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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Governors Urge Congress To Approve Emergency Zika Funding; White House Warns Puerto Rico's Debt Crisis Could Inhibit Response

Associated Press: Mosquito season brings no urgency for money to fight Zika
“The White House and Democrats are pressuring congressional Republicans to act on President Barack Obama’s demands for money to combat Zika, but even the onset of mosquito season that probably will spread the virus has failed to create a sense of urgency…” (5/9).

The Hill: Governors urge Congress to act on Zika funding
“The nation’s governors are pressing Congress for ‘swift’ action to approve new funding to fight the Zika virus. ‘As Congress returns from recess today, the nation’s governors urge the administration and Congress to work together to reach agreement on the appropriate funding levels needed to prepare for and combat the Zika virus,’ the National Governors Association (NGA) said in a statement…” (Sullivan, 5/9).

POLITICO: Governors push Congress to approve emergency Zika funding
“…The governors’ message comes as lawmakers on Capitol Hill are at an impasse over what to do about Zika. Democrats are pushing the president’s request to immediately approve $1.9 billion in emergency funding to fight the mosquito-borne virus, while many Republicans say they need more detail from the agencies about how the new money will be spent before they approve it…” (Ehley, 5/9).

Reuters: White House: Puerto Rico debt crisis could hamper Zika response
“The White House said on Monday it was concerned the debt crisis confronting Puerto Rico could hamper its ability to deal with the potential public health crisis caused by the spread of the Zika virus, which has sickened nearly people 700 on the island…” (Rampton/Alexander, 5/9).

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Canada To Host Global Fund Replenishment Conference, Announces Pledge Increase To $785M Over 2017-19

Canadian Press/Toronto Star: Canada to host conference on AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria
“Canada will donate $785 million over the 2017-19 period to an international fund aimed at fighting AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday. That represents a 20 percent increase from Canada’s last pledge to the Global Fund, which was established in 2002 and raises an estimated $4 billion (U.S.) every year. Trudeau also said Canada will host the fund’s fifth fundraising conference Sept. 16 in Montreal…” (5/9).

CBC News: Justin Trudeau pledges $785M over 3 years to fight AIDS, TB, and malaria
“…Trudeau also announced Canada will promote the Global Fund’s social media campaign known as ‘End It For Good.’ … Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, was also in Ottawa to support the Global Fund initiative. … Gates urged world leaders to empower women and girls, who are most affected by AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria…” (Mas, 5/9).

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Most Nations' Laws Inadequate To Protect, Promote Breastfeeding, U.N. Report Says

U.N. News Centre: Most countries lack adequate laws to protect and promote breastfeeding — U.N.
“Laws to protect breastfeeding against the growing multi-billion-dollar breast-milk substitute business are inadequate in most countries, exposing small children to a greater risk of childhood diseases, according to a United Nations report released [Monday]…” (5/9).

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Maternal Health Advocates, Researchers Look To Better Match Funding To Programs To Reduce Morbidity, Mortality

Financial Times: Progress on maternal mortality hindered by ‘funding mismatch’
“When thousands of delegates travel to the latest Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen this month, they will see both a list of ‘best win’ ideas aimed at improving maternal health, and a ‘social enterprise challenge’ that showcases the projects intended to deliver them. These initiatives are examples of a growing focus, on the part of researchers, practitioners, and funders, to better match resources with evidence for policies that work to reduce unnecessary illness and death in mothers — and with the projects that can best implement them…” (Jack, 5/10).

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Asking For Additional $290M In Aid, UNDP Says Up To 4.5M Zimbabweans Will Need Food Assistance Over Coming Year

Reuters: U.N. agency says half of rural Zimbabwe will need food aid by next March
“The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said on Monday up to 4.5 million people, half of Zimbabwe’s drought-stricken rural population, will need aid by next March as the agency seeks to plug a funding gap of $290 million for assistance. An El Niño-induced drought has hit Southern Africa and cut the output of the staple maize crop…” (Dzirutwe, 5/9).

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Up To 5.3M People In South Sudan Face Severe Food Insecurity, WFP Says

Reuters: South Sudan food crisis may almost double to 5.3 million — U.N.
“Up to 5.3 million people in South Sudan may face a severe food shortages during this year’s lean season, the U.N. World Food Programme said on Monday, nearly double the number in the first three months of the year…” (Miles, 5/9).

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Ongoing Violence In CAR Halts Government Health Service Delivery, Limits Access To Care

U.N. News Centre: Three years of violence halt government health services in Central African Republic — U.N.
“More than three years of violence have dismantled the already very fragile health structures in the Central African Republic (CAR), bringing the government service delivery capacity to a complete stop, and leaving thousands of people vulnerable to diseases and with little access to health services, the United Nations humanitarian aid office said over the weekend…” (5/9)

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Malaria Vaccine Shows Some Protection For One Year In Clinical Trial

New York Times: A Malaria Vaccine Has Some Success in Testing
“An experimental malaria vaccine tested in varying doses provided 55 percent protection for one year to a few volunteers, a study released Monday said…” (McNeil, 5/9).

Science Speaks: Malaria vaccine candidate shows longer protection, promise, direction of next steps
“…The results, while still limited, represent the continued advance of an approach that scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease first noted promise nearly five years ago…” (Barton, 5/9).

TIME: Malaria Vaccine Shows Strongest Protection Yet
“…Doctors and scientists want a vaccine that offers protection for longer than [one year], but the new study, published Monday in the journal Nature Medicine, has shown the longest duration of protection so far. The vaccine, called PfSPZ is developed by the biotech company Sanaria Inc., which is focused on malaria, with the help of National Institutes of Health scientists and University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers…” (Sifferlin, 5/9).

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Research Into How Zika Causes Brain Damage Could Lead To Prevention Methods, Treatments

New York Times: A Window Into the Workings of Zika
“…How does the Zika virus cause brain damage, including the abnormally small heads in babies born to infected mothers? The answer could spur discoveries to prevent such devastating neurological problems. And time is of the essence. One year after the virus was first confirmed in Latin America, with the raging crisis likely to reach the United States this summer, no treatment or vaccine exists…” (Belluck, 5/9).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Highlight Messages Of Lancet Commission On Adolescent Health And Wellbeing, Highlight Age Group's Importance To Achieving SDGs

The Lancet: GBD 2013: a window into the world of young people
Shanthi Ameratunga and Simon Denny, both professors at the University of Auckland

“Between continuing threats to child survival in many low-income countries and increasing pressures of aging populations on health systems almost everywhere, the health needs of young people aged 10-24 years are all too readily bypassed. … [W]e can no longer — as scientists, health professionals, policymakers, or donor agencies — hide behind the pernicious veil of ignorance and inaction attributable to the ‘gaps and silences’ in available data. … Data alone do not impel political action or social change, but [there is a] resoundingly clear challenge for all nation states to address their duty of care. This involves attending to the so-called causes of the causes, the social conditions underlying the inequitably borne threats to health within countries. More particularly, the wide variations in disease and injury burden between countries demand a coordinated global strategy that focuses on young people’s health” (5/9).

The Lancet: Advancing the adolescent health agenda
Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…Failure to address the distinctive challenges that come with adolescence could not only jeopardize all that has been accomplished so far, it could also severely dent our chances of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to health, nutrition, education, gender equality, and food security. But as the [Lancet Commission on adolescent health and wellbeing] makes clear, if we do act, then we will see a triple dividend of benefits: for adolescents now, for them later as adults, and later still for their children. … Our foundation strongly supports the Lancet Commission’s call for a global accountability mechanism that can offer independent oversight of a comprehensive adolescent health agenda, with young people at the forefront. For too long adolescents have been the forgotten community of the health and development agenda. We cannot afford to neglect them any longer” (5/9).

The Lancet: Sustainability — engaging future generations now
Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the U.N.

“…To work effectively for and with adolescents, it is essential that we engage with stakeholders across the health, education, employment, governance, and other sectors. We must ensure that the marginalized have access to opportunities, end gender discrimination, and leverage technology for innovation. And we must do far more to prevent violations of the human rights of adolescents — especially girls. … If we can make a positive difference in the lives of 10-year-old girls and boys today, and expand their opportunities and capabilities over the next 15 years, we can ensure the success of the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)]. For me, the acronym ‘SDG’ also stands for ‘Sustainable Development Generation,’ and sustainability means engaging future generations today. The U.N. is strongly committed to working with all partners so that we can realize the full promise of the 2030 Agenda — and so that all adolescents can realize their full potential” (5/9).

The Lancet: Adolescent health and wellbeing: a key to a sustainable future
Sabine Kleinert, senior executive editor at The Lancet, and Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“…The biggest opportunity during the next 15 years and beyond is to make adolescents the human face of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). … [I]n addition to being a target group, adolescents should be actively involved in working towards the SDGs at all levels — as agents for change at the community, national, and international levels. Adolescents and young people are our best chance to achieve radical change for a prosperous, healthy, and sustainable world. The adolescents of today will be the policymakers of 2030. … The opportunity to extend gains made in the early years into a cycle of life-course achievements has never been greater” (5/9).

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International Community Must Empower African Farmers In Order To Protect Global Food Security

Los Angeles Times: African farmers need the tools and technology to adapt to a changing climate
Esther Ngumbi, research scientist at Auburn University in Alabama and 2015 Aspen New Voices Fellow

“…Across Africa and the globe, farmers need tools and technologies that will enable them to adapt to a changing climate. When those resources are available, people can be spared the worst effects of drought — and continue to eat. … To protect the most vulnerable farmers and consumers and to ensure global food security amidst a changing climate, farmers must be empowered to create agricultural solutions that correspond to their own local realities. … African farmers must be able to understand climate-related impacts on their crops, be part of developing tools to adapt to a changing climate, and have access to a full suite of tools to strengthen their resilience. … It is time for citizens, governments, universities, and private partners to join together to empower smallholder farmers with the tools they need to navigate the climate challenges ahead” (5/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID's Local Solutions Falls Short Of Target, But Progress Continues

Center for Global Development’s “Rethinking U.S. Development Policy”: USAID Didn’t Hit Its 30 Percent Target for Local Solutions — Here’s Why I’m Still Cheering
Casey Dunning, senior policy analyst at CGD, discusses the progress of USAID’s Local Solutions, the agency’s reform initiative to “increase direct partnerships with local governments, civil society, and the private sector,” noting the agency did not hit its target of “directing 30 percent of mission program funds to local entities by FY 2015.” Dunning offers suggestions on where reform efforts should focus now and in the future (5/6).

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Canada Shows 'Outstanding Leadership' By Hosting Global Fund Replenishment Conference, Increasing Pledge, Fund Says

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
“Canada demonstrated outstanding leadership in global health with a double announcement: The country will host the Fifth Replenishment Conference of the Global Fund in September, and is pledging a 20 percent increase in funding for the next three years…” (5/9).

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