KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Examines Local Procurement Efforts In Restructuring Process

Devex: USAID takes broader view of local procurement
“Officials who have been involved in multiple efforts to improve the U.S. Agency for International Development’s contracting and grant-making processes say they are trying to learn from past experiences — and past mistakes. As USAID undergoes a broad restructuring under Administrator Mark Green, the agency is hoping to build on earlier attempts to direct more resources through local organizations…” (Igoe, 5/7).

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U.N. Women Finds Resistance To Women's Rights In Tallying Global Progress Toward Gender Equality

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Resurgent ‘family values’ cause nations to break women’s rights vows — U.N. official
“The United Nations’ agency on women is finding resistance to women’s rights, such as renewed support for ‘traditional family values,’ as it tallies up global progress on gender equality, organizers said on Monday. U.N. Women is collecting information from nations around the world to publish next year on the 25th anniversary of a historic women’s rights declaration signed in Beijing, they said at a briefing…” (Wulfhorst, 5/6).

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Violence, Mistrust Continue To Hamper Ebola Outbreak Response In DRC, With Experts Warning Of Potential Escalation

CIDRAP News: DRC warns of new Ebola wave after latest violence
“Spasms of insecurity and violence continued to rock Ebola hot spots in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) outbreak region over the weekend, temporarily halting response activities in Butembo, as the number of new cases reported in recent days grew by 43…” (Schnirring, 5/6).

STAT: ‘On a knife edge’: Ebola outbreak threatens to escalate as violence rises
“…STAT spoke to a number of experts involved with or closely monitoring the situation to try to get a sense of where the outbreak in northeastern DRC is heading. Each one agreed: A disaster is unfolding…” (Branswell, 5/7).

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Ukraine Measles Outbreak Connected To Growing U.S., European Outbreaks; Germany To Consider Mandatory Measles Vaccinations

CIDRAP News: Measles outbreaks continue to grow in U.S., Europe
“A large measles outbreak in Ukraine has infected more than 25,000 people and is connected to growing outbreaks in Europe and the record-setting one in the United States. Both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) released new measles updates [Monday]…” (Soucheray, 5/6).

New York Times: Germany Considers Fines for Not Vaccinating Children Against Measles
“Germany’s health minister has proposed a fine of up to 2,500 euros, or about $2,800, for parents who refuse to immunize their school-age children against measles, part of efforts to combat a disease that has surged after decades of decline. The fine is part of a draft bill that the minister, Jens Spahn, submitted to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government for debate this week, but the proposal has prompted a wider discussion about whether mandating vaccinations is an infringement on personal freedom…” (Eddy, 5/7).

Additional coverage of measles in Europe is available from CNN, Deutsche Welle, The Guardian, Reuters, and TIME.

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Loss Of Global Plant, Animal Biodiversity Harms Progress On SDGs, IPBES Report Says

SciDev.Net: Biodiversity loss mars SDG success, report finds
“An ‘unprecedented’ loss of global biodiversity threatens the progress of more than 80 percent of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and puts 1 million animal and plant species at risk of extinction, a landmark scientific report has warned. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released a global assessment — the most comprehensive to date — at its 7th plenary meeting in Paris, France, on 6 May. … IPBES chairman Sir Robert Watson said humans were ‘eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and quality of life worldwide’…” (Vesper, 5/7).

Additional coverage of the report is available from Agence France-Presse, The Guardian, U.N. News, and Wall Street Journal.

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U.N. Secretary General Expresses Concern Over Attacks On Health Care Facilities In Northwestern Syria, Spokesperson Says

Xinhua News: U.N. “extremely concerned” over attacks on health care facilities in NW Syria
“A series of recent attacks on health care facilities — including hospitals — in northwestern Syria has left the United Nations extremely concerned, a U.N. spokesman said on Monday…” (5/6).

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CBS News Reports On Humanitarian, Political, Economic Crises In Venezuela

CBS News: Scenes from Venezuela: People suffer and starve as political and economic crisis drags on
“Citizens picking food out of discarded garbage bags. A mother mourning the death of her infant, lost to malnutrition. A young boy uses paper currency to create a handmade purse, simply because inflation has made money so worthless. These are some of the scenes witnessed by CBS News’ Adriana Diaz as she walked through the streets of Caracas, Venezuela…” (Diaz/Pascus, 5/6).

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More News In Global Health

Devex: Investment into vision care could stem major economic losses (Root, 5/7).

Devex: Q&A: NGO director stresses need to rebuild a more resilient Mozambique (Root, 5/7).

Devex: South Sudan aid sector ‘infected’ with bribery, local NGOs say (Mednick, 5/6).

Inter Press Service: West Africa’s Fine Line Between Cultural Norms and Child Trafficking (da Silva, 5/3).

Global Press Journal: Options for Reproductive Health Are Limited for Women in IDP Camps in DRC (Saambili, 5/5).

Global Press Journal: High in the Himalayas, Family Planning Services Inaccessible to Nomadic Women (Bashir/Maqbool, 5/6).

The Guardian: Inspired touch: how blind women outdo doctors at finding breast cancer (Olazábal, 5/6).

PBS NewsHour: Melinda Gates on her foundation’s work and the need to ‘lift up women’ worldwide (Brangham/Woodruff, 5/6).

Xinhua News: Tanzania working to control spread of dengue fever as cases rise to over 1,000: minister (5/6).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Health Policy Experts Highlight 5 Things To Know About U.S. Global Health Funding In FY 2020

Global Health NOW: 5 Things to Know About U.S. Global Health Funding for FY 2020
Katie Coester, policy adviser for the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation; Emily Conron, U.S. policy and advocacy officer for the Global Health Technologies Coalition; and Danielle Heiberg, senior manager for policy and advocacy for the Global Health Council

“The U.S. Congress has repeatedly rejected Trump administration proposals to slash funding for foreign assistance, including global health. This year, the global health community is looking to Capitol Hill to again turn back deep funding cuts proposed for fiscal year 2020 and ensure these programs remain strong and effective for years to come. House Appropriations subcommittees have begun work on their respective appropriations bills (the Labor, Health and Human Services bill — which funds NIH and CDC — was marked up last week, and the State and Foreign Operations bill — which funds USAID and the State Department — is expected to be marked up this week). … However, much remains to be seen in how the administration will respond to the spending package, and if it will continue to fight for its priorities, such as funding for a border wall. Here are 5 things you need to know about U.S. global health funding this year: Congress must take critical action on the Global Fund … Sustained investment in research and development is critical to global health progress … Make investments today to fight the outbreaks of tomorrow … Congress appropriates the money — what’s next? … The future of global health … In order to finish the fight on AIDS, malaria, TB, and address other global health threats, continued strong commitment from Congress is critical…” (5/6).

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U.S. Should Resume Food Aid To North Korea

Washington Post: North Koreans are starving. Shouldn’t we do something?
Isaac Stone Fish, contributing columnist for Global Opinions at the Washington Post

“The U.N. World Food Programme just visited North Korea and found desolation. More than 10 million people, or roughly 40 percent of the country, suffer from ‘severe food insecurity,’ meaning they don’t have enough food to eat until the next harvest. … The U.N. diplomatically blamed weather conditions. A U.S. State Department spokeswoman more accurately criticized Pyongyang for exploiting and neglecting its own people ‘in order to advance its unlawful nuclear and weapons program,’ and added that North Korea could feed its people if it chose. … The State Department correctly blames North Korea’s government for the suffering of its citizens. And so where does that leave the American government and the American people? Morally responsible. Pyongyang’s crimes against its own people do not absolve those who can help North Koreans but don’t. … The United States government should resume food aid to North Korea. … Maybe a second famine would topple the Kim regime. But let’s not abet the deaths of thousands of children for that political science experiment…” (5/6).

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Meeting SDG Target Of Halving Deaths Due To Road Traffic Injuries By 2020 Requires 'Concerted Multisectoral Action'

The Lancet Global Health: Speaking up for global road safety
Editorial Board

“This week marks the fifth U.N. Global Road Safety Week. … As the decade of road safety ends, many countries are unlikely to meet the ambitious [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)] target of halving all deaths due to road traffic crashes by 2020. Significantly reducing the number of injuries and fatalities on the world’s roads will require concerted multisectoral action from government agencies, politicians, the police, the automotive industry, schools, health services, non-governmental organizations, civil society, and road users in all countries. Having responsible and accountable leadership in place is crucial to mobilize action. Health workers, who play such an important role in the post-crash response, both in terms of providing care at the scene and within hospitals and health facilities, should stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all other stakeholders and speak up to help prevent these needless tragedies” (5/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Global Fund Releases New Focus On UHC, Announces New Cooperation, Pledge, Board Appointments

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Step Up the Fight: Focus on Universal Health Coverage (May 2019).

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: PMI and Global Fund Support Launch of Senegal-Gambia Cooperation in Fight Against Malaria (5/5).

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund Selects Donald Kaberuka as Board Chair and Roslyn Morauta as Vice Chair (5/3).

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: In Early Pledge, Portugal More than Triples its Commitment to the Global Fund (4/29).

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CSIS Releases May 2019 Issue Of Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter

Center for Strategic & International Studies: Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter: May 2019
In the May 2019 CSIS Global Health Policy Center Newsletter, J. Stephen Morrison, senior vice president of CSIS and director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center (GHPC), includes information on a new CSIS multimedia microsite exploring “the history of polio infrastructure, critical ‘assets,’ and potential future uses that could further benefit global health security”; a podcast episode hosted by GHPC Senior Fellow Nellie Bristol, who speaks with Kate Dodson, vice president of global health at the United Nations Foundation, Carmen Tull, chief of the Child Health and Immunization Division at USAID, and Craig Burgess, senior technical officer at John Snow Training and Research Institute, about the second version of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP 2.0) process and the importance of global goals for U.S. efforts targeting improved immunization coverage; a recent event co-hosted with the Kaiser Family Foundation on the future of global health financing; and an upcoming event on humanitarian access and international humanitarian law (May 2019).

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WHO Strategy Aims To Halve Number Of Deaths, Disabilities Due To Snakebites

World Health Organization: Snakebite: WHO targets 50% reduction in deaths and disabilities
“WHO [on Monday] released further details of its strategy to prevent and control snakebite envenoming, a neglected tropical disease that affects 1.8-2.7 million people each year, claiming 81,000-138,000 lives and causing 400,000 cases of permanent disability. The aim of the strategy is to halve the numbers of deaths and cases of disability due to snakebite envenoming over the next 12 years through a program that targets affected communities and their health systems, and by ensuring access to safe, effective treatment through increased cooperation, collaboration, and partnership at all levels…” (5/6).

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U.N. Environment Programme Recognizes World Asthma Day, Discusses Impact Of Air Pollution On Childhood Asthma

United Nations Environment Programme: Asthma sufferers need to be ultra-wary of air pollution
This post recognizes World Asthma Day, which takes place annually on May 7, and discusses the impact of transportation emissions and air pollution on childhood asthma (5/7).

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From the U.S. Government

CDC Online Report Discusses Strategic Multilateral Dialogue On Biosecurity In Southeast Asia

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Emerging Infectious Diseases: Southeast Asia Strategic Multilateral Dialogue on Biosecurity
In this online report, Anita Cicero, deputy director at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and a visiting faculty member at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and colleagues discuss the “Strategic Multilateral Dialogue on Biosecurity [that] was established in 2014 [and] now includes participants from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and the United States. This dialogue was initiated to engage high-level current and former government officials and nongovernmental experts and stakeholders in candid discussions about the priorities, challenges, and developments related to biosecurity risks in Southeast Asia…” (May 2019).

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Community In Malawi Improves Midwifery, Maternity Care Through Community Engagement, Health Worker Training

USAID/Medium: One Community, One Voice
Anna Lisi, managing editor at Palladium working on the USAID- and PEPFAR-funded Health Policy Plus project, discusses the efforts of a community in Malawi to improve midwifery and maternity care, writing, “Through [the Health Policy Plus project (HP+) and White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood-Malawi (WRA)] support, health workers were held accountable for providing quality and respectful care, citizens were given the opportunity to speak up and take action, and community trust was strengthened for better health outcomes for mothers and babies” (5/5).

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