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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO Announces Framework To Eliminate TB In 33 Countries

Media sources report on the WHO’s new framework to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) in 33 countries.

Agence France-Presse: WHO urges nations to step up the fight against TB
“The World Health Organization on Thursday urged over 30 countries, including some of the world’s richest, to recognize the continued danger of tuberculosis and try to wipe it out by 2050…” (Fowler, 7/3).

Reuters: Target tuberculosis in rich world as model for poor: WHO
“The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday launched an ambitious plan for rich countries to sharply reduce tuberculosis infections and serve as a model for harder-hit countries of Africa and Asia, where the disease still thrives…” (Nebehay, 7/3).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency presents new plan to eliminate tuberculosis in low-burden countries
“The United Nations health agency [Thursday] presented a new plan aimed at eliminating tuberculosis (TB) in over 30 countries with low levels of the infectious airborne disease…” (7/3).

World Health Organization: WHO targets elimination of TB in over 30 countries
“WHO [on Thursday], together with the European Respiratory Society (ERS), presented a new framework to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) in countries with low levels of the disease. Today there are 33 countries and territories where there are fewer than 100 TB cases per million population…” (7/3).

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West African Nations To Cooperate In Stemming Ebola's Spread

News outlets highlight challenges to fighting an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, as nations in the region vow to cooperate in efforts to address the disease.

Agence France-Presse: W. African Ebola epidemic ‘likely to last months,’ says U.N.
“The United Nations health agency said on Thursday it expected the worst Ebola outbreak in history to continue its deadly rampage through West Africa for at least ‘several months’….” (7/3).

Agence France-Presse: Ebola: Experts highlight problems in Sierra Leone
“Many cases of Ebola in Sierra Leona may be going undetected, grassroots doctors warned in The Lancet on Saturday as they highlighted the impoverished country’s problems in combating the virus…” (7/4).

NPR: As Ebola Cases Spike, WHO Asks For More Money And Help
“The world’s largest Ebola outbreak continues to surge at a troubling rate. … At least 759 people have caught the hemorrhagic fever and 467 of those have died in three West African countries since March….” (Doucleff, 7/3).

Reuters: West African authorities adopt common strategy to fight Ebola
“West African countries and international health organizations adopted a fresh strategy on Thursday to fight the world’s deadliest Ebola epidemic, which has killed hundreds of people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia….” (Kpodo, 7/4).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. agency to help West Africa coordinate response to ‘unprecedented’ outbreak
“West African countries and international health authorities at a United Nations-backed emergency summit have adopted a strategy covering a range of priorities, including strengthening cross-border collaboration, to combat the world’s deadliest Ebola outbreak, which has killed hundreds of people in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia…” (7/4).

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Philippines Urges Muslims To Reconsider Hajj; U.N. Says Most MERS Cases Are Preventable

News outlets discuss concerns surrounding the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus.

Agence France-Presse: Saudi MERS: Philippines urges its Muslims to abort Hajj
“The Philippines urged its large Muslim minority on Thursday to reconsider plans to join pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia this year due to a deadly virus outbreak there…” (7/3).

Associated Press: U.N.: MERS deadly but most cases are preventable
“Infection rates for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome are slowing and scientists are working to stop the dangerous coronavirus from spreading further internationally, a top U.N. health official says…” (Halperin, 7/3).

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U.N., NGOs Failing To Adequately Address Humanitarian Crises Despite More Resources, MSF Says

The Guardian: U.N. and NGOs focus more on securing funding than relief effort, says MSF
“The U.N. and international NGOs are failing to respond to humanitarian emergencies despite having more resources at their disposal than ever before, a medical charity has warned. In a damning report that criticizes crisis management in urgent situations such as conflict and mass displacement, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says many organizations are more concerned with risk aversion and securing funding than providing a serious relief effort…” (Anderson, 7/7).

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Conflict, Natural Disasters Affect Reproductive Health Care Access, Report Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Hidden casualty of conflict and crisis: Reproductive health
“The chaos of armed conflict and other humanitarian emergencies exacts a high price on reproductive health — a problem that deserves greater focus by health workers inside and outside crisis zones, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RCOG)…” (Anderson, 7/4).

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Gates Foundation Sets Sights On Stopping Spread Of Drug-Resistant Malaria

Seattle Times: Gates Foundation battling big new threat in malaria fight
“…With more than $2 billion committed, the [Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation] is the leading private supporter of research into new treatments, vaccines, diagnostic tools, disease mapping, and other weapons to fight malaria. This research should help the foundation press the global community for a renewed attack that could begin about 2020, putting to use new drugs now in the pipeline. As long as the drug-resistant strain spreading in the forests of Myanmar can be contained, that is…” (Dudley, 7/6).

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Africa's Wealthiest Man Pledges To Build 11 Health Centers In Nigeria

Forbes: Africa’s Richest Man To Build 11 Health Centers in Nigeria To Combat Polio
“Africa’s wealthiest man Aliko Dangote has pledged to build 11 health centers in Kano, a large commercial state in Nigeria’s northwestern region, in an effort to ensure routine immunization and the general physical health of indigenes of the state…” (Nsehe, 7/3).

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Drug Resistance Is Economic, National Security Issue, Reuters Reports

Reuters: How to fix a broken market in antibiotics
“…Waking up to the threat [of antibiotic drug resistance], governments and health officials are getting serious about trying to neutralize it. It may seem like a question of science, microbes, and drugs — but in truth it is a global issue of economics and national security…” (Hirschler/Kelland, 7/6).

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U.N. Agencies Scale Up Health Care Responses In Iraq

U.N. News Centre: Iraq: Amid massive displacement, U.N. agencies move to combat spread of communicable diseases
“United Nations relief agencies and their partners working amid the ongoing turmoil and massive population displacement in Iraq are scaling up their health care responses, with a major polio vaccination campaign in Baghdad, and efforts to help relieve the ‘immense burden’ on the existing health care system in Kurdistan…” (7/4).

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Heavy Rains Present Challenges For Food Transport In South Sudan

U.N. News Centre: Heavy rains, ongoing violence push South Sudan towards ‘hunger catastrophe,’ warns U.N. agency
“Already working hard to get supplies to people in South Sudan cut off by flooded roads, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) [Friday] warned that the rains, as well as the ongoing fighting, are pushing the country towards a ‘hunger catastrophe’…” (7/4).

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Sachs Discusses Post-2015 Development Agenda

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a U.N. adviser, discusses the Sustainable Development Goals in several news outlets.

The Hindu: “Sustainable, green development and gender equality are leading challenges for India”
“India faces the challenge of achieving gender equality, urban sustainability and improving public health, while it builds infrastructure for its fast-growing urban population, said renowned economist Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University. Dr. Sachs was at the Energy and Resource Institute (TERI) University here on Sunday for the launch of Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), an initiative by the United Nations’ South Asia Regional Network…” (Yadav, 7/7).

SciDev.Net: Q&A: Jeffrey Sachs on why the SDGs are big on science
“…Jeffrey Sachs, director of the U.N. initiative Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and the U.N. secretary-general’s special adviser on the MDGs, tells SciDev.Net why he thinks the SDGs can end poverty, that they are science-based, and what scientists can do to engage with the process…” (Sharma, 7/4).

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UNITAID President Discusses Eradicating Extreme Poverty, Tackling AIDS

Euronews: UNITAID head on ending extreme poverty, tackling AIDS and innovative fund raising
Euronews’s “The Global Conversation” interviews Philippe Douste-Blazy, former minister in the French government and president of UNITAID, on “eradicat[ing] extreme poverty and rais[ing] awareness of the need to tackle AIDS in the world’s poorest countries” (7/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

CDC Works To Protect Americans Through Global Health Focus

The Lancet: Global health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Anne Schuchat, Jordan Tappero, and John Blandford of the CDC’s Center for Global Health

“…The world is more interconnected than ever, and weak links in public health capacity anywhere can have profound effects at distant locations. Governments have responsibilities to their citizens and other nations to detect problems rapidly, communicate promptly, and respond effectively. The CDC focuses on the protection of Americans and improvements in the health and capacity of people worldwide through partnerships with ministries of health, other U.S. government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and multilateral organizations. The goal of these efforts is to improve health and strengthen capacity while striving for a world more secure from emerging threats” (7/3).

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Quality As Important As Access In Universal Health Coverage

New England Journal of Medicine: Putting Quality on the Global Health Agenda
Kirstin Scott and Ashish Jha of the Initiative on Global Health Quality in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Harvard School of Public Health

“…Universal health coverage has been proposed as a potential umbrella goal for health in the next round of global development priorities. The reasons for focusing on such a goal are compelling: for much of the world’s population, access to health care is severely limited and often financially out of reach. … In order to improve the health of the world’s population, we need to simultaneously ensure that the care provided is of sufficiently high quality, an issue that has garnered far less concrete attention. … Investing in programs to improve access to health care services is critically important — but will not be enough to improve the health of the world’s population. We need to prioritize both access and quality, because doing more isn’t better. Doing better is better” (7/3).

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Congress Should Work To Pass Electrify Africa Act

Roll Call: Electrify Africa, Energize Africa, and Power Africa: Partnering With Africa for the Long Run
Tony Elumelu, chair of Heirs Holdings Limited and founder of the Tony Elumelu Foundation

“…The shortage of energy in Africa obstructs progress in health care, education, food security, and all forms of industrial and commercial activity, impeding Africa’s economic development. … The Electrify Africa Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives on May 8 with broad bipartisan support and the Energize Africa Act was reported out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on June 24. … It is the hope of many of us in the African private sector, and those of us who have made commitments to support the ambitions of Power Africa, that Congress reconciles the bills before the August recess and passes legislation that gives U.S. agencies the flexibility to partner with African countries to develop their own energy resource priorities…” (7/3).

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Ebola Outbreak Presents Numerous Challenges In West Africa

Washington Post: West Africa faces challenges to contain the Ebola outbreak
Meredith Dyson, health program manager with Catholic Relief Services in Sierra Leone

“The June 30 [Washington Post] editorial ‘Ebola, unchecked’ highlighted the severity of an Ebola outbreak in West Africa but inadequately portrayed the challenges faced by the governments of the affected countries. … It took months to spot the rise in fever-related deaths and to identify Ebola — never before seen in the area — as the cause. … As an added challenge, Liberia and Sierra Leone are still recovering from civil wars that decimated health infrastructure, brought government services nearly to a halt, prompted the exodus of educated professionals, and interrupted the education of an entire generation. … A mostly rural population, high adult illiteracy, and limited access to electricity — much less TV — make promoting public awareness particularly challenging” (7/4).

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Recent Releases

Obama Administration Working To Advance Status Of Women, Girls Worldwide

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Advancing Our Commitment to Gender Equality
Catherine Russell, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, outlines how “[t]he Obama administration has made advancing the status of women and girls a central element of U.S. foreign policy, development, and national security objectives…” (7/3).

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UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board Concludes 34th Meeting

UNAIDS: UNAIDS Board calls for ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat by 2030
This press release from UNAIDS discusses the recently concluded 34th meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board, noting the “UNAIDS Executive Director’s report to the board, and the board’s decisions from the meeting can be found at www.unaids.org” (7/4).

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New Issue Of ‘Global Fund News Flash’ Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
Issue 44 of the Global Fund News Flash includes articles on the fund’s Technical Review Panel, new online portal to submit concept notes, Human Rights Reference Group, and banking partners in Latin America (7/3).

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