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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

London Summit Sees Launch Of International Protocol On Addressing Sexual Violence, Crimes

The Guardian has published several articles related to the ongoing Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, taking place this week in London.

The Guardian: International protocol launched to deal with sexual violence in conflict
“An international protocol for dealing with rape and sexual violence in conflict was launched on Wednesday at a historic London summit on the issue, providing guidelines on the investigation of sex crimes and the collection of evidence for future prosecutions…” (Sherwood, 6/11).

The Guardian: Angelina Jolie: prosecutions can prevent future sexual violence in conflict — video
“Speaking exclusively to the Guardian at the London summit on ending sexual violence in conflict, the Hollywood star said that when rape victims start to see the people who abused them pay for their crimes, the world will undergo a sea change and a line will be drawn under the sense of impunity currently felt by perpetrators…” (Borger/Spera, 6/10).

The Guardian: Sexual violence in war: women must get reparations, says head of U.N. Women
“Women who have experienced sexual violence in conflict need help to get their lives back on track in the form of compensation for the loss of land and livelihoods caused by fighting, as well as psychological support, according to Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the head of U.N. Women…” (Ford, 6/11).

The Guardian: Sexual violence in conflict: no impunity for those who commit crimes against women — video
“U.N. special representative on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Bangura, talks about progress made in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone but acknowledges that addressing violence in the Central African Republic is impossible at the moment. Setting up a robust judicial process is essential to bring perpetrators to justice…” (Ford/Spera, 6/12).

The Guardian: Child rape addressed at summit on ending sexual violence in conflict
“…Children are particularly vulnerable to sexual violence in conflict, experiencing rape, gang-rape, sexual slavery and forced marriage, according to the U.N.’s special representative on children and armed conflict, Leila Zerrougui…” (Sherwood, 6/11).

The Guardian: Sexual violence cases in Liberia and Ivory Coast a challenge to justice
“…The key, [Kim Thuy Seelinger, director of the sexual violence program at the University of California's human rights center,] said, is strengthening the independence of domestic legal systems; crucial for countries like Liberia and Ivory Coast where the rule of law had completely broken down…” (Ford, 6/11).

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Devex Examines USAID Local Funding Trends

Devex: USAID Forward: Where the local funding is going
“While hardly the only major donor to steadily move funding to the local level in recent years, few donors have been as ambitious in going local as the U.S. Agency for International Development. Back in 2010, USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah set the target of funneling 30 percent of USAID’s funding to local organizations by fiscal 2015 — a key pillar of his sweeping reform agenda called USAID Forward. … Devex dug deeper into the data to analyze key trends in USAID’s local funding across its global portfolio…” (Piccio, 6/9).

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Ugandan Foreign Minister To Be Next U.N. General Assembly President

New York Times: Ugandan Official to Be Next General Assembly Chief
“The United Nations General Assembly chose Sam Kutesa, Uganda’s foreign minister, as its next president on Wednesday, bypassing concerns of rights advocates and Western officials over Uganda’s law criminalizing homosexuality, which took effect four months ago…” (Gladstone, 6/11).

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WHO Calls For Better Access To Safe Blood Supplies To Prevent Maternal Deaths

VOA News: WHO: Access to Safe Blood Can Reduce Maternal Deaths
“The World Health Organization says lack of access to safe blood is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of childbearing women each year. In advance of World Blood Donor Day on June 14, WHO is calling for action to make safe blood supplies available to prevent maternal deaths…” (Schlein, 6/10).

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S. Africa Introduces New TB Drugs; Activists Urge Public Health Emergency Declaration

News outlets report on discussions around the South African TB Conference in Durban, where results from new drugs were presented and activist groups urged the country to declare the TB epidemic a public health emergency.

Health-e: Government to introduce new drug-resistant TB drugs
“Government’s small-scale introduction of the first new TB drug [(bedaquiline)] in four decades is saving lives and paving the way for more, better, and cheaper drugs to treat drug-resistant TB. Many wonder if they will come fast enough for those who need them…” (Gonzalez, 6/12).

VOA News: Activist Group Calls on S. Africa to Declare TB a Public Health Emergency
“A leading activist group is calling on the South African government to declare the country’s tuberculosis epidemic a public health emergency. The Treatment Action Campaign made the plea this week at South Africa’s fourth TB Conference in Durban…” (DeCapua, 6/11).

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W. Africa Ebola Death Toll Climbs While Containment Efforts Increase; Guinea Works To Maintain Other Outbreaks

News outlets continue coverage on West Africa’s Ebola outbreak.

Associated Press: Prayers, precautions in W. Africa amid Ebola threat
“…[M]ore than a month after Guinea President Alpha Conde told reporters the Ebola outbreak that originated in his country was under control, the death toll continues to climb in his country as well as in Sierra Leone and Liberia…” (Diallo/Roy-Macaulay, 6/10).

IRIN: Curbing Guinea’s other outbreaks
“With health authorities and medical personnel battling Guinea’s first outbreak of Ebola, there have inevitably been concerns about finding the human and physical resources to combat other diseases. Unlike Ebola, measles and meningitis are well known to Guinea and require a major, coordinated response from both the state and NGOs. Despite the ‘Ebola factor,’ health organizations say they have maintained their operations and are combating measles and meningitis effectively…” (6/12).

Reuters: Sierra Leone shuts borders, closes schools to fight Ebola
“Sierra Leone shut its borders to trade with Guinea and Liberia on Wednesday and closed schools, cinemas, and nightclubs in a frontier region in a bid to halt the spread of the Ebola virus…” (Fofana, 6/11).

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Iran Records First MERS Cases, WHO Says; Kuwait Identifies Camels With Virus

CIDRAP News: WHO confirms MERS in Iran as Kuwait finds virus in camels
“The World Health Organization (WHO) [Wednesday] confirmed the first two MERS-CoV cases in Iran, reported recently in the news media, while another media story said Kuwait has found the virus in five camels…” (Roos, 6/11).

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Old Wives' Tale Creates Delays In Measles Treatment In Somalia

Associated Press: In Somalia, a wives’ tale delays measles treatment
“…Somalia is suffering from an outbreak of measles that the World Health Organization and the U.N. children’s agency labels ‘extremely alarming.’… Many children in the country are malnourished and few have access to medical care, making an outbreak potentially dangerous for thousands of others. One additional danger that prevents early medical intervention is the belief by many parents that they should keep measles-infected children at home for a week for what they call an ‘incubation’ period…” (Guled, 6/11).

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Chikungunya Reaches U.S. Virgin Islands

Associated Press: U.S. Virgin Islands confirms 1st chikungunya case
“A nasty mosquito-borne virus that has been spreading rapidly in the Caribbean has made its way to the U.S. Virgin Islands, authorities said Wednesday…” (McFadden, 6/11).

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Researchers Create Virus Similar To 1918 Flu; Critics Call Experiment 'Crazy'

The Guardian: Scientists condemn ‘crazy, dangerous’ creation of deadly airborne flu virus
“Scientists have created a life-threatening virus that closely resembles the 1918 Spanish flu strain that killed an estimated 50 million people in an experiment labeled as ‘crazy’ by opponents…” (Sample, 6/11).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces, Editorial Address Issues Being Discussed At Sexual Violence Global Summit

As the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict takes place in London this week, opinion pieces discuss issues surrounding sexual violence.

The Guardian: Teaching young men to break the cycle of sexual violence
Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Project

“…As representatives from more than 140 countries prepare to gather in London this week for the global summit on ending sexual violence in conflict, hosted by William Hague and Angelina Jolie, Care has launched a petition to #ChallengeAttitudes — calling for a focus on education at the summit. … According to the World Health Organization, attitudes that accept violence and gender inequality increase the likelihood of both intimate partner and sexual violence. This underlines the importance of education in tackling these problems, not just for conflict-affected areas but also more widely…” (6/9).

Huffington Post: Sexual Violence, Security and the Role Gender Equality Has to Play in Tackling Rape
Tewodros Melease, director-general of International Planned Parenthood Foundation

“…[S]exual and reproductive health services in conflict settings are often overlooked and remain under resourced. There is no single solution to tackling sexual violence in conflict. What is undeniable is that survivors must have their voices heard and a survivor-centered approach should be integrated into peace and security efforts. … This year governments are discussing the future of development goals — sexual violence in conflict will be part of these global discussions. Tackling the inequality which makes women and girls vulnerable must also be at its heart” (6/11).

Huffington Post: Empowering Women, Ending Violence
Catherine Russell, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, and Sir Peter Westmacott, British ambassador to the United States

“…To those who say that sexual violence is inevitable in war, we simply point out that previous generations said the same about slavery, a crime that governments from around the world now come together to fight. This generation can do the same for the crime of sexual violence in conflict. The ultimate task for our generation is to make women and men equal partners in building peace, security, and prosperity. This is a question not just of individual rights but also of international security. After all, history shows that a society can only reach its potential when women are allowed to reach theirs” (6/11).

The Lancet: Responding to sexual violence in conflict
Claudia García-Moreno of the WHO Department of Reproductive Health and Research

“…Efforts to end impunity, as promoted by the U.K. Government’s Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative, are important. These efforts, however, must be complemented by investments in national systems and programs to address the social and economic drivers of conflict-related sexual violence. … [C]ritical national systems need to be rebuilt and a workforce needs to be trained and supported to provide effective, sustainable responses. Donor countries have a part to play in supporting the development of national systems, and to ensure sustainable access to health, justice, and social support…” (6/10).

New York Times: The Scourge of Sexual Violence: In Egypt, the Abuse of Women Rises
“The failure of the Egyptian government, now led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, to respond aggressively to sexual assaults has justifiably outraged rape victims and women’s rights advocates. … Egypt is just one of many countries where sexual violence is becoming more publicized. Britain is holding a meeting in London this week attended by more than 100 countries to address the increasing prevalence of sexual violence in conflict zones. The four-day summit meeting is expected to adopt the first international protocol on how to document and investigate such crimes. The world simply cannot sit silent while women are systematically subjected to brutal sexual abuse” (6/11).

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Drop U.S. Food Aid Shipping Requirement To Feed More People

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Rough water: U.S. food aid imperiled by proposed shipping rule
“…Section 318 of the House-approved Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act would require that 75 percent of U.S. food aid be transported on privately owned, U.S.-flagged commercial vessels. The cost, according to USAID: $75 million that could be spent on lifesaving food aid. The law would effectively deprive two million people of food assistance in emergency food crisis areas like South Sudan, Syria and the Central African Republic. … The food aid program is one of the best things we do as a country — not only humanitarian but also an effective diplomatic tool. Millions of taxpayer dollars for this valuable program shouldn’t be squandered on an industry handout. And millions shouldn’t have to go without food because of an unforced error” (6/11).

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Recent Releases

USAID Launches Book About Global Health Efforts

USAID: 50 Years of Global Health: Saving Lives and Building Futures
USAID on Wednesday released its new book (.pdf), “50 Years of Global Health: Saving Lives and Building Futures,” at an event at the Center for Strategic & International Studies Global Health Policy Center (6/11).

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Blog Posts Discuss CSIS Reports, Panel On U.S. TB Efforts

The following blog posts discuss the Center for Strategic & International Studies’ recently launched series of reports on U.S. tuberculosis (TB) efforts and a CSIS panel on the issue.

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: CSIS panel: R&D fundamental to meeting new global TB targets
“…CSIS hosted the panel on the occasion of the release of its summary report Strategic U.S. Leadership — Essential to Address the Global Tuberculosis Pandemic — which examines U.S. approaches to tackling TB both in the United States and abroad…” (6/11).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Tuberculosis R&D must be U.S. diplomatic priority, say global health leaders
“…The report on TB R&D recommends the U.S. government engage in long-term TB research partnership initiatives with emerging economies, with the aim of creating or strengthening select TB research centers of excellence ‘through catalytic funding and expanded technical exchanges’…” (Aziz, 6/10).

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PIH Announces Partnership To Tackle MDR-TB With New Drugs

Partners in Health: A New Partnership to Change MDR-TB Treatment around the World
Partners in Health announces that it has received a four-year, $60 million grant from UNITAID “to bring two new drugs to 17 countries in which MDR-TB [(multidrug-resistant tuberculosis)] poses a significant burden. Called ‘END-TB,’ this project is designed to dramatically expand access to these new drugs globally…” (6/10).

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World Bank Report Examines Harm Reduction Programs In Malaysia

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Needle exchange, methadone programs in Malaysia save money, protect public health, World Bank-funded report finds
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses a World Bank-funded report that examined the outcomes of harm reduction programs in Malaysia (6/11).

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NTD Donor Group Hosts Inaugural Event

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End The Neglect”: New NTD Donor Group Launches in London, U.K.
Aparna Barua of the Sabin Foundation discusses the inaugural event of the Sabin City Group, a partnership between corporate institutions in the U.K. and the charity Sabin Foundation Europe (SFE), the U.K. partner of the U.S.-based Sabin Vaccine Institute (6/10).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has published Issue 245 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter includes an interview with Christoph Benn, director of external relations for the Global Fund, among other news articles (6/11).

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