KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

International Women's Day Represents Renewed Push For Women's Rights, Equality

Los Angeles Times: International Women’s Day by the numbers
“With the campaign theme #PressforProgress, International Women’s Day — which is Thursday — comes amid a renewed push for female empowerment…” (Livingston, 3/8).

New York Times: International Women’s Day: Pride, Protests and Pressure
“…For many women, there is a keen awareness that there has been a major shift in the firmament when it comes to gender parity, the treatment of women in the workplace and sexual dynamics. But others — scratching out lives in developing countries in Africa, toiling away at jobs with little pay in Latin America, or scrambling to raise children without help in the Middle East — probably have little time left over to reflect on the one day of the year designated to celebrate ‘the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women,’ as the website says…” (Povoledo et al., 3/8).

U.N. News: International Women’s Day: The ‘time is now’ to transform global push for women’s rights into action — U.N.
“This year, International Women’s Day comes at a pivotal moment, and with a wave women’s activism — from the #MeToo movement to #TimesUp and beyond — exposing the structures that have allowed women’s oppression to flourish, the United Nations is urging the world to stand with rural and urban women activists to topple the remaining barriers to gender equality and empowerment…” (3/7).

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New Report Examines Gender Structure, Policies Of 140 Global Health Organizations

Devex: Are global health organizations gender responsive or gender blind?
“A new report examining the gender structure and policies of 140 global health organizations shows that men dominate leadership positions. It also reveals that the majority of these organizations lack concrete gender policies in the workplace and in their programs. Of the 140 organizations featured in the Global Health 50/50 report, 43 are headed by women and only 25 have women as board chairs. Organizations here include public-private partnerships, NGOs, bilateral and multilateral donors, United Nations agencies, philanthropic foundations, private companies, and consulting firms…” (Ravelo, 3/8).

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1.1K Female Aid Workers Sign Open Letter Calling For Reform Across International Aid Sector

Devex: 1,000 female aid workers call for reforms on sexual abuse
“More than 1,000 female aid workers from all over the world have put their name to an open letter calling for an overhaul of the sector to address sexual harassment, exploitation, and abuse, and an end to the ‘current culture of silence, impunity, and inaction.’ The letter, circulated privately over the past week via email and groups on social media, was published on International Women’s Day with the backing of 1,111 women from 81 countries…” (Edwards, 3/8).

The Guardian: ‘You need to hear us’: over 1,000 female aid workers urge reform in open letter
“…The letter, addressed to the leaders of international charities, the U.N., and donors, urges organizations to treat allegations of sexual harassment and abuse as a priority. Whistleblowers must be listened to and protected, said the signatories. ‘Trust in our sector can only be restored when we ask and answer the difficult questions and openly challenge those who exploit and hide behind the good work of many,’ read the letter … ‘It is the behavior of these men, not our complaint of their behavior, which damages the sector’s reputation and public trust’…” (Ratcliffe, 3/8).

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More Than 200 Scientists, Researchers Sign Open Letter Opposing Trump Administration's Proposed FY19 Cuts To Global HIV/AIDS Programs

Washington Blade: Trump’s global AIDS cuts has 200+ scientists ‘gravely concerned’
“A group of more than 200 HIV scientists and researchers have come out against the drastic cuts President Trump has proposed for major global AIDS programs. In an open letter made public Wednesday on the final day of the annual Conference on Retroviruses & Opportunistic Infections in Boston, the co-signers say they’re ‘gravely concerned’ about reductions to global AIDS programs in the FY19 budget request…” (Johnson, 3/7).

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U.N. Calls For Cooperation To Allow Humanitarian Aid Convoy To Finish Delivery To Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Al Jazeera: Aid groups vow to deliver life-saving supplies to Eastern Ghouta
“The U.N. will try to resume the delivery of critical food and health supplies to the town of Douma in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta on March 8 if conditions allow, U.N. officials have announced…” (Bibbo, 3/6).

U.N. News: U.N. chief urges completion of planned aid delivery to Douma in Syria’s East Ghouta
“United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has called on parties to the conflict in Syria to allow a humanitarian convoy to complete the delivery of supplies to Douma in Eastern Ghouta planned for Thursday…” (3/7).

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Ukrainians Lack Emergency Humanitarian Aid Funding, Medical Supplies In 'Forgotten' Crisis, U.N. Official Says

IRIN: Forgotten Ukrainians feel the bite of winter food cuts
“As winter tightens its grip on war-torn eastern Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to put food on the table due to a lack of funding for emergency humanitarian aid…” (Bociurkiw, 3/2).

Reuters: Ukrainian doctor struggles with lack of resources
“Family doctor Dmitriy Rozumiy struggles to bridge the gap between what his patients in rural Ukraine need and what the country’s cash-strapped health care system can provide…” (Garanich, 3/8).

U.N. News: Ukraine crisis ‘forgotten by the world,’ senior U.N. relief official says, urging greater global support
“With 4.4 million people in Ukraine soon to enter a fifth year of conflict, the international community has an important role to play in supporting conflict resolution and bringing about lasting peace — the only durable humanitarian solution for the affected population, a senior United Nations official has said…” (3/1).

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Sanofi To Decide Soon Whether To Seek U.S. Approval For Dengvaxia Despite Safety Concerns In Philippines

Reuters: Sanofi may seek U.S. approval for Dengvaxia despite Philippines outrage
“Sanofi will decide shortly whether to seek regulatory approval for its dengue vaccine Dengvaxia in the United States and remains committed to the medicine despite a health scare in the Philippines, a senior executive said on Wednesday…” (Blamont, 3/7).

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More News In Global Health

CNN: Amina Mohammed: Pushing for parity around the world (3/7).

The Guardian: ‘Woefully off track’: global goals leave behind over half the world’s children (Hodal, 3/7).

IRIN: After conflict, cholera (Okiror, 3/8).

New York Times: Uphill Battle Against Child Marriage Is Being Won in India, for Now (Schultz/Raj, 3/6).

Reuters: Nigeria says ‘unprecedented’ Lassa fever outbreak killed 110 this year (Akwagyiram, 3/7).

Science: Malaria-free but still sick: What’s giving millions of kids fevers? (Vogel, 3/7).

U.N. News: Latin America and Caribbean must ‘radically transform’ food habits to combat obesity — U.N. agency (3/7).

Xinhua News: WHO says meningitis kills 28 in South Sudan as infections soar (3/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Remains Committed To Investing In Global Health Security

Washington Times: How killer microbes endanger lives and jobs
Rebecca Martin, director of the Center for Global Health at the CDC, and Gary Cohen, executive vice president of global health at Becton Dickinson and Co.

“…The U.S. answer to [the risk of disease outbreaks] is the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a modern partnership building and strengthening capacity to thwart disease threats where they start. GHSA leverages a multisectoral approach with government and private sector engagement, new technology, and expertise to elevate health security as a component of our national security. President Trump’s budget request of $59 million in GHSA funding for fiscal 2019 demonstrates the administration’s commitment to global health security. This … funding also provides an important bridge to the extension of the GHSA announced by the administration in October 2017 in Uganda. … CDC strives to protect Americans by finding and ending outbreaks at their source. Perhaps more importantly, CDC is able to help countries build the capacity to identify and stop these diseases on their own. We must take advantage of the bridge funding provided in the administration’s budget to ensure the men and women of CDC are able to hunt disease threats across the globe, to save lives and to protect American jobs by ensuring strong economies” (3/7).

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Gender Parity In Global Health Should Focus On Addressing 'The Most Unequal Of The Unequal'

The Lancet Global Health: All gender inequality is not equal
Editorial Board

“…The global health community has taken a welcome lead on spotlighting [gender] inequity within its own ranks. … Putting some data on the table in this regard is a new report published [Wednesday] by the Global Health 50/50 initiative. The authors of the report examined publicly available sources for the gender-related policies and practices of 140 organizations in the global health field, including public-private partnerships, U.N. organizations, philanthropic and non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. … Some of the findings are incredibly dispiriting. Only half of the organizations explicitly commit to gender equality and only a third report gender-disaggregated data. 80 percent of boards are gender-biased and 80 percent are chaired by men. … [A]s the Global Health 50/50 authors admit, the organizations studied are largely based in high-income countries and thus the true extent of gender imbalance in global health organizations is likely to be much worse. Similarly, the Women in Global Health movement may not be benefiting the women most in need of support in their careers. … This International Women’s Day, those of us concerned with gender parity in global health should turn our focus towards a more progressive agenda in which the most unequal of the unequal are given priority” (3/7).

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International Development Organizations Must Work To Close Gender Leadership Gaps

Devex: Opinion: Closing the gender leadership gap in development
Sarah Grausz and Farah Mahesri, co-founders of Quantum Impact

“…[Quantum Impact is] proud to release our first report titled Realizing Diversity, Accelerating Impact. As part of this report, our researchers … examined the representation of women on leadership teams and board of directors at headquarter offices for international development organizations. Our report also looked at the representation of underrepresented minorities on leadership teams and board of directors. … Our credibility as development implementers requires us to practice what we preach. What can organizations do? The simple answer is: We need more women at the top. We at Quantum Impact recommend that organizations take the following steps to help address this critical imbalance. 1. Use data … 2. Focus on changing culture, not just one-off trainings … 3. Look beyond recruitment…” (3/7).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Post Discusses MCP, Trump Administration's Actions Related To International Family Planning Assistance

Center for American Progress: On International Women’s Day, Resist Trump’s Global Gag Rule
Jamila Taylor, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, and Jonathan Rucks, senior director of advocacy for PAI, discuss the Trump administration’s expanded Mexico City policy, withholding of UNFPA funding, and further proposed cuts to international family planning assistance (3/7).

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BreakPoint Commentary Examines Mexico City Policy

BreakPoint: The Mexico City Policy Works
John Stonestreet, president of the Chuck Colson Center and co-host of BreakPoint Radio, and Roberto Rivera, senior fellow and columnist at BreakPoint, discuss their support of the Mexico City policy (3/6).

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CGD President Discusses Importance Of Access To Contraception For Women To Achieve 'Full Human Potential'

Center for Global Development’s “Views from the Center”: Access to Contraception is a Global Development Issue
Masood Ahmed, president of the Center for Global Development, discusses the importance of access to contraception for women to achieve “their full economic and human potential.” He concludes, “Development is about more than improved living standards or a better quality of life — it is being empowered to make choices about one’s own life. Ensuring that half the world’s population can exercise their choices about whether and when to bear children is a development goal that should be a priority for all” (3/7).

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WHO DG Tedros Calls For Action To Realize Gender Equality In Health Care

World Health Organization: Gender equality must be at the core of ‘Health for All’
In this International Women’s Day statement, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus writes, “On this International Women’s Day, we imagine a world where every woman and girl has access to quality and affordable health care, a world in which women and girls can freely exercise their sexual and reproductive health rights, and one where all women and girls are treated and respected as equals. … At the World Health Organization, we’re speaking up for women and girls’ right to health. When women and girls are able to stay in school longer, plan or prevent pregnancies, and access health services without discrimination, they can improve their economic opportunities, and ultimately transform their futures. But, we also must do more than speak. We must act…” (3/7).

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ONE Publishes #PovertyisSexist Annual Letter To World Leaders

ONE Blog: We’re putting world leaders on notice this International Women’s Day
Clea Guy-Allen, digital manager at the ONE Campaign, writes, “This International Women’s Day, ONE is publishing its fourth annual #PovertyisSexist letter to world leaders, putting them on notice and asking them to deliver powerful changes for women and girls living in extreme poverty. … None of us are equal until all of us are equal, and we won’t stop campaigning until there is justice for women and girls everywhere…” (3/7).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash contains a video featuring Sheryl Sandberg, Christine Lagarde, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Her Excellency Monica Geingos, and many others in support of HER (HIV Epidemic Response for Women and Girls); an opinion piece by Global Fund Executive Director Peter Sands on advancing gender equality; and an infographic on HIV/AIDS among women and girls in Africa (3/8).

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AMA Journal Of Ethics' March Issue Examines Global Inequities In Reproductive Health Care

American Medical Association: Questions abound on global inequities in reproductive health care
“…Questions persist about access to — and the utility of — reproductive technologies and differential treatment on the basis of race, ethnicity, and gender. The roles of a rich country’s clinical education and training programs among poor patient populations, and the changing nature of national and international reproductive health law and policy also pose dilemmas. This month’s issue of the AMA Journal of Ethics® (@journalofethics) explores the ethical, social, and cultural stakes of reproductive health care as a global clinical and educational enterprise…” (3/7).

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From the U.S. Government

U.S. Recommits To Partnering With, Empowering Girls, Women To 'Write Their Own AIDS-Free Future'

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: International Women’s Day: Empowering Girls to Write Their Own AIDS-Free Future
Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. global AIDS coordinator and U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy at the U.S. Department of State, discusses PEPFAR’s DREAMS partnership to address HIV/AIDS among young women and adolescent girls. Birx writes, “This year, as we mark PEPFAR’s 15 Years of Saving Lives through American Generosity and Partnerships, we celebrate the important progress we have helped girls and young women make through our work in more than 50 countries. In the spirit of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we recommit to partnering with them as they write their own AIDS-free future” (3/7).

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