KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

CDC Director Redfield Requests, Receives Salary Reduction After Questions Raised Over Record $375K Compensation

Associated Press: CDC chief asks for, and gets, cut to his record $375K pay
“The new head of the top U.S. public health agency has asked for — and will receive — a cut to his record-setting pay, federal officials said Monday. Dr. Robert Redfield Jr.’s new salary was not revealed…” (Stobbe, 5/1).

The Hill: CDC director asks for salary reduction after questions raised
“…Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, who oversees the CDC, agreed to Robert Redfield’s request, an HHS spokesperson said Monday. Redfield told Azar he did not want to have his compensation become a distraction for the agency…” (Weixel, 4/30).

New York Times: CDC Director’s $375,000 Salary Will Be Cut
“…Dr. Redfield, who became the CDC director in March, had been given the higher salary under a provision called Title 42. It was created by Congress to allow federal agencies to offer compensation that is competitive with the private sector in order to attract top-notch scientists with expertise that the departments would not otherwise have. News reports of his earnings sparked complaints from Senate Democrats and watchdog groups…” (Belluck, 4/30).

Washington Post: CDC director asks that his $375,000 salary be cut after questions raised
“…In a letter Friday to Azar, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) asked for the justification for offering Redfield ‘a salary significantly higher’ than that of his predecessors and other leaders at HHS. … Reacting to the latest news Monday about Redfield’s salary, Murray said: ‘The Secretary of Health reduced Dr. Redfield’s salary only after concerns were raised, and the public still deserves thorough answers to my questions about why Dr. Redfield — who has limited public health experience to begin with — was hired under a special hiring authority intended for candidates with rare scientific, technical, or clinical skills, and at a higher salary than many Cabinet secretaries’…” (Sun, 4/30).

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Media Outlets Examine U.S. Warnings To U.N. Members Whose Votes Do Not Align With U.S.; South Africa On List Of Countries Least Likely To Vote With U.S. At U.N.

Foreign Policy: Nikki Haley’s Loyalty Test Backfires
“In her first day on the job, Nikki Haley issued a stern warning to her U.N. colleagues from the lobby of U.N. headquarters: back American initiatives at Turtle Bay or face unspecified consequences. There was a new sheriff in town, Haley made clear, and she ‘would be taking names’ of those who crossed the United States. … But Haley’s strategy has failed to broaden support for American positions at the U.N…” (Lynch, 4/30).

Mail & Guardian: U.S. threatens to cut funding to South Africa
“…The U.S. has now compiled its U.N. Voting Practices Report for 2017 and determined exactly which U.N. member states are likely to vote in its favor or against it. South Africa, it found, is among the 10 countries in the U.N. who are least likely to vote with the U.S., and may therefore, Haley argued, be among the countries who are not deserving of American funding…” (Pather, 4/30).

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UNAIDS Reopening Investigation Into Sexual Abuse Allegations At Request Of WHO DG; U.N. SG Welcomes Move

Associated Press: U.N. agency that fights AIDS reopens sexual harassment case
“The U.N. agency that fights AIDS says that it’s reopening a sexual harassment investigation against a top official, saying additional allegations have emerged against him. … A UNAIDS statement Monday said that World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus requested that the U.N.’s internal oversight office conduct the new investigation…” (4/30).

Xinhua News: U.N. chief welcomes new inquiry into UNAIDS sex abuse allegations
“U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres on Monday welcomed the reopening of an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct by the deputy director of UNAIDS, Luiz Loures. ‘We welcome the decision by UNAIDS to reopen the investigation into these allegations and to suspend the decisions to close the case until the outcome of the broader investigation,’ said chief U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric during a regular briefing with reporters…” (Reilly, 4/30).

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Gates Discusses Conversation With President Trump About Vaccines, Other Issues In STAT Interview

STAT: Bill Gates got President Trump fired up about a universal flu vaccine — and also (maybe) got a job offer
“Bill Gates was talking to President Trump in the Oval Office last month when the conversation turned to the notion of a universal flu vaccine — probably, as Gates recalled in an interview, ‘the longest conversation about universal flu vaccine that the president’s ever had.’ …The flu vaccine discussion. An unexpected job offer from Trump. Some criticism for a previous president. And an explanation from Gates on why he chose global health philanthropy over political spending. A team of journalists from STAT sat down on Friday in Boston for a freewheeling discussion with the head of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — and also got a sense of just how steeped he has become in matters involving vaccines, pandemics, and public health. Here’s what we heard…” (Branswell, 4/30).

Additional coverage of the STAT interview and Gates’s discussions with President Trump is available from Fortune, Mashable, Quartz, and USA TODAY.

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The Independent Examines Ongoing Efforts To Eradicate Polio

The Independent: The long and expensive fight to eradicate polio
“For more than a quarter of a century a group of a few hundred experts based in Switzerland has been masterminding the most complex medical campaign of all time — to eradicate polio … They … have chased the virus to the brink of extinction. Success is now tantalizingly close. … But the program has missed every deadline it set itself for eliminating the disease — in 2000, 2004, 2009, 2012, and 2016. Some critics allege it has become a lifestyle, not a mission…” (Laurance, 4/30).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Q&A: Improving public services in Africa (Jerving, 5/1).

Global Health NOW: Not the Starbucks of Global Health: Vital Strategies Builds From Within (Simpson, 4/30).

Intellectual Property Watch: Geneva Developed Country Attachés For IP And Health To Meet (4/30).

Reuters: Heavy rains, landslides kill at least 100 in Kenya: Red Cross (Akwiri/Mohammed, 4/30).

The Telegraph: Cholera epidemic fears in Somalia and Kenya as severe flooding forces families to flee their homes (Blomfield, 4/30).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Pakistan moves to curb urban air pollution after high court ruling (Shaikh/Tunio, 4/30).

Xinhua News: Kenya launches WHO-backed framework to curb mental illness (4/30).

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Editorials and Opinions

Development Community Should Continue To Ascertain Effectiveness Of Blended Finance For Achieving SDGs

Inter Press Service: Blending Finance Not SDG Financing Silver Bullet
Anis Chowdhury, professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney, and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, assistant secretary general for Economic Development at the U.N.

“After largely failing to provide 0.7 percent of their Gross National Income (GNI) in aid to developing countries for almost half a century since making the commitment, donor countries have recently promoted blended finance (BF) as a solution to the financing for development challenge. … It is unclear how public development funds, channeled through risky commercial financial services, will effectively mobilize private resources for sustainable development. … Many BF projects do not monitor development impacts, while the few evaluations made are rarely publicly available. The limited evidence available suggests a modest impact on poverty. … Despite much enthusiasm for using [overseas development aid (ODA)] or public funds to leverage private finance, many unanswered questions remain, suggesting BF is no silver bullet. Caution is needed as the development community ascertains the pros and cons of using public money to ‘leverage’ private finance…” (4/30).

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Public-Private Partnerships Can Help Senegal Achieve Malaria Prevention Goals

New York Times: In a Corner of Senegal, a Victory Over Malaria
Amy Yee, journalist

“Thousands of seasonal migrant workers flock to Richard Toll, a dusty city in northern Senegal near the Mauritania border. They come for work at the Senegalese Sugar Company, the country’s second-largest employer after the government. In addition to their skills, they may also bring malaria. This flow of migrant workers once made Richard Toll a malaria hot spot in Senegal. But a partnership between government and a private company has had remarkable results fighting the disease. … In 2011, a Senegalese government malaria program, in partnership with PMI and an American public health nonprofit named PATH, approached the sugar company. They told Dr. Aboubacar Gassama, the company’s chief medical officer, that malaria could be eradicated there. … After many attempts at agreement, the program eventually took shape. It worked immediately. Over the next six months the company reported a total of 24 malaria cases — about what it used to experience in one day. And in 2016 there were only 29 cases for the entire year — all of them brought by migrant workers. … How was this result achieved? Partnership between government and the company was critical, as well as focusing on prevention…” (5/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Director Of CDC Center For Global Health Discusses Economic Impacts Of Pandemic Outbreaks, Other Issues In Rabin Martin Interview

Rabin Martin: Diseases do not respect borders: A conversation with the CDC’s Dr. Rebecca Martin on the economic case for preventing disease outbreaks
“Tina Flores, who leads the [Global Health Security Agenda Private Sector Roundtable (PSRT)] secretariat at Rabin Martin, talks with [Rebecca Martin, director of the CDC Center for Global Health,] about some of CDC’s recent research on the effects of pandemic outbreak on the U.S. economy and the organization’s relationship with industry, and gets Dr. Martin’s take on why an ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure…” (4/30).

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MFAN Co-Chairs Deliver Testimony To Congress On FY19 Appropriations

MFAN: MFAN Testimony on Fiscal Year 2019 Appropriations
In joint testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee for State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs on April 20, MFAN Co-Chairs George Ingram, Tessie San Martin, and Connie Veillette discussed the FY19 budget, urging Congress to reject cuts to foreign assistance proposed by the Trump administration and highlighting “the importance of accountable U.S. foreign assistance for sustainable development impact” (4/30).

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NCD Efforts Need More Political Leadership, Accountability To Achieve Goals, Expert Says

BMJ Opinion: Richard Smith: Making 2018 the year of NCD
Richard Smith, chair of icddr,b, discusses remarks made last month at a C3 Collaborating for Health breakfast seminar by Robert Beaglehole, chair of the Lancet NCD Action Group, about the stalled progress toward reaching global goals on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Smith writes, “Despite the dismal progress so far, Beaglehole remains optimistic. He sees three priorities: achieving political leadership and commitment; simplifying what countries need to do; and holding countries accountable” (5/1).

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May 2018 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The May 2018 WHO Bulletin includes articles on various issues, including an editorial on potential yellow fever epidemics in unexposed populations, an article on the challenges Zambia faces in its efforts to eliminate malaria, and a “Lessons from the Field” piece on lessons learned from Japan’s G7 presidency and prioritization of universal health coverage (May 2018).

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