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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Devex Examines Shifts, Declines In Global AIDS Funding

Devex: AIDS funding is in crisis. Who will step up?
“…Scientists say the tools are available to end the AIDS epidemic. But public health interventions are running out of money. And even as officials talk about the approaching end of a pandemic that has killed more than 35 million people, the goal of eradicating AIDS is looking ever further away. … The Sustainable Development Goals aim to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, but in a recent report, UNAIDS estimated that reaching that target would require $26.2 billion in funding for low- and middle-income countries by 2020 — estimated to be the peak year of investment. That is $7 billion more than was available in 2014. Donors, meanwhile, reduced their investments by more than $1 billion last year as compared with 2014, according to a recent joint report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS…” (Green, 7/28).

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FP2020 Organizers Urge National Governments To Allocate More Funding To Reach Contraceptive Access Goals

The Guardian: Critical moment for family planning as funds come under pressure
“…At the halfway point of Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), an ambitious initiative to increase access to modern contraception for 120 million more women and girls in 69 target countries, organizers said national governments need to allocate more money in their health budgets for contraceptives amid concerns that donor funding could begin to fall…” (Ford/Kavuma, 7/28).

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GAVI's INFUSE Workshop Aims To Help Health Startups Expand Projects

The Verge: This Bill Gates-backed fund wants to ‘disrupt’ vaccine delivery in poor countries
“…Last week, GAVI took its first steps into the world of health startups, with the launch of its INFUSE workshop — a two-day event held down the street from its Geneva headquarters. Around 60 companies and entrepreneurs applied to the program after it was announced at this year’s World Economic Forum; 18 projects were selected for a final round of vetting before a panel representing both private companies and organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. At the end of last week’s workshop, the panel chose seven ‘pacesetters’ that will work with GAVI on scaling up their projects and bringing them to new countries…” (Toor, 7/27).

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Diplomats Need Better Training In Science, Health To Enhance Partnerships, Conference Hears

SciDev.Net: Diplomats told to study science and health
“Diplomats need better training in science and health to support international collaborations dealing with shared problems and increase the scientific capacity of developing countries, a U.K. summit has heard. When it comes to science diplomacy, both rich and poor nations must do more to involve foreign affairs officials in research efforts and cooperation, said a panel at the EuroScience Open Forum this week…” (Vesper, 7/27).

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Incoming International AIDS Society President Discusses Progress, Gaps, Next Steps In Addressing Global AIDS Epidemic

The Conversation: AIDS conference 2016: the gains, the gaps, the next global steps
“As the 21st International AIDS Conference wraps up in Durban, South Africa, Professor Linda-Gail Bekker, incoming International AIDS Society President, talks to The Conversation Africa health and medicine editor Candice Bailey about what was achieved and what still needs to be done…” (7/22).

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MSF Warns Of Growing Humanitarian Crisis In Northeast Nigeria, Urges International Community To Act

Reuters: MSF sounds alarm on northeast Nigeria, calls for food pipeline
“Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) said on Wednesday that Nigerian children are dying at high rates from malnutrition and disease in a growing humanitarian emergency in the northeast…” (Nebehay, 7/27).

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Activists Condemn Liberia's Parliament For Removing FGM Ban From New National Domestic Violence Law

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Lack of FGM ban in domestic violence law fails Liberia’s girls, activists say
“Women’s rights activists condemned Liberia’s parliament on Wednesday for removing a ban on female genital mutilation (FGM) from a new domestic violence law in a country where half of women have been cut. The law listed FGM as a criminal offense, along with threats and acts of physical and sexual violence, and emotional abuse, when it was first submitted to lawmakers last September. Yet opposition from several politicians in April led to the FGM provision being removed from the bill, which was passed into law last week, according to women’s rights campaigners…” (Guilbert, 7/27).

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El Niño Weather Pattern Impacts Wide Swath Of Southern Africa's Economy, From Herders To Bankers

Reuters: From herdsmen to central bankers, Southern Africa counts drought cost
“…Farmers, game reserves, and central bankers across Southern Africa are among those set to count the cost for years to come of the drought that wiped out livestock, pushed up food prices, and caused power shortages and protests. The 2015/2016 El Niño weather system, the Pacific Ocean phenomenon associated with droughts, storms, and floods, baked Southern Africa before ending in May…” (Stoddard, 7/27).

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U.N. Human Rights Experts Call On Dominican Republic Leaders To Protect Women's Reproductive Health, Rights

U.N. News Centre: U.N. experts urge Dominican Republic to protect women’s rights to reproductive health
“Expressing serious concern over the proposed penal code amendment that would criminalize abortions, United Nations human rights experts [Wednesday] urged the Dominican Republic’s president and legislators to protect women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health in the Caribbean country…” (7/27).

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U.N. Agencies, Partners Work To Contain South Sudan Cholera Outbreak

U.N. News Centre: U.N. rushes to ramp up support for South Sudan’s battle against cholera outbreak
“The United Nations and its partners are rushing to ramp up support for South Sudan’s fight to contain a cholera outbreak through measures, including an oral vaccination campaign to reach over 14,000 people and the creation of treatment and rehydration centers. Across the country, 271 cholera cases have been reported, including 14 deaths since 12 July 2016…” (7/27).

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Cholera Rapid Response Teams Establish Sanitary Cordons In Haiti When Cases Identified

U.N. News Centre: Feature: Tackling cholera in Haiti by building sanitary cordons
“…[S]anitary cordons are just one of the steps taken by the rapid response teams, which are composed of representatives from non-governmental organizations (NGO) and the government, and are supported by the United Nations — particularly the U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), and its regional presence, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) — to facilitate smooth coordination…” (7/27).

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Prince Harry's Livestreamed HIV Test Spurs Increase In Home-Test Orders In U.K.

Huffington Post: Prince Harry’s Live HIV Test Had A Major Impact
“…Orders for a new, free at-home HIV test spiked five times higher after Prince Harry underwent an HIV test in video streamed live on Facebook…” (Feldman, 7/27).

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Editorials and Opinions

GMO Technology Integral To Studying Disease Threats

The Conversation: GMOs lead the fight against Zika, Ebola, and the next unknown pandemic
Jeff Bessen, PhD candidate at Harvard University

“…Most modern biomedical advances, especially the vaccines used to eradicate disease and protect against pandemics such as Zika, Ebola, and the flu, rely on the same molecular biology tools that are used to create [genetically modified organisms (GMOs)]. To protect the public, scientists have embraced GMO technology to quickly study new health threats, manufacture enough protective vaccines, and monitor and even predict new outbreaks. … Beyond diagnosing single patients, molecular biology tools will be used to get ahead of the as-yet-unknown pandemic threats that lie in the future. Public health officials are calling for monitoring infections in the places where new diseases frequently emerge. Quick and accurate diagnostic tests are key to determining which viruses are already circulating and would allow researchers to anticipate new pandemics and develop and stockpile vaccines. … With the help of GMOs, infectious disease experts have the tools to get ahead of the next outbreak, moving beyond reaction to quick detection, containment, and even prevention” (7/27).

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Recent Releases

Blog Posts Reflect On Highlights From White House Summit On Global Development

Friends of the Global Fight Blog: White House Summit Reaffirms U.S. Leadership in Global Development
Kim Cernak, deputy director of Friends of the Global Fight, recaps last week’s White House Summit on Global Development, including President Obama’s remarks highlighting worldwide progress in responding to diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria; various panel discussions on global health; and a panel on the importance of engaging youth in development (7/27).

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: Top 10 Quotes from the White House Summit on Global Development
Sung Lee, deputy policy director at USGLC, highlights 10 quotes capturing key discussions from last week’s White House Summit on Global Development (7/27).

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CSIS Task Force Report Examines PPPs For Women's Health In Zambia, Including Lessons For U.S. Policy

CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health: Public-Private Partnerships for Women’s Health in Zambia: Lessons for U.S. Policy
The executive summary of this report states, “…The United States is the largest donor to the health sector in Zambia, largely through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). Over the past five years, the United States has also helped establish several public-private partnerships (PPPs) aimed at advancing the health of women and families. These PPPs provide lessons about the potential impact of these approaches, the challenges inherent in such partnerships, and the importance of PEPFAR support. With future U.S. global health funding likely to be flat-lined, this is an important moment to assess how partnerships with the private sector can amplify the impact of U.S. investments in women’s and family health. The lessons from the U.S. engagement in the PPPs in Zambia are valuable for other such initiatives” (7/26).

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New Campaign Aims To Raise Awareness Of Health, Climate Impacts Of Air Pollution

Natural Resources Defense Council: Breathing Life into Paris Agreement: Health Can Drive Action
Kim Knowlton, senior scientist and deputy director of the Science Center at NRDC, and Jessica Korsch, NRDC Stanback fellow, discuss the launch of the BreatheLife Campaign, “a joint effort of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Climate and Clean Air Coalition, [which] aims to raise awareness about the dangerous climate and health impacts from air pollution.” They write, “The health impacts of climate change become more and more evident on a daily basis; climate change is an emergency today and will only continue to affect us all. But taking action now drives the opportunity to protect our health today and our children’s health in the future” (7/27).

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Novel Antiviral Drugs, Hepatitis B Vaccine Make Elimination Of Chronic Disease Possible, Blog Post Says

PLOS Blogs’ “Speaking of Medicine”: Perspectives Toward the Elimination of Hepatitis B
Guangxiang (George) Luo, professor at the University of Alabama’s Birmingham School of Medicine and the Peking University Health Science Center, “discusses recent advances in antiviral drug development and hepatitis B immunization which hold great promise for achieving the WHO goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030.” He writes, “[I]t is feasible to eliminate chronic hepatitis B given the current advances in the discovery and development of novel antiviral drugs and scale-up of HBV vaccination. The key toward the elimination of hepatitis B lies in the commitment of WHO member state governments in their investments in basic and translational biomedical research and implementation and reinforcement of universal HBV immunization…” (7/28).

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'Science Speaks' Continues Coverage Of Presentations Made At AIDS 2016

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: AIDS 2016: Community health workers raise TB diagnoses in Malawi HIV clinic
Reporting on the AIDS 2016 conference in Durban, Christine Lubinski, executive director of the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses results from a pilot intervention in Malawi that aimed to improve TB diagnosis among HIV patients by providing “community health workers already experienced in HIV screening and care linkage with a one-day training to learn to screen for tuberculosis”  (7/27).

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