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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Nearly 25% More Children Contract TB Worldwide Than Previously Thought, Research Shows

News outlets discuss a study published in the Lancet Global Health that estimates the burden of childhood tuberculosis (TB) is higher than previously thought.

Agence France-Presse: Child TB problem far greater than thought
“Twenty-five percent more children are falling ill with TB than the U.N. had thought, with more than 650,000 hit by the disease each year in the 22 worst affected countries, specialists said Wednesday…” (7/8).

BBC News: TB rates in children ‘much higher than WHO estimates’
“More than 650,000 children worldwide develop tuberculosis each year, research in the journal Lancet Global Health suggests. The figure stands almost 25 percent higher than current predictions made by the World Health Organization…” (Mundasad, 7/8).

Livemint: Childhood TB cases higher than WHO estimate; India has highest burden: study
“Almost 25 percent more children fall sick with tuberculosis (TB) every year than the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that most anti-TB programs worldwide rely on, according to a new research report published in the Lancet Global Health…” (Unnikrishnan, 7/9).

VOA News: Study: Childhood TB Rates Much Higher than Estimated
“…The research also presents the first-ever estimate of new TB infections among children: nearly eight million in 2010. It’s a huge burden but an enormous opportunity to prevent future illnesses, the authors say, because low-cost treatment can stop infection from becoming disease…” (Baragona, 7/8).

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Over 145,000 Syrian Refugee Families Headed By 'Lone Women,' U.N. Reports

News outlets discuss a new report released on Tuesday by the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) that says more than 145,000 Syrian families are headed by single women.

Al Jazeera: Syria’s war widows fight for survival
“…A report released by the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, on Tuesday, says that one in four Syrian households living in four major countries of refuge — Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt — are headed by lone women…” (Atassi, 7/8).

Associated Press/Huffington Post: U.N.: Over 145,000 Syrian Refugee Families Headed By Mothers Who Are ‘Struggling Alone’
“More than 145,000 Syrian refugee families in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan are headed by women who are the sole caregivers and face daily threats of violence while often lacking the means to put food on the table, the United Nations said Tuesday in a report meant to galvanize more support for those suffering from Syria’s civil war…” (Heilprin, 7/8).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Alone and exposed, Syrian refugee women fight for survival
“More than 145,000 Syrian refugee families in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt — one in four of all households — are headed by women facing a lone fight for survival, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday…” (Zweynert, 7/8).

U.N. News Centre: Syrian refugee mothers in ‘spiral of hardship,’ U.N. reports
“One in four of all Syrian refugee families in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan are headed by women who, on their own, are struggling to make ends meet and take care of their increasingly traumatized families, the United Nations [Tuesday] reported, calling for more resources to aid these single mothers…” (7/8).

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In Letter To CDC, Rep. Gingrey Warns Of Disease Spread Potential From Child Migrants To U.S.

The Hill: Gingrey: Child migrants pose health risk
“Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) warned that the unaccompanied children illegally crossing the border into the U.S. carrying infectious diseases could pose a threat to public health. In a letter to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden, Gingrey, a former physician, expressed concern that the child migrants could spread illnesses … throughout the country…” (Marcos, 7/8).

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WHO Reports 50 New Ebola Cases, 25 Deaths In West Africa

News outlets highlight the growing number of Ebola cases in West Africa and some of the factors underlying outbreaks.

Associated Press: U.N.: 50 new Ebola cases in 2 African nations
“The U.N. health agency says there have been 50 new Ebola cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia since last week as the disease, among the deadliest in the world, keeps spreading in West Africa…” (7/8).

Reuters: Fifty new Ebola cases, 25 deaths in West Africa — WHO
“Fifty new cases of Ebola and 25 deaths have been reported in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea since July 3, as the deadly virus spreads in families, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday…” (Nebehay, 7/8).

Washington Post: How deforestation shares the blame for the Ebola epidemic
“…The commonality between numerous outbreaks of Ebola, scientists say, is growing human activity and deforestation in previously untouched forests, bringing humans into closer contact with rare disease strains viral enough to precipitate an epidemic…” (McCoy, 7/8).

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U.N. Agencies Establish Office To Prepare For Climate-Related Crises, Disease Outbreaks

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.N. moves to bring climate information into health planning
“The World Health Organization and the World Meteorological Organization have created a joint office to prepare better for weather-driven health emergencies and shifting outbreaks of climate-linked diseases such as cholera and dengue fever…” (Rowling, 7/8).

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Drought Causes Number Of Hungry Somalis To Increase For First Time Since 2011 Famine

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Number of hungry Somalis grows for first time since famine as rains fail — U.N.
“The number of hungry people in Somalia will increase this year for the first time since the 2011 famine as drought is starting to bite, the United Nations said on Tuesday…” (Migiro, 7/8).

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DfID's Nutrition Programs Could Improve, Better Engage Private Sector, Report Says

The Guardian: Food for thought: undernutrition policy could be better, says U.K. aid watchdog
“Britain has played a key role in galvanizing international attention towards the problem of undernutrition, but the government needs to target its policies on those most in need and better engage the private sector in its efforts, according to the U.K. aid watchdog…” (Ford, 7/8).

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WHO Urges China's Tobacco Monopoly To Separate Conflicting Interests To Curb Smoking

Reuters: WHO urges China to tackle state tobacco monopoly in battle on smoking
“China must separate the conflicting promotion and prevention roles of its state tobacco monopoly to reduce smoking-related deaths, which number as much as one million a year, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. … The country’s State Tobacco Monopoly Administration controls the world’s single largest manufacturer of tobacco products, China National Tobacco Corporation, but also wields power over policymaking on tobacco control and enforcement…” (Hui/Wee, 7/9).

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South Sudan's Independence Day Overshadowed By Effects Of War, Hunger

The Guardian: South Sudan: little to celebrate as war and hunger mar independence day
“…As [South Sudan] prepares to mark the third anniversary of its independence from Sudan on Wednesday, the U.N. secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon’s, prophecy that half of South Sudan’s 12 million people could be either ‘displaced internally, refugees abroad, starving, or dead by the year’s end’ looks depressingly accurate. … The U.N. says it needs at least another $1bn (£600m) to cope with the situation, and the Disasters Emergency Committee — which comprises the likes of Oxfam, Save the Children, the British Red Cross, and Cafod — says it has less than half the money it needs to deal with the situation…” (Jones, 7/8).

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Some MDG Data Old But Shows Trends, Annual Report Author Says

SciDev.Net: ‘Frustration’ over old or missing data in MDGs report
“Some of the statistics in the latest Millennium Development Goals report are up to four years old, according to the lead author of the report published yesterday. … But she does not believe that outdated statistics hamper progress towards meeting the goals, because they show the general direction the figures are moving from year to year…” (Reade, 7/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

India's Health Minister Should Separate Personal Beliefs From Public Health Policies

New York Times: India’s Sex-Ed Controversy
“India’s health minister, Harsh Vardhan, is on the defensive after he questioned the focus on condom use in the fight against the spread of HIV. Late last month, Dr. Vardhan, who is a surgeon by profession, defended a call on his website to ban sex education. … Dr. Vardhan proposes an alternate sex education program that he says respects traditional Indian values; he also recommends yoga and celibacy. As for HIV and AIDS, Dr. Vardhan believes protecting the integrity of heterosexual marriage should come before promoting the use of condoms. While Dr. Vardhan has a right to his personal beliefs, imposing the morality of the Hindu right on India’s health policies will only put the public at risk…” (7/9).

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U.S. Must Allocate More Money To Address Domestic TB

New York Times: If Tuberculosis Spreads …
Polly Price, law professor at Emory University

“…The United States has given more than $5 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. But drug-resistant tuberculosis isn’t a problem only in the developing world; we must turn our attention to the fight against it here at home. … We need a better system for tuberculosis treatment, funded at the national level. … [T]uberculosis’s greatest lesson is that the health problems of poor people in poor areas are everyone’s problem. Continuing our present failing system would prove to be far more expensive in the end, because drug-resistant tuberculosis will not obey political or economic boundaries…” (7/8).

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Lions Clubs Commit Money, Volunteers To Help Prevent Measles

Huffington Post: Roaring Ahead to End Measles
Orin Levine, director of vaccine delivery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…One of the most contagious viral diseases ever known, measles claims the lives of 330 people every day. Tackling this formidable disease takes a unique kind of determination — and the [Lions Clubs] have exemplified this through their commitment not only to providing financial support, but also to serving as volunteers, delivering vaccines to children in last-mile clinics around the world. … Along with the U.K.’s Department for International Development (DfID), we at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are going to match the $30 million generated by Lions Clubs International to protect children from measles, bringing the total to US$ 60 million…” (7/8).

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MSF 'Deserves Credit' For Report Criticizing Aid Groups For Withdrawing From Conflict Zones

The Guardian: Aid agencies have become self-serving corporations dressed in the clothing of compassion
Ian Birrell, a former deputy editor of The Independent and a speechwriter for David Cameron during the 2010 election campaign

“…[A]n incendiary new report by Médecins Sans Frontières … — provocatively titled Where is Everyone? — highlights how other big aid groups are withdrawing from emergency work, especially in dangerous conflict zones, in favor of lucrative work on modish concepts such as conflict resolution, capacity building, and governance. … The charity deserves credit for raising issues that should provoke soul-searching. Yet it is unlikely to change attitudes. Behind the slick campaigns, too many aid groups have evolved into self-serving corporations dressed in the clothing of compassion” (7/7).

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Recent Releases

CGD Examines New Report On Africa's Data Revolution

Center for Global Development: Africa’s Data Revolution — Amanda Glassman
Lawrence MacDonald, vice president of communications and policy outreach at the Center for Global Development (CGD), speaks to Amanda Glassman, senior fellow and director of global health policy at CGD, about a new report that examines Africa’s data revolution and statistical capacity (7/8).

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Pregnant Women, New Mothers Face Challenges In Continuing HIV Care, Treatment

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Option B+: In obstacle courses to lifelong antiretroviral treatment, hurdles are higher for pregnant women, study says
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, examines a study published recently in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes that looked at the challenges pregnant women and new mothers face in continuing care and treatment for HIV infection (7/8).

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New Data Provide Guidance To Help Health Workers Prevent, Treat Cholera

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: Evidently it’s Cholera Season
Jocalyn Clark, executive editor at icddr,b in Dhaka, Bangladesh, discusses a Cochrane Collaboration review on the use of antibiotics to treat cholera and a study funded by Médecins sans Frontières that examined the use of the Shanchol cholera vaccine in outbreaks (7/8).

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Blog Post Discusses Debate On Sex Education In India

BMJ Blogs: Sex education in India
Lavanya Malhotra, a medical student at the University of Cambridge, discusses the debate over “the merits of age appropriate sex education in schools” in India, after the country’s health minister, Harsh Vardhan, called for a ban on sex education (7/9).

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