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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO's New TB Strategy Seeks International Support To End Global TB Epidemic

VOA News: WHO Rolls Out New Strategy to Wipe Out TB
“As countries mark World TB Day on March 24, the World Health Organization (WHO) is rolling out a new strategy to end the global tuberculosis epidemic, calling for worldwide support to wipe out the disease over the next 20 years. Two previous strategies have cleared the way for this latest and most ambitious plan. WHO is convinced its current strategy, called End TB, has a good chance of working because of the success of the DOTS TB treatment and the Stop TB strategies that were rolled out earlier…” (Schlein, 3/23).

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TB Treatment For Children, MDR-TB Pose Challenges To Stopping Epidemic

International Business Times: World Tuberculosis Day: Why are rates of drug-resistant TB so high in Russia?
“…Tuberculosis is the leading infectious killer in Russia. The problem in the region, one of the ‘high priority countries’ highlighted in a recent World Health Organization report, is being fueled by multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). While the number of overall tuberculosis cases has slowly declined over the last decade, rates of drug-resistant strains remain very high — and continue to climb. It is expensive and difficult to treat, and deadly…” (Smith, 3/23).

Reuters: Drug-resistant TB threatens to kill 75 million people by 2050, cost $16.7 trillion
“Over the next 35 years, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis will kill 75 million people and could cost the global economy a cumulative $16.7 trillion (£15 trillion) — the equivalent of the European Union’s annual output, a U.K. parliamentary group said on Tuesday. If left untackled, the spread of drug-resistant TB superbugs threatens to shrink the world economy by 0.63 percent annually, the U.K. All Party Parliamentary Group on Global Tuberculosis (APPG TB) said, urging governments to do more to improve research and cooperation…” (Zweynert, 3/24).

Reuters: Children with TB at risk of dying amid slow progress on child-friendly treatment
“More than half a million children who fall ill with tuberculosis each year are at risk of dying because of a lack of child-friendly treatments, experts said. Tuberculosis, which kills more than one person every 20 seconds, is much harder to detect in children than in adults because they do not always show the typical symptoms, such as coughing, night sweats, and blood in the phlegm or spit…” (Zweynert, 3/23).

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Australian TB Forum Opens In Canberra; Foreign Minister Announces $23.7M To Address Disease In Indo-Pacific Region

ABC Online: Medical groups call for greater focus on ‘neglected disease’ of tuberculosis
“Medical research and advocacy groups are calling for a greater focus on diagnosing what they say is the ‘neglected disease’ of tuberculosis. Groups gathered in Canberra [Monday] for the launch of a forum seeking to advance the way the disease is diagnosed and treated…” (Sedghi, 3/23).

AAP: Bishop announces $30m to fight disease
“The [Australian] federal government has pledged $30 million [US$ 23.7 million] over three years to help fight tuberculosis and malaria in the Indo-Pacific region. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop made the announcement in Canberra at the launch of the Australasian Tuberculosis Forum, describing the disease as a ‘scourge’…” (3/23).

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Uganda To Expand Program Using Private Clinics To Better Detect, Diagnose TB Patients

The Guardian: Uganda to expand successful Kampala scheme in battle against tuberculosis
“…So when representatives from the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease approached [Dr. Kasauli Mahmoud Zinda] in 2011 to join a new initiative that would equip Pillars [Medical Centre] to test for and treat TB, ‘it looked like it was a dream,’ he said. The initiative — the Slum Partnerships to Actively Respond to Tuberculosis in Kampala (Spark-TB) — recognized that Uganda, one of the world’s 22 high-burden TB countries, needed new approaches to reach probable patients…” (Green, 3/24).

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Rich Must Be Held Accountable In Efforts Against Inequality In Order To Reach SDGs, NGOs Say

Inter Press Service: Hold the Rich Accountable in New U.N. Development Goals, Say NGOs
“…[W]hen the World Social Forum (WSF), created in response to [the World Economic Forum (WEF)], holds its annual meeting in Tunis later this week, the primary focus will be on the growing inequalities in present day society. The Civil Society Reflection Group (CSRG) on Global Development Perspectives will be releasing a new study which calls for both goals and commitments — this time particularly by the rich — if the U.N.’s 17 proposed new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the post-2015 development agenda are to succeed… (Deen, 3/23).

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Youth Engagement Central In Efforts To Address NCDs

Devex: The future of chronic diseases through the eyes of youth
“Young people make up nearly half of the world’s population. And even though global health policy-making impacts them — think vaccinations, reproductive health, or preventative care — young people far too often don’t have a say in that process. On non-communicable or chronic diseases, several youth advocacy groups are pushing to change that…” (Moscetti, 3/23).

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PEPFAR, Botswana Working Together To Turn Tide On HIV/AIDS

Botswana Daily News: PEPFAR make strides in combating HIV/AIDS
“Botswana in collaboration with the United States’ President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) has made considerable strides in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Botswana…” (Busang, 3/23).

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Public Health Experts Hans Rosling, Margaret Lamunu Discuss Challenges Of Ebola Response On BBC Program

BBC World Service: Understanding Ebola
“Hans Rosling, the man who makes statistics spellbinding and the World Health Organization’s Ebola expert, Margaret Lamunu, talk to Tim Harford about their experience helping to fight the disease in West Africa on Monday at 1300 GMT. As part of ‘A Richer World’ season, [they discuss] the unexpected difficulties and the unknown tactics used to battle this terrible disease in front of a live audience at the BBC Radio Theatre…” (3/23).

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Liberians Struggle To Find Work After Ebola Epidemic

Washington Post: After Ebola
The article profiles the life of a Liberian woman, Josephine Dolley, and describes the socioeconomic impact the Ebola epidemic has had on her life and her six adopted children, all orphaned by the disease (Sieff, 3/23).

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Warmer Temperatures, Increased Rainfall Threaten Expansion Of Mosquito-Borne Diseases To U.K., Study Suggests

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Deadly mosquito-borne diseases could threaten U.K. within decades, experts warn
“Mosquitoes carrying deadly diseases including dengue fever and West Nile virus could become widespread across Britain within decades due to climate change, health experts said on Monday…” (Guilbert, 3/23).

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Editorials and Opinions

Parliamentarians Play 'Critical Role' To Increase Funding For, Focus On TB Prevention, Control

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Spread of drug-resistant TB must be stopped to avoid catastrophe
Kalikesh Singh Deo, a member of the Indian parliament, and Nick Herbert, a British lawmaker and co-chair of the U.K. All Party Parliamentary Group on Global TB (APPG TB)

“…There is an urgent need for increased funding and a magnified focus on TB prevention and control and therefore, we believe that parliamentarians have a critical role to play. Keeping this in mind, an international initiative, the Global TB Caucus was founded at the inaugural Global TB Summit in Barcelona. … The launch of the Caucus has come at a critical time. The world is at crossroads: we can urgently scale up existing interventions and invest to develop new ones — a road that the WHO estimates could lead to the elimination of TB within a generation — or we can continue on the same path, witnessing millions of lives lost in the years to come and risking an explosion of drug-resistance that could undo all progress…” (3/24).

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Providing Access To Clean Water In Villages Can Reduce Burden On Women, Girls

Huffington Post: The Most Important Women’s Issue You’ve Never Heard of
Richard Stearns, president of World Vision

“…In developing countries, women and children — usually girls — spend 140 million hours each day fetching water, equivalent to a workforce of 25 million working eight hour days. That’s why I think World Water Day (this March 22) might as easily be called World Women’s Day. … While a whole community rejoices when a drilling rig hits clean water, it is the women who shout the loudest. Everyone benefits from the [well’s] clean water, which can end disease and lead to better health. But it is the women — their tired arms, sore legs, and worn out backs — who are most grateful. That heavy burden has been lifted” (3/22).

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New Blog Series Explores Impacts Of WASH On Achieving MDGs

Huffington Post: WASH and the MDGs: The Ripple Effect
Needa Malik, research assistant at WASH Advocates, and Jordan Teague, associate director for WASH Integration at WASH Advocates

“2015 is an important year in the global development arena. The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will expire at the end of this year, and the new agenda for international development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), will be determined and launched. This is an important time to focus on keeping the momentum going, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are important pieces of the puzzle. WASH Advocates is pleased to announce our new blog series, ‘WASH and the MDGs: The Ripple Effect.’ Every week we will feature a guest author from various sectors and organizations who will focus on each of the MDGs. Throughout this blog series we will explore the goals and highlight how WASH has impacted the achievement of the targets under each goal…” (3/23).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CDC Blog Posts Discuss Issues Surrounding TB, MDR-TB

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: A Consequence of Conflict: The Spread of Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis
Nadine Sunderland of the CDC discusses issues surrounding multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Somalia, including preventing, diagnosing, and treating the disease (3/23).

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: An Ounce of Prevention: Why we must strengthen basic TB control to defeat drug-resistant TB
Thomas Kenyon, director of CDC’s Center for Global Health, discusses the challenges of addressing TB in the U.S. and globally. He writes, the CDC is working “closely with many international partners to build the evidence base for better ways to prevent, find, and cure TB, including MDR-TB…” (3/23).

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Collaborative Efforts Of U.S. Response To Ebola In West Africa Will Help End Epidemic

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: A Collaborative, Unified Ebola Response
Steven A. Browning, the State Department’s special coordinator for Ebola response, discusses his role and the collaborative efforts of the U.S. response to Ebola in West Africa. He concludes, “To effectively end this crisis means each day we have to move closer to our goal: We have to get to, and stay at zero cases. It’s an enormous challenge, but one that I’m sure we can overcome … together” (3/23).

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'Risk-Informed Investments' Vital To Ending Extreme Poverty

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: From Hyogo to Sendai: A New Action Plan for Resilience
Thomas H. Staal, acting assistant administrator for USAID’s Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA), discusses his participation in last week’s Third U.N. World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan. He highlights three themes of the conference — building resilience, promoting local solutions, and fostering inclusion — and concludes, “As we look towards the post-2015 development agenda, Sendai reminded us that we must make risk-informed investments if we are to achieve our goal of ending extreme poverty” (3/20).

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Real Transformation Through Aid 'Takes Broad-Based Institutional Development'

Center for Global Development’s “Rethinking U.S. Development Policy”: Wiping Out Poverty with a New (Old) Aid Strategy
Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, writes about different development aid strategies, arguing real change does not come “from handing out free bed nets or providing fifty-cent transfers alone, it takes broad-based institutional development. Safety net aid is good and valuable, but it surely can’t be all that aid is about — even if the focus is squarely on the poorest…” (3/23).

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'Global Fund News Flash' Special Edition Highlights World TB Day

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
A special edition of the Global Fund News Flash highlights World Tuberculosis Day with articles focusing on efforts to detect and treat TB in Latin America, Asia, and Africa (3/24).

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