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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Ending AIDS By 2030 Possible With Greater International Effort, UNAIDS Report Says

News outlets highlight a new report from UNAIDS on the global AIDS epidemic.

Associated Press/San Francisco Chronicle: Number of people with HIV unchanged since 2012
“The number of people living with HIV worldwide has remained virtually unchanged in the past two years and AIDS-related deaths are at their lowest since peaking almost a decade ago, according to a report from the United Nations AIDS agency released Wednesday…” (7/16).

BBC News: End to AIDS by 2030 ‘is possible’
“There is a chance the AIDS epidemic can brought under control by 2030, according to a report by the United Nations AIDS agency. It said the number of new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS were both falling. However, it called for far more international effort as the ‘current pace cannot end the epidemic’…” (Gallagher, 7/16).

Reuters: Global AIDS epidemic can be controlled by 2030, U.N. says
“The United Nations said on Wednesday new HIV infections and deaths from AIDS were decreasing, making it possible to control the epidemic by 2030 and eventually end it ‘in every region, in every country’…” (Kelland, 7/16).

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South Sudan Conflict Causes Surge In Malnutrition, Aid To Fall Short

News outlets report on the ongoing conflict in South Sudan and its worsening hunger and aid crisis.

Agence France-Presse/News24: At least 7 million need aid in Sudan
“Worsening conflict in Darfur and an influx of people fleeing war in South Sudan helped push to almost seven million the number needing aid in Sudan, the U.N. said on Wednesday…” (7/16).

Bloomberg Businessweek: South Sudan War Causes Surge in Child Malnutrition, MSF Says
“Persistent fighting in South Sudan is causing cases of child malnutrition to ‘skyrocket’ as violence disrupts the planting, harvesting, and distribution of food, Médecins sans Frontières said…” (Doya, 7/15).

Inter Press Service: South Sudanese Children Starving While Aid Falling Short
“Even as aid workers are warning that children in South Sudan are falling victim to mass malnutrition, international agencies are said to be missing their fundraising goals to avert a looming famine in the country. On Monday, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the international medical relief organization, reported that nearly three-quarters of the more than 18,000 patients admitted to the agency’s feeding programs in South Sudan have been children…” (Hotz, 7/15).

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Nigerian Mobile Units Deliver Polio Vaccines Amid Worsening Insurgency

Reuters: Nigeria hopes to eradicate polio despite insurgency
“A Nigerian military offensive against Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram has opened up a corridor for mobile units of health workers to vaccinate children against polio in parts of the northeast. But the worsening insurgency poses a grave risk to the campaign to stamp out the crippling virus in Africa’s most populous nation…” (Cocks/Hussain, 7/15).

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More Than 10M Yemenis Face Food Insecurity, U.N. Survey Shows

U.N. News Centre: New U.N. survey shows 10 million Yemenis still struggle for food
“A new United Nations survey has found that over 10 million Yemenis — more than 40 percent of the population — do not know where their next meal will come from…” (7/15).

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SDGs Must Be Measurable For Both Developing, Developed Countries

Inter Press Service: U.N.’s New Development Goals Must Also Be Measurable for Rich
“The United Nations is on the verge of releasing a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — perhaps 17 or more — to replace the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which will run out by the end of 2015. … According to some development experts, the world’s rich nations have mostly failed to meet their obligations on MDG target 8 which called for a ‘global partnership for development’ between developed and developing nations…” (Deen, 7/15).

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World Bank Reinforces Commitment To Philippine Development With Increased Funding

Devex: Jim Kim: Healthy, educated people center to development
“The World Bank reinforced on Tuesday its commitment to Philippine development with a new country partnership strategy focused on hard and soft infrastructure amounting to more than $4 billion in the next four years. And this time, the goal is to ensure that no one — especially the poorest of the poor — gets left behind once the various projects are implemented, according to World Bank President Jim Yong Kim…” (Santos, 7/15).

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BRICS Nations Form New Development Bank

News outlets report on the establishment of a new development bank by the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).

Agence France-Presse: BRICS, South American leaders seek alternative to U.S. influence
“Leaders of the BRICS group of emerging powers will hold a summit Wednesday with South American presidents, bringing together nations seeking alternatives to U.S. influence in the region. … The gathering follows a BRICS-only summit Monday in the northeastern seaside city of Fortaleza, where the five nations agreed to create a development bank and a crisis reserve fund seen as rivals to Western-dominated financial institutions…” (7/16).

BBC News: BRICS nations to create $100bn development bank
“The leaders of the five BRICS countries have signed a deal to create a new $100 billion (£58.3 billion) development bank and emergency reserve fund. … At first, the bank will start off with $50 billion in initial capital…” (Watson, 7/15).

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West African Health Systems Stressed By Ebola Outbreak

News outlets report on challenges to stemming the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

New York Times: Death Toll From Ebola Surges in West Africa, Prompting Alarm
“New cases and deaths from the Ebola virus outbreak in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, already the worst ever recorded for the disease, have surged by double-digit percentages in the past week, the World Health Organization reported Tuesday, with no sign of a slowdown. Alarmed Ivory Coast border authorities blocked hundreds of Ivorian refugees in Liberia from returning, news agencies reported…” (Gladstone, 7/15).

Washington Post: Why West African governments are struggling in response to Ebola
“The worst-ever Ebola epidemic continues to unfold in West Africa, with no sign that it will be under control anytime soon. … Like other public health epidemics, local government response is often shaped by the actions of international actors and success is constrained by the public whose health they’re trying to secure…” (Dionne, 7/15).

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Services For GBV Survivors In CAR Underfunded, IRIN Reports

IRIN: Little help for CAR rape survivors
“…Despite recent commitments from governments, U.N. agencies, and NGOs to prioritize protecting women and girls from sexual and physical violence, current efforts in [the Central African Republic] remain underfunded. In the capital Bangui less than one third of clinics and health centers in internally displaced sites have the means to assist survivors of gender-based violence (GBV)…” (7/15).

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Mobile Reminders Help Pregnant Women, Mothers In Ghana Keep Health Care Appointments

BBC News: Joining up Ghana’s health care to save lives
“…[Pregnant women in Ghana are being] reminded about their appointment[s] by messages sent to a mobile phone, through a system called Mobile Midwife. … Mobile Midwife is part of the Ghana mobile technology for community health (Motech Ghana) initiative — a collaboration between the non-profit organization Grameen Foundation and the Ghana Health Service…” (Graham, 7/14).

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Editorials and Opinions

Smart Investments, Partnerships Will 'End HIV As An Epidemic'

Huffington Post: Better and Smarter Investments in the HIV Response
Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

“…Scientific advances and our experience on the ground now give us the historic opportunity to end HIV as an epidemic and turn it into low-level endemicity. But to complete the job we need to be much smarter. That means investing in the right places, to make sure no one is left behind. … In the absence of a silver bullet against this modern-day plague, we can utilize the resources better by deploying all the panoply of tools we have at our disposal, from harm reduction to circumcision to making sure that all those who need it receive antiretroviral treatment. … If we galvanize ourselves around this historic moment, and act as one big human family, our children and their children will have to worry about other problems, but not HIV” (7/15).

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TPP Would Limit Countries' Abilities To Make, Purchase Low-Cost Generic Medicines

Huffington Post: TPP: Still a Terrible Deal for Poor People’s Health
Manica Balasegaram, executive director of Médecins Sans Frontières’ Access Campaign

“…The ability to manufacture and/or purchase low-cost generic medicines requires maintaining a balance in a country’s patent system between monopoly protection and public health. Yet, the [Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)] will reduce or eliminate that balance by curtailing existing legal flexibilities, and limiting government discretion to negotiate medicine prices. Under existing international trade rules negotiated less than 20 years ago, which implemented the strictest IP global norms in history, countries were assured of the right to use basic legal safeguards to facilitate generic competition to protect public health. With the TPP, the U.S. government is attempting to re-write the rules. … For the health and well-being of at least 800 million people, countries must reject these terms” (7/14).

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Private Sector Partners Can Help U.S. Invest In More Efficient, Effective Development Outcomes

Huffington Post: USAID 2.0: Improving Impact and Outcomes
Jean Case, CEO of Case Foundation

“…Administrator Shah should be commended for inviting the private sector in as partners in the work of making USAID a more effective and impactful agency. … The private sector has always understood the need to constantly revisit what is working and what is not, and to pivot or move investments and activities to those areas that hold the greatest potential for successful outcomes. Too often, government agencies don’t embrace this approach. Leaders in government need more than encouragement to change and adapt programs and budgets to drive efficiencies and effectiveness. Congress and the White House should consider how to provide guidance to agencies to ensure these efforts are undertaken and that they endure. When outcomes and impacts improve, stakeholders are better served and taxpayers enjoy a better ‘return’ on the dollars they contribute — making it a ‘win-win’ for all” (7/15).

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Faith Community Should Help Shape Post-2015 Development Agenda

Huffington Post: Can There Be Development Without Spiritual Capital?
Olav Kjorven, director of the Public Partnerships Division at UNICEF

“…[L]et me offer three quick snapshots to try and convince you that agreeing on shared global development goals, and then actually achieving them, depends on more than expert — or even market — solutions. They require a good dose of faith and spirited energy and action. … We have every reason to expect that the faith-based world will mobilize in old and new ways to contribute towards achieving the next set of development goals. They can make a huge difference for people and the planet, and we should encourage and welcome that…” (7/15).

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Recent Releases

Global Network For NTDs Releases New Report

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End The Neglect”: Global Network Releases a New Report on NTD Control and Elimination
Dano Gunderson, a policy assistant for the Global Network, notes “the Global Network [on Tuesday] released a new report entitled ‘Ending Neglected Tropical Diseases: Opportunities to Support the Control and Elimination of NTDs.’ This report offers an analysis of the progress made, challenges remaining and new opportunities in the global effort to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) by 2020…” (7/15)

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Blog Post Discusses Role Of Health Communication In HIV Programs

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: In treatment as prevention era, health communication plays new and critical role
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses the role of health communication in HIV prevention and care programs (7/15).

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