KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Agencies Urge Streamlining Of Aid Distribution In Nepal, As U.N. Warns Of Disease Outbreak Potential During Imminent Monsoon Season

New York Times: Nepal’s Bureaucracy Is Blamed as Earthquake Relief Supplies Pile Up
“Relief supplies for earthquake victims have been piling up at the airport and in warehouses here because of bureaucratic interference by Nepalese authorities who insist that standard customs inspections and other procedures be followed, even in an emergency, officials with Western governments and aid organizations said on Sunday…” (Harris, 5/3).

Reuters: Monsoons could bring disease, a second crisis, to Nepal: UNICEF
“There is only ‘a small window of time’ for relief workers in Nepal to put in place measures to protect people from deadly disease outbreaks, a senior United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) official said on Saturday. The dangers posed would be exacerbated by wet and muddy conditions brought on by the upcoming rainy season, said Rownak Khan, UNICEF’s deputy representative in the country…” (D’Urso, 5/1).

U.N. News Centre: ‘Nepal is not alone,’ U.N. and E.U. aid chiefs say, reaffirming commitment to assist quake-hit country
“Wrapping up their visit to Nepal, the United Nations and European Union aid chiefs stressed that while relief teams are working around the clock to assist the thousands of people affected by the devastating earthquake that struck the tiny Himalayan nation one week ago today, aircraft and helicopters are urgently needed, as are emergency shelters, particularly for people in hard-hit rural areas…” (5/2).

U.N. News Centre: Nepal: opening first field hub, U.N. health agency expands support to areas cut off by quake
“In a major step to boost the health care assistance to earthquake survivors in Nepal who have been unreachable since last week’s devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today announced it is setting up a new field office in the remote, mountainous Gorkha district, considered to be near the epicentre of the quake…” (5/3).

Wall Street Journal: U.N. Presses Nepal to Expedite Entry of Aid Supplies
“The United Nations pressed Nepal to make it easier to bring aid into the quake-stricken country as international relief organizations and Nepalese authorities struggled Sunday to get enough tents and medical supplies to remote areas. The death toll from the magnitude-7.8 earthquake on April 25 crossed 7,200, according to the official count on Sunday evening. More than three million Nepalese need food aid and hundreds of thousands are homeless, according to U.N. and Nepalese government estimates…” (McClain/Zhong, 5/3).

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U.N. Highlights Food Security, Ending Hunger At Milan Expo

U.N. News Centre: U.N.-backed Expo in Milan spotlights need to ensure healthy, safe and sufficient food for all
“The world produces more than enough food to ‘feed every member of the human family,’ yet one in nine people still go hungry, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon underscored [Friday] in a message for the opening ceremony of a six-month long expo in Milan, Italy, in which the U.N. is participating to demonstrate that ending hunger in our lifetime is possible…” (5/1).

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Funding To Address Drug Resistance Requires Public, Private Cooperation, Experts Agree

BBC News: How should the fight against drug resistance be funded?
“… ‘Better infection prevention and control in health care settings; a focus on hygiene and sanitation; where appropriate, increasing vaccination uptake,’ says Dr. Charles Penn, the World Health Organization (WHO) coordinator for antimicrobial resistance. All of which would reduce the reliance on antibiotics, he argues. New drugs need to be available to all, but they should be used ‘wisely and appropriately’ so that they remain effective for ‘as long as possible,’ he says. Most experts agree that cooperation between the private and public sectors will be essential to prevent millions of additional fatalities over the coming decades…” (Wall, 5/2).

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Malaria, Preventable Diseases Rise In CAR As Insecurity Hampers Delivery Of Aid, MSF Says

The Guardian: Central African Republic facing chronic health care crisis as scars of conflict abide
“More than two years of sectarian violence have decimated already fragile health systems in Central African Republic (CAR), leading to a rise in preventable diseases like malaria among families still hiding from armed groups in the bush, according to the head of a medical charity…” (Chonghaile, 5/3).

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Chronic Malnutrition Plagues Children In Afghanistan's Helmand Province

Foreign Policy: The Starving Children of Helmand Province
“…Afghanistan is in the midst of a malnutrition crisis. While numbers are disputed because of the difficulties of surveying diseases in remote areas, the best study available — the U.N.-backed National Nutrition Survey — estimates that more than 500,000 Afghan children under the age of six will require treatment for malnourishment in 2015. A quarter of all Afghan children are underweight…” (Rasmussen, 5/1).

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Despite Efforts To Improve Women's Rights To Reproductive Health, Unsafe Abortions Continue To Occur, Advocacy Group Says

Inter Press Service: Unsafe Abortions Continue to Plague Kenya
“…[I]n September 2012, the [Kenyan] health ministry released standards and guidelines on the prevention and management of unsafe abortions to the extent allowed by Kenyan law, only to withdraw them three months later under unclear circumstances. According to [Teresa Omondi, deputy executive director and head of programs at the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) in Kenya,] ‘the law has not yet been fully put into operation and many providers have not been trained to provide safe abortion, meaning many of the induced abortions taking place continue to be unsafe and complications are common’…” (Kibet, 5/2).

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International, Human Rights Groups Campaign To Modify El Salvador's Ban On Abortion

Inter Press Service: Draconian Ban on Abortion in El Salvador Targeted by Global Campaign
“International and local human rights groups are carrying out an intense global campaign to get El Salvador to modify its draconian law that criminalizes abortion and provides for prison terms for women…” (Ayala, 4/30).

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With More Resources Aimed At Ending AIDS, 21M Lives Can Be Saved By 2030, Bill Gates Writes

Huffington Post: If We Take This One Step, Bill Gates Says We Could Save 21 Million People From AIDS By 2030
“Saving millions of lives from AIDS is most certainly in our reach, according to Bill Gates — we just have to up the resources aimed at ending the virus. In a blog post published on Wednesday, the philanthropist wrote about recent findings by the Lancet Commissions that found 21 million lives could be saved by 2030 ‘if the world accelerates the fight against HIV/AIDS’…” (Couch, 5/1).

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Peter Piot Returns To DRC Village Nearly 40 Years After Discovering Ebola There

NPR: What Happens To A Country When An Outbreak Of Ebola Ends?
“Liberia is nearing a milestone. On May 9, its Ebola outbreak will be officially declared over, assuming no new cases between now and then. But what happens when an outbreak of Ebola ends? Dr. Peter Piot, the director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the co-discoverer of Ebola, visited the Democratic Republic of Congo last year. He wanted to show his wife the region where the first known outbreak of the virus took place. They went to Yambuku, a remote village in the north where Ebola killed almost 300 people in 1976. He says Yambuku hasn’t changed much since then…” (Poon, 5/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Natural Disaster Insurance System Would Help Vulnerable Nations Recover, Reach Development Goals

New York Times: Insuring for Disaster
Jeffrey D. Sachs, special adviser to the U.N. secretary general on the Millennium Development Goals and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University

“Natural disasters like the devastating earthquake in Nepal constitute a highly uncertain but quantifiable risk. No one can say for sure when a major earthquake will strike. But the fault lines are known. We need a new global system of disaster insurance, akin to how homeowners guard against calamity. … A global system of disaster insurance would of course not be perfect and would take time to implement, but could save many lives and livelihoods in the years ahead, and help vulnerable low-income countries like Haiti and Nepal chart a path to sustainable development” (5/4).

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Pakistan Can Help World Reach Zero Polio Cases With Sustained Vaccination Efforts

Washington Post: Making polio history
Editorial Board

“Pakistan now stands as the main barrier to the global elimination of wild poliovirus. … [But the country] is rallying. There have been only 22 cases so far this year, compared with almost 60 at this time last year. Violence has abated, at least in the past month. Emergency operations centers, an important innovation to help monitor the virus, have been set up. Experts also applaud another recent tactic, the recruitment of female volunteers to work on vaccination in their own communities with approval from local religious and tribal leaders. This approach seems to be making headway in previously inaccessible areas. Pakistan’s political leadership also has vowed a renewed campaign…” (5/3).

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Midwives Should Be Placed At Center Of SDGs To Ensure Success Of MNCH Targets

Huffington Post: Midwives For a Better Tomorrow, For Every Woman and Every Child
Toyin Saraki, founder-president of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBF Africa)

“Celebrated on May 5th each year, the International Day of the Midwife recognises the invaluable role of midwives in health. … As we near the end of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) process, the International Day of the Midwife is more important than ever. Experience from the MDG process has made it abundantly clear that midwives should be placed at the very heart of the post-2015 development agenda, and access to midwives should be specifically indicated within the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child heath. Without this provision, the international community may fail to meet their promises to women and their families…” (5/1).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blogs Discuss Recently Released QDDR

The following blogs discuss the recently released Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR).

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: Five Key Takeaways on the 2015 QDDR
John Glenn, policy director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, discusses five key takeaways from the recently released QDDR: “strengthening economics in diplomacy and development … commitment to new partnerships … improving transparency and data … investing in civilian capacity … [and a discussion of] what the QDDR doesn’t do…” (5/1).

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Blink and You’ll Miss It: Global Health in the QDDR
Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and senior fellow at CGD, and Rachel Silverman, policy analyst at CGD, discuss global health in the QDDR and write, “The QDDR should have laid out a blueprint for U.S. global engagement that more than skimmed the surface on tackling some of the world’s most pressing health challenges such as disease outbreak preparedness, antimicrobial resistance, and the rise of non-communicable diseases linked to tobacco, alcohol, and changing diets…” (5/1).

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U.S. Government Sending Disaster Response Teams, Funding To Earthquake-Hit Nepal

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Providing Shelter and Food Assistance to Nepal’s Earthquake Survivors
“…In the aftermath of the earthquake [in Nepal], USAID quickly deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to the region and provided $10 million in emergency assistance. USAID also activated Urban Search and Rescue Teams to accompany disaster experts. … In the coming days, weeks and months, the United States will stand by the people of Nepal and the region during this time of need to help individuals, families, and hard-hit communities…” (5/1).

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World Needs More Health Care Workers In Rural Areas, ILO Report Shows

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: New ILO Report: The World Needs More Rural Health Workers, a Lot More
Aanjalie Collure, a communications fellow with IntraHealth International, discusses a new report from the U.N. International Labor Organization, titled “Global Evidence on Inequities in Rural Health Protection,” that found “without adequate numbers of health workers, especially in rural areas, more than half of the world’s rural population — and more than three-quarters of the rural population in Africa — will go without access to effective health care in 2015…” (5/1).

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Health Care Professionals Advocate For Additional USG Funding For Ebola, Health Systems Development In Africa

Health Affairs Blog: Health Care Equity Needed To Fight Ebola
Andrea Christopher, internist at Cambridge Health Alliance and fellow at Harvard Medical School; Steffie Woolhandler, professor of public health at CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College; and David Himmelstein, professor of public health at the City University of New York and cofounder of Physicians for a National Health Program with Woolhandler, discuss a petition signed by health care professionals demanding, among other things, “a commitment of $8.4 billion annually from the federal government … to Ebola control and health system infrastructure development in Africa…” (5/1).

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Blog Post Discusses Carnegie Corporation's Success In Reducing Maternal Mortality In Developing Countries

Health Affairs Blog: Preventing Maternal Mortality In Developing Countries: History As A Guide For Sustaining Success
In a blog post adapted from her book, “A World of Giving: Carnegie Corporation of New York: A Century of International Philanthropy,” philanthropy expert Patricia Rosenfield discusses the successes of the Carnegie Corporation’s maternal health efforts (5/1).

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