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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.N.'s Ban Calls For Intensified Efforts To Address Cholera Epidemic In Haiti

News outlets report on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s visit to Haiti, where he called for intensified water and sanitation efforts and an end to the cholera epidemic.

Reuters: U.N. chief makes ‘pilgrimage’ to Haiti to address cholera crisis
“United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon flew to Haiti on Monday for what he called a ‘necessary pilgrimage’ to promote efforts to alleviate a cholera epidemic that has killed thousands and has been linked to the U.N.’s own peacekeepers. Ban is seeking support for a $2.2 billion, 10-year cholera-elimination campaign that he launched in December 2012 with the presidents of Haiti and the neighboring Dominican Republic…” (Baron, 7/14).

U.N. News Centre: In Haiti, Ban calls for greater efforts to improve water and sanitation, end cholera epidemic
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [Monday] called for intensified efforts to ensure access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation in Haiti, as he launched a new United Nations-supported initiative and met with families affected by cholera…” (7/14).

New York Times: Haiti: A U.N. Cholera ‘Pilgrimage’
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of the United Nations visited Haiti on Monday and sought to assure Haitians that he was committed to ending a cholera epidemic ‘as quickly as possible,’ but he did not acknowledge his organization’s possible complicity in causing it, the subject of at least two lawsuits filed in the United States…” (Gladstone, 7/14).

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U.N. Security Council Votes To Back Aid Delivery In Syria Despite Government Objections

News outlets report on the U.N. Security Council’s decision to back aid delivery in all parts of Syria despite objections from the government.

New York Times: U.N. Council, in Unanimous Vote, Backs Aid Delivery to Syrians in Rebel Areas
“Despite objections by Syria’s government, the United Nations Security Council voted 15 to 0 on Monday to authorize cross-border convoys of emergency aid for millions of deprived Syrian civilians in rebel-held areas, without prior approval by the Syrian authorities…” (Gladstone, 7/14).

U.N. News Centre: Security Council authorizes U.N., partners to use most direct routes for Syria aid delivery
“In response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria, the Security Council [Monday] adopted a resolution aimed at increasing access to civilians in difficult-to-reach areas by authorizing the delivery of assistance across borders and conflict lines…” (7/14).

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Ebola Death Toll Rises To More Than 600 In West Africa

News outlets report on the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: West Africa Ebola toll hits 603
“The death toll in West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has risen to 603, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday, with 68 new fatalities mostly in Sierra Leone and Liberia…” (7/15).

The Guardian: Ebola: voices from the epicenter of the epidemic
“…In a bid to boost the response to the disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) convened a special meeting on 2-3 July in Accra, Ghana, with health ministers from 11 West African countries and partners involved in tackling the disease. Here, professionals involved in fighting the deadly virus share their experiences of what it’s like to be at the epicenter of the epidemic…” (Filou, 7/14).

IRIN: Fighting Ebola “by the grace of God”
“Panicked and shocked Liberian health workers who have seen their colleagues die of Ebola, which has killed more than 500 people in West Africa since January, are abandoning their work stations, hoping to resume only when the disease subsides…” (7/15).

Reuters: Death toll from West Africa Ebola outbreak jumps to 603: WHO
“The death toll from an Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 603 since February, with at least 68 deaths reported from three countries in the region in the last week alone, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday…” (Lewis, 7/15).

WHO: Accelerating WHO emergency response to Ebola outbreak: Contact tracing
“…As new cases of Ebola virus disease continue to be reported by the Ministries of Health in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, WHO’s response is accelerating in vital areas crucial to control the outbreak…” (July 2014).

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Melinda Gates, Bill Frist Call On Faith Leaders To Support Maternal, Child Health

The Tennessean: Melinda Gates, Bill Frist call for global focus on maternal and child health
“…The Gates Foundation has partnered with former Sen. Bill Frist and his Nashville-based global health organization Hope Through Healing Hands. Together, they created the Faith-Based Coalition for Healthy Mothers and Children Worldwide, whose mission is to spur faith leaders across the country to get involved in maternal and child health in the developing world. … On Monday they brought their message to Belmont, speaking to an audience of pastors, health experts, and Nashville Christian musicians including Amy Grant and Steve Taylor…” (Wadhwani, 7/14).

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U.N. Approves $1.4M In Emergency Funding To Vaccinate Somali Children Against Measles

U.N. News Centre: U.N. emergency fund provides $1.4 million to vaccinate Somali children
“The United Nations [Monday] announced the allocation of $1.4 million from an emergency account to vaccinate more than half a million children in danger of contracting measles in Somalia…” (7/14).

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New Single-Dose Form Of Contraceptive Shot Being Introduced In Africa

New York Times: New Contraceptive Shot Being Released in Africa
“An easy-to-use new form of the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera was introduced last week in Burkina Faso, the first of four African countries in which it will be rolled out this year. The new form is a Uniject capsule — a plastic bubble with a needle attached and filled with one dose of the contraceptive…” (7/14).

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HIV Self-Testing Might Encourage More People To Discover Status, Group Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Could HIV self-testing be a game changer in Africa?
“In Africa, where fewer than half the people know their HIV status, HIV self-testing is being explored as a way of encouraging more individuals, particularly in high risk groups, to know their status as a first step to seeking treatment, an AIDS charity said on Monday…” (Nguyen, 7/14).

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IRIN Examines MSF Report On Aid Community's Response To Humanitarian Crises

IRIN: How flawed are current aid responses?
“Last week, international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) released a hard-hitting report, Where is everyone?, outlining a number of severe shortcomings in the international aid community’s response to humanitarian crises…” (Siegfried, 7/15).

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Editorials and Opinions

'Shared Values' Needed To Tackle Health, Development Challenges

Huffington Post: Global Health Needs More Strange Bedfellows, Unorthodox Partnerships
David Olson, global health communications expert

“…Nowadays, it’s widely recognized that more stakeholders need to be consulted, both in the design and the execution of an intervention. Does this make the process more messy and complicated? It sure does, but this messiness is essential to take global health to the next level. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last dozen years. … But we need to up our game. And to do that, we need all hands on deck — the private sector, faith-based organizations, universities, research institutions, youth, women, and community-based organizations. We need strange bedfellows engaging in unorthodox collaborations. … Getting together a bunch of strange bedfellows to tackle the biggest health and development challenges of our day? ‘Shared values’ seems like a good way to start the conversation” (7/14).

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Improved Water Access Would Help Lift Regions Out Of Poverty

Deseret News: Access to water is the first step in fighting poverty worldwide
John Hoffmire, director of the Impact Bond Fund at Saïd Business School at Oxford University and director of the School of Business and Poverty at the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison

“…Each day, nearly 200 million hours are spent collecting water worldwide — that is enough people-hours to build more than 25 Empire State Buildings each day. With so many hours spent on water collection, it is little wonder that these regions [without water access] struggle to pull themselves out of poverty. Although there is no set path out of deprivation, a first step could certainly be a clean and dependable water source” (7/13).

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Research On Drug Use, HIV Prevention Interventions Necessary To Stop Virus In Russia

Moscow Times: Russia’s HIV Epidemic Starts In Its Prisons
Lyuba Azbel, research associate at the Yale School of Medicine

“…[Russia's] government policy actually boosts the spread of HIV. Research shows that extrajudicial policing and police harassment in Russia creates an environment of fear, contributing to syringe sharing. … While alternatives to incarceration should be sought whenever possible, prison is an optimal environment for the implementation of prevention, detection and control measures, especially given that HIV prevalence is generally several times higher than in the community. To determine the most appropriate interventions, our team at the Yale School of Medicine, together with local prison departments, is carrying out the first rigorous and representative health assessments of prison populations in the post-Soviet space…” (7/14).

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Recent Releases

PATH's Vaccine Vial Heat-Sensing Label Helps Keep Vaccines Viable

Humanosphere: At 5 billion, PATH’s life-saving labels make vaccines more effective
Tom Paulson, founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere, discusses PATH’s new “life-saving” technology, the vaccine vial monitor (VVM), a heat-sensing label that keeps vaccines “protected and viable by the time they are administered” (7/14).

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Study, Commentary Examine Methadone Therapy Use In Sub-Saharan Africa

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Opioid substitution therapy successful, and critical, in first mainland sub-Saharan Africa program
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses an article and commentary published in Clinical Infectious Diseases that address methadone maintenance therapy use in sub-Saharan Africa (7/14).

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