KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

News Outlets Examine Potential Impacts Of Trump Presidency On Women's Health Abroad, Foreign Aid

Los Angeles Times: What Trump’s presidency could mean for refugees, foreign aid, and women’s rights abroad
“…Some development experts hope a Trump administration will continue the Republican tradition of promoting foreign assistance as a means to promote global health, democracy, and economic growth around the world. … But the president-elect’s initial choices and the uncertainty over the makeup of his Cabinet are rattling some development professionals. … Many in the global development community are now concerned about what lies ahead for everything from refugee resettlement and women’s reproductive rights to foreign aid, and U.S. efforts to combat poverty, hunger, and disease worldwide…” (Simmons, 11/22).

NBC News: What Will Trump Presidency Mean for Women’s Health Abroad?
“Groups working to improve the health of women around the world are nervous that the Trump presidency could mean an unraveling of what they consider to be eight years of progress in helping women get birth control, healthier babies, and safer births. And they are not sure what they can do about it…” (Fox, 11/27).

New York Magazine: It’s Not Just American Women Who May Be Harmed by Donald Trump’s Presidency
“Mere days into his presidency, Donald Trump is expected to make a critical decision on women’s reproductive health that could have dire and immediate consequences for women worldwide. Global health experts believe Trump will likely reinstate the Mexico City Policy — or as it’s known in the health community, the Global Gag Rule — a Reagan-era policy prohibiting groups receiving U.S. aid from providing abortions, or even counseling patients about the procedure. Doing so could force clinics to close, decrease access to contraception, and lead to an increase in unsafe abortions, experts say…” (Ryan, 11/21).

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Under New USAID Policy, Contractors Cannot Discriminate Against LGBTI People When Providing Services

Devex: What USAID’s new LGBTI anti-discrimination policy means for implementers
“Contractors and implementers receiving funding from the U.S. aid agency cannot discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people when providing services, according to a new U.S. Agency for International Development policy. … The U.S. aid agency says the move is intended to make explicit USAID’s general approach to promoting inclusive development and also builds on President Barack Obama’s ‘commitment to social inclusion around the world,’ according to a statement from Administrator Gayle Smith…” (Edwards, 11/28).

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U.K. Development Secretary Announces $7.48M Funding Package To Address FGM, Child Marriage, Violence Against Women In 17 Countries

The Guardian: Extra £6m in development funding to fight abuse of women and girls
“Britain is to step up efforts to combat abuse of women and girls around the world, International Development Secretary Priti Patel said this weekend. Patel says she wants the U.K. to be a global leader on the issue and is announcing a £6m [$7.48 million] package of aid to go towards supporting innovative grassroots programs in 17 countries, dealing with female genital mutilation, child marriage, and domestic violence…” (McVeigh, 11/26).

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Pharmaceutical Company Executives Discuss Future Of Lower Profits

Financial Times: Pharma giants see future of lower health care profits
“For the hundreds of executives gathered in London recently for the FT’s annual pharmaceutical conference, the words of GlaxoSmithKline chief Sir Andrew Witty highlighted the problems facing the industry in the decades ahead. Despite pouring many billions of dollars into new treatments and extending lives in ways that were merely a dream a few years ago, drugmakers may have to get used to making less money. … The social contract between citizens and pharmaceutical companies — rocked by a string of recent pricing scandals — is fraying…” The article is part of a special report titled “Innovation in Healthcare” (Viña, 11/29).

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Gates Foundation's Global Health President Trevor Mundel Discusses WHO, Innovative Funding In Devex Interview

Devex: Gates Foundation head of global health talks WHO, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
“…Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said ‘a lot needs to be done’ to prepare now for the next global [health] crisis. From rethinking the World Health Organization’s role and funding to embracing health innovations such as the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Mundel, who oversees the Gates Foundation’s work in vaccine and diagnostic innovation, is looking for new ideas. Devex spoke with Mundel on the sidelines of the 2016 Grand Challenges annual meeting in London last month…” (Anders, 11/29).

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Puerto Rico Records Almost 500 New Zika Cases Over Past Week; Texas Reports First Case Of Locally Transmitted Zika

Associated Press: Puerto Rico reports nearly 500 new Zika cases amid epidemic
“Puerto Rico’s health secretary says nearly 500 new cases of Zika have been reported in the U.S. territory in the past week. Ana Rius said Monday that 34,562 cases of the mosquito-borne virus have now been registered, including nearly 2,700 that involve pregnant women. Nearly 290 people have been hospitalized…” (11/28).

New York Times: Local Transmission of Zika Virus Is Reported in Texas
“A probable case of local transmission of the Zika virus has been reported in Texas, state health officials announced on Monday, making it the second state, after Florida, in which the infection is thought to have been carried from person to person by mosquitoes…” (McNeil/Fernandez, 11/28).

Washington Post: Zika surfaces in Texas, likely to be first local transmission
“…Laboratory testing confirmed that the 43-year-old patient, who is not pregnant, had been infected. State and local health authorities said she reported no recent travel to any location with ongoing Zika transmission and no other risk factors…” (Sun, 11/28).

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USA TODAY Examines How Brazilian City, Families Addressing Care, Treatment For Zika-Affected Infants

USA TODAY: A year later, Brazil town that spawned Zika struggles with virus
“…One year ago, the mosquito-borne Zika virus broke out in this impoverished northeast region of Brazil, producing a surge in microcephaly cases linked to the virus and spreading the disease to more than 60 countries, including the United States. … USA TODAY visited this city [Campina Grande] at the epicenter of the outbreak to examine how a team of health professionals and public officials have combined research, treatment, and support to understand the illness and mitigate its effects…” (Steiker-Ginzberg/Lozada, 11/25).

USA TODAY: Brazilian women with Zika-infected babies pray for cure
“…[Miriam de França] Araújo was among the first group of mothers and infants to be enrolled in a new microcephaly unit at a local hospital [in Campina Grande], where a team of doctors and therapists treat children born with Zika-related disorders. … The microcephaly unit has become a place of solidarity, where more than 100 women — many of them poor — lend each other support, share ideas, and discuss ways to advocate on behalf of their children…” (Steiker-Ginzberg/Lozada, 11/28).

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Large Clinical Trial Of Experimental HIV Vaccine Begins In South Africa

The Guardian: HIV vaccine test hopes for breakthrough in combat against the virus
“The first new trial of a potential vaccine against HIV in seven years has begun in South Africa, raising hopes that it will help bring about the end of the epidemic. … The vaccine being tested is a modified version of the only one to have shown a positive effect, out of many that have gone into trials. Seven years ago, the vaccine known as RV144 showed a modest benefit of about 31 percent in a trial in Thailand…” (Boseley, 11/27).

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Editorials and Opinions

Trump Administration Should Consider 5 Key Areas To Continue U.S. Global Health Leadership

Huffington Post: 5 Ways The Trump Administration Can Maintain U.S. Leadership In Global Health
Jeffrey L. Sturchio, president & CEO of Rabin Martin

“…The new administration has an opportunity to continue U.S. leadership in global health through smart policy and efficient coordination of the investments allocated by Congress. Here are five key areas to consider: Protect hard-won gains in global health. … Increase investments in addressing the increasing challenge of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). … Support universal health coverage (UHC). … Explore new models for partnerships. … Make the case for investments in health. … As the development community contemplates the prospect of working with a new U.S. administration, we have the responsibility to support the incoming leadership in assessing and implementing policy priorities and programs in global health. We can do this by fostering collaboration, lending our expertise, sharing technical knowledge, and leveraging convening power to inform decisions and identify new solutions. … The work of improving the health of people around the world is critical to U.S. national interests by making the world more prosperous and more secure. … We have an opportunity over the coming months to help shape a new agenda and maintain the tradition of bipartisan U.S. leadership on global health issues” (11/18).

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President-Elect Trump, U.S. Congress Can Take 3 Actions To Speed Discovery Of Cures, Advance Health

Wall Street Journal: Three Ways to Find More Disease Cures
Michael Milken, chair of the Milken Institute

“The triumph of science over disease in the past century is astounding. Since 1900, a host of maladies — diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, polio, tetanus, typhoid, and smallpox, among others — have been mostly controlled. These victories helped more than double human lifespans over the 20th century, according to the World Health Organization. … Medical research has significantly reduced the burden of cancer and heart disease. … Here are three actions that Congress and the new administration can take to speed up the discovery of cures. 1. Share Department of Veterans Affairs data. … 2. Pass the Cures Act. … 3. Set a funding goal and stick to it. … [C]onsistency of funding is as important as the funding itself. These are among the most important challenges President-elect Trump and Congress must confront as growing numbers of Americans deal with the health issues of aging. Many of us in the private economy stand ready to partner with the new leadership in Washington to advance the nation’s health” (11/28).

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'Unwavering Leadership' From U.S., U.K. Critical To Eliminating NTDs

CNN: We must finish fight against diseases we’ve overlooked for too long
Mary Ann Peters, CEO of The Carter Center, and Sue Desmond-Hellmann, CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…To achieve [the goal of eliminating neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)], the world needs to focus on where it can do better. … National governments must prioritize building basic health facilities and providing clean water, roads, electrification, and education — the infrastructure that makes permanent progress against diseases possible. … Public and private funders, including country governments, also need to invest more in discovering and refining the tools needed to fight NTDs … Donors and affected countries must remain firmly committed to achieving a world without NTDs. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) are exemplars in this area. … Unwavering leadership from the U.S. and U.K. will be vital to reducing the burden of NTDs. … For too long, these diseases of the very poor lived on the periphery of our attention … That is beginning to change, and millions of children … now have the chance to lead healthy, productive lives. Let’s not stop until we’ve finished the job” (11/28).

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More Innovative Financial Models Needed For Vaccine, Drug Development

Fortune: Urgently Needed: A New Financial Model for Vaccine Development
Clifton Leaf, deputy editor of Fortune

“…While there’s, sadly, an enormous ready market for an HIV vaccine, and therefore an incentive for drugmakers to pursue decades worth of investment here, there are scores of infectious diseases for which there is no good pharma ‘business model’ to develop a treatment or vaccine. Earlier this month, [Andrew Witty, the CEO of GSK,] Seth Berkley — chief executive officer of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance — and I talked about this very real problem at Fortune’s Brainstorm Health meeting. … One solution that both Berkley and Witty embraced is the notion of ‘market shaping’ through the mechanism of an ‘advanced market commitment,’ which was used to develop a pneumococcal vaccine tailored for viral strains in sub-Saharan Africa — a region where children die of pneumonia in staggering numbers. … Within a year of its development, the pneumococcal vaccine had entered its first developing nation, Berkley says. Five years later it’s in 54 countries. Vaccine development is not a charity, he says. So we have to ask ourselves, ‘What are the incentives in place to get the best technologies, the best companies — not just large companies, but biotech companies, academic institutions — to be prepared to step in and bring science and technology to solve these problems?’…” (11/28).

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Funding For Family Planning Services Helps To Improve Access To Other Health Care For Women, Girls, Especially In Humanitarian Crises

News Deeply: Family Planning Provides Backbone for Health Care Delivery in a Crisis
Aileen Gleizer, policy manager at Marie Stopes International

“…Family planning is critical for preventing unintended pregnancies, maternal and infant deaths, and unsafe abortions. Funding for international family planning enables the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and implementers … to deliver services that improve health outcomes for underserved women and girls. This funding also alleviates extreme poverty and improves women’s opportunities for education, employment, and participation in their community. … Funding and supportive policies for international development and family planning programs make a life-saving difference for underserved women and families around the world. Without it, health care workers wouldn’t have been able to reach vulnerable communities in Nepal [after the 2015 earthquake], or in other high-risk environments like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. We must prioritize women and girls’ health, including expanding access to reproductive health care that improves health outcomes and increases economic opportunity, every day — and when disaster strikes” (11/28).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

In Panel Discussion, Experts Discuss Lancet Series On Maternal Health, Actions To Achieve Goals

Woodrow Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat”: ‘The Lancet’ on Achieving Maternal Health Goals in the SDG Era: Tackling Diversity and Divergence
Nancy Chong, intern for the Maternal Health Initiative at the Wilson Center, discusses an event during which maternal and newborn health experts addressed issues covered by a recently published Lancet series on maternal health. The Maternal Health Initiative, UNFPA, and the Maternal Health Task Force cosponsored the October 28 panel discussion (11/29).

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Blog Post Examines Continuing Challenges, Questions Surrounding Zika

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Zika: An emergency evolves into an enduring public health threat with long-term demands
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” discusses questions and challenges around Zika research, funding, and response, writing, “[U]nknowns include the capacity of countries with fewer resources than Brazil to track the spread of the virus, to detect its impacts, [and] to respond to the needs that those impacts make … Unknowns also include the lineage of a virus that went nearly unnoticed for more than six decades, before traveling across an increasingly close-knit world and confirming its potential for harm in the most vulnerable communities in [the Western] hemisphere. And, of course, questions include how to develop the tools needed — diagnostic, programmatic, and preventive — to end the threat the virus poses” (11/28).

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