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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Freezes Funding For Syria's White Helmets Group; Support 'Under Active Review,' State Department Says

CBS News: U.S. freezes funding for Syria’s “White Helmets”
“Less than two months ago the State Department hosted members of the White Helmets at Foggy Bottom. At the time, the humanitarian group was showered with praise for saving lives in Syria. … Now they are not getting any U.S funding as the State Department says the support is ‘under active review.’ The U.S. had accounted for about a third of the group’s overall funding. … [The group says] they have saved more than 70,000 lives. … President Trump put a freeze on the $200 million in U.S. funding for recovery efforts in Syria in late March. This freeze means that U.S. support for the White Helmets is not the only project in jeopardy…” (Atwood, 5/3).

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Nigerian NGO Director Discusses Impacts Of Mexico City Policy On Nation's Health NGOs

The Nation (Nigeria): ‘Global Gag Rule affecting NGOs’
“Olayide Akanni is the executive director of Journalists Against AIDS (JAAIDS) Nigeria, a non-governmental organization (NGO) on the prevention, care, and control of HIV, AIDS, and tuberculosis. In this interview, she tells Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha how the Mexico City policy, also called the global gag rule (GGR), introduced by the United States government, will affect NGOs…” (Gbenga-Mustapha, 5/4).

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NPR Profiles Work Of CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service

NPR: When A Mystery Outbreak Strikes, Who You Gonna Call?
“…At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s a group of doctors. They call themselves the Epidemic Intelligence Service. They’re basically disease detectives, and they’ve developed this reputation around the world as the team local health officials can turn to when faced with a mysterious outbreak…” (Beaubien, 5/4).

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Intellectual Property Watch Previews World Health Assembly Meeting Set For May 21-26

Intellectual Property Watch: World Health Assembly 2018 Preview: Guide To Key Issues
“…The annual World Health Assembly will open on 21 May with an ambitious new General Programme of Work for 2019-2023, which promises one billion more people under universal health coverage. There are many issues on the Health Assembly agenda for countries to discuss that are of relevance to readers, such as access to medicines and vaccines, and influenza pandemic preparedness…” (Saez, 5/3).

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Canadian Parliamentary Report On AMR Calls For More Action, Government Leadership

CIDRAP News: Canadian AMR report urges action, federal leadership
“The Canadian parliament has issued a new report that calls on the country’s public health agency to speed up development of a plan to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and urges more federal leadership and coordination on the issue…” (Dall, 5/3).

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West Africa's Sahel Region Needs Urgent Food Aid As Supplies Dwindle, U.N. Warns

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.N. calls for urgent aid to Sahel as hunger crisis looms
“Five million people in West Africa’s Sahel region will need food aid in the coming months following a drought, but current funding will be insufficient to prevent starvation, the United Nations said on Thursday…” (Peyton, 5/3).

U.N. News: U.N. agencies urge global action as drought looms over Africa’s Sahel region
“…According to estimates, about five million people in northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, and parts of Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Chad, will require food and livelihood assistance, after having exhausted their food reserves — which may run out by the end of this month. In normal weather conditions, supplies would last beyond June, into September…” (5/3).

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More News In Global Health

Bloomberg: Kenyan Rains Raise Risk of Large-Scale Disease Outbreak, U.N. Says (Richardson, 5/3).
CNN: Deadly floods devastate parts of East Africa (Feingold/Thornton, 5/3).
Devex: Flooding displaces hundreds of thousands in East Africa (Jerving, 5/4).

Financial Times: Football charities face challenges in teaching South African teens about HIV (Jack, 5/3).

The Guardian: Zimbabwe moves to protect women from spiraling cervical cancer rates (Hodal, 5/4).

IRIN: In Burundi, a disputed referendum threatens to deepen a neglected humanitarian crisis (Ensor, 5/3).

The Lancet: Roger Glass: celebrating the Fogarty at 50 (Guenot, 5/5).

The Lancet: Managing MDR tuberculosis in Nepal (Cousins, 5/5).

The Lancet: El Salvador’s total ban on abortion risks women’s health (Sperber, 5/5).

News Deeply: Social Behavior Change for Nutrition: Six Years of Global Programming (5/3).

Reuters: Discovery of malaria parasite survival genes offers new targets (Kelland, 5/3).

U.N. News: Mental health ‘neglected issue’ but key to achieving Global Goals, say U.N. chiefs (5/3).

U.N. News: ‘Marathon of suffering’ in Syria conflict, far from over: U.N. humanitarian adviser (5/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. Investments In Global Health 'Can Bring More Peace To The World'

Forbes: Medicine As Currency For Peace: How Global Health Funding Could Change The World
Bill Frist, former Republican Senate majority leader from Tennessee and chair of Hope Through Healing Hands

“…So, looking back today, did PEPFAR work? Twenty million people are alive today who would otherwise have died. Tens of millions more now have better access to improved health care for other infectious diseases, chronic illness, and maternal and child health. But we can’t rest. Regrettably, some in Washington are calling to cut our investment in global health. … Disease is a threat to peace. Pandemics are a threat to peace. Illness and hopelessness are threats to peace. And so, in a world facing all of these threats, now is precisely the wrong time to cut back on our modest funding for global health. The world is a safer and more secure place for us all when societies overseas are healthier and more stable. … In our time, we’ve learned that a threat to health anywhere is a threat to peace everywhere. We can bring more peace to the world and to ourselves, not only by deterrence — but also by compassion, by the power of healing hands, and by medicine as a currency for peace” (5/3).

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U.S. Must Continue Strong Support Of Global Health Security Agenda

Scientific American: A Worldwide Effort to Stop Epidemics Is in Peril
Thomas Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

“…Many international health efforts aim to improve the response to one disease, but the [Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA)] builds infrastructure that can control a broad range of biological threats. … This work, done mostly through the CDC and the U.S. Agency for International Development, has produced hundreds of valuable interventions directed at enhancing countries’ capacities to detect, prevent, and respond to dangerous infections. … If the U.S. curtails its part in this collaboration, countries at highest risk for new epidemics will have a harder time building up diagnostic and testing labs that provide early warnings of spreading infections, and efforts to train and equip local scientists and public health officials will be hurt. … The GHSA is this country’s first line of defense in a world where the next deadly disease is just a short airplane flight away” (May 2018).

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U.S. Congress Should Permanently Repeal Mexico City Policy

Seacoast Online: Letter to the editor: It’s time to permanently repeal the Global Gag Rule
Mindi Messmer, Democratic candidate for New Hampshire’s First Congressional District

“…Autonomy for reproductive planning and health care are essential to women’s economic empowerment and gender equality. The effectiveness of public health policies like the [Mexico City policy, also known as the global gag rule,] should be evaluated through science and evidence-based approaches that are non-ideological and non-partisan. I am hopeful that the [Global HER Act, which would permanently repeal the global gag rule,] will be evaluated in terms of public health protection and passed to protect health care equity for women worldwide” (5/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

'Science Speaks' Discusses Findings From GHTC's State-By-State Analysis On Benefits Of Global Health Research Spending

IDSA’s “Science Speaks”: Analysis: Global health research and development spending comes home, in disease solutions and dollars
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses findings from an analysis published by the Global Health Technologies Coalition on the impact of global health research spending on U.S. states, writing, “With an interactive map, downloadable data, information on global infectious diseases found locally in each state, and highlighted scientific studies, the analysis … argues that global health investments bring returns home” (5/3).

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UNDP, WHO Sign 5-Year MoU To Help Countries Achieve Health-Related SDGs

UNDP: U.N.’s Health and Development Agencies Join Forces for Good Health for All
“While real progress has been made on a number of serious health issues, half of the world’s citizens lack access to essential health services. Today, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organization (WHO) signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to help support countries to achieve the health-related targets across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the agenda’s commitment to leave no one behind…” (5/4).

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University Of Oslo Associate Professor Examines Potential Societal Impacts Of UHC In Africa

Open Access Government: Universal health coverage in Africa and the public good
Ruth J. Prince, associate professor at the University of Oslo, “provides an overview of universal health coverage (UHC) and why this is important in Africa when it comes to the state, citizenship, health care, and welfare” (5/3).

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FHI 360 Podcast Discusses Use Of Data, Technology In Crisis Response

FHI 360’s “A Deeper Look Podcast”: A case study on using data and technology in crisis response
In this podcast episode, FHI 360 CEO Patrick Fine speaks with Hend Alhinnawi, co-founder and CEO of Humanitarian Tracker, about the use of data and technology in crisis response. Fine and Alhinnawi discuss “the best ways to empower citizens, how data collection can spot missing gaps in information, and how innovations can occur when taking something that already exists and applying it in a new way” (5/3).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

KFF, CGD Discussion Summary Highlights Key Issues For International Family Planning Efforts

Kaiser Family Foundation/Center for Global Development: The USG International Family Planning Landscape: Defining Approaches to Address Uncertainties in Funding and Programming — Discussion Summary
This brief summarizes a discussion held in January 2018 to discuss international family planning efforts in the context of funding and policy uncertainty. Convened by the Center for Global Development and the Kaiser Family Foundation, the discussion brought together a range of stakeholders including U.S. government officials, other donors and international organizations, NGOs, and the private sector (5/4).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.