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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

News Outlets Report On Global Health-Related Events At World Economic Forum

News outlets summarize recent activity taking place at and on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

U.N. News Centre: At Davos Forum, Ban seeks business help to fight gender inequality, climate change, hunger
“In a whirlwind of events at the World Economic Forum in Davos today Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon highlighted the vital need for Governments, business, and civil society to cooperate whether in erasing gender inequality and harnessing ‘girl power’ to reach development goals, combatting climate change, or eliminating hunger…” (1/23).

Boston.com: Senator Patrick Leahy to ‘explore’ tying foreign aid to human rights
“Speaking yesterday at the 2014 World Economic Summit being held in Switzerland, Senator Patrick Leahy suggested that the U.S. might need to take a closer look at the way countries treat LGBT citizens before approving foreign aid packages…” (Zimmerman, 1/23).

Des Moines Register: DuPont, USAID partnership seeks to reduce hunger, poverty
“DuPont and the U.S. agency responsible for administering civilian foreign aid said Thursday they have agreed to strengthen efforts to reduce global hunger and poverty by working with farmers operating small-scale operations…” (Doering, 1/23).

USAID: USAID and DuPont Announce Commitment to Increase Farmer Productivity and Food and Nutrition Security
“On the margins of the World Economic Forum at Davos, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and DuPont formally announced a joint agreement to deepen efforts to reduce global hunger and poverty by enabling smallholder farmers access to proven, safe, and transformative agricultural innovations…” (1/23).

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Crises In South Sudan, CAR May Overshadow African Union Summit

Deutsche Welle: Current crises overshadow African Union summit
“…The main theme of the annual meeting of African heads of state and government was to have been ‘agriculture and food security.’ But once again it is the continent’s crises, such as the one in South Sudan, that will dominate the agenda…” (Schadomsky, 1/23).

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U.S. Supports HIV Efforts In Nigeria After Country's Passage Of Anti-Gay Law

Premium Times: Anti-gay law: U.S. says no plans to stop HIV/AIDS funds to Nigeria
“The U.S. on Thursday said it has no intention to withdraw … new funding for an HIV and AIDS program in Nigeria following the law criminalizing same-sex relationships in the country…” (1/23).

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Death Of Texas Woman Highlights Dengue Fever's Presence In U.S.

Two news outlets report on the death of a Texas woman who died from dengue fever, an illness not commonly found in the U.S.

HealthDay News/U.S. News & World Repor: Texas Woman’s Death Highlights Danger of Overlooking Dengue Fever
“The case of a Texas woman who died after becoming infected in New Mexico with the mosquito-borne dengue virus highlights a need for U.S. doctors to recognize the disease early, experts say…” (1/23).

NBC News: Dengue death a reminder that virus is in U.S., CDC says
“A Texas woman died last October from a rare complication of dengue fever, a reminder that the virus has spread to parts of the southern U.S., federal health officials said Thursday…” (Fox, 1/23).

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The Economist Examines Different Strategies To Eradicate Malaria

The Economist: Malaria eradication: Cure all?
“What if it were possible to get rid of malaria? Not just bring it under control, but wipe it from the face of the Earth, saving 660,000 lives a year, stopping hitherto endless suffering, and abolishing a barrier to economic development reckoned by the World Bank to cost Africa $12 billion a year in lost production and opportunity? It is an alluring prize, and one that Li Guoqiao, of Guangzhou University of Chinese Medicine, thinks within reach…” (Comore, 1/25).

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Stigma Surrounding Leprosy In Africa Propels Spread Of Disease

Agence France-Presse: Fear and ignorance fuel spread of leprosy in Africa
“…Between 200 and 300 new cases of leprosy are reported each year in Senegal but doctors believe that only a small proportion of patients are detected. … World Leprosy Day — a period of three days, in fact, aimed at raising awareness of the disease — begins on Friday and organizers hope to communicate the message that, despite more than 200,000 new cases being detected in 2012, it can be eradicated” (Froissart, 1/24).

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Tanzania, Pakistan Work To Meet MDGs

Two news sources report on Tanzania’s and Pakistan’s efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

IPP Media: ‘Achievement of MDGs needs strong strategies’
“Tanzania still needs strong and sustainable strategies in order to achieve Millennium Development Goals, especially number four and five…” (Mwachang’a, 1/23).

The Nation: Health, education MDGs a far cry
“With little improvements in education and health related indicators, Pakistan is far behind in achieving all Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) except the provision of safe drinking water…” (Ghani, 1/23).

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Editorials and Opinions

Lancet Editor-In-Chief Urges Donors To Support Women's, Children's Health

The Lancet: Offline: Ban Ki-moon’s global health initiative in jeopardy
Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet

“An important element of U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s flagship Every Woman, Every Child initiative is under threat. That was the conclusion of last week’s stakeholder meeting on Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, held in Geneva and opened by the Director-General of WHO, Margaret Chan. … Why have donors walked away from their promise to support more reliable monitoring of women’s and children’s health? Accountability is an uncomfortable word. … But if no further funding to improve the monitoring of women’s and children’s health is forthcoming, those who will lose most will be women and children, whose lives will remain invisible and discounted in a world where the yearning for short-term political credit seems persistently to trump the longer-term search for truth” (1/25).

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World Leaders Need To Invest In New TB Treatment, Prevention Methods

Huffington Post: Davos: An Age-old Resort to Cure ‘Bad Breath’
Kari Stoever, vice president of external affairs at Aeras

“…[A]s world leaders gather in Davos this week for the World Economic Forum, recent news raises the possibility of a return to a sanatorium era, where we have no effective treatment for TB. … If the global leaders in Davos don’t invest in innovative new tools like TB vaccines, a world without effective antibiotics may be what awaits us” (1/23).

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Debate Over Foreign Aid, Development Continues In Foreign Policy Opinion Piece

Foreign Policy: Aid Amnesia
William Easterly, professor of economics at New York University

“In the latest installment of this endless and tiresome debate over aid, Jeff Sachs struck back this week at my recent article entitled the ‘Aid Debate is Over.’ (Spoiler: In the piece I argue that he lost the argument.) What’s remarkable, however, is that Sachs’ recent retaliation in Foreign Policy takes very little from his previous writings about aid. These omissions seem to imply his own retreat from the original debate about Big Aid and Big Results. … Aid and development are now separate topics with separate debates. Aid can do many other good things even if it cannot drive development, and it is to this smaller aid debate that Sachs devotes his new column, making many sensible points on health aid…” (1/23).

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Recent Releases

State Magazine Profiles U.S. Office Of Global Health Diplomacy

State Magazine profiles the U.S. Office of Global Health Diplomacy (GHD). The article describes how the office was established, noting, “In January 2013, to accelerate progress toward U.S. global health objectives, including creating an AIDS-free generation and ending preventable child and maternal deaths, the Department established the Office of Global Health Diplomacy.” The article summarizes GHD’s activities and presents comments from several employees (Weir et al., January 2014).

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Blog Describes PEPFAR's New HIV-Related Gender Analysis Requirement

PEPFAR’s “Updated Gender Strategy begins with a notice of a new requirement, made prominent with upper-case letters, underlined and printed in red, not unlike a warning: ‘Note that there is a new PEPFAR requirement to undertake a gender analysis related to HIV at the country-level by March 2016.’ … The requirement lays out a formidable challenge with high-stakes goals, asking in-country inter-agency teams to identify gender-related issues that affect access to HIV-related resources and services and control over those resources, and bring about ‘differences in power among and between women and men, girls and boys’…,” according to the Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog (Barton, 1/23).

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U.S. Remains Committed To Relief Aid In Typhoon-Hit Philippines

“I’m always worried that after the first month or two, on a large emergency such as Typhoon Haiyan, that the attention fades because there are so many other pressing issues and disasters around the world. It’s really important to remain focused on our efforts going forward. … We’ll continue to work very closely with the government to further strengthen that capacity, recognizing that this is not the last of the emergencies that we’re going to be seeing,” Greg Beck, USAID deputy assistant administrator for Asia, writes in the State Department’s “DipNote” blog (1/22).

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USAID's Nutrition Strategy Important For Ending Preventable Child Deaths

“USAID released a comprehensive Nutrition Strategy on their website for public comment on December 20, 2013. … USAID’s efforts to improve nutrition are critical to success of the U.S. government’s ability to advance global development, particularly in the areas of ending preventable child deaths, improving health, driving greater progress against hunger and food insecurity, and promoting resilient communities…,” Rebecca Olson, nutrition policy analyst at 1000 Days, writes in PATH’s “Defeat DD” blog (1/22).

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Taliban Attitudes May Indicate Fewer Attacks On Polio Workers, Blog Says

“Consecutive days of attacks on polio vaccination workers in Pakistan renewed concerns about its eradication. At least ten people were killed during attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday, this week. Despite that, changing public attitudes by Taliban leaders may indicate a coming decrease in attacks…,” development blogger Tom Murphy writes in Humanosphere (1/23).

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PLOS Blog Examines Mystery Disease Killing Young Men In Central America

Writing in the PLOS “Speaking of Medicine” blog, Peter Hotez and his colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine highlight the mystery of Mesoamerican nephropathy, “an emerging form of chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology that disproportionately strikes young male agricultural workers primarily in the Pacific coastal regions of El Salvador and Nicaragua, but also in Guatemala and Costa Rica. … Some investigators believe that Mesoamerican nephropathy is now the leading killer of young male sugarcane workers in Nicaragua and possibly El Salvador.” The authors suggest “there is an urgent need to mobilize financial and other resources to urgently address this deadly and frightening new illness” (1/23).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria has published Issue 36 of its newsletter, the “Global Fund News Flash.” The issue features an article on the crisis in Central African Republic, one on HIV stigma, and one on malaria control in the Mekong region (1/23).

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