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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Repeal Of Mexico City Policy Unlikely, Sen. Shaheen Says

CQ HealthBeat: Shaheen Acknowledges Repeal of Mexico City Rule Is Unlikely
“The Senate’s lead advocate for rolling back President Donald Trump’s sweeping Mexico City policy affecting groups that provide information on abortion is not optimistic about the prospects for success in the fiscal 2018 omnibus spending bill. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., sponsored an amendment to the Senate version of the fiscal 2018 foreign aid appropriations measure (S 1780) that would repeal Trump’s decision to reinstate the anti-abortion policy … Shaheen said the political dynamics are no longer in her favor in the appropriations process…” (3/8).

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Mexico City Policy Impacting Health Care Delivery In Africa, Aid Groups Say

CNN: U.S. abortion funding rule hurting health overseas, aid groups argue
“…[A]id groups report they are beginning to see a host of negative impacts [from the Trump administration’s Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance plan]. … The findings are in reports examining the Trump administration’s radically expanded version of the so-called ‘Mexico City policy’…” (Gaouette, 3/8).

Quartz Africa: Trump’s Global Gag rule on abortion is hurting African women
“…In January 2017, Trump restored the so-called Mexico City Policy that was first instituted by the Reagan administration in 1984. … In March 2017, Trump also [invoked] the Kemp-Kasten amendment … to [withhold] funding to the United Nations Population Fund. In Africa, the effect was felt almost immediately…” (Chutel, 3/8).

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DFID Supports Access To Abortion As Part Of Sexual, Reproductive Health Care Worldwide, Official Says

Devex: U.K. aid official offers ‘loud and strong’ support for access to abortion worldwide
“A top United Kingdom aid official has reassured advocates that the Department for International Development remains a ‘loud and strong voice for universal access to sexual and reproductive health’ services, including abortion, for women and girls in developing countries. Speaking at the launch of a new report from the U.K. All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population, Development and Reproductive Health, which calls for the U.K. government to support safe abortion at home and abroad, International Development Minister Alistair Burt said: ‘DFID is absolutely clear that safe abortion is a crucial element of the full range of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights services’…” (Edwards, 3/9).

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U.N. Marks International Women's Day With Calls For Equal Rights, More Opportunities For Women Worldwide

U.N. News: On International Women’s Day, U.N. celebrates the power of activism to bring change for ‘sisterhood of humanity’
“The drumbeat for women’s rights and empowerment reached a crescendo on Thursday as the United Nations celebrated International Women’s Day with a number of powerful events, where global activists joined top U.N. officials calling for the recent momentum generated by grassroots movements against discrimination and harassment to tip the scales towards lasting change…” (3/8).

Xinhua News: Sustainable development goals cannot be achieved if women’s rights denied: U.N.
“President of the U.N. General Assembly Miroslav Lajcak said Thursday that the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved if women’s rights are denied. ‘We cannot achieve the sustainable development goals, or peace, if half of our global population is denied both rights and opportunities,’ Lajcak told a large audience at a U.N. event marking the International Women’s Day…” (3/8).

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'Tobacco Epidemic' Growing In Developing Nations, Newly Released Tobacco Atlas Shows

Axios: Big Tobacco is targeting developing nations: report
“Scientists and tobacco control advocates report the ‘tobacco epidemic’ continues to grow, particularly in the Middle East, Asia, and African countries that lack tobacco control laws and have low taxes, according to ‘The Tobacco Atlas‘ released Thursday…” (O’Reilly, 3/8).

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Devex Examines Relationship Between British Media, U.K. Aid Sector In 3-Part Series

Devex: Bad news: How does media coverage affect public attitudes toward aid?
“This is the first of a three-part series on the relationship between the United Kingdom media and aid, the result of a year-long special reporting project. In this article, Devex looks at the impact of media coverage on public attitudes toward aid, and the growth of anti-aid sentiment. Watch out for parts two and three, coming soon…” (Anders, 3/9).

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Aid Convoy Unable To Reach Syria's Eastern Ghouta Due To Continued Fighting; Rebel-Held Area 'Hell On Earth' For Children, UNICEF Head Says

Reuters: UNICEF chief calls Syria’s Ghouta ‘hell on earth’ for children
“The head of the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said on Thursday the besieged Syrian enclave of Eastern Ghouta had become a ‘hell on earth’ for children and aid was urgently needed…” (Nehme/McDowall, 3/8).

U.N. News: Fighting prevents U.N. and aid partners from returning to Syria’s war-battered East Ghouta
“Continuing fighting forced the postponement on Thursday of a United Nations inter-agency relief convoy to Douma, a neighborhood in Syria’s war-ravaged Eastern Ghouta, a U.N. spokesman reported. This news comes after the U.N. and other humanitarian agencies were forced on Monday to leave after nine hours in Douma amid ongoing shelling in East Ghouta and the Syrian capital, Damascus…” (3/8).

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Afghanistan's Health System Improved But Room For Progress, World Bank Report Says

Public Finance International: Afghanistan health system still has a ‘long way to go’
“Afghanistan has strongly improved its health outcomes despite continuing insecurity but still has a ‘long way to go,’ the World Bank has said. The improved health gains come as a result of expanded frontline health services and a stronger health system, the report, titled Progress in the Face of Insecurity: Improving Health Outcomes in Afghanistan, found…” (Rensh, 3/8).

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More News In Global Health

The Guardian: ‘There are a lot of unknowns’: British scientists set to work on Zika vaccine (Phillips, 3/9).

The Lancet: Access to family planning in Senegal (Yee, 3/10).

New York Times: How One Child’s Sickle Cell Mutation Helped Protect the World From Malaria (Zimmer, 3/8).

U.N. News: U.N. seeks $80 million to support refugees in Ethiopia (3/8).

Vanguard: Nigeria loses 800,000 children due to lack of immunization, says GAVI (3/8).

Xinhua News: Kenya’s First Lady launches strategic plan to fight cancer (3/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Should 'Reclaim Mantle Of International Leadership,' Take Lead On Humanitarian Crisis In Myanmar

New York Times: John McCain and Angelina Jolie: America Should Lead in Saving the Rohingya
John McCain (R-Ariz.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Angelina Jolie, filmmaker and co-founder of the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict Initiative

“Around the world, there is profound concern that America is giving up the mantle of global leadership. … We need to show equal resolve now to stop the violence and safeguard the rights and freedoms of all Burmese peoples. The United States should take the lead …, and ask our partners and allies to join us. … While politics have left Americans deeply divided, we can all unite around the belief that a commitment to freedom, justice, and human rights has distinguished the United States as a great nation. Our failure to hold accountable those who commit mass atrocities and human rights abuses will lead to more violence and instability. As the humanitarian crises in Myanmar, Syria, and elsewhere intensify, the world is closely watching whether the United States will reclaim the mantle of international leadership and take action. For the sake of all people who still look to America as a beacon of hope and yearn for a future based on shared values, it’s critical that we do” (3/8).

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The Lancet Publishes Editorial, Perspective Piece On New Global Fund Director Peter Sands

The Lancet: The Global Fund under Peter Sands
Editorial Board

“…[Peter Sands, executive director of the Global Fund,] accepts that the broader global health community is skeptical of the value of partnerships with businesses such as Heineken. He is willing to listen to critics. But he is also unapologetic about engaging with the private sector. Partnerships with business will be his signature raison d’être. Sands is pursuing a strategy of constructive disruption at the Global Fund. A shake-up is welcome. The Global Fund needs new energy and thinking. But alienating large parts of the global health community, with whom the Global Fund should be forging productive alliances, is an error. Sands needs to take a remedial course on global health diplomacy and balance his passion for the private sector with respect for the pluralism of the global health community. The diversity of global health is a strength for the Global Fund. Draw on it, don’t dismiss it” (3/10).

The Lancet: Peter Sands: charting a new course for The Global Fund
Pamela Das, senior executive editor of The Lancet

“…Unusually for this position, Sands is neither a physician nor a scientist. Instead, he worked as a banker and was Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered until 2015 before focusing on his long-standing interest and involvement in infectious diseases and global health. … Sands believes the Global Fund’s objectives should not only be framed around saving millions more lives but also on how to win. … A major challenge for Sands is the turbulent global political environment in which populism and nationalism threaten global cooperation, and the subsequent decline in global health funding. … Sands makes clear he will focus on ‘the internal effectiveness of the organization, and will look for partnerships to strengthen existing capabilities, such as helping to address logistics and supply challenges to reach key populations and to reduce new infections’…” (3/10).

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Affordable, Accessible Diagnostic Technologies Critical To Preventing Outbreaks, Bolstering Health Security

Science: Health security’s blind spot
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…[T]o achieve sustainable global epidemic preparedness, we need to stimulate the development of cutting-edge diagnostic technologies — both for laboratories and for use in the field in remote locations — and make them available and affordable in low-income countries. … Early detection through reliable, available, and efficient testing is essential to stopping outbreaks before they spread. With many diseases presenting similar first symptoms, it’s all too easy to get a diagnosis wrong and potentially miss an outbreak. And given the ease and speed at which pathogens can now travel in the modern urban-dense global village, any delay in diagnosis will inevitably and increasingly be measured in lives lost” (3/9).

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Donors Should Use Joint Oversight System To Investigate Corruption, Sexual Exploitation In Humanitarian Sector

Devex: Opinion: How donors can address aid agency oversight
Gregory Gottlieb, director of the Feinstein International Center at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University

“…At a time when the need for humanitarian response is growing, we need a comprehensive system of oversight that jointly tackles the issues that allow abuse of local people and aid workers and threaten the humanitarian system. … A joint oversight system will more strongly enforce … prevention mechanisms. … Working together, donors and their partners can incentivize reporting of abuses through more professional investigative techniques that protect those who come forth while providing an objective investigative tool. Sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse against beneficiaries and aid workers is intolerable and illegal. This system will be a major step toward ending the problem of sexual violence in the aid sector” (3/8).

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Opinion Pieces Recognize, Address Issues Related To International Women's Day, Women's Rights

Asian Correspondent: It’s time She Decides whether, when and with whom (Thanenthiran, 3/8).

The Conversation: Women need more freedom during labour, not a medicalized birth script to follow (Einion, 3/8).

Global Health NOW: Women: Stand Up to Big Tobacco (Henning, 3/7).

Chronicle of Philanthropy: A Pledge on International Women’s Day: Female Donors, Join Forces (Fitzgerald, 3/8).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CGD Blog Post Discusses Proposed Bill To Create U.S. International Development Finance Corporation

Center for Global Development’s “U.S. Development Policy”: Congress wants to BUILD a full-service U.S. International Development Finance Corporation!
Erin Collinson, senior policy associate and assistant director of CGD’s U.S. Development Policy Initiative, and Gailyn Portelance, research assistant at CGD, discuss the proposed “Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018, which would create a full-service United States International Development Finance Corporation (USIDFC)” (3/8).

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Working Paper Examines Challenges Of Middle-Income Countries Set To Transition From Multilateral Assistance

Brookings Institution: Are tough times ahead for countries graduating from foreign aid?
Gavin Yamey, director of the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health and professor of global health at the Duke Global Health Institute, and Robert Hecht, president of Pharos Global Health Advisors and professor in the School of Public Health and the Jackson Institute of Global Affairs at Yale University, discuss the challenges some middle-income countries could face as they transition away from multilateral concessional assistance. The authors highlight an analysis they conducted with other colleagues examining countries that previously graduated from International Development Association (IDA) support (3/8).

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Frontline Health Workers Coalition Publishes Commentaries, Fact Sheet Addressing Women's Roles In Health, Recognizing International Women's Day

Frontline Health Workers Coalition Blog: Empowering Women in the Health Workforce for Economic and Social Growth
Samantha Rick, advocacy and policy officer with FHWC and IntraHealth International, introduces a new fact sheet, titled “Investing in the Health Workforce For Women’s Economic Empowerment,” and discusses the importance of investment in health employment, especially for women (3/8).

Frontline Health Workers Coalition Blog: Women of Action: The “Force” in the Global Health Workforce
Vanessa Kerry, CEO of Seed Global Health, discusses women’s roles in health care and the need for more women in health leadership positions (3/7).

Frontline Health Workers Coalition Blog: Women, the driving force behind progress in the fight against NTDs
Katie Crowley and Scott McPherson of RTI International write about the efforts of “the many women pressing for progress in the fight to eliminate NTDs” (3/7).

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New IntraHealth International Blog Series Explores Topic Of Women In Global Health Leadership

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: New Series: Women on the Rise in Global Health
Margarite Nathe, senior editor/writer at IntraHealth International, announces a new series on IntraHealth’s “Vital” that explores why there aren’t more women in global health leadership positions. Nathe writes, “We’ll be featuring women leaders from throughout the health care and global health fields this year to get their insights on what it will take to change the statistics…” (3/8).

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Global Fund Launches New Video On HER Initiative On International Women's Day

Friends of the Global Fight: Standing with HER — HIV Epidemic Response — on International Women’s Day
Katie Broendel, senior communications manager at Friends of the Global Fight, discusses the Global Fund’s HER — HIV Epidemic Response — initiative, highlighting a new video launched by the Global Fund to mark International Women’s Day (3/8).

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PLOS Blog Highlights Recent Research On NCDs, Impacts On Maternal, Child Health

PLOS Blog’s “EveryONE”: Addressing health care needs of women and mothers to ensure a healthy future
In a blog post recognizing International Women’s Day, Adya Misra, associate editor at PLOS ONE, highlights “some recent research published in PLOS ONE that focuses on non-communicable illness such as depression or obesity during pregnancy and how it impacts women and their children” (3/8).

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From the U.S. Government

President Trump Releases Statement On International Women's Day

White House: Statement from the President on International Women’s Day
“On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the many incredible contributions made by women of all ages in the United States and around the world. We honor the vital role of women in our communities, businesses, civil society, and government. And we reaffirm our nation’s commitment to ensuring that every person has the opportunity to succeed…” (3/8).

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Blog Post Highlights Efforts Of Saving Lives At Birth Grand Challenge Innovators

USAID’s “ImpactBlog”: The Time to Make Progress? Right Now.
Sofia Stafford, program assistant in the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact who helps manage the Saving Lives at Birth Grand Challenge, recognizes International Women’s Day and discusses how Saving Lives at Birth (SL@B) innovators are helping to improve the continuum of maternal and newborn health care worldwide (3/8).

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