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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Kerry Travels To Africa To Promote Peace; U.N. Calls For Month-Long Truce in S. Sudan

News outlets report on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s trip to Africa to promote peace, while the U.N. prepares to bring aid to the displaced civilians in South Sudan.

Agence France-Presse: Kerry heads on Africa tour amid fears over S. Sudan war
“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left late Tuesday on his first major tour of Africa focused on some of the continent’s most brutal wars including the bloodshed in South Sudan…” (Revise, 4/30).

Associated Press: Kerry to promote peace, sanctions in South Sudan
“Secretary of State John Kerry is bringing his two main tools of diplomacy — peace talks and threatened sanctions — to Africa this week to help find a way to end months of killing that is threatening to rip apart the world’s newest nation, South Sudan…” (Jakes, 4/30).

U.N. News Centre: South Sudan: U.N. brings aid to displaced civilians ahead of rains; calls for month-long truce
“The United Nations refugee agency is preparing to airlift relief supplies to South Sudan today for 100,000 displaced people ahead of the rainy season, while the top U.N. relief official there is calling for a month-long truce to enable people to move around safely and cultivate their fields…” (4/29).

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J&J Announces Collaboration With Stop TB Partnership To Improve Access To TB Drug

Media sources report on efforts by Johnson & Johnson to improve access to Sirturo, its medication for drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB).

Bloomberg News: J&J Eases Access for Tuberculosis Drug in Poor Nations
“Johnson & Johnson is taking steps to ensure Sirturo, its medicine for people with drug-resistant tuberculosis, is available and properly administered in 130 developing countries across the globe…” (Cortez, 4/29).

Johnson & Johnson: Johnson & Johnson Announces New Collaboration with Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility to Enhance Access to Anti-TB Compound
“Johnson & Johnson [Tuesday] announced that its affiliate Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (Janssen) has entered into a novel collaboration with the Stichting International Dispensary Association (IDA), a procurement agent for the Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility (GDF), to facilitate access to the company’s anti-tuberculosis medicine. This public-private partnership was established by the newly formed Janssen Global Public Health and is the latest in the company’s overall efforts to improve public health…” (4/29).

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Growing Humanitarian Needs Raise Private Sector Aid Involvement, Report Says

IRIN: Global crises raise private aid profile
“Rising global humanitarian needs — from the Syrian crisis to the conflicts in the Central African Republic and South Sudan — have provided challenges for aid funding and highlight the growing significance of private donations in terms of diversity and flexibility in relief response, U.K.-based think tank Development Initiatives’ Global Humanitarian Assistance program said in a 29 April report…” (4/30).

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U.K.'s Increased Disaster Relief Spending Should Not Come At Expense Of Poor, MPs Say

The Guardian: U.K. aid should not prop up richer countries at expense of poor, say MPs
“Britain’s increased spending on humanitarian emergencies should not come at the expense of aid to low-income countries, [members of Parliament (MPs)] have warned. In its annual report on spending at the Department for International Development (DfID), the international development committee (IDC) said it was concerned that budgets for bilateral aid programs would be raided to fund disaster relief in wealthier states, such as the Philippines…” (Ford, 4/30).

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U.N. Calls Upon Countries In SE Asia To Coordinate Action For MCH

Jakarta Post: WHO calls for coordinated action to save mothers, children
“Three world agencies — the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) — call upon countries in Southeast Asia to ensure the survival of and improved quality of life for every woman, newborn, and child…” (4/29).

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NTD Program Suffers Setbacks From Lack Of Funding

SciDev.Net: Funding crunch hits neglected diseases plan
“The Open Source Drug Discovery (OSDD) program — a global collaborative initiative supported by the Indian government to find affordable treatment for neglected tropical diseases — has suffered a temporary setback due to a funds crunch caused by tardy submission of funding estimates…” (Sreelata, 4/29).

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Health Workers In Pakistan Battle Polio, Militants

Foreign Policy: SWAT M.D.
“…Ever since the CIA used a vaccination campaign as cover in its hunt for Osama Bin Laden, real medical professionals have found themselves in the crosshairs in Pakistan. The Taliban have banned immunizations and accused those attempting to deliver medical services in the tribal areas of being Western spies. As a result, medical workers armed with polio vaccines have become inadvertent fighters against the Taliban and other militants as they try to rid the country of a virus that paralyzes and often kills young children…” (Shevory, 4/29).

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MSF To Review Operations In CAR After 3 Workers Killed In Attack

Devex: MSF’s future in CAR unclear after deadly attack
“Médecins Sans Frontières is currently reviewing its entire operations across the conflict-ridden Central African Republic following the death of three of its staff members in an attack on one of its health facilities over the weekend…” (Ravelo, 4/29).

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GSK Executive Discusses Vaccine R&D Investments, Challenges

Bloomberg TV: Upfront Vaccine Costs a Hurdle to Business: Slaoui
In a video report, “Moncef Slaoui, R&D and vaccines chairman at GlaxoSmithKline, discusses the financial challenges to developing vaccines, the importance of research and development to the pharmaceutical industry from the 2014 Milken Global Conference on Bloomberg Television’s ‘Market Makers’” (4/29).

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Saudi Arabia Announces New MERS Deaths; WHO Advises Those At Risk Avoid Camels

Media outlets report on the latest news surrounding the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Agence France-Presse: Saudi announces 3 new MERS deaths, toll hits 105
“Saudi health authorities announced Tuesday three new deaths from the MERS coronavirus, as a group of experts met to discuss means of preventing the spread of the disease…” (4/29).

Reuters: Saudi camel tradition may hinder control of new disease
“…Last week the World Health Organization (WHO) advised people most at risk of severe disease to avoid contact with camels and take precautions when visiting places where the animals are present, and to avoid drinking raw milk…” (McDowall, 4/30).

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Guinea Announces 74 Ebola Deaths So Far In 2014

Agence France-Presse: Ebola toll rises to 74 in Guinea
“Guinea said Tuesday 74 people had died so far this year in one of the worst ever outbreaks of the Ebola virus. The health ministry said there had been 121 confirmed cases of Ebola — an incurable disease that can kill up to 90 percent of its victims — since January…” (4/29).

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Dominican Republic Reports About 3,500 Chikungunya Cases Since March

Associated Press: Newly arrived virus spreads in Dominican Republic
“…The [Dominican Republic] Health Ministry says it has documented about 3,500 suspected cases of chikungunya virus since it was first detected in March. Most cases have been near the capital, but Health Minister Freddy Hidalgo said Tuesday there have been some isolated cases in northern provinces…” (4/29).

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Pulitzer Center Report Examines Health Care In India

Pulizter Center on Crisis Reporting: India’s Health Care Crisis
“Journalist Michael Edison Hayden and photojournalist Sami Siva report on a broad cross-section of urban and rural health care issues in West Bengal, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh, including the routine discrimination against patients with HIV/AIDS in state hospitals, a promising public health insurance program and the country’s high infant mortality rates…” (4/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

'Collective Action' Can Help Improve MCH In Kenya

Huffington Post: Changing Lives, One Woman at a Time: Maternal Health in Kenya
Abbas Gullet, secretary general of the Kenyan Red Cross, and Siddharth Chatterjee, representative at UNFPA Kenya

“…As we race towards the Millennium Development Goals, [Kenya] is set to meet many of the development targets by 2015. On the issue of maternal and child health in Kenya however, there is much work to be done. … Advancing the maternal and child health agenda in Kenya requires collective action from the international development community, donors and local organizations and communities. … Delivering on this agenda is within our reach…” (4/29).

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WFP Will Support Yemen During Country's Peace Process

Thomson Reuters Foundation: WFP at turning point for politics and humanitarianism in Yemen
Bishow Parajuli, country director and representative of the U.N. World Food Programme in Yemen

“This is a critical time for Yemen. After the conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference in January, the country is taking concrete steps to establish a new, democratic, federal state with powers devolved to the regions. … As a non-political, humanitarian organization, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has no direct role to play in this process. Yemen’s future is, it goes without saying, for Yemenis to decide. That said, we cannot and should not isolate ourselves entirely from a political process aimed at bringing peace and stability to Yemen. Indeed, we have a responsibility and duty to support these efforts…” (4/29).

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Recent Releases

'Gates Notes' Blog Examines Impact Of Mosquitoes On Human Health

“…Considering their impact, you might expect mosquitoes to get more attention than they do. Sharks kill fewer than a dozen people every year and in the U.S. they get a week dedicated to them on TV every year. Mosquitoes kill 50,000 times as many people, but if there’s a TV channel that features Mosquito Week, I haven’t heard about it. That’s why we’re having Mosquito Week on the Gates Notes,” Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in his blog. The blog features several articles on efforts to combat malaria, dengue, and other mosquito-borne diseases (4/25).

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'Power Of Partnership' Essential To Effective Vaccine Delivery

Raja Rao, senior program officer on the Vaccine Delivery team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, writes in the foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog, “Before my career in vaccine delivery, I considered the fridge nothing more than a place where lettuce goes to die. But it’s a critical component in a complex system designed to ensure that vaccines save lives and it helps demonstrate how different types of expertise fit together to achieve collective impact.” He discusses how a “broad range of global partners play a big role in cost-effectively and efficiently getting safe vaccines to all children,” and he adds, “The power of partnership simply can’t be understated…” (4/29).

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Investing In WASH Will Lead To Improved Maternal, Child Health

The Environmental Change and Security Program’s “New Security Beat” blog discusses links between maternal health and WASH, referencing a meta-analysis that concludes “women living in poor sanitation environments are three times as likely to die from maternal health-related issues compared to women who do not, while women living under poor water conditions have a maternal mortality ratio 50 percent higher than those that do not.” The blog further highlights different organizations that integrate WASH and maternal health interventions, suggesting that investments in WASH will improve maternal and child health outcomes (Braxton, 4/29).

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Congressional Briefing Recognizes World Immunization Week

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog summarizes comments made by Robert Clay, deputy assistant administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, and Lucas Otieno, research officer at the Kenya Medical Research Institute Walter-Reed Project, who spoke on Monday at a congressional briefing recognizing World Immunization Week (Aziz, 4/29).

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