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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

More Funding, Leadership Needed To End AIDS Epidemic By 2030, U.N. Secretary General's Report Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Fight against AIDS threatened by lack of money, leadership, U.N. head says
“Global progress fighting AIDS could be lost because prevention programs are suffering from a lack of leadership, accountability, and funding, the head of the United Nations warned on Friday. Headway in tackling the epidemic has been ‘inspiring,’ with a 42 percent decline in AIDS-related deaths since a peak in 2004, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a report…” (Wulfhorst, 5/7).

U.N. News Centre: New U.N. report shows that urgent action is needed to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030
“…On the Fast-Track to end the AIDS epidemic reveals that the extraordinary acceleration of progress made over the past 15 years could be lost and urges all partners to concentrate their efforts to increase and front-load investments to ensure that the global AIDS epidemic is ended as a public health threat by 2030…” (5/6).

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U.N. Establishes Zika Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund To Support Efforts By U.N. Agencies, Partners

U.N. News Centre: U.N. launches multi-partner trust fund for Zika virus response
“United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [on Friday] announced the establishment of the U.N. Zika Response Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) to finance critical unfunded priorities in the response to the Zika outbreak. The fund, which aims to provide a rapid, flexible, and accountable platform to support a coordinated response from the U.N. system and partners, will directly support the Zika Strategic Response Framework, developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in consultation with U.N. agencies, partners, and international epidemiological experts…” (5/6).

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Global Fund Suspends Payments To Nigeria's AIDS Agency After Investigation Finds Evidence Of Fraud, Collusion

Associated Press: Global Fund: $3.8 million fraud, stops aid to Nigeria agency
“The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has suspended payments to Nigeria’s AIDS agency over evidence that $3.8 million was stolen by its workers and consultants, the Geneva-based agency said Friday. Fund spokesman Seth Faison said Nigeria’s government has promised to repay the money and to prosecute suspects…” (5/6).

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Gates Foundation Awards $38M To Takeda Pharmaceuticals To Develop Low-Cost Polio Vaccine

Reuters: Gates Foundation backs Takeda polio vaccine with $38 million grant
“Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceuticals is to get $38 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a crucial, low-cost polio vaccine for use in developing countries. … Chris Elias, the Gates Foundation’s head of global development, said the partnership would help ‘ensure that the world has enough vaccine to get the job done and maintain a polio-free world’…” (Kelland, 5/8).

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FAO To Launch Nobel Peace Laureates Task Force For Peace And Security

Inter Press Service: Nobel Peace Laureates to Help Achieve Food Security
“…FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva pointedly says ‘there can be no peace without food security and no food security without peace.’ To pursue its objectives, the FAO is reaching out to four Nobel Peace Laureates — Professor Mohamad Yunus of Bangladesh (who won the Peace Prize in 2006), Oscar Arias of Costa Rica (1987), Tawakkol Karman of Yemen (2011), and Kofi Annan of Ghana (2001) — to advance the cause of world food security. The Rome-based U.N. agency will formally launch the FAO-Nobel Peace Laureates Task Force for Peace and Food Security on May 11…” (Deen, 5/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Urge Congress To Act On Zika Funding

USA TODAY: Step up Zika fight for Mother’s Day 2017: Column
Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, professor of health policy at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School

“…Zika is not a virus the U.S. can fight alone. … In our interconnected world, a disease outbreak anywhere is potentially a disease outbreak everywhere. So what can we do? We need to learn the lessons from previous outbreaks, such as Ebola. … We need to vastly improve the ways in which nations work together and the capacity for global organizations to lead, prevent, and respond. … We need stronger, faster action and greater resources — particularly for research on disease diagnostics and vaccine development. Even on the verge of mosquito season, with millions of Americans at risk, Congress has failed to approve $1.9 billion in emergency Zika funding. Next Mother’s Day can be different, free from the shadow cast by Zika, but only if we act…” (5/7).

The Hill: For Mother’s Day, act to protect women and babies from Zika
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)

“…For months Democrats have urged Republicans to work with us on President Obama’s $1.9 billion emergency funding proposal, … but Republican leaders have refused to even consider it. Instead, they’ve found reason after reason to delay. … Congressional Republicans may feel they have time to spare when it comes to the Zika virus — but women and families across the country do not. The choice Congress will make when it comes to Zika is not whether to deal with this virus, but how. We can address it now and help keep children and families from harm, or we can deal with the consequences of inaction…” (5/7).

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Congress Should Pass Legislation To Fully Protect Aid Workers In Conflict Settings

The Hill: Doctors are dying in Syria
Dabney P. Evans, assistant professor of global health and director of the Emory University Center for Humanitarian Emergencies, and Lara S. Martin, programs manager at the Emory University Center for Humanitarian Emergencies

“…The U.S. … has draft legislation — the Medical Neutrality Act — that has provisions protecting health facilities, staff, and supplies, unhindered access to nondiscriminatory medical care, and limitation of government interference in any of these areas. The Medical Neutrality Act perfectly complements the Geneva Convention and fills the gap in the Patriot Act. However, two failed attempts to pass the Medical Neutrality Act of 2011 and Medical Neutrality Protection Act of 2013 show the lack of traction in Congress to address existing shortcomings. Aid workers place themselves in harm’s way in order to fulfill their professional duties. The deliberate targeting of the health sector in conflict settings increases that risk. Legislation needs to be implemented here in the United States in order to project military and civilian Americans working abroad. … The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution condemning attacks on health facilities and health workers; it is time that the United States acts to close loopholes in our own legislation…” (5/6).

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USAID Continues Short-, Long-Term Efforts To Address Ethiopia's Drought

Medium: 4 Ways to Help Turn the Tide on Ethiopia’s Drought
Dina Esposito, acting deputy assistant administrator for democracy, conflict, and humanitarian assistance at USAID

“…Although the drought [in Ethiopia] has outpaced the coping capacity of millions of poor households who have no choice but to seek food assistance for survival, families … are managing to withstand the crisis. … However, our work helping families reduce reliance on food assistance is not enough to stop this crisis. … Here are four ways we can turn the tide on Ethiopia’s drought: 1. Continued action and focus … 2. Advanced planning … 3. More humanitarians … 4. Additional support from Ethiopian government. … While these steps will help respond to the crisis now, we also need to think about the long-term plan. … I return from Ethiopia convinced that we must work with donors and host governments to accelerate and scale up our efforts to build resilience, so that we can address the underlying risks that keep marginalized communities entrenched in a cycle of food insecurity and poverty” (5/6).

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Famine Could Be Averted With Political Safeguards

New York Times: Is the Era of Great Famines Over?
Alex de Waal, executive director of the World Peace Foundation at Tufts University

“…How did Ethiopia go from being the world’s symbol of mass famines to fending off starvation? Thanks partly to some good fortune, but mostly to peace, greater transparency, and prudent planning. Ethiopia’s success in averting another disaster is confirmation that famine is elective because, at its core, it is an artifact and a tool of political repression. … Grimly certain that droughts will recur, … [Ethiopia’s Finance Minister Abdulaziz] Mohammed has opened talks with the World Bank to devise a national drought insurance plan. This is a sensible move. It’s also evidence that after countries have passed a certain threshold of prosperity and development, peace, political liberalization, and greater government accountability are the best safeguards against famine. There is no record of people dying of famine in a democracy. … So is the era of great famines finally over? Let’s just say it could be. Famine isn’t caused by overpopulation, and as Ethiopia’s experience shows, it’s not a necessary consequence of drought. Politics creates famine, and politics can stop it” (5/8).

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Asahi Shumbun Publishes Special Project Called 2030 Creating Future, Guest Edited By Bill & Melinda Gates

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 Creating Future
“The Asahi Shimbun invited Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda, as guest editors for a special project called ‘2030 Creating Future.’ The two world-renowned philanthropists contributed their thoughts on a number of global social issues, such as infectious diseases, education, and poverty, for articles carried in the newspaper as part of efforts to create a better world in 2030 through innovation and technology….” The special project also includes articles and opinion pieces by other contributors and Asahi reporters (5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: Japan can lead the world in ending infectious diseases (Bill Gates, 5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: Investing in women can only reap more rewards for all (Melinda Gates, 5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: In fight against HIV/AIDS, fast action needed to end epidemic (Elton John, 5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: Working together across borders to end malaria for good (Jikaya Kikwete, 5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: TICAD VI offers a chance to address poverty, malnutrition (Yvonne Chaka Chaka, 5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: Japan leadership and investment can lead to a polio-free world (Salman Ahmed, 5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: Joining hands with Japan to rid world of scourge of epidemics (Samuel Eto’o, 5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: Big data seen as new weapon in battle to end malaria in Africa (Miura/Geji, 5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: Buddhist monk teaches poor people to stand on their own (Fukuda, 5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: Microfinance spreads with help of IT in Myanmar (Fukuda, 5/9).

Asahi Shumbun: 2030 CREATING FUTURE: Smartphone app shows women safety levels of New Delhi areas (Kando, 5/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post Highlights Several Pieces Discussing History Of Zika Virus, Current Outbreak

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: A year — or two — of Zika in the Western Hemisphere… We’re reading about how pandemic preparedness begins
Antigone Barton, senior writer and editor of “Science Speaks,” discusses several recently released pieces on Zika, including a piece from the WHO describing “how the Zika virus emerged from obscurity to become an unprecedented global health threat;” an epidemiological alert from PAHO; a PLOS article presenting evidence that the Zika outbreak first occurred in Haiti in 2014 before it reached Brazil; a piece by Ronald Klain in Democracy on pandemic preparedness; a CDC article on community participation to control Zika; and a Zika timeline from the WHO recounting the history of the virus (5/5).

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