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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Announces Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy To Reduce Hunger, Stunting

Media outlets report on USAID’s launch of the agency’s Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy 2014-2025 (.pdf).

Devex: USAID, Susan Rice launch ‘360-degree’ nutrition strategy
“The U.S. Agency for International Development, with help from National Security Adviser Susan Rice, announced Thursday a new ‘multi-sectoral nutrition strategy’ which aims to reduce by two million over five years the number of chronically malnourished and ‘stunted’ children worldwide and also to keep acute malnutrition below 15 percent in places experiencing humanitarian crisis…” (Igoe, 5/22).

USAID: USAID Pledges to Improve Nutrition for Millions of Children and Mothers with New Approach
“…Overall, the new 360-degree approach unveiled today by National Security Adviser Susan Rice and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah will cut the rate of stunting by 20 percent in places where USAID works…” (5/22).

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E.U. Pledges Nearly $240M To GAVI; GSK Offers Vaccine Price Freeze For Some Nations

News outlets report on the GAVI Alliance’s replenishment conference and commitments from the private sector.

Devex: Why the E.U. ‘likes’ GAVI
“On Tuesday, the European Commission announced it will contribute €175 million (almost $240 million) to fund the GAVI Alliance’s global immunization efforts over the next six years…” (Donelli, 5/22).

FierceVaccines: Glaxo announces 5-year price freeze for post-GAVI countries
“GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has been a partner of the GAVI Alliance for years, offering some of its vaccines at low cost to help support immunization efforts for children in emerging countries. But now, it’s going one step further with a five-year price freeze on three of its vaccines for countries that graduate from GAVI funding…” (Helfand, 5/22).

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Experts Call For Intergovernmental Response To Drug Resistance

News outlets report on a call from infectious disease experts for a global response to drug resistance.

The Guardian: Antibiotic-resistant bugs need global response, say health experts
“Antibiotic-resistant pathogens have reached every country, with some patients being treated with drugs that are now the last line of defense against infections. Scientists gathered at the Royal Society in London on Thursday warned the situation is so desperate that a global response in line with efforts to combat climate change is needed…” (Sample, 5/22).

The Independent: Drug-resistant HIV pandemic is a ‘real possibility,’ expert claims
“…Resistant strains of tuberculosis, malaria, MRSA, and HIV have already spread around the world, they write. The focus of concerns has been antibiotic resistance, which relates to bacterial infections, but viral infections such as HIV and malaria are now also showing signs of resistance…” (Cooper, 5/22).

Reuters: Superbug threat as grave as climate change, say scientists
“…Such a body should be modeled on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and work with governments and agencies who would implement its recommendations, [Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust,] said in a joint commentary in the journal Nature with Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University’s Centre for Immunity, Infection and Evolution…” (Kelland, 5/22).

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Aid Advocates Worry About U.S. Senate's Proposed Cuts To International Affairs Spending

Devex: U.S. aid groups brace for ‘dangerous’ Senate budget proposal
“The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee is expected to propose cuts to international affairs base spending for fiscal year 2015 on Thursday, according to the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, a group that advocates for more active U.S. international engagement. The committee will reportedly propose to cut base spending for ongoing international affairs programs and move additional money into the ‘overseas contingency operations’ budget, which funds stabilization and reconstruction programs in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and a few other countries…” (Igoe, 5/22).

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House Subcommittee Does Not Include Food Aid Funding In USDA Spending Bill

Politico: Farm bill food aid left out of House markup
“‘The House appropriations agriculture subcommittee left something out when it passed its fiscal 2015 FDA/USDA spending bill Tuesday: The funds for a farm bill provision intended to further prove how food aid can be delivered more efficiently to international trouble spots by sourcing neighboring countries,’ reports Pro Agriculture’s Bill Tomson this morning…” (Huffman et al., 5/22).

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Australian Government To Cut Aid Spending; Sachs Says Cuts Unacceptable

Media outlets report on the Australian government’s decision to cut aid spending.

Devex: DFAT staffing cuts — brain drain (or gain) for Australian aid?
“It is less than two months before the July 1 deadline set by the Abbott government in Australia to complete the integration process of the now-defunct AusAID into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade — a situation that, according to some insiders, could very well make or break Australian aid…” (Santos, 5/22).

Perth Now: Aid cuts unacceptable: U.N. adviser
“One of the key architects of a U.N. initiative to end world poverty has accused the Abbott government of shirking its responsibilities by slashing aid spending. Jeffrey Sachs is the U.N.’s special adviser on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which comprise eight targets that aim to significantly improve living standards for the world’s poorest people by 2015…” (Perry, 5/23).

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AIDS 2014 Melbourne Declaration Released

VOA News: Melbourne Declaration Released
“The world’s largest gathering on HIV/AIDS will be held in July in Melbourne, Australia. The theme of the 20th International AIDS Conference — also known as AIDS 2014 — is Nobody Left Behind. Organizers have issued the Melbourne Declaration … [which] affirms that ‘non-discrimination is fundamental to an evidence-based, rights-based and gender transformative response to HIV and effective public health programs’…” (DeCapua, 5/20).

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U.N. Women Launches Campaign For Gender Equality

U.N. News Centre: U.N. Women launches year-long campaign to build world where gender equality is reality
“The United Nations entity tasked with promoting gender equality today launched a major campaign kicking off a year-long, worldwide commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the landmark Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing…” (5/22).

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India Attempts To Track Premature Deaths Through Survey

New York Times: Door by Door, India Strives to Know More About Death
“…Nearly 70 percent of deaths in India, five million in all each year, take place in the absence of medical supervision, according to the [Office of the Registrar General of India], which is responsible for registering births and deaths. To fill this gap, a new survey, the Million Death Study, is trying to turn the clock back on a million premature deaths that took place between 2001 and 2014, sifting through evidence provided by families and caregivers…” (Vyawahare, 5/22).

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Experimental Malaria Vaccine Candidate Uses New Target To Stop Parasite's Growth

News outlets report on a new experimental malaria vaccine candidate.

Deustche Welle: U.S. researchers say a new malaria vaccine candidate stops the parasite mid life cycle
“Most malaria vaccine candidates work by preventing parasites from entering human red blood cells. A newly discovered antibody takes a different approach: it traps the parasites inside the cells…” (Osterath, 5/22).

NPR: Experimental Malaria Vaccine Blocks The Bad Guy’s Exit
“For the first time in decades, researchers trying to develop a vaccine for malaria have discovered a new target they can use to attack this deadly and common parasite…” (Harris, 5/22).

Science: New Malaria Vaccine Shows Promise in Mice
“…[A] study of malaria-resistant children in Tanzania has turned up an antibody that helps stop the infection in its tracks. Based on this antibody’s actions, scientists have developed a preliminary vaccine that shows promise in mice…” (Norton, 5/22).

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Editorials and Opinions

Bipartisan Support Of Electrify Africa Act Reminiscent Of PEPFAR Support

The Hill: Washington is not (entirely) broken
Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, and Tony Fratto, a partner at Hamilton Place Strategies and a former White House deputy press secretary under President George W. Bush

“…[E]very so often, something happens in Congress that brings lawmakers together from both sides of the aisles and promises meaningful change in real peoples’ lives. That’s exactly what happened this month when the House passed a bill that we believe could save countless lives and help millions of people lift themselves out of extreme poverty. The Electrify Africa Act passed the House overwhelmingly thanks to the leadership of both parties … One of the strongest and most vocal advocates for Electrify Africa is the same group that championed PEPFAR a decade ago: The ONE Campaign…” (5/22).

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Stigma Reduction Critical To Achieving AIDS-Free Future

Lancet Global Health: Tackling stigma: fundamental to an AIDS-free future
Julie Pulerwitz, director of social and operational research, HIV/AIDS at the Population Council, and John Bongaarts, vice president of the Population Council

“The achievement of an AIDS-free future will surely be a priority discussion topic at the upcoming International AIDS Society conference in Melbourne, Australia. … It is hard to envision that significant progress will continue to be made in HIV prevention efforts with key populations without a prioritization of stigma reduction and the allocation of adequate funding for behavioral and social change. The importance of tackling stigma has long been recognized, and now is the time to put stigma reduction at the forefront of programmatic responses” (June 2014).

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Focus On Realistic Goals Essential For Establishing SDGs

Business Day: Setting the right global goals
Bjorn Lomborg, director of Copenhagen Consensus Center and adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School

“…The ultimate decision about which targets to set for the coming 15 years is a complex and deeply political discussion, and advice from economists will not magically resolve all complications. But providing evidence of what works really well and what does not makes it more likely that good targets will be selected — and that poorer ones will be left out. … But, because the world is likely to spend $700 billion on the SDGs, even a small change can do tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of good…”

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Global Community Must Reevaluate Humanitarian Goals

The Guardian: David Miliband: the humanitarian response must be fit for new crises
David Miliband, president and CEO of International Rescue Committee and former U.K. foreign secretary

“…Humanitarian goals (HuGos) could help tackle four fundamental issues. First, they could focus attention and resources on what the humanitarian system is trying to achieve. Second, they could align diverse practical efforts on the ground in response to conflict and disaster. Third, they could establish accountability in and for the system. Finally, they could rally public opinion. … The debate about the future of the fight against poverty is important and urgent. But one danger is clear: that people in conflict states are the Cinderellas of the process, left in the ‘too complicated’ box. That must not be allowed to happen” (5/22).

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Donors Must Step Up Efforts In S. Sudan 'To Save This Generation'

Huffington Post: South Sudan: We Must Not Miss This Opportunity to Save Lives
Toby Lanzer, U.N. assistant secretary-general and in Juba, South Sudan as deputy special representative and development and humanitarian coordinator

“On 9 May, South Sudanese leaders signed an ‘Agreement to Resolve the Crisis’ that has gripped their country for the past five months. … The parties must live up to their promises, and the international community must hold them to those promises. At the same time, the world’s donors must unite behind the people of South Sudan, and provide the support they so desperately need to survive and eventually rebuild their lives and, ultimately, their nation. It is not too late to save this generation of South Sudanese” (5/20).

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Pakistan Must Reexamine Polio Eradication Program To Improve Effectiveness

Al Jazeera: Pakistan’s polio puzzle
Samia Altaf, public health physician and the 2007-08 Pakistan Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center

“…If increasing amounts of funding, steadily developing science and modified organizational plans have consistently failed, the only logical step is an analysis of the context. … The best place to look is in the design and implementation strategy of the polio-eradication programs to which all the funding, technology and organization have been applied. Pakistan’s Polio Eradication Programme was designed three decades ago and has not changed since. … Without this understanding reflected in a subsequent contextual, program design and implementation strategy, future vaccination efforts, even if generously backed by public and private donors, are likely to meet the same fate as the previous ones” (5/23).

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World Cup In Brazil Provides Opportunity To Shed Light On Chagas Disease

Huffington Post: Chagas Disease: A 2014 World Cup Yellow Card
Peter Hotez, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, and Bernard Pécoul, executive director of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi)

“…Today, three-quarters of the world’s Chagas disease patients live in the nine Latin American countries that will be represented in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Another 375,000 patients live in the United States where there is also evidence for Chagas disease transmission among the poor and in Spain, the most affected European country. … Ultimately, solving the Chagas disease problem in the Americas will require new public policies and the active participation of an alliance that includes governments, academia, affected communities, patient advocacy groups, the medical community, and the pharmaceutical industry…” (5/22).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Nutrition Strategy Supports U.S. Commitment To Improving Child Health

USAID’s “Impact”: Improving Nutrition, Building Resilience for Families, Societies
Chris Thomas, a communications adviser in the Bureau for Global Health, discusses the launch of USAID’S 2014-2025 Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy, which “is the first of its kind at the agency and it builds on President Obama’s commitment to create a world where every child has the potential for a healthy and productive life…” (5/22).

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Gates, Sachs Debate Millennium Villages Project In Opinion Pieces

Humanosphere: Jeff Sachs bets Bill Gates he can reduce child mortality anywhere
Development blogger Tom Murphy writes about two recently published opinion pieces by Bill Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special adviser to the U.N. secretary general on the Millennium Development Goals, in which they debate the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) (5/22).

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World Health Assembly Approves Resolutions, Frameworks

Media outlets recap recent releases from the World Health Assembly, which was held in Geneva this past week.

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Hepatitis resolution passed by 67th World Health Assembly includes calls for increased access to new medicine, syringe exchange
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses the announcement of the World Health Assembly’s approval of a resolution to improve efforts to address hepatitis, and global coordination around noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) (5/22).

WHO: World Health Assembly approves monitoring framework for maternal and child nutrition
“At the World Health Assembly Wednesday, Member States approved a global monitoring framework on maternal, infant, and young child nutrition…” (5/21).

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India Strives To Maintain Polio-Free Status Amid Disease Outbreaks

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: India Resolutely Guards Its Polio-Free Status
Nellie Bristol, a senior fellow with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses India’s efforts to be designated polio-free and the nation’s insistence on maintaining that status (5/22).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund: Global Fund News Flash
Issue 42 of the Global Fund News Flash includes articles about partnership agreements, ending HIV as an epidemic, and leveraging private sector expertise (5/23).

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