KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Media Outlets Continue Coverage Of 'London Patient,' HIV Research Implications

Forbes: Second-Ever HIV Cure Seen In London AIDS Patient Is Rare, But It Might Not Have To Be (Mack, 3/5).

NBC News: Top HIV doctor says ‘London Patient’ cure ‘too risky’ to be feasible treatment (Fitzsimons, 3/5).

New York Times: An HIV Cure: Answers to 4 Key Questions (Mandavilli, 3/5).

NPR: Bone Marrow Transplant Renders Second Patient Free Of HIV (Harris, 3/5).

NPR: London Patient Cleared Of HIV (Greene/Harris, 3/5).

NPR: How Much Is Today’s HIV Research Centered Around The Search For A Cure? (Kelly, 3/5).

Popular Science: The treatment that cured two HIV cases won’t work for most patients (Wetsman, 3/5).

Reuters: U.S. AIDS activists welcome London ‘cure’ but warn against complacency (Ax, 3/5).

The Telegraph: From ignorance to a potential cure: the history of HIV breakthroughs (Gulland/Newey, 3/5).

U.N. News: U.N.’s AIDS agency ‘greatly encouraged’ by latest scientific breakthrough showing cure is possible (3/5).

USA TODAY: HIV patient seemingly cured in second remarkable case, London doctors report (May, 3/5).

Wired: The Gene Mutation That Could Cure HIV Has A Checkered Past (Molteni, 3/5).

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Indian Cities Have World's Worst Air Pollution; South Asia Worst Region, Report Shows

Al Jazeera: India has the world’s worst air pollution: report
“Seven of the world’s 10 worst polluted cities are in India, a new study has revealed, with wider South Asia home to scores more blighted by dirty air…” (Child, 3/5).

New York Times: South Asia Is Smothered in Toxic Air, Report Finds
“…India holds 15 of the top 20 spots in that category, according to the report, which was released this week by Greenpeace and IQAir AirVisual, a software company that tracks air quality data. The Pakistani city of Lahore and Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, also made the top 20, making South Asia — where governments are routinely criticized for failing to limit emissions and coal use — an especially toxic region…” (Schultz, 3/5).

Reuters: New Delhi is world’s most polluted capital, Beijing eighth
“…New Delhi’s toxic air is caused by vehicle and industrial emissions, dust from building sites, [and] smoke from the burning of rubbish and crop residue in nearby fields. The city’s average annual concentration of PM2.5 in a cubic meter of air was 113.5 in 2018, the groups said in their report, more than double the level of Beijing, which averaged 50.9 during the year, making it the eighth most polluted in the world…” (Bhardwaj, 3/5).

VOA News: Report: New Delhi Ranked World’s Most Polluted Capital City
“… ‘Air pollution is the greatest environmental risk to health today, estimated to contribute to 7 million premature deaths every year,’ the report said. ‘Polluted air presents the world’s 4th leading contributing cause of early deaths, and burdens the global economy with an estimated annual cost of $225 billion’…” (3/5).

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DRC Ebola Outbreak Likely Will Continue Through Year's End, U.K. Official Says

The Telegraph: ‘A slow-burn crisis’: how Ebola will take months to resolve
“The Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo may not be brought under control until the end of this year, a senior U.K. government official has warned. The official, who did not want to be named, said that although there were signs that the various control measures deployed by the authorities were working, there would be no quick resolution. … The U.K. has been one of the fourth biggest donors to the current outbreak alongside the United States government, the European Union, and the World Bank…” (Gulland, 3/5).

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The Guardian Examines Denial, Delay Of Legal Abortion After Rape For Adolescent Girls In Argentina

The Guardian: ‘Thousands’ of young girls denied abortion after rape in Argentina
“The lives of thousands of girls in Argentina are being put at risk as legal abortions are delayed and obstructed by doctors trying to force pregnancies to full term. … According to the latest government figures, 2,493 live births in 2017 were to girls under 15. Many such pregnancies are the result of rape by family members. More than 91,500 births were to girls aged 15 to 19. The World Health Organization has found that complications in pregnancy and childbirth are the biggest killers of 15- to 19-year-old girls. … The problem is compounded by the hold of the Catholic church and conservatives who advocate a policy of ‘save both lives.’ The motto serves as a rallying cry for a growing number of anti-abortion campaigners since Argentina’s congress rejected a bill to legalize abortion last year…” (Goñi, 3/5).

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U.N. Human Rights Experts Call For End To Taboos, Discrimination Surrounding Menstruation

U.N. News: Break taboo around menstruation, act to end ‘disempowering’ discrimination, say U.N. experts
“A group of seven United Nations rights experts issued a clarion call on Tuesday to break the taboo around menstrual health for women and girls that persists in many parts of the world and take concrete action to end ‘disempowering’ discrimination. ‘Persistent harmful socio-cultural norms, stigma, misconceptions, and taboos around menstruation, continue to lead to exclusion and discrimination of women and girls,’ said the independent human rights experts, ahead of International Women’s Day on 8 March…” (3/5).

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Greater Investment, Action Needed To Prevent Childhood Pneumonia, Experts Say

The Telegraph: Pneumonia: how the world’s biggest killer of children became a neglected disease
“…According to Dr. Stefan Peterson, the leading expert on pneumonia for UNICEF, … lack of investment and the absence of any global initiatives, such as those seen for malaria or HIV, mean thousands of pneumonia cases are misdiagnosed and mistreated each year. In many of these cases the sufferer, usually a child, does not survive. … While the investment required remains absent, doctors and health care workers on the front line of the fight against pneumonia are coming up with their own low-cost means to try to save lives. … While such innovations are saving lives, and, if scaled up, hold promise to save many more, much more needs to be done to tackle pneumonia, says Dr. Peterson…” (Savage, 3/5).

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More News In Global Health

Agence France-Presse: Sri Lanka in bold bid to flush out open defecation (3/5).

Agence France-Presse: Survivor antibody clears path for new Ebola vaccine (3/4).

Agence France-Presse: Niger launches campaign to protect 6 mn children from meningitis (3/5).

Al Jazeera: Colombia border hospitals struggle with Venezuelan migrant influx (Grattan, 3/5).

CIDRAP News: Study highlights early pregnancy Zika microcephaly risk (Schnirring, 3/5).

Inter Press Service: First Asian Leprosy Assembly Calls for Greater Social Inclusion for the Affected (Paul, 3/3).

MedPage Today: Global Eradication of Cervical Cancer ‘Within Reach’ (Jenkins, 3/4).

PhilStar: Beyond the Dengvaxia scare: Complacency, devolution of health system also account for measles outbreak (Cabico, 3/6).

Reuters: MSF-run hospital develops 3D printed prosthetics for war victims (Shakhshir et al., 3/5).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Male ‘gender norms’ may contribute to higher death rates: U.N. report (Moloney, 3/5).

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Editorials and Opinions

Post-2020 President Could Usher In Diplomatic Shift In U.S. Policies On Pharmaceuticals

Intellectual Property Watch: Inside Views: Will U.S. Drug Pricing Politics Change Intimidation Practices Globally?
Fifa Rahman, board member for NGOs at Unitaid

“The global health world, particularly as concerns skyrocketing drug prices and patent abuse, is in a unique space in time. … The Trump administration has sent delegations to global health agencies in Geneva to intimidate them into reducing, or hiding, work on TRIPS flexibilities and fairer drug pricing. Meanwhile, at home in the United States, there is a clear shift in paradigm on these issues. A number of legislative instruments have been introduced in the Senate and the House to address exorbitant drug prices. … For decades, translating domestic U.S. intellectual property into global norms has been high on the political agenda. … U.S. intellectual property standards have proliferated through numerous bilateral trade agreements around the globe. … [C]ould we see a shift in paradigm on traditional U.S. hegemonic and bullying behavior on drug pricing with a Democratic president post-2020? Shall we see Ambassador Deborah Birx say that ending AIDS cannot be done without tackling excessive prices with intellectual property measures? Shall we see the Global Fund to End AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria able to free itself from USG shackles and invest in grants to tackle drug pricing? … While it is too early at this stage to make conclusive predictions on U.S. drug pricing diplomacy post-2020, there are hopeful indications of a diplomatic shift, contingent upon who wins the 2020 elections…” (3/5).

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International Community Must Reject President Trump's Choice For World Bank President, Opinion Piece Says

Washington Post: The World Bank must reject Trump’s nominee to lead it
John Podesta, chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, former counselor to President Barack Obama, and chief of staff to President Bill Clinton; and Kristina Costa, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress

“…President Trump’s candidate to run the World Bank, David Malpass, is unfit for the post. By the World Bank Group executive directors’ own publicly stated list of qualifications, Malpass is an undeserving candidate. … Malpass has a ‘proven track record,’ all right, but it’s not one that inspires confidence in his judgment. The bank’s executive directors additionally want a candidate with ‘the ability to articulate a clear vision of the World Bank Group’s development mission’ and ‘a firm commitment to and appreciation for multilateral cooperation.’ Malpass, the undersecretary of the treasury for international affairs, has articulated a vision that is diametrically opposed to the goals and tactics set out in the World Bank’s own strategic planning documents. … There will be other candidates for the position of World Bank president who will have global development experience, who will have a constructive vision for how the bank can contribute to eradicating global poverty, and who will believe in strengthening multilateralism. The World Bank directors must reject David Malpass — and empower developing nations to shape the future” (3/5).

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Vaccines Play Important Role In Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance

The Telegraph: Vaccines are a critical weapon in the fight against superbugs
Seth Berkley, chief executive of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“We already know that drug-resistant bugs can spread far and wide. … But it’s not just the distance and speed at which superbugs can travel that we need to worry about; drug resistance can also spread between different bacterial species. … [W]ith resistant genes able to jump from one species to another, the most effective way of preventing the spread of [antimicrobial resistance (AMR)] could also be one of the most underutilized: preventing cases of the disease in the first place, through vaccination. By reducing the number of cases of diseases that are already showing drug resistance we reduce the chances of genes jumping into new and more difficult to treat hosts. … Investing more in vaccines against a wider spectrum of drug-resistant diseases could not just help reduce the burden of infections that are rapidly becoming more difficult to treat, but also help delay the global spread of antimicrobial resistance. … [W]e rapidly need to expand our arsenal against this growing global health threat. Vaccines could turn out to be one of our most effective weapons” (3/6).

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Implementing Principles Of Health Equity Programs Of Action Framework Could Help Achieve SDGs

Project Syndicate: How to Achieve Health Equity
Eric A. Friedman, global health justice scholar at the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at the Georgetown University Law Center

“In 2015, the world committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals — a comprehensive agenda covering virtually all aspects of development — by 2030. But the world has yet to embrace the kind of deliberate, systematic, and inclusive approach that is needed to eliminate inequities that prevent billions of people from enjoying a long and healthy life. … [The health equity programs of action framework, proposed by the O’Neill Institute] could be implemented through national health plans or through national development, SDG, or social inclusion strategies. They would adhere to seven principles: Enable empowering participation and inclusive leadership … Maximize health equity … Health systems and beyond … Every population counts … Action, targets, and timelines … Comprehensive accountability … [And sustained] high-level political commitment … We have less than 12 years to achieve the SDGs. Without a comprehensive and steadfast effort to eliminate health inequities — the kind promoted by health equity programs of action — we will fail. That is why countries should urgently adapt the seven principles to their circumstances and incorporate them into their health and development planning processes…” (3/6).

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Legislative Changes, Comprehensive Sexuality Education Necessary To Protect Women's, Girls Rights In Latin America

Washington Post: The 11-year-old Argentine girl is not alone. Latin America’s abortion laws are a form of torture.
Erika Guevara-Rosas, Americas director at Amnesty International

“…Latin America authorities have shown alarming negligence in failing to protect women and girls from gender-based violence. Instead of supporting survivors, they frequently revictimize them and deepen their suffering. By denying their right to legal abortion, they also put their rights to life and health at risk. Women’s sexual and reproductive rights should not be negotiable. The U.N. Human Rights Council has recognized that denial of abortion in cases of rape inflicts such psychological and physical trauma that it can amount to torture under international law. Child pregnancy also reinforces educational and economic gender inequality … There is still much to be done to fully guarantee women and girls’ sexual and reproductive rights across Latin America. For lasting change, the introduction of comprehensive sexuality education must accompany legislative changes. But the tide is beginning to turn. … It is time for the authorities, instead of punishing women and girls or forcing them into deadly situations, to respect their human rights” (3/5).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

FCAA Interviews Friends Of Global Fight President On Global Fund Replenishment, Role Of Private Sector

FCAA: Spotlight on Global Fund Replenishment: An Interview with Chris Collins, Friends of the Global Fight
This post highlights an interview with Chris Collins, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, who discusses the upcoming Global Fund replenishment and the role of the private sector in supporting the Global Fund’s efforts to end the three epidemics (3/5).

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MSF Experts Discuss Efforts To Improve Global Access To Safe Abortion Care

PLOS Blogs’ “Speaking of Medicine”: Overcoming inaction and increasing access to safe abortion care: MSF experience
In recognition of International Women’s Day, Claire Fotheringham, obstetrician/gynecologist and medical adviser at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF); Manisha Kumar, coordinator of MSF’s task force supporting the implementation of safe abortion care; and Catrin Schulte-Hillen, midwife for MSF, discuss “recent efforts to improve access to safe abortion care worldwide” (3/4).

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Wilson Center Intern Discusses Experience Working In Syrian Refugee Camp Women's Clinic

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: Where Life Begins: Reducing Risky Births in a Refugee Camp
Elizabeth Wang, an intern with the Wilson Center’s Maternal Health Initiative, discusses her experience at the Jordan Health Aid Society in Zaatari camp, the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world. Wang writes, “At the Women and Girls Comprehensive Center in Zaatari camp, which is run by the Jordan Health Aid Society and supported by UNFPA, refugee women of all ages receive services such as family planning, pre- and post-natal care, vaccinations, gynecological check-ups, and culturally sensitive information sessions. Every day, the clinic delivers five to seven babies. … Despite this success, giving birth in Zaatari is not without dangers…” (3/6).

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IntraHealth Profiles 4 Women Working To Prevent HIV In Tanzania's Hard-To-Reach Regions

IntraHealth International’s “VITAL”: Four Women behind Tanzania’s Fight to End AIDS
Carol Bales, advocacy and policy communications manager at IntraHealth International, profiles four women working with the TohoraPlus project to prevent HIV in two of Tanzania’s hardest-to-reach areas — the islands of Ukerewe and Ukara in Lake Victoria — through increased outreach for and access to voluntary medical male circumcision (VMCC) and other HIV services (3/5).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Announces More Than $45M In Additional Humanitarian Assistance For Rohingya Refugees In Bangladesh

USAID: United States Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance for Rohingya Refugees
“This week, the United States announced more than $45 million in additional humanitarian assistance to meet the urgent needs of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. This funding brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the crisis in Bangladesh and Burma to more than $494 million since the outbreak of violence in August 2017. … This additional assistance complements ongoing U.S.-funded humanitarian aid activities, such as food, water, nutrition, sanitation, emergency health care, psychosocial support, protection, shelter, and education for refugees in Bangladesh and affected populations within Burma. U.S. funding also supports Bangladeshi host communities affected by this crisis…” (3/5).

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From KFF

KFF Updates Fact Sheet On U.S. Federal Funding For HIV/AIDS

Kaiser Family Foundation: U.S. Federal Funding for HIV/AIDS: Trends Over Time
In advance of the FY2020 budget proposal due out next week, KFF updated this fact sheet, which provides an overview of trends in federal funding for HIV/AIDS — both domestic and global — and an update on current FY 2019 funding levels (3/5).

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