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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO, West African Officials Coordinate Efforts To Slow Ebola Outbreak

News outlets summarize actions and warnings surrounding the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: WHO urges ‘drastic action’ on Ebola, calls 11-nation meeting
“The World Health Organization on Thursday called for ‘drastic action’ to fight the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record, as it announced an 11-nation meeting to address the growing crisis…” (Larson, 6/26).

Agence France-Presse: Medics vent anger at government inaction over Ebola
“In a hospital in the Guinean capital Conakry, a doctor can barely conceal his anger over the Ebola crisis sweeping the country and the officials who once made hopeful pronouncements about the end of the outbreak…” (Bah/Dosso, 6/26).

Al Jazeera: WHO calls urgent 11-nation meeting on Ebola
“…The WHO said it would convene a meeting of the health ministers from 11 countries in Accra, Ghana on July 2 and 3 to address the growing crisis…” (6/26).

IRIN: Fighting Ebola and its myths
“A months-long battle to bring West Africa’s Ebola outbreak under control has stretched medical teams to the limit, while mistrust in some communities has impaired prevention work and raised questions about the delivery of health warnings…” (6/26).

NPR: Could The Ebola Outbreak Spread To Europe Or The U.S.?
“…[S]hould Europe and the U.S. begin worrying about the virus? ‘The chance of Ebola spreading out of West Africa is very, very low,’ says infectious disease specialist Kamran Khan, with St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. ‘But if it did spread, Paris is probably the first city on the list’…” (Doucleff, 6/25).

Reuters: West African nations should be prepared for Ebola — WHO expert
“West African nations neighboring those hit by the Ebola epidemic including Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Guinea Bissau should prepare for the possible arrival of travelers carrying the deadly virus, the World Health Organization said on Friday…” (Nebehay, 6/27).

WHO: Ebola challenges West African countries as WHO ramps up response
“The emergence of an Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa in 2014 has become a challenge to the three countries involved, as the governments of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone work intensively with WHO and other partners to ramp up a series of measures to control the outbreak…” (6/26).

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Aid Delivery Continues To Face Challenges In Syria, U.N. Official Tells Security Council

News outlets report on continuing challenges to humanitarian aid delivery in war-torn Syria.

Foreign Policy: Exclusive: Yes, Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis Can Get Worse. Much Worse.
“It is hard to fathom the humanitarian crisis in Syria getting any worse than it already has. But it is, with the number of Syrian civilians residing mostly beyond the reach of United Nations relief workers swelling from 3.5 million to about 4.7 million, according to new U.N. estimates…” (Lynch, 6/26).

New York Times: U.N. Official Says Syrian Rules Are Preventing Aid Delivery
“Ever since the Security Council reached a hard-won consensus to help United Nations aid agencies deliver food and medicine to Syrians trapped by war, compliance with its resolution has been low. On Thursday, the United Nations’ top aid official told the council that new Syrian bureaucracy had made compliance even lower…” (Sengupta, 6/26).

U.N. News Centre: Humanitarian needs outpacing response amid ongoing obstacles to aid delivery in Syria — U.N.
“Four months after the Security Council adopted a resolution demanding unimpeded access to people in need of assistance in Syria, relief agencies continue to face obstacles to aid delivery while the needs continue to grow and are now outpacing response efforts, the United Nations humanitarian chief reported today…” (6/26).

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Congress Holds Hearing For USAID Deputy Administrator Nominee

Devex: Is this the next leader of USAID?
“Will Alfonso Lenhardt lead the world’s largest bilateral aid agency? Lenhardt, President Barack Obama’s choice to serve as the U.S. Agency for International Development’s deputy administrator, testified on his nomination before the U.S. Senate on Thursday afternoon…” (Igoe, 6/26).

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WHO, African Health Officials Meet To Discuss Improving Access To Essential Medicines

VOA News: African Health Officials Seek to Improve Access to Essential Medicine
“The World Health Organization (WHO) said a ‘substantial part of the population’ in the developing world lacks access to quality, essential medicines. The group’s director of essential medicines has been meeting with African health officials in Zimbabwe on how to improve the situation in conjunction with the United Nations and the European Union…” (Mohfu, 6/27).

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Pregnancy-Related Deaths Higher Among Women With HIV/AIDS In Africa

Inter Press Service: Maternal Deaths Due to HIV a Grim Reality
“…In spite of the huge advances in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) in Africa, experts are concerned that these have not matched other pillars needed to eliminate maternal mortality caused by HIV and AIDS. … The risk of pregnancy-related death is six to eight times higher for HIV-positive women than their HIV-negative counterparts….” (Gathigah, 6/27).

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Young Australian Women Increasingly Contracting HIV During Overseas Travel

The Guardian: More young Australian women contract HIV on overseas trips, say counselors
“Increasing numbers of young Australian women traveling overseas during their gap year or for working holidays are contracting HIV, frontline sexual health workers say, prompting them to call for targeted awareness campaigns…” (Davey, 6/26).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Community Needs To Recognize S. Arabia's 'Viral Sovereignty Rights' To MERS

Al Jazeera America: To prevent MERS pandemic, respect Saudi Arabia’s rights to the virus
Qanta Ahmed, associate professor of medicine at the State University of New York, honorary professor at Glasgow Caledonian University’s School of Public Health, and a Ford Foundation public voices fellow

“…To be sure, where viral sovereignty is at issue, there will be hard cases. In countries lacking intellectual or capital resources and with underdeveloped public health infrastructure, colonial commercialism may to some extent prove unavoidable, as poor countries are forced to depend on the technology and experience of wealthier nations. That said, Saudi Arabia poses no such challenges … In an age when a pandemic is just a plane ride away, our only hope of thwarting MERS — and other deadly diseases to come — is through cultivating a global culture of trust and collaboration. A first step in this direction would be to recognize Saudi Arabia’s viral sovereignty rights with regard to MERS, a disease that Saudi Arabia, more than any other nation, stands prepared to take the lead in eradicating” (6/25).

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Lancet Series On Midwifery Lays Foundation For Improving Access To Midwives

Huffington Post: Lancet Series On Midwifery: Women Should Be in the Heart of Decision-Making
Petra ten Hoope-Bender, director of reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health at ICS Integrare, and Sheetal Sharma, research associate at ICS Integrare

“…I have been working as the coordinator for the Lancet Midwifery Series, which was launched in London on June 23, 2014. This collaboration — supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — advocates for developing midwifery services at scale. … Experts have calculated that scaling up the skilled midwifery workforce would prevent close to two-thirds of all maternal and newborn deaths, saving millions of lives every year. … So now we have the evidence. We know the solutions. Now we must work together to change the world. Everyone must play their part to make the world safer for the next generation and for those who bring them life…” (6/23).

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Cities Worldwide Addressing HIV/AIDS With Innovative Local Programming

Huffington Post: Global Initiatives for HIV/AIDS Prevention
Josephine d’Allant, managing editor at URB.im

“Globally, the spread of HIV is reversing course: UNAIDS reports that new infections have fallen by 33 percent since 2001. Government agencies and NGOs are tackling the issue from all angles, including outreach to eliminate barriers to testing, interventions targeted at orphaned youth with HIV, as well as initiatives to improve treatment for current patients. Several initiatives being implemented in Chittagong, Bogotá, Bangalore, Lagos, and Mexico City are successfully raising HIV/AIDS awareness and reducing its prevalence…” (6/26).

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Recent Releases

Interactive Tool Shows Planned PEPFAR Funding For Fiscal Year

PEPFAR: PEPFAR Planned Budgets Dashboard
Through an interactive map and other graphics, the PEPFAR Planned Budgets Dashboard provides data on activities described in the Country/Regional Operational Plans (COP/ROP) for the relevant Operating Unit (country/region) for the selected fiscal year of funding (June 2014).

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USAID Promotes Women's, Girls' Rights

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: If You ‘Let Girls Learn,’ You Save Lives Too
Chris Thomas, a communications adviser in the Bureau for Global Health at USAID, writes about the agency’s efforts to promote women’s and girls’ rights. “…USAID Assistant Administrator Ariel Pablos-Mendez said by coupling family planning investments with policies supporting child survival, girls’ education and job creation — especially those targeting women — countries can be positioned to realize substantial economic growth that lifts everyone out of poverty…” (6/26).

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Panelists Discuss Diagnosis, Treatment For Pediatric AIDS Patients

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: While a baby in Mississippi proves what science can do, just a third of HIV-infected children get the treatment they need, leading to the question: What will it take?
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, summarizes comments made at an expert panel held on Tuesday and hosted by the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation on improving diagnosis, health care, and treatment for pediatric AIDS (6/26).

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World Cup Nations Make Progress Against NTDs

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End The Neglect”: 2014 FIFA World Cup Round of 16: Celebrating World Cup Teams Fighting NTDs
The blog post recognizes six of the national soccer teams advancing to the Round of 16 in the World Cup and highlights the countries’ efforts in controlling and eliminating NTDs (Adesina, 6/26).

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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 246 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter includes articles on HIV among sex workers in Kenya, among others (6/26).

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