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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Report Outlines Local Partnerships, Many With Private Businesses

Devex: It’s not just about big corporations: A look at local partnerships
“…The U.S. Agency for International Development has been partnering with local businesses for many years, but it did its first broad overview of activities only recently. The Local Private Sector Partnerships report, which was published in November, outlined some of the characteristics of USAID’s local partnerships and how they differ from those with multinational corporations…” (Saldinger, 3/7).

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IRIN Investigates Relationship Of IT Firm Palantir With Humanitarian Community

IRIN: Spies Sans Frontières?
“…The [software] tool, developed by secretive Silicon Valley firm Palantir, can be enlisted to tackle a range of humanitarian problems: from people trafficking and gun-running to stemming floods. It could revolutionize disaster coordination, management, and response. But the global aid community is wary. Palantir retains extremely close links to the U.S. security establishment, and the line between politics and humanitarian work is under constant attack and incrementally being pushed back. After a months-long investigation, IRIN can reveal how potential aid partners are spooked by these political and security connections and how a major deal with a key U.N. agency recently fell through because of them…” (Anyadike, 3/7).

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African Farmers Must Adapt Crops To Climate Change, Researchers Say

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Time short to protect Africa’s food supply from climate change — scientists
“Without action to help farmers adjust to changing climate conditions, it will become impossible to grow some staple food crops in parts of sub-Saharan Africa, with maize, beans, and bananas most at risk, researchers said on Monday…” (Rowling, 3/7).

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Record Number Of Women Using Contraceptives In Developing Countries, U.N. Figures Show

The Guardian: Rise in use of contraception offers hope for containing global population
“The number of women using contraceptives in developing countries has soared to record levels in recent years, such that projections for global population growth could be cut by as much as one billion over the next 15 years. The latest figures by the U.N. show more women than ever now use family planning, with some poorer regions recording the fastest pace of growth since 2000…” (Ford, 3/8).

The Guardian: Contraception and family planning around the world — interactive
“…The latest figures from the U.N.’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs show 64 percent of married and cohabiting women used modern or traditional methods of contraception in 2015 — a significant rise from 36 percent in 1970. But the figures show wide disparities between and within regions and countries…” (Ford/Holder, 3/8).

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Duke Global Health Professor Discusses PLOS Collection On Global Health Grand Convergence In NPR Interview

NPR: What It’d Take To Save 10 Million Lives: Zinc, Bed Nets, $70 Billion
“…A group of 69 health experts and researchers from all over the world say it is possible. And in a collection of papers published in PLOS, they lay out exactly how to to save 10 million lives a year by 2035. … [I]t’s totally doable, says Dr. Gavin Yamey, a professor of global health at Duke University, who edited the collection — if we invest wisely, in the right sorts of programs. We called up Yamey and asked him to elaborate…” (Singh, 3/7).

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Pakistan Records 3 New Polio Cases, Bringing Global Total For Year To 5

VOA News: New Cases of Polio Reported in Pakistan
“Three new cases of polio were reported in Pakistan last week, bringing the total number of worldwide polio cases this year to five — all of them in Pakistan. The country remains front and center in the global fight to eradicate the highly infectious disease from the planet…” (Tanzeem, 3/7).

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India's Nationwide TB Survey To Show Extent Of Drug-Resistant Cases; Data To Be Released By Year-End

Reuters: India to release results of nationwide TB survey by year-end
“India, which has the world’s largest number of tuberculosis patients, plans to release the results of its first-ever survey mapping the prevalence of drug-resistant TB by December, two senior government officials said. The data is keenly awaited as it would show the extent to which patients in India have developed resistance to existing TB medicines…” (Siddiqui, 3/7).

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South Sudan Facing Severe Food Shortages, Humanitarian Groups Say

NPR: Nothing Is Going Right In The World’s Newest Nation
“…The brutal civil war left tens of thousands of South Sudanese dead, drove more than two million people from their homes and lay to waste entire towns. Aid groups and the U.N. warn that is the country is now on the brink of a catastrophic food crisis. One analysis predicts 40,000 people face starvation…” (Beaubien, 3/8).

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World Neighbors President Speaks With Los Angeles Times About Group's Health, Development Work In Haiti

Los Angeles Times: Haiti earthquake: $13.5 billion in donations, but is any of it working?
“…Six years later, despite an initial outpouring of humanitarian assistance and $13.5 billion in pledges and donations, Haiti remains vulnerable. … World Neighbors, one of America’s oldest development agencies, works in five regions of Haiti where it has been supporting community-based organizations that focus on key areas of sustainability, including agriculture, water, sanitation, health care, savings, and credit options. Kate Schecter, president and chief executive of the Oklahoma-based organization, said the group promotes self-sufficiency over dependency…” (Simmons, 3/8).

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CNN Examines Several Mosquito-Control Techniques Under Investigation To Stop Disease-Carrying Insects

CNN: Stopping Zika: Here come the mutant mosquitoes
In a series of articles, the news agency examines several methods scientists are examining to control mosquito populations, including infection with Wolbachia bacteria, gamma-irradiation, genetic modification, and gene drive techniques (LaMotte, 3/7).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Recognize International Women's Day

The following opinion pieces recognize International Women’s Day, which takes place annually on March 8.

Huffington Post: Better Education Will Mean Better Health for Young Women and Girls
Julia Gillard, 27th prime minister of Australia and Board chair of the Global Partnership for Education

“…There is compelling evidence that better education outcomes lead to improved health outcomes for young women and girls, especially when it comes to HIV. … If we invest in girls’ schooling, health benefits will follow. A better-educated girl is less likely to get HIV and more likely to be able to make her own choices about when she marries and how many children she’ll have. … Education empowers girls to make healthy decisions, boosting their self-esteem and building the knowledge and skills they need to negotiate safer relationships. We must continue to place a high premium on access to and the quality of education; because this is the best tool we have for keeping our girls healthy, and keeping the scourge of infections like HIV far away” (3/7).

Huffington Post: Women and Food: The Key to a Healthier Planet
Anika Rahman, non-profit executive leader and lawyer for human rights and sustainable development

“…[F]ocusing on women involved in agriculture will enable us to tackle the key issues of our time — gender inequality and climate change. Women have a crucial role to play in global natural resource management, environmental sustainability, and food security. … [However, they] continue to have unequal access to resources, land, income, information, and technology. They also play a limited role in policy formulation and decision-making related to the environment. … [T]his International Women’s Day, let’s remember the crucial connection between women, food, and our global struggle for equality and climate change. Let’s commit to taking actions that advance women and our planet’s future” (3/7).

Huffington Post: Unlocking The Potential Of 1 Billion Women And Girls
Joel C. Spicer, president and CEO of Micronutrient Initiative

“…Women and girls are the engines of development, but too many of those engines are being held back. Removing the brakes of malnutrition for millions of women and girls is essential for their health and strength and for unlocking their full potential as leaders, workers, caregivers, and human beings. … We need to look at investments in women and girls’ nutrition not as acts of charity, but as the development of a low-cost, high-impact natural resource that can generate high returns for humanity on every level. … As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s right to wonder what the full potential of one billion additional women might contribute to achieving a more stable, inclusive, and prosperous world…” (3/7).

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Economic Factors, Political Systems Cannot Predict Susceptibility To Disease Outbreaks

Washington Post: What the HIV/AIDS epidemic can tell us about how to fight Zika
Mark Daku, postdoctoral fellow at the Montreal Health Equity Research Consortium at the Institute for Health and Social Policy at McGill University

“Are some countries — and some political systems — more at risk for bad health and epidemics than others? … [W]hile political and economic factors do matter, they’re not the only factors. Political systems alone cannot predict where a disease will spread, or which country will be more or less susceptible to an epidemic. … I researched the politics of AIDS in Africa to understand why Uganda was able to successfully control HIV, while South Africa failed. … In other words, political and economic factors interact with viruses and vectors in unpredictable ways to spread — or prevent — disease. If the goal is to reduce the spread of infectious diseases, we need to do more than ask, ‘What worked there?’ We need to ask, ‘Why did that work there when it did?’ We need to better understand how disease epidemics interact with social and political realities. That’s how to find lessons that may help contain and control future outbreaks of disease” (3/7).

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Genetic Modification Can Help Achieve Development Goals, Should Not Require Labeling

The Hill: Conspiracy theories run amok
Joseph Perrone, chief science officer at the Center for Accountability in Science

“…Anti-GMO activists claim the government should require labels on GMOs because they haven’t been well studied and could pose health risks. There’s simply no credible research to support this point of view. … In fact, genetic modification helps farmers feed more people using less land and fewer resources. It can even be used to develop more nutritionally dense foods to fight disease, like the development of Golden Rice to fight childhood blindness. Mandating labels for GMOs isn’t necessary and caves in to the anti-GMO rhetoric that these foods are somehow unsafe. That is why Congress is currently considering legislation introduced by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) that would make labeling foods containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) voluntary, not mandatory, as activists demand…” (3/7).

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Surgery, Anesthesia Care Integral To Achieving SDGs

Los Angeles Times: The sustainable development goals and surgery: Is a ‘moon shot’ the answer?
John Meara, Kletjian professor of global surgery at Harvard Medical School and co-chair of the Lancet Commission on Global Surgery, and Nakul Raykar, chief fellow of the program in global surgery and social change at Harvard Medical School

“…The past century in global health has taught us that we do not need to travel to the moon to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We need to invest in strong health systems, and surgery and anesthesia care represent a major cross-cutting foundation for these systems. The goals will only be possible when ministries of health prioritize integration of surgery and anesthesia within national health plans, and when international funding agencies switch from vertical disease-based funding to funding that strengthens health systems that include surgery and anesthesia, and when the World Bank and the World Health Organization make a commitment to tracking indicators related to surgery. The future of the Sustainable Development Goals depends on including surgery and anesthesia as partners in health care at every level” (3/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

PEPFAR Releases 12th Annual Report To Congress

U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief: Twelfth Annual Report to Congress on PEPFAR (2016)
PEPFAR released its 12th annual report to Congress, which discusses its impact on addressing global HIV/AIDS. The summary states, “[PEPFAR] has become an iconic brand of U.S. government engagement in health, development, and diplomacy. By setting and being held accountable to clear metrics, PEPFAR has proven that it is possible to demonstrate clear outcomes and impact. And this work is far from done…” (March 2016).

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Panelists Discuss U.S. Government's Role In Accelerating Progress On Global Immunization

Health Affairs Blog: U.S. Vaccine Officials Weigh In At The Midpoint Of The Decade Of Vaccines
David Fleming, vice president of public health at PATH, highlights a panel discussion at the launch of Health Affairs’ February issue on vaccines, where panelists discussed ways the U.S. can “strengthen its policies, improve coordination and leadership, and sustain financing to maximize efforts” to reach its global immunization goals as well as the goals that are in the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) (3/7).

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Blog Post Discusses WHO-Proposed Pooled Fund For Global Health R&D

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Better together? Five takeaways on the proposal for a WHO pooled fund
Matthew Robinson, GHTC’s policy and advocacy officer, discusses takeaways from a panel discussion on a WHO proposal for a pooled fund and observatory for global health R&D. Robinson notes the proposal has shifted over time; fulfills two distinct and separate functions — financing and coordination; does not guarantee funding; relies on fundraising, which could exacerbate the tension between technical and political considerations; and could improve access to medicine (3/7).

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Global Health Communication Approaches Should Cater To Target Audiences

Humanosphere: Amid a flurry of high-tech approaches, programs find merit in low-tech techniques
David J. Olson, global development communications and social marketing consultant, discusses the role of using high- and low-tech global health interventions to bring health information to hard-to-reach populations, noting the importance of using the appropriate form of media to reach these communities. “In designing communication approaches for health programs, the most important thing is to understand your target audiences, and how they receive information,” he writes (3/7).

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Special Edition Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Focuses On International Women's Day

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
This special edition of the Global Fund News Flash recognizing International Women’s Day includes a video drawing attention to steps to achieve gender equality, an opinion piece examining how better education for girls leads to better health, and a Global Fund “Focus On” series entry discussing women and girls (3/8).

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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 282 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter features articles on various topics, including an interview with Louie Zepeda-Teng, a speaker for the Global Fund Advocates Network Speakers’ Bureau; a piece on the first-ever audit of the country coordinating mechanism function; and an article on changes to the Global Fund Board committee structure (3/8).

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