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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

President Obama To Nominate Gayle Smith As USAID Administrator

News outlets report on a White House statement announcing President Obama’s intent to nominate Gayle E. Smith to head USAID.

Foreign Policy: Obama Taps Insider Gayle Smith to Lead USAID
“President Barack Obama has tapped a longtime Africa expert and member of his inner circle to run USAID, a move that likely will draw the strapped aid agency closer to the White House…” (Francis, 4/30).

New York Times: Obama Nominates Gayle Smith to Lead USAID
“…If confirmed by the Senate, Ms. Smith, a longtime development and Africa specialist in the Clinton and Obama administrations, would succeed Dr. Rajiv Shah, who left the agency in February after five years on the job…” (Cooper, 4/30).

PBS NewsHour: Obama to nominate Gayle Smith as next USAID chief
“… ‘Gayle’s energy and passion have been instrumental in guiding America’s international development policy, responding to a record number of humanitarian crises worldwide, and ensuring that development remains at the forefront of the national security agenda at a time when USAID is more indispensable than ever,’ the president said in a statement…” (4/30).

POLITICO: Obama nominates Gayle Smith as USAID chief
“…Smith previously served as a senior aide on the White House National Security Council staff, focusing on development and democracy policy, after a stint at the Center for American Progress. She also served in the Clinton administration and worked for two decades as a journalist in Africa…” (Lerner, 4/30).

TIME: President Obama to Nominate Gayle E. Smith as USAID Chief
“…The announcement comes just as the work of USAID is being put to much needed use. The department’s disaster and recovery team landed in Nepal on Wednesday, where they’re joining in the global effort to help survivors of Saturday’s massive earthquake…” (Rhodan, 4/30).

VOA News: Gayle Smith Nominated to Lead USAID
“…John Prendergast, founding director of the Enough Project, which Smith co-founded, said Smith ‘has spent her entire professional life doing work that perfectly prepares her to lead USAID’…” (4/30).

Wall Street Journal: White House Official Gayle Smith Tapped to Lead USAID
“… ‘Her expertise and vision have been instrumental to the administration’s successes in promoting food security, global health, Power Africa, and the Ebola response, to name just a few of our humanitarian and development priorities,’ [National Security Adviser Susan Rice] said…” (Schwarz, 4/30).

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WHO Steps Up Efforts To Reach Rural Areas In Nepal After Earthquake; U.N., Partners Focus On WASH, Food Security

International Business Times: Nepal Earthquake: In Tent Cities, Water Shortages, Open Toilets Add To Fears Of Looming Health Disaster
“…In the thousands of tent communities that have bloomed across Nepal’s earthquake-hit areas since Saturday, residents whose homes were destroyed often have no choice but to use parts of the encampments as communal, open-air toilets. With no housing plans yet for those left homeless by the quake, the prospect of prolonged tent-city living — with shortages of clean water, open defecation, and a looming monsoon season — is pushing relief workers to scramble to avoid a full-blown health and sanitation crisis…” (Lee, 4/30).

U.N. News Centre: Nepal: quake’s impact on food security likely ‘very high,’ warns U.N. agency
“Some eight million dollars is urgently needed to help disaster-struck Nepalese farmers rapidly recover lost agricultural inputs and resume preparations for the imminent rice sowing season, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said [Thursday]…” (4/30).

WHO: WHO, health partners striving to treat quake survivors in Nepal’s remote regions
“WHO has stepped up efforts to deliver critical medical relief to populations outside of the Kathmandu valley affected by Saturday’s earthquake, with a major focus on reaching injured people and preventing disease outbreaks…” (4/30).

WHO: Nepal: WHO works with partners to prevent diarrheal diseases
“WHO and partner organizations in Nepal have mobilized further resources including medicine and medical equipment to prevent the possible spread of diarrheal diseases among populations affected by the country’s devastating earthquake…” (5/1).

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PEPFAR Addressing Disproportionate Impact Of HIV On Young Women, Particularly In Africa

VOA News: Young Women Bear HIV Burden
“The head of PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, says young women and girls are disproportionally affected by HIV. Dr. Deborah Birx said seven thousand young women are infected each week with the AIDS virus — mostly in Africa. … Ambassador Birx is helping to lead an effort protect women and girls and change the course of the epidemic…” (DeCapua, 4/30).

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U.S. Closes Ebola Treatment Unit In Liberia As Country Prepares To Be Declared Ebola-Free

Agence France-Presse: Liberia closes U.S.-built Ebola unit
“The United States decommissioned its treatment unit Thursday for Liberian health care workers infected with Ebola, with the country set to be declared free of the virus within two weeks…” (4/30).

VOA News: U.S. Shuts Ebola Treatment Center in Liberia
“…Liberia has gone 32 days without a new Ebola case. If it stays that way until May 9, the World Health Organization most likely will declare the country Ebola-free…” (4/30).

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Some Ebola Survivors Complain Of Lingering Fatigue, Joint Pain, Vision Problems

Wall Street Journal: Host of Ailments Plague African Ebola Survivors
“…More than 15,000 people have survived Ebola in West Africa, and more than 10,800 died, in the largest epidemic of the disease by far in history — one that has yet to be extinguished. But many have emerged with an assortment of mysterious physical ailments, including joint pain, fatigue, and a particularly worrisome and common complaint: vision loss…” (McKay, 4/30).

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With Only 25 Reported Polio Cases This Year, Experts Tout Progress Against Paralytic Disease

Reuters: Polio eradicators hail historic progress, aim to ‘finish the job’
“The world is closer than ever to being able to wipe out polio, international experts said on Thursday, with zero cases of the crippling disease recorded across all of Africa this year and fewer than 25 globally. Polio eradication specialists are wary of claiming premature success and warn complacency could prove the project’s downfall, but with only two countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, reporting polio cases in 2015, they see an end in sight…” (Kelland, 4/30).

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India Aims To Eliminate Visceral Leishmaniasis By End 2015

The Lancet: India makes good progress in combating kala-azar
“…Transmitted by the bite of a sandfly, visceral leishmaniasis, also know as kala-azar, is a neglected tropical disease that affects the poorest of the poor and if left untreated will ultimately be fatal. India has 50 percent of the world’s cases and 70 percent of those are in Bihar. … According to India’s National Health Policy, the country aims to eliminate it by the end of 2015… (Cousins, 5/2).

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Poor Sanitation In Camps For Boko Haram Displaced Increasing Disease Risk, Relief Workers Say

Agence France-Presse: Disease risk rising in camps for Boko Haram displaced: officials
“The risk of disease is rising in camps for people displaced by Boko Haram violence because of deteriorating sanitary conditions, relief workers in northeast Nigeria said Thursday…” (4/30).

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Somalis Continue To Face Hunger 3 Years After Famine

Agence France-Presse: After Somalia’s famine, hunger persists
“At a hospital in Mogadishu’s Yaqshid district, children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, worsened by stomach and chest infections, are receiving treatment that is likely saving their young lives. Three years have elapsed since famine killed more than a quarter of a million people in Somalia –- more than half of them children –- yet for many of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people the hunger has not gone away…” (McConnell, 5/1).

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Editorials and Opinions

USG's Global Nutrition Coordination Plan Must Recognize Link Between Soil Health, Food Nutrients

The Hill: U.S. global nutrition plan should bring nutrition back to Earth
Esther Ngumbi, a 2015 Clinton Global University (CGI U) Mentor for agriculture and a 2015 New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute

“…Given that unhealthy diets fuel chronic disease worldwide, the U.S. government is engaging every federal agency with a hand in nutrition to develop a global nutrition strategy. … But with the strategy outline finally available for public comment, I am struck by one glaring and fundamental omission: soil. … [A]s soil is depleted, relationships between the soil and plants that have evolved over eons are disrupted, and with it, human health. … The U.S. government’s Global Nutrition Coordination Plan offers an opportunity to make this connection, and to bring the global conversation on nutrition back to earth” (4/30).

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Donors Must Help Build Local Capacity In Recipient Nations To Ensure Aid Efficiency, Efficacy

The Hill: Foreign aid on the front line
Linn Dorin, principal of Global Finance Strategies, and Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief of Devex

“…The Ebola outbreak highlighted one of the biggest limitations in the world’s current approach to international development: local capacity. Money is critical in an emergency, but it is equally important that a country has the ability to use that money effectively. … To prevent the next epidemic and solve some of the world’s most challenging problems, we need to do more than just train nurses and build health centers. We need to build the operational and financial capacities of the local institutions that are essential partners in the delivery of effective aid” (4/30).

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Journalists, Disaster Responders Must Ask Important Questions To Have Greatest Impact

New York Times Magazine: How Not to Report on an Earthquake
Jonathan M. Katz, freelance journalist and author

“…Those engaged in the [earthquake] response [in Nepal], whether covering it or participating in it, now have to ask the questions we’ve failed to ask in the past: How exactly did the earthquake affect a given problem? What are the specific goals of the relief effort concerning it? And how will we know if they’ve been met? We don’t know for sure what will come of a relief effort in which everyone is asking those questions, because we’ve never really done it before. But for the people now struggling through their ordeal in the Himalayas, there’s no better time to try” (4/28).

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Brazil's Government Making Effort To Keep Up With Hundreds Of Thousands Of Dengue Cases

New York Times: 10 Days of Dengue Fever
Vanessa Barbara, columnist for O Estado de São Paulo and editor of A Hortaliça

“…I was one of the roughly 500,000 Brazilians infected with dengue fever in the first three months of 2015, over half of them in the state of São Paulo, according to the Ministry of Health. … It took three weeks for me to find out for sure it was dengue, after a test at a private laboratory showed that my blood serum contained antibodies to the disease. The situation is even worse within the public health system. … The São Paulo authorities are making an effort to fill in the gaps. … [T]he same story plays out every year, with different excuses. According to the World Health Organization, the incidence of dengue worldwide has increased thirtyfold over the last 50 years. More than 40 percent of the world’s population is now at risk of being infected, including people in developed countries…” (5/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID, State Department's 2015 QDDR Reinforces Importance Of Diplomacy In Achieving Development Goals

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: Aid Pushed to the Forefront of U.S. Foreign Policy
Alex Thier, USAID’s assistant to the administrator for policy, planning and learning, discusses the release of the second Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which “provides a blueprint for advancing America’s interests in global security, inclusive economic growth, climate change, accountable governance, and freedom for all…” (4/30).

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USAID Fact Sheet Outlines Agency's Immunization Efforts

USAID: Saving Children’s Lives: USAID’s Support for Immunization
This fact sheet describes USAID’s immunization activities, as the agency “works closely with partners around the world, including national governments, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the GAVI Vaccine Alliance, and others, to extend access to life-saving vaccines…” (April 2015).

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CSIS Video, Event Highlight Family Planning In Senegal

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Video and Event Shine Spotlight on Family Planning in Senegal
Janet Fleischman, senior associate at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses a new video by CSIS on family planning in Senegal and an April 27 event, titled “Partnerships to Advance Family Planning in Senegal: Lessons for U.S. Policy,” which featured Senegal Health Minister Awa Marie Coll Seck as the keynote speaker (4/30).

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May 2015 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The May 2015 WHO Bulletin includes news, research, and policy articles on various topics, as well as editorials on measuring self-reported HIV status and calling for papers on improving the health of women, children, and adolescents (May 2015).

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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 discusses efforts to prevent and treat malaria worldwide (5/1).

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