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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

World Bank Plans To Boost Funding In Developing Countries, Appoint Senior Directors

News outlets report on the World Bank’s announcement on funding plans and director appointments as its spring meetings approach.

New York Times: World Bank to Lift Lending to Developing Countries
“The World Bank announced on Tuesday that it was nearly doubling its potential lending to so-called middle-income countries like China, India and Brazil, adding about $100 billion in new financing capacity over the next decade…” (Lowrey, 4/1).

Reuters: World Bank plans to boost funding to help the poorest countries
“The World Bank plans to boost its overall funds for development by around 40 percent per year in order to stay relevant and help the world’s poorest people, the institution’s president said on Tuesday…” (4/1).

Devex: World Bank to appoint ‘global practices’ directors this week
“World Bank President Jim Kim announced on Monday that the appointment of senior directors of the bank’s ‘global practices’ will be finalized later this week ahead of the institution’s spring meetings…” (Stephens, 4/1).

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Public, Private Firms Investing In African Health, Manufacturing, R&D

Media sources discuss recent efforts by public and private entities to invest in African health, manufacturing, and research and development.

Financial Times: Drugmakers learn to blend commerce with philanthropy in Africa
“Africa has rarely been a source of good publicity for big pharma. But two events this week suggest the drugs industry is finally developing a positive story to tell about its role there. On Wednesday, Bill Gates will hail the ‘phenomenal’ efforts of companies such as Sanofi, Novartis, Merck and Johnson & Johnson to tackle neglected tropical diseases — mostly in Africa — as the Microsoft founder and other donors commit $240 million of fresh funding. This follows an announcement by GlaxoSmithKline on Monday that it plans to invest up to £130 million in Africa over the next five years to increase manufacturing capacity and to set up a research facility focused on new medicines for Africans…” (Ward, 4/1).

Uniting To Combat Neglected Tropical Diseases: Global Partners Are Taking the ‘Neglect’ out of ‘Neglected Tropical Diseases’
“Two years after the launch of a landmark private and public partnership, the world is accelerating progress in combating 10 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Global leaders gathered in Paris today at the Institut Pasteur to announce that this partnership has catalyzed momentum and crucial resources against NTDs — parasitic and bacterial infections that put one in six people worldwide at risk of being sickened, disabled or disfigured…” (4/2).

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Experts Urge Framing Of Climate Change As Food Security, Health Issue

News outlets continue to examine a new report from the U.N.-backed Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The Guardian: Frame climate change as a food issue, experts say
“Reframing climate change as a food issue as the world’s leading scientists did this week could provide an opportunity to mobilize people, experts say. Academics and campaigners were already looking at food as a way to better connect with public on climate change when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its finding on declining crop yields…” (Goldenberg, 4/1).

Roll Call: Scientists Warn Severe Weather Risks, Health Impacts of Global Warming Are Imminent
“A United Nations report this week warned that a warming planet will exacerbate existing health problems in the coming decades — and U.S. scientists will caution later this month that those and other public health concerns are imminent…” (Gardner, 4/1).

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GSK To Add Antiretroviral Drug To Medicines Patent Pool

Reuters: GSK’s ViiV unit adds new HIV drug to AIDS patent pool
“GlaxoSmithKline’s AIDS drugs business is to add one of its latest HIV medicines to a patent pool — cutting its future price for developing countries and pooling intellectual property rights. ViiV Healthcare, which is majority owned by the British drugmaker, said the agreement covered dolutegravir, a new antiretroviral medicine, for use in both adults and children with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS…” (Kelland, 4/1).

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U.N. Official Urges Donor Community To Scale Up Cholera Response In Haiti

U.N. News Centre: Haiti: Senior U.N. official urges donor community to ramp up efforts to tackle cholera
“The United Nations official tasked with coordinating the response to the cholera epidemic in Haiti says the country is not receiving the international attention it deserves, and is calling on the donor community to scale up support to combat the disease…” (4/1).

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Guinea, Neighboring Countries Work To Contain Ebola Outbreak

News outlets continue to report on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

ABC News: Ebola, Crossing Borders in Africa, Could Land in U.S.
“An Ebola outbreak that has killed at least 78 people in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone could land in the U.S., health officials warned today…” (Moisse, 4/1).

Agence France-Presse: Guinea’s Ebola victims wait for death
“…The makeshift clinic in Gueckedou, a market city of 220,000 people near the Liberia and Sierra Leone borders, is on the front line of Guinea’s increasingly desperate struggle to contain one of the worst outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever in history…” (Bah, 4/1).

CQ HealthBeat: Ebola Research From NIH May Be Licensed to Firm Amid Outbreak
“The National Institutes of Health is moving toward a licensing deal that would use rabies virus to try to develop a vaccine against Ebola, which has broken out in recent weeks in western Africa…” (Young, 4/1).

New York Times: Ebola Reaches Capital of Guinea, Stirring Fears
“An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in the West African nation of Guinea has reached the crowded capital, Conakry, prompting new fears about its spread, health officials said Tuesday…” (Nossiter, 4/1).

Reuters: WHO says Guinea Ebola outbreak small as MSF slams international response
“The World Health Organization on Tuesday played down the extent of an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus suspected to have killed over 80 in Guinea, a day after medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned of an unprecedented epidemic…” (Samb, 4/1).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency working to contain Ebola outbreak in Guinea
“The number of suspected and confirmed cases of Ebola (EVD) in Guinea has jumped from 103 to 122 in just three days, with 80 confirmed deaths, said the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO), which will now focus on preventing further transmissions of the often fatal disease…” (4/1).

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Despite Aid Cuts, Uganda Announces Fund For AIDS, Investors Continue Working With Country

New outlets report on Uganda’s response to expected donor aid cuts, as well as investors’ responses to the country’s anti-gay law.

The Observer: Gay law: Uganda plans new AIDS fund
“President Museveni on Monday upped the ante in the raging row with the West over anti-gay legislation, backing a special fund for HIV/AIDS. The fund is meant to keep HIV/AIDS patients on [antiretroviral drugs (ARVs)], even in the face of donor aid cuts expected in response to the signing of the Anti-Homosexuality Act…” (Ssekika, 4/1).

Reuters: Investors look beyond anti-gay law and stick with Uganda
“Fuzzy guidelines on ethical investing and aid donors’ timid response to Uganda’s new anti-gay law have reassured fund managers and private equity firms about continuing to invest in the newly oil-rich east African country…” (Cohn, 4/1).

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South Africa's National HIV Prevalence Increasing, Report Shows

News outlets highlight a new report (.pdf) showing South Africa’s HIV prevalence is rising.

Health-e News: South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence & Behavior Survey, 2012
“The latest national HIV survey in South Africa finds increases in HIV prevalence, decreases in condom use and earlier sexual debut for boys among other findings…” (4/1).

Reuters: South African HIV prevalence rises on soaring new infections
“The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa is rising due to the world’s fastest growth in new infections and a higher patient survival rate, according to a new health study. An estimated 12.2 percent of South Africa’s population was infected with the HIV virus in 2012, compared with 10.6 percent in 2008, according to a survey of 38,000 people carried out by the country’s Human Sciences Research Council…” (Brock, 4/2).

SAPA/Independent Online: More than 6 million living with AIDS
“An estimated 6.4 million people were living with HIV/AIDS in 2012, a study by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) revealed on Tuesday…” (4/1).

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U.N. Women Head Discusses Women's Rights Work

Huffington Post: U.N. Women Rep Pushes Equality
In this video segment of HuffPost Live, “U.N. Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri … joins us to discuss her work, the recent Commission on the Status of Women agreement, and what remains to be done for women worldwide…” (Modarressy-Tehrani, 4/1).

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People Living With HIV/AIDS Denied Care In Indian State Hospitals, New York Times Reports

New York Times: AIDS Patients in Andhra Pradesh Find Fear at State Hospitals
The article details the case of one HIV-positive man and others living with HIV/AIDS who say they were denied care at a state hospital “in Andhra Pradesh, which has the highest [HIV] prevalence in India with 500,000 cases in a population of 85 million, according to a 2012 survey by the World Bank. … However, officials with Andhra Pradesh’s State AIDS Control Society, more commonly known as A.P. SACS, and the state’s health ministry denied that AIDS patients encountered discrimination at government hospitals…” (Hayden, 4/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

Responsible Business Practices Enable Commercial Successes

The Telegraph: Business has the power to do immense good
Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline

“For business, behaving responsibly doesn’t compromise commercial success, it enables it. … Collectively, the private sector has the power to do immense good, using its innovation, resources and reach to create prosperity, provide employment and deliver goods and services people want and need. But businesses across different sectors, including my own, haven’t always got it right. In particular, we need to do a better job of being more transparent in our operations, and listening to and understanding society’s expectations of us. … At GSK, the organization I lead, we have a particular responsibility to use our scientific expertise and our global reach to develop innovative medicines and deliver them to people who need them around the world. … The transformation of Africa into a successful growth region is one such area that we need to focus on. There is a great opportunity for business to play a role, alongside governments and other agencies, to help deliver improved infrastructure in Africa and create prosperity to lift people out of poverty for good…” (3/29).

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Public Private Partnerships Can Help Create AIDS-Free Generation

Huffington Post: An AIDS-Free Generation
Rhonda Zygocki, executive vice president of policy and planning at Chevron Corporation

“…[E]nding HIV transmission from mother to child remains one of the most achievable ways to realize an AIDS-free generation — with the potential to bring about an end to new infections, keep mothers alive, improve the health of women around the globe and eventually end the epidemic. As a global community, we will not reach elimination of mother-to-child transmission without significantly accelerating the rate of reduction in new HIV infections among children — especially in Nigeria. The Pact-Chevron partnership and PROMOT project demonstrates one way we can accelerate the solution. The partnership contributes to the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV by supporting community-based organizations in implementing prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services in Bayelsa state. … Chevron is helping to expand PROMOT throughout all of Bayelsa with an additional $1.7 million with commitment. This additional commitment raises the company’s five-year investment for the PROMOT Project to $5.3 million…” (4/1).

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Development Community Must Work Together To Improve Sanitation, Water

Huffington Post: Sanitation and Water for All — Because We Must
Sanjay Wijesekera, chief of water, sanitation and hygiene and associate director of programs at UNICEF

“In just under two weeks around 50 countries from the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partnership will meet at the World Bank in Washington, D.C., to make tangible, measurable pledges to deal with the problem of global access to two of the most basic necessities of life: safe drinking water and adequate toilets. … The SWA commitments — and the commitment to hold ourselves accountable to them — will be one of many steps the world needs to take to get sanitation and water to where they are sorely needed. We need to take these steps together — communities, countries, donors, recipients, and ordinary people — because when we leave one person behind, all of us have failed” (4/1).

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'Justice Delayed Is Justice Denied' For Reproductive Health Care Rights

The Guardian: Reproductive rights and wrongs: how discrimination blights maternity care
Mónica Arango, regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean at the Center for Reproductive Rights

“More than 4,000 Brazilian women die each year from complications with their pregnancy. Maternal mortality remains the leading cause of death among women of childbearing age, with poor Afro-Brazilians disproportionately affected. Brazil’s maternal health crisis is mirrored in other parts of the world. Every day, 800 women around the globe die from pregnancy complications; many more suffer indignities, injuries and rights violations. … The courts are finally taking heed of such injustices and handing down rulings that press governments to provide adequate maternity care, irrespective of race, ethnicity or economic status. But justice delayed is justice denied for the many thousands of women who suffer and die needlessly in the years it takes to secure these rulings and get them implemented…” (4/1).

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Recent Releases

Grand Challenges Exploration Seeks New Tools, Models For Improving Gut Function

In the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, Richard Elliot, a senior program officer on the Discovery and Translational Sciences team at the foundation, discusses the foundation’s Grand Challenges Exploration (GCE) Round 12 call for proposals on “ideas about tools and models to enable us to better develop new therapies for acute secretory diarrhea (ASD) and environmental enteric dysfunction (EED). … These and all the projects funded under the GCE Round 12 topics will be available at grandchallenges.org in mid-May 2014…” (3/26).

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Blog Examines Several Recent Reports On HIV/AIDS, Drug Policy, U.S. Budget

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog summarizes several items released recently, including the Treatment Action Group’s “TAGline” publication examining research and policy on HIV/AIDS; Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) FY 2015 budget resolution; a report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy titled, “The Negative Impact of the War on Drugs on Public Health: The Hidden Hepatitis C Epidemic”; and a post on The 76 Crimes blog (Barton, 4/1).

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