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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Jolie, Hague Open Global Summit With Calls To End Rape, Sexual Violence As Weapon Of War

News outlets report on the opening of the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London.

Al Jazeera America: Summit urges world not to ‘turn aside’ from wartime sexual violence
“Lawmakers and activists from over 100 different countries gathered in London on Tuesday for the start of a high-profile conference aimed at combating sexual violence in war zones and eliminating what experts have called a ‘culture of impunity’…” (Taylor, 6/10).

BBC News: Sexual violence in war: Jolie opens summit in London
“The actress and U.N. special envoy Angelina Jolie has said a four-day summit on ending sexual violence during war must send a message that there is no disgrace in being a victim…” (6/10).

Devex: 3 demands to leaders, as momentum builds against sexual violence
“…The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict aims to end the culture of impunity which persists in conflicts from Guatemala to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and has severely limited prosecutions to date. It also seeks to improve and standardize the investigation of large-scale sexual violence committed in wartime…” (Patton, 6/10).

The Independent: William Hague and Angelina Jolie attend sexual violence in war summit in London
“Foreign Secretary William Hague and U.N. Special Envoy Angelina Jolie are today attending the opening of a four-day summit on sexual violence in war being held in London…” (6/10).

New York Times: High-Profile Conference to Draw Attention to Sexual Violence in War
“The Hollywood star Angelina Jolie and the British foreign secretary, William Hague, opened a high-profile gathering [in London] on Tuesday intended to combat the increasing prevalence of sexual violence in war zones, with Ms. Jolie calling for an end to a ‘culture of impunity’ among perpetrators…” (Cowell, 6/10).

Reuters: Angelina Jolie, U.K.’s Hague, vow action against sexual violence in war
“…Up to 1,200 government ministers, military and judicial officials and activists from up to 150 nations are attending the June 10-13 summit that is the result of a two-year partnership between Jolie and Hague to combat rape as a weapon of war…” (Goldsmith, 6/10).

U.N. News Centre: At global summit, U.N. envoy Angelina Jolie calls for end to sexual violence in conflict
“Hollywood actress, activist and United Nations Special Envoy Angelina Jolie today called for concerted action to end once and for all the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war…” (6/10).

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Activists Bring Attention To Female Genital Cutting Among U.S. Residents

New York Times: A Fight as U.S. Girls Face Genital Cutting Abroad
“…During [summer trips back to their ancestral homes], some girls are swept into bedrooms or backwoods and subjected to genital cutting in the belief that it will prevent promiscuity, ready them for marriage or otherwise align them with the ideals of their culture. ‘Vacation cutting,’ as the practice is deemed by those who oppose it, has existed in immigrant enclaves around the world for decades. Federal law has banned genital cutting in the United States since 1996, and last year it became illegal to transport girls for that purpose. But some are concerned that such cutting could be on the rise…” (Turkewitz, 6/10).

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Lack Of Donor Funding Threatens Humanitarian Relief In CAR, U.N. Says

U.N. News Centre: Relief funds nearly exhausted for crisis in Central African Republic — U.N. agencies
“Less than a week after an urgent funding appeal by the heads of the lead U.N. food and refugee agencies, lack of donor attention threatening to cut off aid to thousands trying to escape violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) emerged again today as a top item in the bi-weekly humanitarian briefing in Geneva…” (6/10).

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CDC Reports Chikungunya Virus Present In U.S.

Washington Post: The next mosquito-borne infection you might want to start worrying about
“It’s called chikungunya virus, and it’s already here in the United States, with 28 cases brought into parts of the country by travelers from 17 countries, mainly in the Caribbean, where more than 103,000 people have been afflicted by the debilitating virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday…” (Bernstein, 6/6).

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U.N. Agencies Call For Urgent Vaccination To Tackle Measles In Somali Children

U.N. News Centre: Somalia: U.N. agencies call for immediate action to curb measles outbreaks
“Voicing deep concern that outbreaks of measles have left thousands of children in Somalia at risk of disability or death, United Nations agencies today called for urgent vaccination to tackle the highly contagious disease…” (6/10).

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Ebola Resurgence In West Africa Due To Lack Of Experience, Education, Officials Say

IRIN: Fear and ignorance aid spread of Ebola
“An Ebola outbreak in West Africa that appeared to be winding down has flared up again, with officials blaming the resurgence on ignorance and a lack of experience in handling the virus…” (6/11).

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Algeria Records First MERS Case

Reuters: Algeria reports first MERS death
“Algeria said a 66-year-old man died from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), the first deadly case of the virus in the North African country…” (6/11).

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Dengue Deaths Down In Sri Lanka, But Number Of New Cases Remains Steady

IRIN: Dengue down but not out in Sri Lanka
“Better detection and care has led to a dramatic fall in the number of deaths from dengue fever in Sri Lanka over the past five years, but health experts warn there has been no corresponding decline in infection rates, highlighting the need for more effective prevention…” (6/11).

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Al Jazeera America Examines Uterine Prolapse In Nepal

Al Jazeera America: Uterine prolapse: The hidden agony of Nepalese women
“…10 percent of Nepal’s 13 million women … suffers from the painful and debilitating condition of uterine prolapse. The ligaments and muscles in [the] pelvic floor are too weak to hold the uterus, which slips into the vagina. The condition is often caused by overwork, not enough recovery time between pregnancies or pregnancy at a young age…” (Das, 6/9).

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Poor Quality Condoms Could Undermine HIV Prevention Work In Vietnam

IRIN: Vietnam’s counterfeit condom crisis
“A new report warning that nearly half of the commercially available condoms in Vietnam are of poor quality has health officials worried the country’s tenuous gains in safer sex habits could be at risk…” (6/9).

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Indonesian Mobile App Users Access Confidential Information On HIV/AIDS Testing, Treatment

Jakarta Post: AIDS mobile app pushes testing and treatment
“…[S]ix months ago, [the Indonesia AIDS Coalition] launched AIDS Digital, a mobile phone application that allows users to access information about HIV/AIDS information and medical services confidentially…” (Rivera, 6/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

Disease Research Must 'Get Smarter And More Nimble' To Counter Outbreaks

The Guardian: Diseases spread in weeks. Epidemic research takes years. This must change.
Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust

“…We have become better at identifying the start of epidemics, observing their passage, measuring their impact, charting their spread and counting the bodies. But too often we’ve left it at that, as if improved surveillance can do the job alone. We have to do better. We need to move towards better treatment and understanding of what to do when the alarm is raised. … We need research to get smarter and more nimble…” (6/10).

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Hondurans Take Steps To Mitigate Pregnancy, HIV Among Youth

The Guardian: AIDS, pregnancy and the church: young Hondurans take a stand
Carlisle Levine, president and CEO of BLE Solutions, LLC, and Vanessa Siliezar, Honduras representative at Let Girls Lead

“…In November 2012, the government of Honduras launched the national strategy for the prevention of adolescent pregnancies. Since then, the ministry of health has increased the number of youth-friendly health centers and services for adolescents. … But there is still significant work to be done. The teenage pregnancy rate remains high, in spite of the strategy, and so does the number of new HIV infections. On May 28, Honduras president Juan Orlando Hernández officially joined Protect the Goal, a global campaign aimed at preventing teen pregnancy, HIV and AIDS launched by UNAIDS and the UNFPA for the World Cup. There is hope that Honduras’ participation in this visible campaign will prevent the destructive impact that HIV and teen pregnancies can have on society” (6/11).

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Recent Releases

State Department Officials Address Gender-Based Violence, Global Summit

Two posts in the U.S. State Department’s “DipNote” blog address issues to be discussed this week at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, taking place in London.

DipNote: Let There Be No Hiding Place for Rapists in War
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who will attend the summit, writes, “We must communicate a unified stance with a single, loud voice: there is no place in the civilized world for those who commit acts of sexual violence…” (6/9).

DipNote: Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict
Sarah Sewall, under secretary of state for civilian security, democracy, and human rights, notes, “The United States is sending a delegation of nearly 30 representatives of government, because we believe that gender-based violence (GBV) isn’t just an abhorrent abuse of human rights — it is also an issue of national security…” (6/10).

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Officials Outline Successes, Challenges In Preventing, Treating TB

USAID’s “Impact”: Global Leadership, Collaboration Aligned in the Fight Against Tuberculosis
USAID Assistant Administrator for Global Health Ariel Pablos-Mendez, Mario Raviglione, director of the WHO Global TB Program, and colleagues from Indonesia, Nigeria, and South Africa discuss “key ingredients” for successful TB treatment and prevention initiatives, as well as preparedness to face future challenges (6/10).

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Blog Examines CSIS Report On U.S. Leadership In TB Efforts

Humanosphere: U.S. leadership failing global TB control effort, says report
Development blogger Tom Murphy discusses findings from a CSIS report, titled “Strategic U.S. Leadership — Essential to Address the Global Tuberculosis Pandemic” (6/10).

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Gates Foundation Calls For Better Cost-Effectiveness In Global Health

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Gates Foundation Calls for More Principled Cost-Effectiveness in Health
Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, discusses the challenges around cost-effectiveness “as a criterion for global health decision making and spending” and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s call for adherence to best practice principles for cost-effectiveness in global health (6/10).

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