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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Liberia Confirms 3 Ebola Cases, As Authorities Conduct Contact Tracing, Testing

Agence France-Presse: Liberia announces two more confirmed Ebola cases
“Liberia said Wednesday a teenager who died of Ebola fever had spread the virus to at least two more people, confirming the first outbreak of the tropical disease for months. … Cestus Tarpeh, a spokesman for the health department where the boy died, confirmed the two new patients had tested positive and said the authorities were awaiting the results of further blood tests on other contacts…” (Dosso, 7/2).

Associated Press: 2nd Ebola case declared in Liberia as health workers protest
“…More than 100 Ebola center workers stormed the Ministry of Health in eastern Monrovia on Wednesday demanding hazard pay that they said they haven’t received since the country was declared Ebola-free May 9 by the World Health Organization. Health Minister Bernice Dahn said Liberia has paid hazard benefits to ’99 percent’ of people who worked in the Ebola treatment units in addition to their regular salaries. She said if there are people who feel they have not been paid, ‘they should come forward’ and make their case with the ministry…” (Paye-Layleh, 7/1).

The Atlantic: Ebola Returns to Liberia
“…[A]ccording to the WHO’s latest situation report, health authorities have identified 102 people who were in contact with the [original case], a number that is ‘expected to increase as investigations continue’…” (Beck, 7/1).

The Guardian: Two new Ebola cases in Liberia, seven weeks after country declared virus-free
“Two more people have tested positive for Ebola in Liberia, seven weeks after the country was declared free of the virus by the World Health Organization. They were tested after a 17-year-old male they lived with, who died on Sunday, was discovered to have had Ebola. The town where he lived, 50km to the east of the capital Monrovia, has been quarantined, and the ministry of health is conducting an urgent contact tracing operation to see who the teenager was in touch with in the past 21 days…” (O’Carroll, 7/1).

Reuters: Liberia investigating animal link after Ebola re-emerges
“…The response team was investigating whether domestic animals might be carrying the virus, [Moses Massaquoi, case management team leader for Liberia’s Ebola task force,] said, referring also to mysterious deaths of hundreds of cattle in remote Lofa county. … None of the new victims are known to have traveled to Guinea or Sierra Leone, … leading to speculation among the medical community that there could be hidden pockets of the disease or new means of transmission…” (Toweh et al., 7/2).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. Ebola response mission flags importance of staying vigilant as virus resurfaces in Liberia
“… ‘The re-emergence of Ebola in Liberia shows importance of staying vigilant. We must stay focused until we reach zero cases,’ said the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). ‘The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is not over. We must stay engaged until the job is done’…” (7/1).

Washington Post: More than 100 had contact with Liberian teen who contracted Ebola
“…The reasons why so many people are believed to have had contact with the teen is that he sought medical care at multiple facilities, including seeking the help of a traditional healer, and had extensive contact with people within the community, Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. At one visit, he was treated for malaria and discharged…” (Phillip, 7/1).

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Reuters Examines Gay Rights In Africa Ahead Of U.S. President Obama's Visit In Late July

Reuters: Before Obama trip, U.S. gay ruling inspires hope and revulsion in Africa
“U.S. President Barack Obama hailed last week’s Supreme Court decision to allow same-sex marriage as a ‘thunderbolt’ but few share his view of gay rights in socially and religiously conservative Africa, which he visits this month. … For many African leaders, whipping up anti-gay sentiment wins popular approval, even when it puts them at odds with the views of Western donors and, according to the World Health Organization, hinders the global fight against AIDS…” (Dzirutwe, 7/1).

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U.N. Releases First-Ever Heatwave Early Warning System Guidelines To Address Health Risks Of High Global Temperatures

U.N. News Centre: First-ever heatwave warning guidelines issued by U.N. as global temperatures soar
“Two United Nations agencies have unveiled a series of new guidelines aimed at addressing the health risks posed by the increasing number and intensity of climate change-related heatwaves affecting the planet, as warm weather alerts spread across Europe following soaring temperatures that killed hundreds of people in India and Pakistan last month…” (7/1).

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WFP Cuts Food Aid To Syrian Refugees Because Of Funding Shortfall, U.N. Says

Associated Press: Food aid to Syrian refugees cut in half amid funding crisis
“The World Food Programme said Wednesday it had to cut food aid for Syrian refugees in Lebanon in half because of a funding crisis and may soon have to halt all food support for most refugees in Jordan…” (7/1).

Reuters: Short of cash, U.N. cuts Syria refugees’ rations again
“… ‘Just when we thought things couldn’t get worse, we are forced yet again to make yet more cuts,’ Muhannad Hadi, WFP’s regional director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe, said in a statement. ‘Refugees were already struggling to cope with what little we could provide’…” (Miles, 7/1).

U.N. News Centre: Funding shortfall forces U.N. agency to make cuts in food aid to Syrian refugees
“…According to a press release issued earlier [Wednesday], the World Food Programme’s (WFP) regional refugee operation remains 81 percent underfunded and requires an immediate injection of $139 million in order to continue helping ‘desperate’ refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, and Iraq until the end of the summer…” (7/1).

Washington Post: U.N. slashes food aid to Syrian refugees
“…The cut is the second in eight months and comes as the spiraling needs of Syrians who fled the war as many as four years ago outpace the money donated to help them…” (Sly, 7/1).

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WFP To Scale Up Food Aid To Eastern Ukraine, U.N. Says

U.N. News Centre: Ukraine: U.N. scales up food assistance in country’s crisis torn eastern region
“The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said [Wednesday] it will scale up its emergency operation in eastern Ukraine to provide 500,000 conflict-affected people in the region with food assistance until the end of the year…” (7/1).

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Drug-Resistant TB Threatens South Africa's Progress On HIV/AIDS, BBC Reports

BBC News: The battle to beat HIV in South Africa
“…One of the goals [of the MDGs] was to combat HIV, AIDS, and other diseases. HIV is the world’s largest epidemic with around 35 million people living with the disease. The country with the greatest proportion of those [cases] is South Africa with more than six million, a number that is still growing. However, new infections have more than halved since the start of the millennium, but in its wake are new risks such as drug resistant tuberculosis. Nomsa Maseko reports from South Africa…” (7/2).

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UNICEF Nutrition Center Works To Stem Child Malnutrition In Chad

BBC News: Tackling child malnutrition in Chad: Inside a UNICEF nutrition center
“Child malnutrition is a major problem in Chad — a country which ranks near the bottom on every global measure of poverty, health, or economic development. The lack of adequate, healthy food is linked to some grim statistics, with one in six children likely to die before their fifth birthday and one in 15 mothers dying in childbirth. Fergus Walsh visited a UNICEF nutrition center in Chad to see what is being done to tackle the problem…” (7/1).

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Founder Of Bangladesh-Based Poverty Alleviation NGO Named World Food Prize Winner

Associated Press: Bangladesh-based poverty group founder wins World Food Prize
“A man who created a Bangladesh-based nonprofit organization credited with helping more than 150 million people out of poverty was named the winner of the 2015 World Food Prize on Wednesday. Fazle Hasan Abed created BRAC, originally known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, as a temporary relief organization to help with recovery from the 1970 typhoon that killed about 500,000 people and the subsequent war fought in 1971 to win independence from Pakistan. … World Food Prize President Kenneth Quinn said the ability of Abed, who was knighted in London in 2010, to successfully transition BRAC into a global relief organization was the key to his win…” (Pitt, 7/1).

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China To Receive Discounts On GSK's New HIV Drug Under Manufacturing Deal

Reuters: Manufacturing deal wins China cheap supply of GSK’s new HIV drug
“China will receive cut-price supplies of GlaxoSmithKline’s new HIV drug Tivicay, following a deal for Shanghai-based Desano Pharmaceuticals to become an additional manufacturer of the medicine’s active ingredient. The collaboration between GSK’s HIV unit ViiV Healthcare and Desano marks an improvement in the business climate for the British drugmaker, which was fined a record three billion yuan ($484 million) in September for bribing Chinese doctors…” (Hirschler, 7/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

More Funding Should Be Allocated To Directly Improve Health Systems In Africa

American Journal of Public Health: Health and Justice in a Time of Austerity
James Pfeiffer, executive director of Health Alliance International (HAI) and professor with the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington

“…Even in a time of exponential growth in aid for health, only a trickle finds its way to the building blocks of national health systems where the vast majority access care in Africa. And a patchwork of foreign NGOs is simply no substitute for these basic services. … A consortium of NGOs, including HAI, is promoting an ‘NGO Code of Conduct for Health System Strengthening’ to support the public sector. Generous global health funding over the last decade has created a new sense of possibility. Redirecting these resources toward public institutions can transform health in Africa and beyond. Our international search for health and justice begins with rejection of austerity and renewed solidarity with our public sector colleagues providing care to the poor majority around the world” (6/11).

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Development Agencies Must Include Women When Defining Health, Economic Priorities

The Guardian: Why the development community needs to hear women’s voices
Joanna Moorhead, writer at the Guardian

“The reality of women’s lives has tended to be ignored or misunderstood by aid agencies. Women need to be made integral to economic progress in developing countries and agencies need to stop seeing them as an ‘add-on’ and making assumptions about their needs. This was the message at the heart of a Guardian seminar, sponsored by Gain (Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition), and attended by an audience of global development and NGO professionals from organizations including Oxfam, Christian Aid, the Overseas Development Institute, and Womankind. The seminar, held at the University Women’s Club in central London, took as its title the question: Are development agencies failing women? The short answer, according to most of the speakers, was yes. … But underpinning the whole discussion was the golden rule that NGOs had to think about the daily reality of women’s lives, rather than the needs of the development workers…” Moorhead summarizes the conversation (7/1).

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Recent Releases

U.S. Aid Transparency Review Examines American Development Assistance

Publish What You Fund: Despite progress, U.S. continues to fail aid transparency commitments
“Lack of aid transparency by main U.S. government agencies is hindering development outcomes in some of the poorest countries in the world, says Publish What You Fund’s [2015 U.S. Aid Transparency Review]. … It finds that USAID has made the largest progress since 2014, moving from being off to on track. MCC continues its sustained leadership on transparency by scoring in the top performance category, while PEPFAR has also moved up a performance category. However, PEPFAR, along with State, Treasury, and Defense, is still off track and will not meet the commitment the U.S. has made to the global community, unless they redouble their efforts immediately…” (7/1).

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New Guide Outlines Health, Human Rights Approaches For Justice, Public Health Programs

Open Society Foundations: Justice Programs for Public Health: A Good Practice Guide
“…This guide is a comprehensive tool both for justice organizations interested in addressing pressing public health needs, and public health groups that recognize justice is as critical to public health as medicine. It is also a resource for funders of health or justice programs. The guide details and explains [several] approaches …, offers examples of successful activities and actions, and defines the chief health and human rights concerns of six populations that have been our focus — though its lessons apply broadly” (July 2015).

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Blog Post Highlights Recent Global HIV-Related News

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Cuba starts AIDS-free generation, Nigerian state launches oxymoronic HIV law, Mozambique sheds colonial homophobia — but has a way to go, and more … we’re reading about policies, health and human rights
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” highlights several recent HIV-related news stories, including Cuba’s elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission; the implementation of an HIV transmission law in Ondo State, Nigeria; Mozambique’s reversal of a colonial-era anti-gay law; and an analysis of national HIV policies in six African countries (7/1).

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July 2015 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

WHO: Bulletin of the World Health Organization
The July 2015 WHO Bulletin includes news, research, and policy articles on various topics, as well as editorials on antimicrobial resistance, and technology, innovation and health equity (July 2015).

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special notice

The Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report will not publish on Friday, July 3, in recognition of Independence Day. The report will resume publication on Monday, July 6.

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