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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Obama Speaks Out Against FGM, Calls Young African Leaders To Action

News outlets report on President Obama’s criticism of gender oppression in Africa and his call for young African leaders to empower women.

Associated Press: Obama: Female oppression crippling parts of Africa
“President Barack Obama criticized gender oppression in Africa that he said is ‘crippling’ development in some countries, speaking out publicly Monday for the first time against female genital mutilation while encouraging young leaders from the continent to empower women…” (Pickler, 7/28).

Agence France-Presse: Obama: World needs ‘prosperous and self-reliant Africa’
“U.S. President Barack Obama kicked up a major outreach to Africa on Monday by urging youth leaders to build a ‘prosperous and self-reliant’ future for the continent built on civil rights and the rule of law…” (Cartillier, 7/28).

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Health Officials Face Multiple Challenges In Stemming Ebola Outbreak In Africa

News outlets report on the challenges health officials face in stemming the spread of Ebola in West Africa.

Associated Press: New fears about Ebola spread after plane scare
“No one knows for sure just how many people Patrick Sawyer came into contact with the day he boarded a flight in Liberia, had a stopover in Ghana, changed planes in Togo, and then arrived in Nigeria, where authorities say he died days later from Ebola, one of the deadliest diseases known to man…” (Larson/Cheng, 7/28).

Financial Times: Borders closed to tackle Ebola outbreak
“West African nations have imposed travel restrictions in a last-ditch attempt to stop the worst ever outbreak of Ebola, a disease with a mortality rate of up to 90 percent that has already killed nearly 700 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea…” (Blas, 7/28).

Financial Times: Q&A: Why the Ebola outbreak is causing such concern
“West Africa is grappling with the worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. Once confined to rural villages, it is now appearing in urban areas, raising concerns of a wider outbreak…” (Blas/Cookson, 7/28).

New York Times: Short Staff Tries to Cope With Ebola
“Early this month at a hospital in Sierra Leone, Dr. Daniel Bausch and another physician found themselves alone in a ward with 55 patients infected with the deadly Ebola virus. The nurses had walked out in a dispute over extra pay to take care of the Ebola patients, and some were also staying away for fear of contracting the disease, which has killed health workers…” (Grady, 7/28).

Reuters: Sierra Leone president visits Ebola center
“Sierra Leone’s president visited the center of an Ebola outbreak on Monday as West African leaders stepped up efforts to contain the spread of the deadly virus…” (Fofana/Felix, 7/28).

Reuters: Nigeria isolates hospital in Lagos as Obama briefed on Ebola outbreak
“The Nigerian city of Lagos shut and quarantined a hospital on Monday where a Liberian man died of the Ebola virus, the first recorded case of the highly infectious disease in Africa’s most populous country…” (Cocks, 7/28).

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Sweden Reinstates Ugandan Aid After Suspension Over Country's Anti-Gay Law

Reuters: Sweden resumes aid to Uganda after suspending it over anti-gay law
“Sweden has resumed financial aid to Uganda after suspending some assistance in March over a law widely condemned by donor nations that increases punishment for homosexuals…” (7/28).

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Experts Evaluate Hunger Data To Determine Scope Of South Sudan's Food Security Situation

Associated Press/Washington Post: Famine watch: South Sudan teams study hunger data
“…Health experts locked away in a hotel conference room in South Sudan’s capital are debating exactly how severe the hunger situation is in the world’s newest country, and if the hunger brought on by violence that erupted in December qualifies as a famine…” (7/28).

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U.N. Calls For Boost In Efforts To Prevent, Treat Hepatitis

U.N. News Centre: Marking World Hepatitis Day, U.N. appeals for boost in global momentum to tackle disease
“With 1.4 million deaths every year attributed to acute and chronic liver disease, the United Nations health agency is marking World Hepatitis Day by calling on countries to intensify efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat one of the world’s most serious diseases…” (7/28).

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Review Raises Questions On Impact Of DfID's Long-Term Nutrition Strategy

The Guardian: Scoring DfID: how effective is U.K. aid at fighting global malnutrition?
“The body responsible for scrutinizing U.K. aid, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI), has completed its first review of the Department for International Development (DfID)’s contribution to improving nutrition. … While the U.K. has shown increasingly positive commitment to the global fight to end child hunger in recent years, the ICAI report is another stark reminder that there is still a long way to go…” (Tarman, 7/29).

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People With Disabilities Disproportionately Vulnerable To HIV/AIDS, Health Experts Say

IRIN: Heightened HIV risk for people with disabilities
“Inaccessible health services for people with disabilities (PWD), combined with social stigma and violence, contribute to high HIV risk — a gap that must be filled if the disabled are not to remain disproportionately vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, say health experts and activists…” (7/29).

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Heightened Security Situation Affects Aid Work Along Kenyan Coast

Devex: Insecurity hampers aid work in coastal Kenya
“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to do any type of aid work in certain parts of Kenya, especially near the coast close to the Somali border where al-Shabaab militants are very active…” (Ravelo, 7/28).

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Taliban Threatens To Stymie Polio Eradication Efforts In Pakistan

NPR: Taliban In Pakistan Derail World Polio Eradication
“…Today the [Taliban] militant group continues to threaten to kill not only [polio] vaccinators but also parents who get their children immunized. That threat has had a chilling effect on anti-polio efforts nationwide. And it completely halted vaccination drives in some Taliban-controlled areas. It’s in these places that the crippling virus has come roaring back — and threatened to stymie global efforts to wipe out polio…” (Beaubien, 7/28).

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Editorials and Opinions

USAID, Donors Should Integrate Sustainability Into All Programs

Huffington Post: When Donor Driven Programs Work
Fron Nahzi, global business development director, Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives at Arizona State University

“Next week the White House will host the first Africa Leaders’ Summit. The Summit will focus on expanding U.S. support for Africa’s democratic development and solidify America’s commitment to the African people. The summit is a good opportunity for U.S. government aid agencies like the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to integrate new innovative solutions to water, energy, transportation, and livelihood issues into their foreign aid programs. … Ideally, USAID and other donors should make sustainability an umbrella aspect of their political, social, and economic development programming. At a minimum, donors should include it as a sub-component in their diverse portfolio of aid programs. However, minimum as such a step may be, USAID is well positioned to drive both the international organizations, foreign governments, and indigenous civil society organizations to take a more proactive role in creating a more sustainable future” (7/28).

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Economic Threats Of Ebola Should Draw Additional Global Support To End Outbreak

Financial Times: Africa needs help to fight Ebola
“As a terrifying outbreak of Ebola virus spreads across West Africa, the world is beginning to wake up to the threat of a public health disaster in the region — and possibly more widely — but efforts to contain the epidemic require much more local coordination and global support. … While Ebola is primarily a health issue, it could quickly become an economic crisis, too, for the region. … The threat to international business and investment in West Africa should add weight to the humanitarian arguments for more decisive action against Ebola” (7/28).

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Time For World To Work Together To Mitigate Impact From Hepatitis

Huffington Post: World Hepatitis Day Is an Opportunity to Stop This Silent Killer, Once and For All
Hande Harmanci, a medical officer with the WHO’s Global Hepatitis Program

“…The good news is that we are beginning to see a new momentum around hepatitis. Politicians are starting to take it seriously: at the World Health Assembly this May, 194 governments agreed to a new resolution to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis. New medicines are appearing. … And just this week, WHO has released a new manual to help health workers tackle outbreaks of Hepatitis E. … World Hepatitis Day is an opportunity for the global community to respond to the call to action issued at a WHO-organized meeting of people working on and affected by hepatitis…” (7/28).

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Global Community Must Act Before Famine Declared In Somalia

Huffington Post: Warning Signs of Another Famine, Lessons to Be Learned From the Past
Shukri Harbi, founder of Miles for Water

“…Without urgent aid the future of those who’ve survived [Somalia’s 2011 famine] remains bleak. Recently, in a joint NGO statement, including Oxfam and International Rescue Committee, it was reported that out of the required $933 million, only 12 percent of Somalia’s annual humanitarian needs had been funded. … Fifty-two aid agencies in Somalia warn that Somalia is at risk of another famine. In their statement they reported that conflict (Al-Shabaab militants) and low rainfall could trigger another famine. Now, without proper funding, 2.9 million lives are at risk of dying, displacement, and catching infectious diseases. The United Nations cannot idly stand by and allow another humanitarian catastrophe to occur as they wait for the criteria for famine to met…” (7/28).

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Devex Opinion Pieces Discuss Food Security, Malnutrition

Devex published several opinion pieces on food security and malnutrition as part of its #FeedingDev series.

Devex: It’s high time India stands up for its malnourished children
JK Raman, India country director at the Micronutrient Initiative

“…There is expertise, evidence and resources available in India to address children’s malnutrition. This is a war that the country has fought half-heartedly so far, and we have let down far too many young children who now find it difficult to stand at par with their more fortunate peers. We need an urgent change, a change in intention and a change that has the power to transform young lives…” (7/28).

Devex: Food security for global security
Daniel Speckhard, former U.S. ambassador to Greece and Belarus

“…[I]t’s worth remembering that food insecurity and rural poverty are significant contributors in many cases to the forces for instability. … Building broad-based economic opportunities, including in the rural areas, is time-consuming and resource-intensive, but there are no shortcuts to a more secure world. We need to engage more rather than less at the grassroots in these tough places and we need to do so with a greater sense of urgency…” (7/28).

Devex: Food security and nutrition — 2 sides of the same coin
Thabani Maphosa, partnership leader for food assistance at World Vision

“Nutrition has many, well-known faces: healthy babies in the first 1,000 days of life, smiling lactating and pregnant mothers, focused children learning in school. Food security is a lesser-known but equally important face. And the two are intrinsically linked. … When done right, food assistance programs improve food security programs. When done right, food security programs improve nutrition. But for this to happen, an integrated approach is needed…” (7/28).

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Recent Releases

Denial Of Ebola's Threat In Sierra Leone Hindering Prevention Efforts

Humanosphere: In Sierra Leone, Ebola continues its spread via denial and ignorance
In a guest post, Cooper Inveen, a Seattle-based journalist and reporter for the Awoko newspaper in Freetown, the capital city of Sierra Leone, discusses local reaction to the Ebola outbreak, including denial that the disease poses a threat (7/28).

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Progress Made Against Hepatitis, But More Remains To Be Done

The following blogs discuss World Hepatitis Day, recognized annually on July 28.

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: World Hepatitis Day: Sub-Saharan Africa sees progress, but persisting risks for HBV, HBC transfusion-transmitted infections, CDC reports
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, examines a report from the CDC looking at blood screening practices in Africa (7/28).

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: World Hepatitis Day 2014 — Think Again
Victor Buckwold, a microbiologist who studied hepatitis, discusses progress in treating and preventing hepatitis but writes “it remains a major public health issue — the biggest problem continues to be that most people don’t know that they are infected…” (7/28).

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Stigma, Discrimination Pose Threats To HIV Efforts

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: A look at AIDS 2014: Stigma and discrimination pose barriers to accessing health services
In a guest post, Laura Nyablade of the Health Policy Project and RTI International discusses stigma and discrimination and their impacts on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment efforts (Barton, 7/28).

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Blog Discusses Innovations Aimed At Reducing Maternal Mortality

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC): Innovators are Assembling to Save the Lives of Women and Children Worldwide
Ashley Chang, deputy policy director at USGLC, features two innovations from USAID’s Saving Lives at Birth’s challenge for development, part of a global effort to reduce maternal mortality (7/28).

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Reproductive Health Needs Of Displaced Populations 'Must Be Effectively Addressed'

Guttmacher Institute: Forcibly Displaced Populations’ Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs Must Not Be Overlooked
In a “News in Context” piece, the Guttmacher Institute writes, “As UNHCR and the world cope with the growing number of forcibly displaced people, permanent and durable solutions must be the long-term focus. But as we respond to the needs of those who are newly displaced as well as the displaced in more stable settings, their sexual and reproductive health needs — like all their other urgent needs — must be effectively addressed” (7/24).

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