KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

HIV Researcher Robert Redfield Named CDC Director; Some U.S. Lawmakers, Advocates Raise Concerns Over Past Research Practices, Policy Stances, Limited Government Experience

Associated Press: Leading AIDS researcher selected as CDC director
“A leading AIDS researcher was picked Wednesday to run the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the federal government’s top public health agency. Dr. Robert Ray Redfield Jr., who rose to prominence in the 1980s as a top researcher into the emerging AIDS epidemic, has been named to the post by U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar…” (Stobbe, 3/21).

Baltimore Sun: University of Maryland AIDS expert named new CDC director
“…Health Secretary Alex Azar lauded Redfield for his contribution to advancing the understanding of HIV/AIDS. His most recent work was running a treatment center for HIV and hepatitis C patients that Azar said will prepare Redfield for fighting the opioid epidemic, one of the CDC’s most pressing issues…” (McDaniels, 3/21).

The Hill: HIV expert named CDC director
“…Robert Redfield, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, replaces Brenda Fitzgerald, who resigned as CDC director in late January following reports that she purchased stock in tobacco companies…” (Hellmann, 3/21).

Kaiser Health News: Research Misconduct Allegations Shadow New CDC Head
“The Trump administration announced that HIV expert Dr. Robert Redfield will lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ignoring complaints that his work on a high-profile vaccine research more than 20 years ago was flawed. The Army in 1994 acknowledged accuracy issues with HIV vaccine clinical trials led by Redfield, but concluded at the time that the data errors did not constitute misconduct…” (Taylor, 3/21).

New York Times: AIDS Researcher Robert R. Redfield Named to Lead the CDC
“…News of Dr. Redfield’s appointment has revived criticisms about some of his policy stances and research practices that date back to an earlier period in the AIDS epidemic. He came under fire for advocating broad AIDS testing and the screening of military personnel for the virus…” (Kaplan, 3/21).

Wall Street Journal: Robert Redfield Named to Head Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
“…[S]ome Democrats have already said they oppose his nomination. ‘I write with concern about your administration’s consideration of Dr. Robert Redfield to lead the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), given his lack of public health credentials and his history of controversial positions regarding the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS,’ Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) wrote in a March 19 letter to President Donald Trump. The position doesn’t require Senate confirmation…” (Armour, 3/21).

Washington Post: Longtime AIDS researcher Robert Redfield picked to lead CDC
“…While Redfield’s supporters point to his strong background in infectious disease and global health, public health experts inside and outside the agency say one of his biggest challenges will be his limited governmental public health experience, especially involving emergency responses. Many had hoped the administration would pick Acting Director Anne Schuchat, 58, who has nearly three decades of experience at CDC and is highly regarded within the administration and on Capitol Hill. Azar thanked Schuchat for stepping in, the second time she has done so in the last year. … With infectious disease outbreaks on the rise, the CDC plays a critical role in detecting, preventing and controlling their spread…” (Sun/Crites, 3/21).

Additional reporting on this story is available from The Hill, Nature, Reuters, POLITICO, and Science.

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U.S. Congressional Leaders Agree To $1.3T Omnibus Spending Bill, Largely Reject Deep Cuts To Science Agencies

New York Times: Congressional Leaders Agree on $1.3 Trillion Spending Bill as Deadline Looms
“With government funding set to run out this weekend, congressional leaders agreed on a voluminous $1.3 trillion spending bill on Wednesday that would beef up domestic and military programs and keep the government open through September…” (Kaplan/Davis, 3/21).

Science: Science gets a major boost in 2018 U.S. spending deal
“…Lawmakers [Wednesday night] released a $1.3 trillion spending package that largely rejects deep cuts to research agencies proposed by President Donald Trump, and in many cases provides substantial increases. Congress is expected to vote on the deal by the end of the week, barring last minute obstacles…” (3/21).

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U.S. Lawmakers Express Concern Over Trump Administration's Proposal To Cut USAID Budget As Agency's Administrator Testifies Before House Foreign Affairs Committee

VOA News: Lawmakers Question Foreign Development Aid Chief on Impact of U.S. Budget Cuts
“Proposed cuts in the 2019 foreign assistance budget could jeopardize U.S. security and democracy-building efforts abroad, U.S. lawmakers warned the director for the U.S. Agency for International Development at a hearing Wednesday…” (Gypson, 3/21).

Washington Post: Head of USAID defends big cuts in foreign aid budget
“…The criticisms arose as Mark Green, the administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, testified Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee about [proposed cuts] in his budget … As it did last year, the Trump administration is encountering bipartisan resistance to steep reductions for diplomacy and foreign aid. … ‘I readily admit this budget does not allow us to do everything we might want to do in a perfect world, and it does not allow us to take on every opportunity we might see,’ [Green] said. ‘The president is attempting to balance what he sees is needed for the security of our citizens, advancing American leadership and our commitment to efficiency and effectiveness’…” (Morello, 3/21).

Washington Times: USAID funding ‘shouldn’t be shorted,’ Rep. Ed Royce says
“The Republican head of the House Foreign Affairs Committee sharply criticized President Trump’s proposal to cut USAID funding … Wednesday, saying the reduction will negatively impact American-led efforts to combat terrorists, address future health threats, and promote democracy around the world. ‘These efforts shouldn’t be shorted,’ said Rep. Ed Royce of California, who lamented the proposed cuts come ‘at a time when more than 65 million people have been displaced by conflict and famine looms in at least four countries’…” (Taylor, 3/21).

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U.S. Participation In Global Health Security Agenda Continues, Faces Critical Juncture

Homeland Preparedness News: U.S. at critical juncture with Global Health Security Agenda
“…On March 26-28, the United States will participate in the next GHSA high-level meeting being held in Tbilisi, Georgia, on biosurveillance of infectious disease threats … ‘Emerging infectious diseases affect developing countries, but they also affect wealthy countries. No country is immune,’ Dr. Anne Schuchat, [then] acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said last week. … ‘We are at a critical time,’ [Jen Kates, vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF),] said during a March 12 KFF event to take stock thus far of the U.S. government’s support of global health security. … ‘What we have is a situation where there is episodic and non-permanent influxes [of funding] when there’s an outbreak and a return to these normal levels that many experts say are insufficient,’ Kates said. … In fact, much of the Ebola funding for the GHSA — which primarily went to the CDC — is due to expire at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2019, she added. … Despite the encroaching funding cliff, GHSA efforts continue and the U.S. will participate in the upcoming meeting in Georgia, which is the lead country for the Real-Time Surveillance Action Package, one of the 11 GHSA Action Packages. … Such ongoing global health security collaboration is vital, CDC’s Schuchat said in her keynote address during the March 12 KFF event in Washington, D.C…” (Riley, 3/21).

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Less Than One-Third Of Pledged Ebola Recovery Funds Have Been Disbursed, Tracking System Shows

Wall Street Journal: Ebola Funds Pledged for Recovery Are Slow to Come
“Less than a third of the $4.5 billion pledged in 2015 to help three countries in West Africa recover from a devastating Ebola epidemic is reported to have been disbursed, according to a new tracking initiative developed by the United Nations and their three governments. The U.S., World Bank, African Development Bank, and at least 17 other donors had committed funds to help Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone stabilize their economies and strengthen their health systems to prevent another epidemic. … As of late January, those donors had disbursed $1.32 billion of the total amount pledged, according to the Ebola Recovery Tracking Initiative, formed by the office of Paul Farmer, the U.N. secretary general’s special adviser on Community-Based Medicine and Lessons from Haiti. … A U.S. Agency for International Development official said that as of six months ago, the agency had disbursed more than $310 million for recovery and rebuilding, exceeding the pledged amount. … Dr. Farmer’s office said it was unable to obtain any disbursement data from six donors, which pledged a total of $1.36 billion…” (McKay, 3/20).

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Trump Administration Supports Limiting Junk Food Warning Labels In Nafta Talks; Experts Worry Position Could Hurt Efforts To Contain Obesity

New York Times: In Nafta Talks, U.S. Tries to Limit Junk Food Warning Labels
“The contentious negotiations over the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement have veered into one of the world’s most pressing health issues: fighting obesity. Urged on by big American food and soft-drink companies, the Trump administration is using the trade talks with Mexico and Canada to try to limit the ability of the pact’s three members — including the United States — to warn consumers about the dangers of junk food, according to confidential documents outlining the American position. … [H]ealth officials worry that [the administration’s position] would also impede international efforts to contain a growing health crisis…” (Ahmed et al., 3/20).

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USAID To Provide $2.5M In Emergency Food, Medical Aid To Colombia To Assist With Venezuelan Migrants

Reuters: U.S. gives $2.5 million emergency aid for Venezuelans fleeing to Colombia
“The United States will provide $2.5 million in food and medical aid to Venezuelans fleeing their economically crippled country to neighboring Colombia and is poised to help other countries if the situation worsens, U.S. officials said on Tuesday…” (Wroughton/Chiacu, 3/20).

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PEPFAR, UNAIDS Representatives Encourage More Nigerian Ownership Of Nation's HIV/AIDS Programs

Premium Times: Own the fight against HIV/AIDS, U.S. urges Nigeria
“The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and the Joint United Nations Programme for HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), have urged the Nigerian government to ‘own the HIV response program’ by assisting in reducing the cost of placing people living with HIV/AIDS on treatment. … In his welcome address, the Director General of the National Agency for Control of AIDS (NACA), Sani Aliyu, called for more efficient utilization of resources in the fight against HIV/AIDS…” (Adebowale, 3/20).

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South Sudan Eliminates Guinea Worm Transmission Through Partnership With Carter Center

Associated Press: Guinea worm disease transmission stopped in South Sudan
“South Sudan has gone 15 months without a single reported case of Guinea worm disease, the nation’s health minister said Wednesday, suggesting a major victory for global health officials trying to eliminate the painful affliction…” (Nadler, 3/21).

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Carter Center: South Sudan stops transmission of Guinea worm disease
“… ‘This is a great achievement for our young nation,’ South Sudan Health Minister Dr. Riek Gai Kok said at a press conference during the the global Guinea Worm Eradication Program’s 22nd annual review at the Carter Center in Atlanta. ‘Today, the dream has come true’…” (Vejnoska, 3/21).

CNN: South Sudan reaches milestone in eradicating debilitating Guinea worm
“…Former President Jimmy Carter’s organization has led global efforts in eradicating Guinea worm. … Guinea worm is set to become only the second human disease in history to be eradicated, after smallpox was vanquished in 1980. But unlike smallpox, Guinea worm is a parasitic disease and cannot be treated with vaccines. It requires enormous lifestyle changes, education and diligence. Given those challenges and the unrest South Sudan has seen since it gained independence in 2011, the Guinea worm announcement is monumental…” (Basu, 3/21).

NPR: ‘Amazing’ News About The Awful Guinea Worm
“…The country reported zero cases in 2017 and hasn’t had a case in 15 months. There are also no signs Guinea worm is circulating in dogs in South Sudan, as it is in Chad and Mali. … Back in the mid-80s, more than three million people were catching the parasite each year. Now Guinea worm is circulating in only three countries: Ethiopia, Mali, and Chad. Last year, there were only 30 human cases worldwide…” (Doucleff, 3/21).

VOA News: South Sudan Eliminates Guinea Worm
“…South Sudan’s health minister says the accomplishment would not have been possible without the partnership between South Sudan’s health ministry and the Carter Center, named after former U.S. president Jimmy Carter, which the minister credits with setting up infrastructures and programs to rid the country of the disease. ‘And to us as South Sudanese, we feel we have contributed to the common cause of humanity, of our day today, that we have played our part of realizing that dream of eradicating and ridding the world of this debilitating disease called the Guinea worm,’ Kok said…” (Bior, 3/21).

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New Guttmacher Institute Report Examines Worldwide Variations In Abortion Incidence, Safety, Laws

CNN: Abortion restrictions don’t lower rates, report says
“Laws that seek to limit abortions around the world may not lower the rate of abortions but could make them less safe, according to a new report that illustrates the trend…” (Nedelman, 3/21).

The Guardian: Abortion rates drop dramatically — but only in rich countries
“Rates of abortion have dropped significantly across the world in the past quarter-century, but the decline has been predominantly in the developed world, according to a report…” (McVeigh, 3/21).

NBC News: Abortion rates go down when countries make it legal: report
“…Countries with the most restrictive abortion laws also have the highest rates of abortion, the study by the Guttmacher Institute found. Easier access to birth control drives down abortion rates, the report also finds. The report finds about 56 million abortions occur every year — nearly 50 million of them in developing countries. About a quarter of all pregnancies end in abortion…” (Fox, 3/20).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Nearly half of abortions worldwide are unsafe, putting thousands at risk — study
“Nearly half of the estimated 56 million abortions carried out worldwide each year are unsafe, leading to the deaths of at least 22,800 women every year, according to a major study published on Tuesday. Abortion bans do not stop women having terminations, but do increase the risk that they will resort to dangerous measures to end unwanted pregnancies, the Guttmacher Institute said in the most comprehensive report on global abortion trends in a decade…” (Batha, 3/20).

U.S. News & World Report: Abortion Rates: Where and Why They’re Falling
“…Globally from 2010 through 2014, 35 abortions were performed per 1,000 women of reproductive age, down from 40 abortions per 1,000 women. The decrease was driven primarily by reductions in countries with liberal abortion laws, where abortion rates dropped from 46 per 1,000 women to 27. Conversely, developing regions — including 93 percent of the countries with the most restrictive abortion laws — saw only a drop from 39 to 36 abortions per 1,000 women…” (Levy, 3/21).

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Recognizing World Water Day, Reports, Media Outlets Warn Water Inequality Increasing In Many Nations, Cities

The Guardian: More than 800m people need to travel 30 mins for safe water, report finds
“Water inequality is increasing in the world’s most environmentally stressed nations, warn the authors of a report that shows more than 800 million people need to travel and queue for at least 30 minutes to access safe supplies…” (Watts, 3/21).

National Geographic: From Not Enough to Too Much, the World’s Water Crisis Explained
“…Fourteen of the world’s 20 megacities are now experiencing water scarcity or drought conditions. As many as four billion people already live in regions that experience severe water stress for at least one month of the year, according to a 2016 study in the journal Science Advances. Nearly half of those people live in India and China. With populations rising, these stresses will only mount…” (Leahy, 3/22).

Quartz: In Europe, 14 people die each day from unsafe water, sanitation, and poor hygiene
“It’s World Water Day on Mar. 22, and the World Health Organization wants to remind Europe that many people in the region, classified as 53 countries, drink dirty water — and many people don’t even realize it. Consequently, it says over 5,000 people in Europe die each year from diarrheal disease due to inadequate water, sanitation, and hygiene…” (Brindad, 3/21).

U.N. News: Studying water scarcity trends, helping communities adapt can ease migration pressures, says U.N. agency
“Water scarcity and poor access to safe water sources pose major challenges for two-thirds of the world’s population, the United Nations food security agency said Tuesday, warning that worsening shortages could soon force people to leave their communities…” (3/20).

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: WHO says tainted food outbreak threatens 16 African nations (3/21).

The Atlantic: The Blesser’s Curse (Khazan, 3/22).

CNN: Anemia doubles risk of death for pregnant women, study finds (Wu, 3/20).

Deutsche Welle: International development: Poor data hold back human progress (Niranjan, 3/22).

Devex: Why governments tiptoe around the word ‘cholera’ (Jerving, 3/21).

Inc.: How a Former White House Senior Advisor Hopes to Use Blockchain to Help Solve Global Health Issues (Heitner, 3/18).

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Known unknowns and unknown unknowns (Burki, April 2018).

News Deeply Malnutrition Deeply: No Solution in Sight for Venezuela’s Growing Nutrition Crisis (Chang, 3/20).

NPR: Why An Imperfect HIV Vaccine Could Be Better Than None At All (Fitzsimons, 3/21).

Pharmaceutical Journal: Q&A: Dame Sally Davies — protecting antibiotics for the future (3/21).

PM News: Bill Gates, Dangote, Six Govs Sign MoU On Immunization (3/21).

SciDev.Net: Revaccination could prevent TB infection by 45 percent (Makoni, 3/20).

STAT: When towns lose their newspapers, disease detectives are left flying blind (Branswell, 3/20).

VOA News: Child Meningitis Remains a Challenge for Sub-Saharan Africa, India (Corben, 3/20).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Role Of U.S. Investments In Global Health

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Lassa fever and global health security
Editorial Board

“…[F]unding for the CDC’s work on the Global Health Security Agenda is set to end in 2019, and under the Trump administration’s America First approach there is little prospect of renewal. … The timing of this news is all the more notable as it comes during Nigeria’s Lassa fever epidemic. … In short, Lassa fever is precisely the kind of pathogen that the Global Health Security Agenda is designed to counter. … The epidemic is not yet the threat to regional and international health that Ebola was. Next time, the global health community may not be so lucky. The acceleration in R&D borne out of the Ebola virus disease epidemic … [is] an essential part of pandemic prevention. … But new high-tech treatments, diagnostics, and vaccines will not be enough. Strengthening health systems, ensuring basic laboratory capacity, and sharpening surveillance and emergency responses are also needed — just the sort of activities that the Global Health Security Agenda is working to ensure. The U.S. administration seems intent on pulling away from its primacy in global health security. Who will fill the void?” (April 2018).

STAT: Shortchanging global health now will cost us later
Ashley Arabasadi, health security policy adviser at Management Sciences for Health

“…[T]here should be little resistance to the notion that it is in our country’s interest to fund programs that detect and contain diseases at their source. … Strategic investments in public and animal health and pandemic preparedness need to be a national security priority of governments and a key commitment from multilateral agencies, development banks, NGOs, academia, and private sector stakeholders worldwide. When calculated in terms of lives lost, economic meltdowns, and global instability, infectious disease outbreaks can cause catastrophic losses when not stopped at the source. Doing that requires investing in the CDC and USAID, and the programs and people watching and working in vulnerable countries. Now is not the time to scale back” (3/21).

Sun Sentinel: Advocating locally for global health
Renee Lewis, executive director of Project Medishare

“…Being at the forefront of health care in Haiti, I have witnessed the overall progress made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria over the years, not only in rural communities but countrywide. Part of the reason is because Haiti is one of 13 PEPFAR priority countries in the world. … Another reason is because of the support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria … Within the month, Congress’ planning session for the 2019 federal budget will soon begin, and Sen. Marco Rubio [(R-Fla.)] will have the opportunity to lead on the Appropriations Committee to restore this funding to fiscal year 2017 levels to continue the momentum of incredible progress of saving millions of lives, around the world and in Haiti. … We urge Sen. Rubio to do everything he can to continue fighting for steady U.S. support of the Global Fund, PEPFAR, and the humanitarian leadership that is a deep source of pride for America” (3/21).

Contagion Live: U.S. Investment in Global Health Security — A Good Return
Saskia Popescu, hospital epidemiologist and infection preventionist with Phoenix Children’s Hospital

“…[D]espite the importance of global health security and the [Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA)], its future is in jeopardy as [U.S.] funding [for CDC’s work on the GHSA] is set to run [out] by the end of 2019. … Currently, there are 60 countries that participate in the GHSA, and the United States either leads or significantly contributes to several of its action packages. … [W]ithout the United States leading and encouraging such efforts, the future of global health security and American biodefense is at stake” (3/21).

News & Observer: To keep NC healthy, protect global health programs
Christopher A. LeGrand, president of DAI Global Health, board chair of the Triangle Global Health Consortium, and member of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s North Carolina Advisory Committee

“…U.S. investments in global health programs not only save lives around the world, they help keep North Carolinians healthy here at home — which is why everyone in the Tar Heel State should be alarmed by the administration’s latest budget request. … We cannot close ourselves off to the world and pretend that health threats overseas don’t impact us here at home. … Congress has a responsibility to ensure we’re doing everything we can to fight disease outbreaks wherever they occur. I urge the entire North Carolina delegation in Congress to fully fund America’s International Affairs Budget” (3/20).

New York Times: Letter to the editor: Preventing the Next Ebola
Ziya Zhang of Berkeley, California

“[In response to the March 13 New York Times article titled,] ‘White House Hails Success of Disease-Preventing Program, and Plans Deep Cuts,’ about proposed funding cuts for the Global Health Security Agenda: … [T]he ever-present risk of an epidemic is a reminder that we live in an interconnected and interdependent world. … Applying an ‘America first’ attitude to epidemic prevention would allow for the growth and spread of disease reservoirs and would, in effect, be putting America last. … We must treat threats to other countries’ health as if they were threats to our own health and advocate for global health just as we would for domestic issues” (3/20).

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U.S. Should Restore Funding For UNRWA To Avoid Humanitarian, Water 'Catastrophe' In Gaza

Inter Press Service: Restoring U.S. Aid Crucial to Avoid a Water Catastrophe in Gaza
Matthias Schmale, director of operations in Gaza for UNRWA

“…The recent decision by the United States to reduce funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) jeopardizes its role as a critical source of clean drinking water when Gaza’s supplies slow to a drip. … The U.S. funding reduction also jeopardizes UNRWA’s operations, including our life-saving provision of emergency water to Palestine refugees, our critical sanitation programs, and the international community’s long-term efforts to rebuild Gaza’s water treatment infrastructure. … Without UNRWA acting as an essential back-stop, Gaza’s ongoing water crisis could quickly devolve into a dramatic humanitarian catastrophe, affecting regional stability and undermining efforts to establish a lasting peace. The U.S. should reconsider its reduction of funding. It is in the interests of Gaza’s neighbors and would restore some hope for a life of greater dignity for many of the civilians living in Gaza” (3/21).

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'Concerted Action' By Governments, Philanthropic Foundations, Private Sector Needed To Mobilize Funding For Neglected Diseases

BMJ: Funding innovation in neglected diseases
Gavin Yamey, professor of global health and public policy at the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health at Duke University, and colleagues

“…Strategies to mobilize funding [for neglected diseases] should engage governments from high-, low-, and middle-income countries, philanthropic foundations, and the private sector. We propose five interconnected approaches. … Firstly, the public and philanthropic sectors should continue to expand successful incentive mechanisms and test new ones to attract industry to participate in product development for neglected diseases. … Secondly, funders could support a ‘health investors’ platform’ to improve the targeting of limited resources. … A third approach is for international donors to work more closely with experts within low- and middle-income countries to tackle the documented mismatch between global and national research priorities. … Fourthly, many low- and middle-income countries … are already funding research into neglected diseases, and a coordinated global effort is needed to encourage others to follow suit. … Finally, donors could help to unlock domestic resources for research in low- and middle-income countries … Concerted action on multiple fronts is required to mobilize funding to develop new treatments, to optimize its impact, and to put in place a sustainable pipeline of innovations for these important diseases” (3/20).

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Countries With High TB Burdens Must Commit Political Leadership, Funding To End Epidemic

The Conversation: Hope rises for a world free of TB
Madhukar Pai, director of global health and professor at McGill University

“World TB Day 2018 is turning out to be special — never in the history of tuberculosis (TB) control has there been greater political attention and commitment to tackling the infectious disease that causes nearly two million deaths a year. … [But u]nless there is serious political commitment, funding, and execution, it will be impossible to meet the global End TB targets. This is why the G20, Moscow, Delhi, and UNGA meetings are so critical — to convince our political leaders that they need to wake up to the realities of the TB epidemic, and step up with clear actions and commitments. … India’s leadership, in particular, is absolutely fundamental to meeting global End TB goals. … Thinking beyond India, I am convinced other high-TB countries also have a key leadership role to play. … It is therefore critical for countries most affected by TB to step up, show leadership, and invest in TB control. The world simply cannot depend on a few wealthy countries with very low TB incidence to support all the effort that is required to tackle TB…” (3/20).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Expert Discusses Wish List Of Issues For Discussion At Congressional Hearing On FY19 Foreign Assistance Budget

Center for Global Development’s “U.S. Development Policy”: Reforms amid Reductions? House Panel to Question USAID Administrator Mark Green on FY19 Budget
Sarah Rose, policy fellow at CGD, discusses potential issues that could have been addressed during USAID Administrator Mark Green’s hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the administration’s FY19 budget request, including USAID’s independence; strategic transitions from aid; domestic resource mobilization; procurement reform, evidence and evaluation; fragile and conflict-affected contexts; and interagency coordination (3/20).

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Blog Post Discusses Bipartisan Efforts To Reform U.S. International Food Aid Program

U.N. Dispatch: The USA is Closer Than Ever to Reforming its Inefficient Food Aid Program
Writer Joanne Lu discusses bipartisan efforts in the U.S. Congress to reform the nation’s international food assistance program by including the Food for Peace Modernization Act of 2018 in the 2018 farm bill. “[W]hat [is] giving some advocates reason for optimism is the recent support of the American Farm Bureau Federation, which has long resisted changes to U.S. food aid policy,” Lu notes (3/20).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, published Issue 333 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter includes articles on various topics, including on Global Fund commitments in Nigeria, North Korea, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, and Paraguay (3/21).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC Official Delivers World TB Day Message, Provides Resources

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: Message from Hank Tomlinson, PhD, Acting Director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TB
In his World TB Day message, Hank Tomlinson, acting director of CDC’s Division of Global HIV & TB, says, “…As leaders come together on World TB Day and again at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on TB in September, the time has come to double down on our TB prevention programs and investments. Today, we have the tools to turn the tide against the TB epidemic; the question is, do we have the political will? I’m convinced the answer is yes.” The page also includes links to a video and other World TB Day resources (3/20).

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USAID Helps Women Living With Fistula Through Treatment, Prevention Initiatives

USAID/Medium: For These Women, Survival Is Just the Start
Mary Ellen Stanton, senior maternal health adviser at USAID, discusses the individual and community impacts of obstetric fistula, and how “USAID has invested more than $128 million to support fistula patients since 2004, restoring dignity to women’s lives and strengthening fistula prevention” (3/20).

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From KFF

Kaiser Family Foundation Budget Summary Analyzes Global Health Aspects Of FY 2018 Omnibus Released By Congress

Kaiser Family Foundation: Congress Releases FY18 Omnibus
This budget summary highlights global health-related funding contained in the FY 2018 Omnibus bill released by Congress on Wednesday. The bill provides funding for the U.S. government through the rest of the 2018 fiscal year including for U.S. global health programs. Funding provided to the State Department and USAID through the Global Health Programs (GHP) account, which represents the bulk of global health assistance, totaled $8.7 billion, essentially flat compared to the FY 2017 enacted level, and $2.2 billion (34 percent) above the President’s FY 2018 request. The analysis includes tables that compare U.S. global health funding in the FY 2018 Omnibus to the FY 2017 enacted levels and FY 2018 request (3/22).

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