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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

International AIDS Conference To Focus Attention On HIV Prevention Strategies

Healthline: AIDS Conference to Focus on Prevention in Countries with Anti-Gay Laws
“The 2014 International AIDS Conference begins Sunday and will highlight stark contrasts in the world of HIV prevention, research, and education … [experts discussed] during an online news conference last week…” (Heitz, 7/16). The Kaiser Family Foundation web briefing mentioned in the article included Chris Beyrer, president-elect of the International AIDS Society; Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; and Jen Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation vice president and director of global health and HIV policy. The briefing is available online (7/11).

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Protect Dignity, Human Rights Of Central American Child Migrants, Ban Says

U.N. News Centre: Easing plight of child migrants fleeing Central America requires ‘compassionate solutions’ — Ban
“Deeply concerned by the ‘urgent humanitarian situation’ of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [Wednesday] called for governments of countries where the children start, continue, or finish their journeys, to protect their dignity and human rights…” (7/16).

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Dengue Vaccine Reaches Phase III Clinical Trail, But Some Experts Question Efficacy

Deutsche Welle: Experts see flaws in promising dengue fever vaccine candidate
“The most advanced vaccine candidate against dengue fever could prevent many deaths, its developers say. But some experts warn that the substance could even make things worse rather than effectively treat it. … Sanofi Pasteur’s vaccine protects quite well against serotypes 3 and 4 with an efficacy of 75 percent. Protection against serotype 1 is 50 percent while against serotype 2 it is only 35 percent effective…” (Osterath, 7/16).

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Injected Vaccines, Earlier Response Can Help Polio Eradication Efforts, Studies Say

SciDev.Net: Polio eradication needs old vaccines and faster responses
“Two studies published last week call for changes to polio vaccinations that may help eradicate the resurging disease: reintroduce injections and vaccinate earlier…” (Mohdin, 7/16).

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Improved Access To TB Tests Could Help Curb TB In India, Study Suggests

Press Trust of India/Economic Times: Quick evaluation key to fighting TB in India: Study
“Getting patients in India quickly evaluated by the right doctors can be just as effective at curbing tuberculosis (TB) as a new, highly accurate screening test, a new study suggests. … The researchers say that for better TB tests to make a major difference they must be made available to the private health care providers where patients first seek care…” (7/16).

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Proportion Of Child Marriages Increasing Among Syrian Refugees In Jordan, UNICEF Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Child marriage on the rise among Syrian refugees in Jordan — UNICEF
“Nearly one in three marriages among Syrian refugees in Jordan involves a child under 18 and the proportion is rising for a second consecutive year, according to a report released on Wednesday…” (Mis, 7/16).

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Death Toll In CAR Might Be Higher Than Estimated, Survey Suggests

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Refugee survey suggests higher death toll in C. African Republic
“Fighting in Central African Republic may have claimed more lives than previously thought because many Muslim victims were never taken to state hospitals and families buried their dead at home because of security fears, according to aid workers…” (Hussain, 7/16).

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New Female Condoms Under Development With Gates Foundation Grant Assistance

Bloomberg News: Female Condoms’ New Fit Adds Pleasure to Fight Disease
“…Last month, [the] plan for a new female condom moved closer to reality. The product was one of 11 contraceptive projects to win $1.1 million in exploration grants from billionaire Bill Gates’s philanthropic foundation, and one of three focused on women. The aim is to improve on earlier female condoms with a product that’s easy to use and enjoyable to help protect women, who are disproportionally affected by sexually transmitted infections in developing countries…” (Khan/Gokhale, 7/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

Disaster Preparedness, Conflict Prevention 'Critical' For Sustainable Development

The Guardian: From Syria to South Sudan, the need to be prepared has never been greater
Helen Clark, U.N. Development Programme (UNDP) administrator

“…Despite the overwhelming evidence that a stitch in time saves nine, spending on prevention and preparedness remains a small part of the global aid budget. Now the international community is debating the future global development agenda. The U.N. Development Programme’s 2014 Global human development report, due for release this month, argues that the post-2015 goals need to address vulnerability and build resilience. Preventing conflicts and preparing to cope with disasters is critical for sustained and sustainable development” (7/17).

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Post-2015 Development Agenda Will 'Lay The Foundation' For Future Progress

Devex: Global goals that matter
Kathy Calvin, president and CEO of the United Nations Foundation

“…While we have made critical advances, we still have a lot more work to do to make sure that the poorest and most vulnerable communities have access to life-saving services and opportunities. Additionally, progress on the MDGs has been uneven between and within countries, and we need to pick up the pace in several areas, including strengthening child, maternal and reproductive health, and expanding access to sanitation. As we approach Aug. 18 — 500 days until the target date for the MDGs — and as we discuss the agenda to follow in 2016, now is the time to recommit to doing everything we can to build momentum. The progress we make now will make a difference in lives around the world and lay the foundation for our shared future efforts…” (7/16).

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Private Sector Involvement In Humanitarian Aid Can Benefit Business And Those In Need

The Guardian: When disaster hits, does it matter if a business profits amid the poverty?
Steven Zyck, co-author, of a forthcoming report titled, “Humanitarian crises, emergency preparedness and response: the role of business and the private sector”

“…Aid agencies will always be necessary. Businesses are not going to be able — or necessarily want — to meet the needs of everyone affected by crises. … However, aid agencies also need to be receptive to the necessary changes afoot. Some staff remain skeptical about private companies getting involved in responding to crises, fearful of exploitation in the name of profit margins. But as long as businesses are run ethically, most people hit by disasters do not care if a soda company is distributing drinking water to build its market share and brand reputation. In an emergency, the outcomes — not the motives — should be the chief priority…” (7/16).

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Focus On Improving All Health Services, Not Disease-Specific Programs To End Polio In Pakistan

Nature: Infectious disease: Polio eradication hinges on child health in Pakistan
Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta, director of the Center of Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University and co-director of the Sick Kids Center for Global Child Health

“…In my view, vaccinating travelers will be ineffective and it could make polio harder to eliminate in the poor and conflict-ridden parts of Pakistan. … Instead of focusing on the vaccination of international travelers, Pakistan, the WHO and immunization services should provide immediate health care to displaced families and others in these high-risk areas. … Providing polio vaccines as part of a package of health services is a better way to engage local communities and religious leaders than through a narrow, polio-specific program…” (7/16).

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Ebola Health Workers In Sierra Leone Struggle With Emotions, Stigma

The Guardian: Ebola in Sierra Leone: battling sadness, fear and disgust on the frontline
Ane Bjøru Fjeldsæter, a psychologist working with Médecins sans Frontières (MSF)

“I was expecting the Ebola epidemic to be quite gruesome and unlike anything I had seen before. But I really didn’t expect its magnitude — this outbreak is enormous. In Sierra Leone, it killed off a lot of health workers before MSF even arrived. Not surprisingly, medical staff were reluctant to work with us at first. They’d never come across Ebola before — but at least they had previous experience of people suffering and people dying. But for the non-medical staff, like the hygienists — our hospital cleaners — it’s been a new and disturbing experience, and a large part of my work involves helping them with counseling and support. The hygienists have the hardest job of all because they are the ones dealing with the dead bodies…” (7/17).

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Recent Releases

U.S. Investments In Global Health Innovations Important For Economic Growth, Diplomacy

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Investing in global health innovation=smart power
Marissa Chmiola, communications officer at GHTC, discusses the importance of American businesses and NGOs to invest in global health innovations because it “not only supports domestic and international health improvements and economic growth, but also serves as an important diplomatic tool and a demonstration of America’s character” (7/16).

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UNICEF Launches National Sanitation Campaign With Haitian Government

UNICEF: New sanitation campaign aims to end cholera in Haiti
“UNICEF and the Haitian government have intensified the fight against cholera, with the launch this week of the National Sanitation Campaign, aiming to eliminate open defecation in the country. The National Sanitation Campaign will target 55 communities in the 10 departments, covering 3.8 million people, 2,500 schools and 500 health centers…” (7/16).

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