals in 22 of 25 states. It found that drug shortages increased 33 percent over the past five years, reaching 88 percent in 2018, and that only about 10 percent of hospitals have fully functioning emergency and operating rooms. Even providing basic services has become an insurmountable task, according to the poll, with doctors in 79 percent of hospitals saying water is frequently unavailable and in 96 percent saying their kitchens cannot adequately feed patients…” (Krygier, 3/19).

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WSJ Examines Role Of Faith-Based Groups In Supplying Humanitarian Aid To North Korea

Wall Street Journal: The Last Americans in North Korea: Christian Missionaries
“…The international response to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s aggressive pursuit of nuclear-armed long-range missiles has been to squeeze commerce and reduce foreign aid. As a result, faith-based groups, which once accounted for a small proportion of aid to North Korea, now have an outsize role. … North Korea badly needs food and medicine, experts said. At least 40 percent of North Korea’s population is undernourished, and such diseases as tuberculosis and hepatitis are rampant, according to U.N. reports. In January, UNICEF said a slowdown in aid could lead to starvation for some 60,000 children…” (Lyons/Cheng, 3/19).

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Proposed Legislation In Myanmar Would Require Greater Oversight Of NGOs, U.N. Agencies, Raising Fears Of Restrictions

Washington Post: Burma considers law that could restrict work of United Nations, nongovernmental groups
“Burma’s government, struggling to handle accusations of ethnic cleansing over its treatment of Rohingya Muslims, is contemplating legislation that would seek greater oversight of the work of international nongovernmental organizations, including the United Nations, prompting concerns of a crackdown on their activities. The Draft Law on International Non-Governmental Organizations, a copy of which was reviewed by the Washington Post, contains a vague definition of the groups it would regulate, proposes monitoring of aid groups’ work by Burmese staff, and provides the affected organizations with few safeguards against the government suspending their work. This has led some groups to fear it could be used to restrict their work in Burma, which is also known as Myanmar…” (McLaughlin, 3/18).

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ICRC Head Of Health Discusses Efforts To Build Up Health Humanitarian Workforce In Devex Interview

Devex: Q&A: How to build a new health humanitarian workforce
“Just as the scale of health care needs in crisis contexts is surging, humanitarian groups are fighting their own battle for the human resources to respond. … Devex spoke to Esperanza Martinez, head of health at the International Committee of the Red Cross, about how the humanitarian sector is taking a proactive approach to building the health humanitarian workforce of the future — one that is fit for purpose in a world presenting unprecedented demands…” (Igoe, 3/20).

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Argentine Foundation Requests Government Reject Patent Request For HIV Drug Made By Gilead

SciDev.Net: Argentine NGO objects to antiretroviral patent request
“An Argentine foundation has asked the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI) to deny a patent request for an antiretroviral drug by the North American pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences Inc. … In Brazil the same request by Gilead was rejected in 2017…” (De Ambrosio, 3/19).

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More News In Global Health

ABC RN Breakfast: The end of epidemics (Kelly, 3/20).

Associated Press: Fake Hepatitis B vaccines found at Ugandan health facilities (3/19).

Devex: Progressing the SDGs: What are the barriers and solutions to national implementation? (Cornish, 3/19).

Devex: Challenging terrain slows Papua New Guinea earthquake response (Rogers, 3/19).

The Economist: Non-antibiotic drugs promote antibiotic resistance (3/19).

Global Health NOW: Live from New York, It’s #CUGH2018! (Simpson/Myers, 3/15).

Global Press Journal: Ugandan Mothers Opt for Traditional Birth Attendants Despite Risks, Illegality (Segawa, 3/18).

The Guardian: Life without toilets: the photographer tackling a global taboo (Bruce/Beaumont, 3/19).

New York Times: Palliative Care Film Challenges Stereotypes About Opioids (McNeil, 3/16).

NPR: Nigeria Faces Mystifying Spike In Deadly Lassa Fever (Beaubien, 3/19).

U.N. News: Lebanon: U.N. humanitarian fund to step up support for the most vulnerable (3/19).

U.N. News: Thousands suffering amid harrowing conditions in east Ghouta and Afrin — U.N. (3/19).

Vox: Melinda Gates on diversity in tech, ending malaria, and the problems money can’t solve (Klein, 3/19).

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Editorials and Opinions

Trump Administration 'Reversed Course' On Global Maternal Health Progress

Project Syndicate: Trump’s War on Maternal Health
Anne-Marie Slaughter, president and CEO of New America and professor emerita at Princeton University, and Elizabeth Radin, lecturer at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and technical director of the PHIA Project at ICAP at Columbia University

“…Many [maternal health] success stories were made possible through international development aid for maternal health, which increased steadily from 2010 to 2015. The United States has a proud, bipartisan history of leading such efforts. … Under President Donald Trump, however, the U.S. has reversed course. For starters, it has withdrawn funding from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)… Moreover, the Trump administration has expanded the ‘Mexico City Policy,’ also known as the ‘global gag rule,’… The Trump administration’s draconian approach is particularly dangerous for newborns and mothers. In many parts of the world, the grassroots organizations providing family planning services, maternal and child health care, HIV/AIDS prevention, and malaria treatment often represent the first and only line of defense for pregnant women at risk of complications. … [E]veryone should consider how much more attention and funding maternal and women’s health would get if women were more equally represented in government…” (3/19).

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U.S. State Department's Leadership Changes Do Not Bode Well For Africa Policy, Including Health, Development Initiatives

African Arguments: Tillerson didn’t do much for Africa. Pompeo could well be worse.
Johnnie Carson, senior adviser at the United States Institute of Peace

“When it comes to Africa, don’t expect much from the changes taking place at the U.S. State Department. … The Trump Administration has not made Africa a priority and the White House has failed to set out a comprehensive strategy or introduce any new policy initiatives regarding the continent. The appointment of CIA Director Michael Pompeo to replace former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will not lead to an uptick in interest or engagement. … Pompeo’s nomination to replace Tillerson is probably bad news for those who want to see the U.S. energize its engagement and lay out a comprehensive set of policies and programs regarding Africa’s economic, social, health, and trade challenges. It is probably good news for all those who believe America’s priority in Africa should be to expand security alliances to combat threats in Somalia, the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin. … The administration’s proposed … cut to USAID’s budget … will have a heavy and disproportionate impact on activities in Africa. Its draconian re-imposition of the Mexico City rule … stops money going to many organizations and programs that provide antiretroviral treatments under PEPFAR… It was widely rumoured that a respected former diplomat, Tibor Nagy, would be nominated shortly for the top Africa position in the State Department. But that nomination will probably not move forward in advance of Pompeo’s confirmation…” (3/19).

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International Community Should Support Creation Of New U.S. Development Finance Corporation

Devex: Opinion: The new U.S. DFI deserves the development community’s support. Here’s why.
Conor M. Savoy, director of policy and advocacy at the Global Innovation Fund

“Right now, there are budding entrepreneurs and innovators in developing countries with ideas that could help lift their communities out of poverty, improve health and education outcomes, and create sustainable economic development. … Mobilizing capital to support these innovations and achieve the broader Sustainable Development Goals is a critical challenge for the international development community in the next decade. … The proposed new development finance institution included in the President’s FY 2019 budget request and legislation introduced in the House and Senate is potentially game-changing for U.S. development finance and would help better mobilize private capital for development outcomes. … At a time of uncertainty about the United States’ role as an international development leader, the [potential creation of an U.S. international development finance corporation (IDFC)] is a glimmer of hope that deserves the international development community’s support…” (3/19).

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UNICEF Remains Committed To Providing WASH To Children, Others Affected By Conflict, Disaster

Inter Press Service: Water, Sanitation & Hygiene: First Response in Conflicts & Natural Disasters
Sanjay Wijesekera, global chief of water, sanitation & hygiene at UNICEF

“…For those of us lucky enough to have easy access to drinking water and a functioning toilet — the lack of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) is not a major concern. But for the one in four children around the world who live in countries affected by conflict or disaster, it is an overwhelming preoccupation and a matter of survival. In times of conflict, more children tend to die from diseases caused by unclean water and poor sanitation than from direct violence. … Over the past six years, I have witnessed the humanitarian response of delivering water, sanitation, and hygiene in times of conflict and disaster. I’ve seen the profound impact it has for children who have lost so much and yet remain incredibly resilient. We share the strength and determination of children … and the women and girls in [refugee situations], and we remain committed to preserving the rights of every child to water, sanitation, and hygiene” (3/19).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

PAI Discusses Trump Administration's Withholding Of UNFPA Funding For 2nd Year

PAI: A Bad Joke: Trump-Pence Administration Doubles Down On UNFPA Funding Cut On International Women’s Day
This piece discusses the Trump administration’s decision to withhold funding for UNFPA for a second year and provides background on the Kemp-Kasten determination and the legislative details related to the withholding of funds (3/15).

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MFAN Examines OMB's Guidance For Foreign Aid Agencies' M&E Of Assistance Programs

MFAN: Kudos to OMB for Strong Evaluation Guidelines, What’s Next for Implementation?
Lori Groves Rowley, director of global food security and aid effectiveness programs at the Lugar Center, and Nora O’Connell, associate vice president for policy and public advocacy at Save the Children, both co-chairs of MFAN’s Accountability and Country Ownership Working Group, discuss the Office of Management and Budget’s recent issuance of guidance to foreign aid agencies regarding the monitoring and evaluation of assistance programs. They write, “While we and the community remain deeply concerned about drastic budget cuts to development and foreign assistance, this guidance shows that the Trump administration also fully intends to work with Congress to improve these programs — both for the people across the globe they serve and for the U.S. taxpayers who fund them” (3/19).

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Post Summarizes Podcast From Wilson Center Event On Reducing Health System Barriers To Improve RMNCAH Services

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Maternal Health Experts: Strategic Partnerships and Data Key to Strengthening Health Systems
Yuval Cohen, intern with the Maternal Health Initiative at the Wilson Center, summarizes a podcast recorded during a February 27 Wilson Center event addressing health system barriers to improving reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH) services (3/16).

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Blog Post Discusses Philippines' Dengue Vaccine Controversy

AEI’s “AEIdeas”: Dengue, vaccines, and Philippine hysteria
Roger Bate, visiting scholar at AEI, discusses the dengue vaccine controversy in the Philippines, including the role of media (3/19).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Administrator Mark Green Speaks At U.N. About Humanitarian Crisis In DRC

USAID: USAID Administrator Mark Green’s Remarks at the U.N. Security Council Briefing on the Situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
USAID Administrator Mark Green spoke at the United Nations on Monday about the worsening humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, calling for the DRC government to take several actions to address the situation, and for the international community to do more. He said, “We can insist upon timely elections, demand the freedoms that make those elections credible, require protection for brave humanitarian workers, and ensure that everyone does their part to ease citizen suffering, especially the DRC government itself…” (3/19).

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