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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Eradicating Poverty Requires Inclusive, Sustainable Economic Growth, World Bank's Kim Says

Devex: How to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 — what do you think?
“After the World Bank spring meetings wrapped up over the weekend in Washington, D.C., the international development community is busy going over what was discussed, what was accomplished and — maybe even more importantly — what remains to be done to meet the institution’s overall goal of eradicating extreme poverty by 2030. … World Bank President Jim Kim stressed the goal can be attained within that deadline, but only if economic growth is inclusive and sustainable — and even that’s not enough…” (Santamaria, 4/15).

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IPCC Report Warns World Must Work To Reduce Climate Change

News outlets discuss the release of a new report from the U.N.-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urging nations to take action on climate change.

Christian Science Monitor: U.N. climate report: Window closing for lowest-cost solutions
“If countries hope to achieve their economic aspirations without pushing the global climate system deep into uncharted territory for humans, they have a rapidly closing window for taking extensive action at the lowest cost, according to a report issued Sunday by the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…” (Spotts, 4/13).

CNN: ‘Modest hope’ to slow warming, but no ‘free lunch,’ U.N. warns
“Keeping global warming down to a level people can live with means cutting carbon emissions to ‘near zero’ by the end of the century, even in an increasingly industrialized world, the top U.N. experts on the issue reported Sunday…” (Smith, 4/13).

Politico: Major mitigation needed on climate change, IPCC warns — Obama: Carbon pollution a health issue, too
“A United Nations science panel issued a sobering wake-up call to world policymakers Sunday, warning that countries must make dramatic changes in their energy consumption, their use of technology and even their ways of life to avert the catastrophic effects of climate change…” (Guillén/Restuccia, 4/14).

Reuters: Step up action to curb global warming, or risks rise: U.N.
“A United Nations report said on Sunday that governments must act faster to keep global warming in check and delays until 2030 could force them to use little-tested technologies to extract greenhouse gases from the air…” (Doyle, 4/13).

USA Today: IPCC report: Climate needs swift shift to clean energy
“A rapid shift to less-polluting energy will be needed to avoid catastrophic global warming, because global emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases have accelerated to unprecedented levels, the United Nations reports today…” (Koch, 4/13).

Wall Street Journal: U.N. Urges Swift Action on Climate Change — Update
“…The report is of major interest to policy makers because it focuses on various scenarios for mitigating global warming. Presented on Sunday in Berlin, it is the third installment in a comprehensive four-part report by the IPCC…” (Naik, 4/13).

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Scientific American Examines Sebelius' Service As HHS Secretary

Scientific American: The Overlooked Influence of Kathleen Sebelius
“When Kathleen Sebelius took the helm of one of the largest civilian departments in the federal government, the first thorny issue on her desk was responding to the H1N1 flu virus, a new pandemic flu strain that seemed to target otherwise healthy young people…” (Maron, 4/15).

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Global Leaders Discuss WASH Inequality At Summit

Inter Press Service: ‘Sanitation for All’ a Rapidly Receding Goal
“World leaders on Friday discussed plans to expand sustainable access for water, sanitation, and hygiene, focusing in particular on how to reach those in remote rural areas and slums where development projects have been slow to penetrate…” (Tullo, 4/12).

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Improved Access To Clean Water Plays Role In Gender Equality In Africa

GlobalPost: In fight for gender equality in Africa, clean water plays a key role
“An average woman in Africa spends about 60 percent of her day fetching water for her household. The chore not only forces women to walk miles to the nearest water source — which is highly likely to be contaminated — but it also prevents them from using that time to pursue educational or job opportunities instead…” (Khvan, 4/15).

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India's Supreme Court Recognizes Transgenders As Third Gender

News outlets report on a landmark ruling by India’s Supreme Court recognizing transgenders as a third gender.

Times of India: Supreme Court recognizes transgenders as ‘third gender’
“In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court on Tuesday created the ‘third gender’ status for hijras or transgenders. Earlier, they were forced to write male or female against their gender…” (Mahapatra, 4/15).

VOA News: India Supreme Court Recognizes Transgenders as Third Party
“India’s Supreme Court has granted legal recognition to transgender people, recognizing them as a third gender deserving of equal rights. The landmark ruling Tuesday directs federal and state governments to include qualifying transgender people in welfare programs for the poor…” (4/15).

Washington Post: India recognizes a third gender, but homosexuality is still a crime
“Four months after India’s Supreme Court maintained that homosexuality was a crime, its judges gave a landmark ruling Tuesday saying that the people of a third gender, neither male nor female, are now legally recognized and must have equal rights to education, jobs and driving licenses…” (Lakshmi, 4/15).

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Ebola Death Toll Reaches 121 In West Africa; Outbreak Almost Under Control In Guinea

News outlets continue to report on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The death toll for the region reached 121, but the number of deaths from the outbreak in Guinea has slowed.

Associated Press: Death toll in Ebola outbreak rises to 121
“An outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has been linked to the deaths of more than 120 people, according to the latest World Health Organization count…” (DiLorenzo, 4/15).

Reuters: Guinea says few new Ebola cases, outbreak nearly under control
“The number of deaths caused by Ebola has slowed dramatically in Guinea and the outbreak is nearly under control, the country’s health ministry said on Tuesday. The spread of Ebola from a remote corner of Guinea to the capital and into neighboring Liberia has killed about 130 people and spread panic across West African nations struggling with weak health care systems and porous borders…” (Samb, 4/15).

UPI: Ebola death toll reaches 121
“The World Health Organization reported Monday that the death toll from an Ebola outbreak in West Africa had reached 121. The Ministry of Health of Guinea reported 108 deaths from the deadly virus, and Liberia’s Ministry of Health and Social Welfare reported 13 deaths…” (Finley, 4/15).

VOA News: WHO: Ebola Death Toll Tops 120
“The World Health Organization (WHO) says the death toll from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is up to at least 121. WHO says health ministries in Guinea, Liberia, and other affected countries have reported about 200 confirmed or suspected cases of the virus…” (4/15).

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Flood, Earthquakes In Solomon Islands Strain Food Supplies, Health Response

News outlets report on a flood and two earthquakes that hit the Solomon Islands this month.

Agence France-Presse/GlobalPost: Solomons flood victims ‘terrified’ after quakes
“A series of powerful earthquakes off the Solomon Islands sparked panic in evacuation centers filled with victims of an earlier flood but apparently caused no serious damage, aid workers said Monday…” (4/14).

Radio New Zealand: Solomons evacuation centers struggle
“The United Nations children’s support agency UNICEF says people could be in evacuation centers on Guadalcanal for months yet, as Solomon Islands tries to recover from devastating floods almost a fortnight ago. At least 21 people died when flash flooding hit the country, and aftershocks are continuing following Sunday’s 7.6 magnitude quake…” (4/16).

Radio New Zealand: Recent floods in Solomons puts huge strain on food supplies — UNICEF
“UNICEF says farmers on Guadalcanal have been severely affected by the recent floods, which is putting a huge strain on food supplies in Solomon Islands…” (4/16).

Radio New Zealand: Elective surgery on hold as Solomons struggles with diarrhea outbreak
“The Solomon Islands main hospital has dispatched staff to deal with a diarrhea outbreak made worse by increases in dengue, flu, and malaria following the recent floods…” (4/16).

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More Than 10K Affected By Chikungunya Outbreak In Tonga

ABC Radio Australia: Ten thousand infected in Tonga’s first chikungunya outbreak
“There’s a major epidemic of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus in Tonga, with more than ten thousand people affected. It’s the first time Tonga has seen an outbreak of the virus, which causes acute fever and joint pain…” (Graue, 4/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

Innovative Partnerships Will Help End Extreme Poverty

Devex: Ending extreme poverty with a new model of development
Rajiv Shah, USAID administrator

“…For the first time in history, we stand within reach of a world that was simply once unimaginable: a world without extreme poverty. … The Busan High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness has built a strong foundation for this effort — tapping into the capabilities of governments, foundations, companies and civil society organizations to solve the world’s greatest development challenges. Through this new model of development, the U.S. Agency for International Development is forging high-impact partnerships to harness innovation and scale meaningful results to end extreme poverty. … Whether we work for a government agency or small local organization, each of us can expand our emphasis on partnership and innovation…” (4/11).

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Global Community Can Make Progress Against NTDs

Vanguard: Together, we can make progress against neglected tropical diseases
John Kufuor, former president of Ghana, former African Union Commission chair, and a special envoy for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases

“…As a former President of Ghana, I encourage Heads of State and Ministers to join the global effort against NTDs and work hand in hand with the global community to ensure every child and person who needs treatments receives them. Collectively, we can spur the development and implementation of integrated NTD plans, incorporate NTDs into our existing health efforts and build the capacity needed to address these diseases. By doing this, we can provide comprehensive care to all of our citizens…” (4/15).

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U.N. Must Be Held Accountable For Cholera In Haiti

Wall Street Journal: The U.N., Cholera and Responsibility
Stanley Alpert, an attorney representing Haitian plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the U.N.

“Imagine if the United Nations killed thousands on the streets of New York. Or London. Or Paris. And sickened nearly a million more. Would the U.N. claim it was not liable? Of course not. The international community wouldn’t allow it. Yet that is exactly what is happening in Haiti, where the U.N. claims it is immune from lawsuits over its reckless spread of cholera that has killed 8,000 people so far, and sickened more than 800,000. … It is time for justice to be done for the people of Haiti. We have clients who wish to pay funeral expenses and otherwise use modest settlements to recover from devastating family losses. It is the least the United Nations can do. And if it won’t accept such responsibility, we are confident that U.S. courts have both the jurisdiction and the legal grounds to force the U.N. into action” (4/15).

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Recent Releases

Africans Must Raise Voices Against Anti-Gay Law

In the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s “Voices” blog, Edwin Cameron, justice of the constitutional court of South Africa, discusses the impacts of anti-gay laws in Nigeria and Uganda. Urging Africans to speak up, Cameron writes, “Africans of goodwill must raise their voices. The right to justice of LGBTI people is the keenest civil rights issue at present. We who love our continent must not collude with oppressors by remaining silent in this wave of grotesque abuse. Instead, we must join to affirm African values of humanity — and rejoice in our diversity as humans” (4/11).

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Blog Features USAID Video On Ending Extreme Poverty

The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ “Global Food for Thought” blog features a video from USAID on ending extreme poverty. “Through the narration of Presidents Kennedy, Clinton, Bush, and Obama, the film depicts America’s progress, mission, and means by which we intend to end extreme poverty over the next two decades,” the blog notes (4/15).

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Blog Post Examines IHME Report On Global Health Financing

A post in the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog examines the “Financing Global Health 2013: Transition in an Age of Austerity” report published by the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation. “While development assistance to middle and low-income countries for global health reached an all-time high last year, assistance for ‘the main infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, contracted on the whole,’” according to the report, the blog notes (Aziz, 4/15).

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Gates Foundation's Stance On UHC Is Ambiguous, Blog Suggests

Writing in Humanosphere, Tom Paulson, founder and lead journalist of the blog, discusses the ambiguity of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s stance on universal health coverage. Paulson writes, “The Gates Foundation, despite its claim to have no position, is seen by many as skeptical of making universal health coverage a top priority for the international community.” However, universal health coverage has “become, to its advocates at least, a critical and evidence-based feature that must be incorporated into the overall battle to improve health and reduce poverty worldwide…” (4/15).

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