KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO Declares End To Ebola As Public Health Emergency Of International Concern

News outlets report on statements from the WHO IHR Emergency Committee on Ebola and Director-General Margaret Chan declaring an end to Ebola as an international health emergency.

Associated Press: WHO: Ebola no longer world health emergency
“The World Health Organization said Tuesday that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa no longer qualifies as an international health emergency, although it cautioned that male survivors can infect their sexual partners for up to a year after recovering…” (Larson, 3/29).

The Hill: WHO declares end to Ebola emergency
“The World Health Organization on Tuesday declared the Ebola virus is no longer a public health threat, marking the end of a 20-month global emergency that left [more than] 11,000 people dead…” (Ferris, 3/29).

New York Times: Emergency Over Ebola Has Ended, WHO Says
“…Dr. Margaret Chan, the director general of the WHO, said in a news briefing that she was accepting the recommendation of an emergency committee, which concluded that West African countries had the ability to contain the small number of new cases that continued to arise, and that ‘the likelihood of international spread is low’…” (Belluck, 3/29).

PBS NewsHour: The Ebola public health emergency is over, WHO declares
“…Despite the decision, one of the three countries at the heart of the outbreak, Guinea, is still in a state of high alert because of a recent cluster of five confirmed cases and three probable cases…” (Branswell, 3/29).

Reuters: West Africa Ebola outbreak no longer poses global risk: WHO
“…All original chains of virus transmission have now ended, although new clusters of infections continue to occur due to reintroductions of the virus, the WHO said in a statement…” (Nebehay, 3/29).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. declares Ebola public health emergency over; urges ‘high vigilance’ against flare-ups
“…WHO has kept hundreds of its own experienced staff in the three countries, ready to contribute to the kind of emergency response needed to quickly interrupt transmission chains, and for the first time in any Ebola outbreak, response teams have access to vaccination as a powerful containment tool, [Chan] added…” (3/29).

Link to individual story

NPR Interviews USAID Administrator Gayle Smith About Priorities, Challenges

NPR: The ‘Girl Boss’ Of USAID Has $22 Billion To Spend And A Tight Deadline
“…When the newly installed USAID chief Gayle Smith was at a conference in Africa recently, the local leaders didn’t recognize the gender of her name. So they gave her a ‘Mr. Smith’ tag — which she now has on top of a bookshelf in her corner office at the Ronald Reagan building in Washington, D.C. The nameplate on her desk makes things clear. It says: ‘GIRL BOSS.’ Being a boss anointed in the final months of a president’s term is not an easy job. Three months ago, Smith took the top spot of the federal agency in charge of U.S. humanitarian projects like fighting Ebola, feeding refugees, and distributing more than $22 billion this year in aid…” (Gharib, 3/29).

Link to individual story

Brazil Mobilizes Largest Military Action In History To Fight Zika

The Guardian: Zika virus command center leads biggest military operation in Brazil’s history
“It is the biggest military mobilization in Brazil’s history: 220,000 army, navy, and air force personnel have been called into action, as well as 315,000 public officials. Rapid reaction units have been deployed to take the fight across the country. Local authorities are stockpiling munitions and supplies. Scientists have been enlisted to devise new weapons of mass destruction with which to defend the motherland…” (Watts, 3/30).

Link to individual story

Children Most Affected By Yearlong Conflict In Yemen, UNICEF Report Says

News outlets discuss a new UNICEF report, titled “Children on the Brink.”

New York Times: Children Pay ‘Highest Price’ as Yemen Falls Apart, U.N. Says
“A yearlong conflict is threatening to cause a humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, the United Nations reported on Tuesday, saying that ‘children are paying the highest price’…” (Cumming-Bruce, 3/29).

U.N. News Centre: Yemen’s children ‘locked in a vicious cycle of violence, loss, and uncertainty,’ U.N. warns
“Six children are killed or injured every day and children as young as 10 years old are recruited to fight in conflict-torn Yemen, according to a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report, which also underscored that child recruitment has risen exponentially during the fighting and that the country is at risk of becoming a failed state…” (3/29).

Link to individual story

South Sudan Needs Additional Humanitarian Funding To Provide Food Aid, Health, Sanitation Services

Agence France-Presse: War-torn South Sudan starvation levels ‘alarming’: U.N.
“U.N. food experts warned Tuesday of ‘alarming’ levels of starvation in South Sudan with food prices at record highs after two years of civil war marked by atrocities…” (3/29).

U.N. News Centre: Hunger and ongoing insecurity forcing South Sudanese to flee country, U.N. agency reports
“Growing food insecurity is causing more and more South Sudanese to flee into Sudan, the United Nations refugee agency [said Tuesday], urging more funding for clean water, sanitation and health services, food and shelter…” (3/29).

Link to individual story

African Development Bank To Loan Zambia $125M For Sanitation, Food Security, Women Entrepreneurial Efforts

Reuters: African Development Bank agrees to lend Zambia $125 million
“The African Development Bank has agreed to lend Zambia $125 million on concessional terms for the improvement of sanitation, food security, and support to women entrepreneurs, the government said on Tuesday…” (Mfula, 3/29).

Link to individual story

Pakistan, Afghanistan Begin Synchronized Polio Immunization Campaigns In Border Areas

Inter Press Service: Challenges of Polio Vaccination
“Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two remaining polio-endemic countries, have joined forces to eradicate poliomyelitis by vaccinating their children in synchronized campaigns. The two neighboring countries — sharing a 2,400 km long and porous border — have been bracketed as the stumbling block in the way of the global polio eradication drive. These militancy-riddled countries have been tackling Taliban’s opposition to the administration of oral polio vaccine (OPV) to children…” (Yusufzai, 3/29).

Link to individual story

Meningitis Infects 736, Kills 61 So Far This Year In Niger, U.N. Reports

Agence France-Presse: U.N. says 736 meningitis cases, 61 deaths this year in Niger
“Sixty-one people have died of meningitis since January in Niger, the United Nations said Tuesday, despite mass vaccinations to prevent a possible epidemic. A total of 736 cases have been officially recorded this year, the local branch of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said, adding that children under four comprised 30 percent of the total cases…” (3/29).

Link to individual story

Indian Pharmaceutical Companies Working To Develop Childhood Pneumococcal Vaccines

Livemint: Pneumonia vaccine: the new battleground for Indian drug makers
“…Tergene is not alone in the race to make the pediatric vaccine. Big Indian vaccine names such as Pune-based Serum Institute of India Ltd and New Delhi-based Panacea Biotec Ltd are also developing [pneumococcal conjugate vaccines (PCVs)]. Serum and Panacea have received funding support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation…” (Pilla, 3/30).

Link to individual story

Editorials and Opinions

Friends Of The Global Fight President Highlights 4 Global Health Successes Of 21st Century

Huffington Post: The Best of America: Part I
Deborah Derrick, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

“In a matter of weeks, I’ll be stepping away from nearly eight years of working to promote global health. … I’ve written three pieces on the progress and opportunities I’ve seen in global health. This first installment responds to a staff member who asked what I thought was the single biggest recent global health success. … The following highlights represent just a few of the many global health wins we’ve experienced in the 21st century. 1. We have cut child mortality in half … 2. We are close to defeating polio … 3. We have cut malaria death rates by 60 percent — even as world population grew … 4. We have proved that early treatment can virtually stop the spread of HIV … Given the successes that we’ve seen and the opportunities ahead, I feel sure that the United States and the global community will accelerate the fight against common threats to our health, security, and well-being. Millions of lives have already been saved. Just imagine what more might be accomplished” (3/29).

Link to individual story

Improving Women's Health Critical To Achieving AIDS-Free Generation

Devex: 4 ideas for improving women’s health
Huma Abbasi, general manager of global health and medical at Chevron

“…March is Women’s History Month. This month provides us with the opportunity to reflect on lessons learned from our work to fight HIV and AIDS by supporting women. Ending transmission of HIV from mother to child remains one of the most achievable ways to realize an AIDS-free generation in the near future. Here are four ways to put this into action to improve women’s health: 1. Look for unique partners. … 2. Lean on grassroots. … 3. Make data-driven decisions. … 4. Empower women. … International organizations, nongovernmental organizations, local governments, and the private sector all have a role to play. Building long-term, sustainable, and scalable partnerships that support and empower women will help to build a world we will all be proud to live in” (3/29).

Link to individual story

From the Global Health Policy Community

Increasing Access To Sanitation, Clean Water Essential To Improving Child Nutrition In Indonesia

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Achieving Total Sanitation in Indonesia
Amit Chandra, emergency physician and health systems strengthening adviser for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, discusses efforts by the U.S. and Indonesian governments to increase access to safe drinking water, reduce stunting, and improve the health and nutrition of children in Indonesia (3/29).

Link to individual story

International Cooperation Critical To Addressing Global Food Security, Mitigating Climate Change Risks

Center for American Progress: Supporting Global Food Security in a Changing Climate Through Transatlantic Cooperation
Michael Werz, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and Benjamin Pohl, senior project manager for adelphi, discuss “the food security situation in the Middle East and how the United States and its European partners can work together to confront the wide-ranging security challenges of climate change” (3/29).

Link to individual story

Pulitzer Center Project Examines Cuban Government's Response To HIV Epidemic

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting: Cuba’s Headstart on Finding a Cure for AIDS
“…In this project, reporter Rebecca Sananes shares a chapter of medical history in which Cuba chose a policy diametrically opposite to America’s…” In a piece that aired on NPR, Sananes, a reporter with Vermont Public Radio, examines Cuba’s use of sanitariums to house and treat people living with HIV/AIDS (3/28).

Link to individual story

Blog Post Provides Roundup Of Recent Global Health Research News

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Research Roundup: Identifying people at-risk for TB, a device to aid IUD insertion, and vaccines against cancer
Kat Kelley, GHTC’s senior program assistant, highlights recent news in global health research, including a study in which scientists identified 16 genes that can be used to predict cases that are most likely to progress to active TB; the development of a new tool to easily insert intrauterine devices (IUDs); and vaccines to prevent and treat cancer (3/28).

Link to individual story

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KFF | twitter.com/kff

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.