KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Pledges Additional $11M In Aid To Earthquake-Hit Nepal, Bringing Total To Almost $26M

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Pledges $11 Million in Additional Aid to Nepal
“Acting U.S. Agency for International Development administrator Alfonso Lenhardt has pledged an additional $11 million in assistance to Nepal, bringing the total U.S. contribution to nearly $26 million. With the focus in Nepal shifting to recovery almost two weeks after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake, this installment of U.S. aid will provide relief supplies, including additional emergency shelter materials, medical material, safe drinking water, and hygiene kits, said Ben Edwards, a USAID spokesman…” (Schwartz, 5/5).

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UNICEF, E.U. Begin Humanitarian Aid Airlifts To Nepal; Concerns Rise Over Potential Disease Outbreaks Following Earthquake

Deutsche Welle: Nepal slipping into ‘increasingly dire’ health situation
“…In a DW interview, Sophie Cairns, senior life sciences analyst at global analytics firm IHS, explains that even prior to the earthquake, Nepal was home to inadequate health facilities and access to treatment. The situation is now even more desperate as around 90 percent of health care facilities outside the main cities are reportedly not functioning, thus putting many in the quake-struck areas at serious risk of contracting infectious diseases…” (Mazumdaru, 5/5).

U.N. News Centre: UNICEF and E.U. begin airlift of 80 metric tonnes of humanitarian supplies to quake-hit Nepal
“Humanitarian supplies to meet the emergency needs of some of the 1.7 million children affected by the April 25 earthquake in Nepal are being airlifted in to the capital, Kathmandu, as the United Nations children’s agency works with the European Union (E.U.) to provide much needed relief from the effects of the disaster…” (5/5).

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In Capitol Hill Appearance, Elton John Urges Congress To Continue Global HIV/AIDS Funding

Roll Call: Graham, Leahy Host Elton John to Promote Fight Against HIV/AIDS
“Sens. Lindsey Graham and Patrick J. Leahy hosted Sir Elton John at the Capitol Tuesday evening as part of a push to ensure funding for the bipartisan effort to combat AIDS. … ‘Our work is not done yet,’ Elton John said. ‘Although PEPFAR and the Global Fund have made a huge impact, the reality is that most people living with or at risk of contracting HIV do not have access to lifesaving prevention, care, and treatment. But all of that can change, and will change, if Congress remains steadfast in its commitment to ending this epidemic’…” (Lesniewski, 5/5).

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Groups Protest USAID's Award Of Global Health Supply Chain Project To Chemonics International

Devex: The largest-ever USAID award is under protest
“A partnership of government contractors including John Snow, Inc. is protesting the U.S. Agency for International Development’s decision to award its largest-ever contract to a group led by development consulting firm Chemonics International. The Global Health Supply Chain — Procurement and Supply Management project is an indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract, by far the largest in a suite of contracts worth up to $10.5 billion over the next eight years — and USAID’s largest-ever single award, according to an agency representative. The program is meant to support the delivery and distribution of a range of global health commodities used to prevent and to treat illnesses, including HIV and AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis…” (Igoe, 5/5).

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U.S. Special Coordinator For Post-2015 Development Discusses SDGs In Devex Interview

Devex: Why do U.S. aid agencies care about global goals?
“Why do U.S. development agencies, which have their own strategic plans and priorities, care about a global development agenda? The Millennium Development Goals were ‘transformational,’ but the sustainable development goals will be, ‘a step up,’ Tony Pipa, the U.S. government’s special coordinator for the post-2015 development agenda, told Devex [in a video interview]…” (Igoe, 5/5).

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West Africa's Weekly Recorded Ebola Cases Drop Below 20 For First Time Since Mid-2014; Liberia Prepares To Be Declared Ebola-Free

Reuters: U.N. hails progress on Ebola as new weekly cases drop
“The U.N. envoy on Ebola on Tuesday hailed ‘extraordinary progress’ against the outbreak in West Africa after new cases last week fell below 20 for the first time since mid-2014, but he warned it would take time to end the epidemic completely. David Nabarro said that in the week to May 3 only nine new cases were reported in Guinea and the same number in neighboring Sierra Leone. Liberia once again had no new cases…” (5/6).

U.N. News Centre: Security Council hears Liberia briefing as country anticipates being declared ‘Ebola-free’
“Liberia is expected to be declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO) within the week if no more new cases of the disease are discovered before then, the top United Nations official in Liberia said [Tuesday] as she briefed the Security Council…” (5/5).

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New Clues Emerge On Ebola's Spread In West Africa, As Scientists Trace Viral Gene Mutations

New York Times: Tracing the Ebola Outbreak, Scientists Hunt a Silent Epidemic
“Scientists are using blood samples collected throughout the Ebola outbreak to map the virus’s spread from country to country by tracking tiny mutations in its gene sequences…” (Fink, 5/5).

PBS Frontline: New Clues Emerge On How Ebola Spread through West Africa
“Last year, Sheri Fink, a reporter for the New York Times, spent weeks reporting in West Africa, trying to find out where the Ebola outbreak came from, and how it spread. … Follow Fink’s investigation in the video below, and read her latest story on scientists’ efforts to map the spread of the virus here” (Childress, 5/5).

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U.N. Calls For More Midwifery Training On International Day Of The Midwife

U.N. News Centre: On International Day, U.N. says more midwife training will help tackle maternity and child deaths
“Nearly 800 women continue to die every day from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, the United Nations spotlighted as it marked the International Day of the Midwife with a call for greater investment to increase the number of midwives and enhance the quality and reach of their services…” (5/5).

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WHO, UNHCR Issue Guide To Help Humanitarian Emergency Responders Address Mental Health Issues

U.N. News Centre: New U.N. guide aims to address mental health needs in humanitarian emergencies
“Two United Nations agencies [on Tuesday] issued a new guide to address the growing needs of millions of adults and children suffering from mental health problems in humanitarian emergencies around the world arising from natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and armed conflicts…” (5/5).

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Cooperative Efforts Underway To Vaccinate Children In Sudan Amid Measles Outbreak

VOA News: In Sudan, Aid Groups Struggle With Massive Measles Outbreak
“Aid agencies are struggling to contain a massive measles outbreak in Sudan. The Ministry of Health is leading a United Nations and international effort to vaccinate eight million children under age five against the sometimes fatal disease, which so far has claimed 27 child lives…” (Schlein, 5/5).

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Editorials and Opinions

Strengthening Public Health Systems, Improving Women's Status Will Bolster Global Health Security

The Guardian: Ebola shows how our global health priorities need to be shaken up
Chelsea Clinton, adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and vice-chair of the Clinton Foundation, and Devi Sridhar, associate professor at the University of Edinburgh’s Medical School and on the Board of Save the Children U.K.

“Amnesia has set in across the world as the fear and global attention given to Ebola recedes. But this is not a new phenomenon. … Myopia was a key factor in the failure to respond to Ebola in a rapid and effective way. There are three immediate steps that should be taken: 1. We need a better definition of health security…; 2. We need to listen to what governments are asking for assistance with…; 3. We need to invest in women and girls in a long-term way … The kneejerk response is to develop a disease-specific and narrow outbreak preparedness policy which neglects the two biggest risks to health security: weak to nonexistent public health infrastructure and the low status of women in society. Let’s start getting the politics behind the evidence and overcome the myopia when it comes to global health” (5/6).

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Senate Must Quickly Approve Smith As USAID Administrator To Help Shape Development Agenda, Respond To Crises

The Hill: The Senate must act fast to confirm Gayle Smith
Molly Elgin-Cossart, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress

“…If the United States is to play a role in shaping the future development agenda and most effectively answer the call to respond to current crises, we need a new USAID administrator in place quickly. Otherwise, the U.S. will be sidelined at this crucial juncture in international development. Time is short, and the Senate must act fast to confirm Gayle Smith and empower U.S. leadership in global development” (5/5).

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Midwives Can Help Improve Maternal Health, Benefiting Whole Of Society

Huffington Post: Celebrating Midwives, Givers of Life
Isabella Lövin, minister of the Swedish International Development Cooperation

“…Our hope is that Midwives4all.org will take on a life of its own and engage, inspire, and stimulate debate about the central role that midwives play in strengthening the health and rights of women and girls. And that individuals, organizations, and decision-makers will come together to take on the challenge. Improved maternal health benefits the whole of society. The facts are on the table and the evidence is there. Midwives not only save lives. They are also actors of social change…” (5/5).

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Nepal's Earthquake Recovery Efforts Must Empower Local Participation, Link Acute Response To Long-Term Goals

The Guardian: Building a new Nepal: why the world must heed the lessons of Haiti
Prospery Raymond, Christian Aid’s country manager for Haiti

“…For those affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal, I have nothing but compassion and empathy. I have seen first-hand the extent of the pain and suffering brought by a disaster of such scale. … However, Nepal is not Haiti, and 2015 is not 2010. … If the past five years have demonstrated anything, it’s the importance of linking immediate and interim relief and rehabilitation work to longer-term development goals — Nepalese citizens must be empowered to participate in decisions over their own sustainable development. … Full recovery takes time, and the same will be true of Nepal in a few years, after the photographers, film crews, and aid agencies have moved on…” (5/6).

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Address Food Security, Nutrition Through 'Public And Coordinated Action' To Extend Life, Improve Quality

Inter Press Service: Opinion: Healthy Diets for Healthy Lives
José Graziano da Silva, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

“…[A]dhering to a healthy diet helps you to not only to live longer, but also to have a better quality of life. Conversely, a bad diet causes malnutrition and can expose you to a range of NCDs. A modern paradox is that many countries — including developing countries — suffer from undernourishment on the one hand, and obesity and diet-related diseases on the other. And while FAO’s chief concern is to eradicate hunger in this world, we cannot separate food security from nutrition. FAO — together with our U.N. agencies — considers food and nutrition security a basic human right. In all cases, the cost of malnutrition goes beyond the health of the individual: it affects society as a whole in terms of public health costs and loss of productivity, and, therefore, is an issue that must be addressed through public and coordinated action…” (5/5).

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Researchers At Global Forum Showed Resolve To Develop New, Effective TB Vaccines

Devex: Global partnerships key to eradicating TB
Lewis Schrager, vice president of scientific affairs at Aeras

“…The fourth Global Forum on TB Vaccines [held in Shanghai in late April] presented both a sense of significant accomplishment in what the TB vaccine development field has learned thus far, and a sobering sense of the daunting challenges still remaining in the efforts to develop new and effective TB vaccines. Through an international commitment to combat this global disease, there seemed little doubt among forum attendees that these challenges would be met” (5/5).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID To Stand By Nepal During Earthquake Relief, Recovery

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: U.S. Increases Funding to Nepal Earthquake Relief Effort
Acting USAID Administrator Alfonso E. Lenhardt discusses the agency’s response to the earthquake in Nepal, announces additional humanitarian assistance, and writes, “The road to recovery will be long, but rest assured, Nepal will not walk that road alone. The people of Nepal have a longstanding partner in the United States, and we will stand with them as they recover and rebuild from this disaster” (5/5).

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CDC Consolidating TB, HIV Activities Under One Division

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: CDC consolidates global TB activities in new global health branch
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, writes, “In an effort to increase coordination and collaboration on tuberculosis activities at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and maximize the CDC’s impact on global TB efforts, the agency is consolidating TB and HIV activities under a revamped program in the CDC’s Center for Global Health, changing the Division of Global HIV/AIDS to the Division of Global HIV and TB…” (5/5).

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CSIS Report Examines U.S.-Tanzania Bilateral Cooperation On MCH, Immunization Activities

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Targeting Big Results in Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health
“In February 2015, the CSIS Global Health Policy Center led a delegation to Tanzania to examine U.S.-Tanzania bilateral cooperation on maternal, neonatal, and child health and the ways in which U.S.-funded programs complement immunization activities carried out by the government of Tanzania in partnership with Gavi. … This report outlines the delegation’s main observations and gives policy recommendations for future U.S. engagement on maternal, neonatal, and child health in Tanzania” (Bliss/Streifel, 5/5).

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More Midwives Will Help World Reach Development, Health Targets

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: Midwives Are More than Midwifery
Stembile Mugore, senior adviser for health sector performance and sustainability at IntraHealth International, discusses the global shortage of midwives, writing, “The world needs more midwives to reduce preventable maternal deaths, to prevent debilitating reproductive health conditions such as obstetric fistula, to achieve an AIDS-free generation, and to give every newborn a chance to reach adulthood and be a productive citizen…” (5/5).

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