Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- Majority Of Americans Believe U.S. Congress Should Allocate New Funding To Zika Response, Kaiser Family Foundation Poll Shows
CQ HealthBeat: Poll: Voters Concerned about Health Care Access, Zika
“A majority of Americans think it is important for Congress to pass new funding to address the Zika virus outbreak, according to a nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation poll released Thursday. The findings that 36 percent of Americans think funding for Zika should be a top priority for Congress and that 40 percent think it is important came alongside polling data that demonstrates high public awareness about the issue…” (Siddons, 9/1).
NPR: POLL: Most Americans Want Congress To Make Zika Funding A High Priority
“… ‘People generally do value spending money when there is sort of a public health emergency,’ says Mollyann Brodie, executive director of public opinion and survey research at the Kaiser Family Foundation, which conducted the survey. … President Obama asked for $1.9 billion in emergency federal funding back in February to fight Zika. So far, Congress hasn’t allocated anything…” (Kodjak, 9/1).
- Singapore's Zika Case Count Up To 115; First Pregnant Woman Diagnosed
Reuters: Singapore raises Zika tally; first pregnant woman diagnosed
“A pregnant woman was among those diagnosed with Zika infections in Singapore, as the number of confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus in the city-state rose to 115…” (Aravindan, 8/31).
- Zika Could Be Widespread Across Haiti, Specialist Warns
NPR: Doctors Fear Zika Is A Sleeping Giant In Haiti
“…Haiti has all of the ingredients for widespread transmission of Zika. … Yet as of August, Haiti had confirmed only five cases to the World Health Organization. … [Louise] Ivers, from Partners in Health, a global health organization based in Boston, says she’s quite anxious that Zika is spreading widely across Haiti — but it’s not being detected. … On top of that, she’s worried that Haiti’s severely limited health system, which isn’t picking up Zika cases, is also ill-equipped to deal with a wave of children with severe birth defects…” (Beaubien, 8/30).
- U.S. Defense Of LGBT Rights In Africa Brings Mixed Responses From Advocacy Organizations, NPR Reports
NPR: When The U.S. Backs Gay And Lesbian Rights In Africa, Is There A Backlash?
“…Over the past four years, the U.S. government has engaged in an ambitious campaign to defend the rights of gay and lesbian people overseas, especially in Africa, where the majority of countries outlaw homosexuality and anti-gay sentiment remains strong. But African activists struggle with the double-edged sword of American support. While they say that U.S. attention has given a needed boost to their movement, the protection of an outsider can complicate the path to true acceptance…” (Warner, 8/30).
- Yellow Fever Outbreak In Angola, DRC Not Public Health Emergency But Remains Serious, WHO Says
CIDRAP News: WHO: Yellow fever not a public health emergency
“[Wednesday] the World Health Organization (WHO) held its second emergency committee meeting on yellow fever under the International Health Regulations and said the current outbreak in West Africa still does not constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)…” (Soucheray, 8/31).
CNN: Yellow fever outbreak still serious, WHO says
“… ‘Although the yellow fever situation is improving, the event continues to be serious and requires sustained, controlled measures,’ said Oyewale Tomori, chairman of the WHO Emergency Committee and a professor of virology at Redeemer’s University in Nigeria…” (Scutti, 8/31).
Reuters: ‘Not out of the woods yet’ in yellow fever outbreak in Angola, Congo: WHO
“Some 6,000 people in Angola and Democratic Republic of Congo may be infected with yellow fever, six times the number of confirmed cases, but no new infections have been found since July 12, an ‘extremely positive’ trend, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday…” (Nebehay, 8/31).
- Egypt's Parliament Strengthens Penalties For FGM Involvement
Associated Press: Egypt parliament toughens penalties for female circumcision
“Egypt’s parliament on Wednesday toughened penalties for female genital mutilation, adopting amendments that punish perpetrators with up to 15 years in prison if a child dies and up to seven years for performing the procedure. … Wednesday’s vote came four days after Cabinet sent the proposed amendments to parliament. … The adopted amendments redefine FGM from a misdemeanor, where offenders typically receive up to two years in prison, to a felony, which incurs tougher sentences and punishments…” (8/31).
- Global Health Experts Question Whether Clinton Health Access Initiative Can Maintain Influence If Bill Clinton Steps Down, STAT Reports
STAT: Can Clinton global health charity survive loss of former president’s clout?
“Bill Clinton has promised to leave the Clinton Foundation board if Hillary Clinton is elected president, but his potential departure from another Clinton charity could have far greater consequences for global health. Though it’s less well-known than the foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative has played a central role in bringing down drug prices in the developing world and helping governments in Africa and Asia build health care delivery systems. Known as CHAI, it relies so heavily on the former president, say global health experts, that his exit would raise a fundamental dilemma for the influential organization: Can it operate in any meaningful way without the Clinton clout? Global health experts fear that hard-won gains could be reversed absent Bill Clinton’s authority and his capacity to wring compromises from bottom-line oriented corporate leaders…” (Piller/Kaplan, 8/31).
- STAT Interviews MSF International President Joanne Liu About Unprecedented Second Term, Organization's Operations
STAT: For the head of Doctors Without Borders, impatience is a virtue
“With little fanfare earlier this summer the humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders did something it had never done before. It reelected its international president. Dr. Joanne Liu, a 50-year-old French-Canadian who practices pediatric emergency medicine, had seen her first three-year term whiz by, subsumed by the civil war in Syria and the West African Ebola outbreak. … Liu recently had a few days off in Montreal, where she still works occasional shifts at Sainte-Justine, a children’s hospital affiliated with the University of Montreal. STAT spoke to her from there by phone…” (Branswell, 8/31).
Editorials and Opinions
- U.S. Congress Should Fund Response To Zika Virus, Support Research Efforts
Washington Post: CDC and NIH officials: Congress is showing how not to fight the Zika virus
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at NIH
“…Without additional [Zika] funds, the path forward is unclear. … The CDC will have to reduce emergency response staff and support to communities fighting this virus. NIH may have to delay or halt its work on a vaccine. And it may even be necessary to cut off funding to pharmaceutical companies that have partnered with government to ensure that a vaccine will be widely available once we have completed the clinical trials and the licensing process. … With the right resources, we can develop better ways to combat the mosquito that spreads Zika and other diseases. … We can find a vaccine that will protect those most at risk. … In the past, [Congress] has shown that it understands the importance of safeguarding Americans’ health and has supported biomedical research and vital public health priorities. It has proved that it can act in moments of crisis and in our nation’s hours of need. We’re asking Congress to do so again” (8/31).
- As 5th Replenishment Conference Nears, U.S. Should Continue Support Of Global Fund
Topeka Capital-Journal: Editorial: Maintain support for Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria
“…On Sept. 16-17, the fifth Global Fund replenishment conference will be in Quebec. … [T]he U.S. is consistently the largest contributor [to the Global Fund] … However, [it] is legally prohibited from providing more than one-third of the total donations, which is why it has pledged $1 for every $2 contributed by other countries (up to its limit) in the past. This is meant to spur greater investment from around the world, which will be necessary to help the Global Fund meet its goal of $13 billion for 2017-2019. … By welcoming scrutiny and maintaining transparency, the Global Fund has demonstrated its willingness to engage in an open conversation with the international development community about what works and what doesn’t. The U.S. has shown international solidarity and leadership with its robust commitment to expunging AIDS, TB, and malaria from our planet through the Global Fund. It should continue to do so by again providing a third of the resources that the Global Fund needs to contain — and ultimately eradicate — these horrifying diseases” (8/31).
- Global Registry, Reliable Statistics Critical To Accelerating Cancer Research
Forbes: The Developing World Needs A Cancer Moonshot
Emily Munn, Forbes contributor
“…[W]hat would a cancer moonshot for the rest of the world look like? … Right now, cancer statistics for many developing countries are not reliable for a number of reasons: These numbers aren’t counted regularly; indigenous people aren’t included; autocratic regimes purposely fudge numbers to give the impression of a healthier population; or the IT structure needed for such a registry is lacking. … A global cancer registry would help to track cancer incidences and survival rates around the world and identify emerging cancer cluster and other cancer trends. Cancer is an incredibly diverse disease and exists in many types. By collecting data on patients in other parts of the world, researchers can glean more insights on cancer patterns that will hopefully inform new therapies and diagnostics. Until then, [Vice President Joe] Biden’s Cancer Moonshot will likely fall short in helping patients living in the poorest regions of the world” (8/31).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- U.S. Pledges Up To $4.3B Through 2019 To Global Fund
White House Blog: Statement by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice on the United States’ Global Fund Pledge
“…I am pleased to announce that the United States is committing up to $4.3 billion through 2019 to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, subject to congressional appropriations. We are committing to match one dollar for every two dollars in pledges made by other donors through September 30th, 2017. We are calling on all partners to contribute generously in order to leverage our matching pledge to reach the Global Fund’s replenishment goal of $13 billion for the three year period from 2017 to 2019, averting 300 million new infections and saving an additional eight million lives from HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis by 2020…” (8/31).
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund Welcomes U.S. Leadership in Global Health
“The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria warmly welcomed an announcement by the United States government to contribute up to US$4.3 billion to the Global Fund, a demonstration of outstanding commitment to global health…” (8/31).
Friends of the Global Fight Blog: Friends Applauds Administration Pledge For Global Fund Replenishment
“…[Rice’s] announcement comes as government and private sector leaders from around the world prepare to announce three-year financial commitments to the Global Fund. This upcoming conference, the Fifth Voluntary Replenishment of the Global Fund, will kick off a multi-year effort to raise funds for the world’s largest public health financier and lifesaving partnerships in more than 140 countries…” (8/31).
- Global Health Preparedness Critical For Effective Disease Outbreak Responses
CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: On Global Health and Being “Prepared”
Rebecca Martin, director of the CDC’s Center for Global Health, discusses global health preparedness in the context of measles elimination, writing, “Being ‘prepared’ can be defined as having the right tools and the right workforce in place to respond and adapt effectively to any threat. … The need for health programs to deliver preventive services — such as vaccines — based on strong science, combined with real-time accurate data to act and make hard decisions, and the sheer determination of public health professionals is the essence of ‘preparedness’ in today’s world…” (8/31).
- USAID Maternal And Infant Health Project Helped Improve Care In Some Former Soviet Hospitals
U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Giving Birth in Ukraine: So Different From My Parents’ Experience
Olya Myrtsalo, a senior development and communication officer in USAID’s regional mission for Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova, writes about the USAID Maternal and Infant Health Project, which ran from 2003 to 2012 in the region. She recounts her parents’ experiences with maternal and newborn care in Soviet times, comparing them to her improved experience giving birth at a hospital that participated in the USAID project. She concludes, “USAID’s Maternal and Infant Health Project … provided technical assistance for maternal and child care to 20 regions in Ukraine. More than 50 percent of births in the country today directly benefit from those perinatal technologies” (8/31).
- New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash highlights the release of the 2016 Global Fund Results Report and includes an article and video on the Global Fund’s progress (9/1).
- September 2016 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online
WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The September 2016 WHO Bulletin includes editorials, news, research, and policy articles on various topics, including news articles on a U.N. meeting on antimicrobial resistance and the challenges of introducing a malaria vaccine, and a research article on the origin and spread of Zika virus (September 2016).