KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Formally Nominates Kelly Craft To Serve As Next U.S. Ambassador To U.N.

Associated Press: Trump formally submits Kelly Craft nomination for U.N. post
“President Donald Trump has formally submitted to the Senate the nomination of Kelly Craft to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Craft serves as the U.S. ambassador to Canada. In February, Trump had said he had selected Craft for the U.N. job. Craft, a Kentucky native, was a member of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. General Assembly under President George W. Bush’s administration…” (5/2).

POLITICO: Trump formally nominates Kelly Craft for U.N. ambassador
“…Craft is likely to face a bruising Senate confirmation process, despite staunch backing from a fellow Kentuckian, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. She is expected to endure questions about her family’s extensive business interests and her knowledge about international issues at a time when the U.S. faces geopolitical challenges ranging from Russia to China. Her husband, Joe Craft, is a billionaire coal executive with close links to the White House. Craft would replace former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who left the U.N. post at the end of 2018…” (Gardner/Panetta, 5/2).

Additional coverage of Craft’s nomination is available from ABC News, CNN, and Vox.

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New DFID Chief Stewart Signals Support For 0.7% Aid Spending Target, Pledges To Prioritize Climate Change

The Guardian: Rory Stewart defends U.K. aid target and vows to tackle climate ’emergency’
“Rory Stewart, the new secretary of state for international development, has reiterated his support for the government’s commitment to spend 0.7% of national income on overseas aid. Stewart, the former prisons minister, who was appointed to his new role on Wednesday night after Penny Mordaunt replaced the sacked Gavin Williamson as defense minister, also pledged to put climate change at the heart of his work. While Mordaunt was an aid budget skeptic who wanted to overhaul the way the Department for International Development (DFID) spends money, Stewart identified the foreign aid target as ‘hugely important’…” (McVeigh, 5/2).

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France Urges European Commission To Announce Commitment To Global Fund

Devex: E.U. under pressure to lead by example on Global Fund
“France has warned the European Commission that negotiations over its seven-year budget are ‘no excuse’ for delaying the announcement of how much it intends to commit to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for 2020-2022. The fund, a multilateral health partnership, is aiming to raise $14 billion at its sixth replenishment conference in October in Lyon, France…” (Chadwick, 5/3).

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HIV Antiretroviral Therapy Effectively Eliminates Transmission Risk For Serodifferent Gay Couples, Study Shows

CNN: HIV treatment eliminates risk of passing on virus, landmark study says
“The risk of passing on the HIV virus is completely eliminated by effective drugs treatment, a landmark study has shown, in a significant boost to the prospects of ending the AIDS pandemic. A study of nearly 1,000 gay male couples, where one partner with HIV took antiretroviral therapy (ART), found no new cases of transmission to the HIV-negative partner during sex without a condom…” (Mackintosh, 5/3).

Financial Times: AIDS breakthrough as study finds that drugs stop HIV transmission
“…The researchers said their results provided a similar level of evidence on viral suppression and HIV transmission risk for gay men to that previously generated for heterosexual couples, and suggested that the risk of HIV transmission in gay couples through condomless sex when the viral load is suppressed by the drugs is effectively zero. The observational study, which is the largest of its kind and published in The Lancet, provides ‘conclusive evidence’ that proper antiretroviral treatment will ensure the virus is ‘untransmittable,’ the researchers said…” (Neville/Mersinoglu, 5/3).

The Guardian: End to AIDS in sight as huge study finds drugs stop HIV transmission
“…Among nearly 1,000 male couples across Europe where one partner with HIV was receiving treatment to suppress the virus, there were no cases of transmission of the infection to the HIV-negative partner during sex without a condom. Although 15 men were infected with HIV during the eight-year study, DNA testing proved that was through sex with someone other than their partner who was not on treatment…” (Boseley/Devlin, 5/2).

Additional coverage of the study’s findings is available from Agence France-Presse, Al Jazeera, HealthDay News, Newsweek, Reuters, and The Telegraph.

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Russian Ministry Of Health Proposes Legislation To Criminalize Spreading False Information About HIV/AIDS

The Guardian: Russia wants to make HIV/AIDS denialism illegal to halt epidemic
“…Russia’s ministry of health this week put forward legislation that would make it illegal to spread false information about HIV, targeting those who reject its existence or question the link between HIV and AIDS and doctors’ ability to treat the disease. … Up to 1.2 million Russians have HIV and an additional 100,000 cases were recorded in 2018, according to official estimates. Only about a third of those with the virus are receiving antiretroviral therapy…” (Roth, 5/3).

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WHO DG Tedros Discusses DRC Ebola Outbreak, Response In Nature Interview; Concerns Increase Over Risk Of Ebola Spread To Uganda

Nature: ‘The world has never seen anything like this’: WHO chief on battling Ebola in a war zone
“The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is distraught. The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to worsen, and his front-line responders are under attack. … Since the outbreak started nine months ago, nearly 1,000 people have died from Ebola, and the rate of new infections is climbing. Nature spoke with Ghebreyesus shortly after he returned from a visit to Butembo…” (Maxmen, 5/2).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Congolese refugees cross illegally into Uganda, raising risk of Ebola — aid groups
“People fleeing violence in an Ebola-hit region of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo are being forced to cross the border illegally into Uganda, risking the virus spreading into the neighboring East African nation, aid groups said on Friday. … While some have found legal refuge in Uganda, others are being used as human shields by armed groups who prevent them from reaching official border points to be registered, screened for Ebola, and given sanctuary…” (Bhalla, 5/2).

Additional coverage of the DRC Ebola outbreak is available from Axios and New Humanitarian.

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Mozambique Officials Declare Cholera Outbreak In Wake Of Cyclone Kenneth

Reuters: Cholera outbreak declared in cyclone-hit northern Mozambique
“Officials declared a cholera outbreak in northern Mozambique on Thursday, a week after cyclone winds, floods, and heavy rains hit the area. … Fourteen cases of cholera have been detected…” (Rumney/Heiberg, 5/2).

Additional coverage of the cyclone damage and resulting cholera outbreak in Mozambique is available from Associated Press and VOA News.

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More News In Global Health

Associated Press: U.N. ‘alarmed’ over migrant conditions in Yemen (5/2).

The BMJ: Practicing medicine amid chaos in Venezuela (Zuñiga, 5/3).

The Economist: The antibiotic industry is broken (5/2).

Foreign Policy: ‘We Need a New Vision in Development’ (Hirsh, 5/1).

Fortune: The WHO Has Diagnostic Codes for People Hit by Spacecraft — But Not for Human Trafficking Victims (Gallucci, 5/2).

The Lancet: Health under the spotlight as South Africa takes to the polls (Makoni, 5/4).

Reuters: Monstrous rumors stoke hostility to Pakistan’s anti-polio drive (Shahzad/Ahmad, 5/2).

Science: Global health institute sued for age and sex discrimination (Wadman, 5/2).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: From beans to gooseberry, rice-mad Myanmar eyes healthier diet (Win, 5/3).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Solar tracking bracelets protect nomadic Kenyan mothers and babies (Makoni, 5/2).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Central American farmers suffer major crop losses, need food aid: U.N. (Moloney, 5/2).

U.N. News: Grave concern over escalating humanitarian crisis, casualties, displacement across northwest Syria: U.N. (5/2).

U.N. News: Inclusion, equality a must for ‘long-lasting peace and sustainable development,’ U.N. official tells high-level event in Baku (5/2).

VOA News: Melinda Gates Speaks to VOA About Women’s Empowerment (Moudou, 5/2).

Xinhua News: Unsealed rainwater tanks incubate dengue fever outbreaks: research (5/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Ensuring Children Receive All Recommended Vaccines Critical To Protection Of Public, Global Health

The Hill: CDC: Herd immunity helps to protect the entire community
Rebecca Martin, director of the CDC’s Center for Global Health

“[A]s World Immunization Week (WIW) ends, we must confront how fragile the gains in preventing and eliminating diseases can be. … Failing to vaccinate against polio, measles, yellow fever, diphtheria, and other diseases, with tools we already have, threatens global progress in our efforts to prevent these illnesses and leads to death, suffering, and increased economic hardship. … The 2019 WIW theme ‘Protected Together,’ is a powerful call to action for parents, health care workers, and those of us in public health. We all have a role to play in ensuring all children receive all of the recommended childhood vaccines. Protected together refers to the idea that by vaccinating a large percentage of the population, protection from disease is conferred, not only to those who receive vaccine, but also to those who cannot be vaccinated because they are too young, or for other reasons. If vaccination rates are high enough, ‘herd immunity’ helps to protect the entire community. … [W]e must bolster our collective, focused, data driven efforts to remove barriers and improve access to and acceptance of vaccines worldwide. The best way we can continue to honor those we have lost, from children who died from preventable diseases to frontline workers who bravely committed to reach them, is to continue the work to identify and close the gaps that diseases exploit…” (5/2).

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Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Omission Of Sexual, Reproductive Health Language From U.N. Security Council Resolution

The Lancet: The erosion of women’s sexual and reproductive rights
Editorial Board

“…[T]he news last week that a U.N. Security Council resolution had been adopted to reaffirm member states’ commitment to combating sexual violence is to be welcomed. … The bigger news — that the USA threatened to veto the resolution if it included language on sexual and reproductive health — is extremely alarming. … Autonomy over one’s own body is not just a cornerstone of reproductive rights. The right to choose whether, when, how often, and with whom to get pregnant is foundational to women’s well-being, education, status, and participation in society, and it in turn is crucial to the health of families and communities. A massive outcry about last week’s U.N. Security Council resolution debacle is certainly warranted. But a better outcome would be for advocates globally to redouble their efforts and form alliances. They must prepare and organize to produce a stronger, more visible, and unified approach against the conservatism that is slowly eroding women’s rights” (5/4).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: OPINION: A resolution without resolve — U.N. Security Council fails to protect women and girls in conflict
Mazeda Hossain, co-director of the UKRI GCRF Gender, Justice, and Security Hub and assistant professor; Natasha Howard, director of the Security, Conflict, and Health Research program and assistant professor; and Neha Singh, deputy director of the Health in Humanitarian Crises Centre and assistant professor, all at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

“…[T]he adopted resolution omitted words that many of us working with survivors of sexual violence during humanitarian emergencies understand as crucial — ‘reproductive and sexual health’ rights and services. … For survivors of sexual violence in conflict, reproductive and sexual health care is essential. … By omitting these four words and thus refusing to explicitly express support for access to sexual and reproductive health care services in conflict, the international community is failing to ensure the right to health care and dignity for millions of innocent victims. …Considering earlier commitments to sexual and reproductive health by the U.N. Security Council, it is unacceptable that Resolution 2467 was approved without reference to sexual and reproductive health. Its adoption suggests that all member states who approved it are not committed to the provision of essential sexual and reproductive health care for survivors of sexual violence in conflict-affected settings. … Omission of these four words represents a major ethical and human rights setback, and ultimately threatens the well-being, rights, and dignity of women and girls around the world” (5/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

MFAN Applauds Senate Approval Of Leadership Nominee For MCC

Modernizing Foreign Assistance Network: MFAN Applauds Senate Action on Leadership for the Millennium Challenge Corporation
In a statement delivered on behalf of MFAN, Co-chairs George Ingram, Lester Munson, and Tessie San Martin “applau[d] the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for its bipartisan approval [Thursday] of Sean Cairncross, nominated for chief executive officer at the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).” The co-chairs state, “MFAN encourages the Trump administration and Congress to move forward on the nomination and confirmation of high-quality leadership for remaining vacancies across agencies” (5/2).

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CGD Experts Discuss Themes, Recommendations From U.N. Stakeholder Meeting On UHC

Center for Global Development: There is No Such Thing as Universal Health Coverage without…
Cassandra Nemzoff, research associate at CGD’s Europe office, and Amanda Glassman, chief operating officer, senior fellow, and Board secretary at CGD, discuss outcomes from a U.N. multi-stakeholder hearing on universal health coverage (UHC), during which stakeholders “discussed pertinent issues and inputs needed for a political declaration that will be developed ahead of the High-Level Meeting on UHC in September at the United Nations General Assembly.” The authors highlight themes that emerged from the stakeholder hearing and offer recommendations on how the international community can work toward accelerating countries’ progress toward UHC (5/2).

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Academic Describes Traditional Mechanisms Of Islamic Giving, Calls For Increased Role In Humanitarian Response

World Economic Forum: How traditional Islamic giving can play a role in the future of aid
Maram Ahmed of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London describes various mechanisms of traditional Islamic giving and examples, writing, “Policymakers and international humanitarian organizations need to start considering Islamic social finance as a viable option. In an era when climate change is unprecedentedly stretching humanitarian response mechanisms, the traditional modes of giving enshrined in Islamic culture offer a way forward” (5/2).

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CSIS Research Fellow Discusses Importance Of Prioritizing Nutrition In Food Innovations

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Lab to Fork: A Lost Opportunity for Global Nutrition
Amy Beaudreault, research fellow with the Global Food Security Project and Global Health Policy Center at CSIS, discusses the importance of prioritizing nutrition in food innovations. Beaudreault writes, “The world needs much more than plant-based burgers and non-dairy yogurts to reduce the devastating outcomes of food and nutrition insecurity. The world needs food entrepreneurs to consider the nutritional quality of their products and how to scale up and adopt within specific, at-need global populations. … By including food innovation as an approach to increase food and nutrition security, the U.S. government, academia, and industry can be united collaborators, shared decisionmakers, and effective implementors against the malnutrition scourge” (5/2).

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Journal Article Explores Consequences Of Using Pathogen Priority Lists, Describes Benefits Of Different Approach

American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene: Consequences of Pathogen Lists: Why Some Diseases May Continue to Plague Us
David M. Brett-Major, Stanford chair in tropical medicine in the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics at the F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and colleagues discuss the consequences of pathogen priority lists and describe the benefit of using parallel programming independent of disease lists to address what needs to be done to prevent and mitigate emerging disease threats. The authors note, “We must ensure that as we prepare for public health emergencies caused by infectious disease threats, we focus on positively influencing prevention and response rather than too much on the tools themselves” (5/1).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF Releases Public Opinion, Knowledge Poll On Reproductive Health Policy, Including Mexico City Policy

Kaiser Family Foundation: KFF Poll: Public Opinion and Knowledge on Reproductive Health Policy
In this poll, KFF examines public attitudes toward and knowledge of policies related to women’s reproductive health, including the Mexico City policy. The poll gauges awareness and attitudes towards restrictions on U.S. funding for foreign non-governmental organizations that provide abortions or counsel or refer for abortions, using their own funds, known as the Mexico City Policy. While the majority of the public does not support such restrictions, views diverge along partisan lines, with most Democrats and independents opposing them and most Republicans supporting the actions by the Trump administration (Kirzinger et al., 5/3).

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