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In The News

Obama Releases FY15 Budget Request, Including Health, Development Funding

Media sources highlight the health and development aspects of U.S. President Barack Obama’s FY 2015 budget request.

CQ Roll Call: Health and Human Services: Obama Keeps NIH Funding Stable, Slices CDC
“The National Institutes of Health would continue to be funded at roughly the same level in fiscal 2015 as Congress appropriated in the recent omnibus spending measure, with President Barack Obama asking for less than a one percent increase under the budget he proposed Tuesday. … He also is proposing more than a six percent funding cut in total budget authority for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, compared to the fiscal 2014 enacted level…” (Attias, 3/4).

Devex: Staying the course: Obama’s 2015 proposal for U.S. foreign aid
“Don’t be fooled by U.S. President Barack Obama’s relatively flat foreign aid budget request for fiscal year 2015. Between the lines of a modest 1.4 percent decrease from 2014 enacted levels, the Obama administration is bolstering Power Africa partners, cutting U.S. support to some major global health programs and creating a new ‘global development lab’ to spur research and partnerships at the U.S. Agency for International Development…” (Igoe, 3/5).

Washington Post: Breaking down spending in Obama’s budget proposal
In an infographic and accompanying article, the Washington Post depicts the amounts requested for different agencies and programs, as well as “the changes from last year’s discretionary funding levels for each department…” (3/4).

U.S. Department of State: Remarks on the FY2015 State Department and USAID Budget
The State Department provides a transcript of remarks by Heather Higginbottom, deputy secretary of State for management and resources, and USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah (3/4).

U.S. Department of State: Background Briefing on the President’s FY15 Budget Proposal for the U.S. Department of State and USAID
The State Department provides a transcript of remarks from senior State Department and USAID officials made during a background briefing on Tuesday (3/4).

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Obama's Global Development Policy Directive Publicly Released

Devex: Obama’s global development directive now out in the open
“More than three years after first being issued by the White House, the Obama administration’s principal directive on global development policy has been released into the public domain. The Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development or PPD-6 was posted Monday on the Center for Effective Government’s website…” (Piccio, 3/4).

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UNICEF, GAVI, Others Announce More Accessibility To Inactivated Polio Vaccines

Media outlets report on several groups’ announcement that they will make inactivated polio vaccines (IPVs) more accessible and available to developing countries.

CIDRAP News: UNICEF, WHO push for inactivated polio vaccine
“The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently announced that inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) will be available to low-income countries for as little as $1 a dose, as global health groups push for introducing the vaccine into routine immunization programs by the end of next year…” (3/4).

Pharmaceutical Online: Sanofi Pasteur Supplies UNICEF With Inactivated Polio Vaccines
“Sanofi Pasteur, Sanofi’s vaccine division, announced that it will supply UNICEF with inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) which will be made available to target countries according to vaccination plans. UNICEF is the organization which purchases vaccines to meet global needs…” (Masangkay, 3/4).

Vaccine News Daily: GAVI Alliance to supply countries with inactivated polio vaccine
“The GAVI Alliance will make the inactivated polio vaccine available to the countries it supports in an effort to eradicate the disease. ‘Today marks a big step forward in the global effort to tackle polio by accelerating the universal use of inactivated polio vaccine,’ GAVI Alliance CEO Dr. Seth Berkley said…” (Rogers, 3/4).

GPEI/GAVI: Joint GPEI-GAVI statement on the Availability and Price of Inactivated Polio Vaccine
“The Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and the GAVI Alliance welcome the conclusion of UNICEF’s tender process, which makes accessible sufficient quantities of affordable inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) to support country introductions, in line with the ambitious timeline of GPEI’s Eradication and Endgame Strategic Plan 2013-2018…” (2/28).

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U.N. Increasingly Concerned About Humanitarian Situation For Children In CAR, South Sudan

Media outlets discuss U.N. humanitarian efforts to help children in the Central African Republic and South Sudan crises.

Reuters: U.N. says C. Africa, S. Sudan refugees ‘in poor shape,’ children hardest hit
“People fleeing conflicts in Central African Republic and South Sudan are growing increasingly sick and hungry with children particularly at risk, United Nations aid agencies said on Tuesday…” (3/4).

U.N. News Centre: Fresh fighting hampering efforts to help children in South Sudan, UNICEF warns
“Outbreaks of fresh fighting in South Sudan is likely to displace tens of thousands of additional people and is hampering efforts to help children in need, warns the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)…” (3/4).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. increasingly concerned for people fleeing Central African Republic, South Sudan
“The United Nations refugee agency today appealed for increased support to meet the needs of people fleeing the crises in the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan, especially those who have arrived in Chad, Cameroon and Ethiopia…” (3/4).

UNICEF: Fresh attacks in South Sudan squeeze humanitarian efforts
“With fresh outbreaks of fighting in South Sudan likely to displace tens of thousands of additional people, UNICEF said today the emergency in the world’s newest nation risks becoming overwhelming. Nearly 900,000 people — half of them children — have already been forced from their homes in South Sudan…” (3/3).

VOA News: Struggling to Heal the Wounds of South Sudan’s Children
“…Half of the nearly 900,000 people who have been forced from their homes in South Sudan are children, and many of them have been separated from their parents as they fled violence in their villages. … UNICEF is working with partner organizations to trace children who have been separated from their families in the fighting and is providing basic education facilities in areas where there are large groups of displaced families because, it says, education is ‘a vital step for children whose lives have been so traumatically disrupted.’…” (Rwakaringi, 3/4).

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News Sources Report On Research Findings, Talks Presented At CROI

News sources report on several research findings and talks given at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, taking place this week in Boston.

Associated Press: Studies show big promise for HIV prevention drug
“Exciting research suggests that a shot every one to three months may someday give an alternative to the daily pills that some people take now to cut their risk of getting HIV…” (Marchione, 3/4).

New York Times: Injections Providing Protection Against AIDS in Monkeys, Studies Find
“Researchers are reporting that injections of long-lasting AIDS drugs protected monkeys for weeks against infection, a finding that could lead to a major breakthrough in preventing the disease in humans…” (McNeil, 3/4).

Science Speaks: CROI 2014: Plenary on evidence for harm reduction need for HIV in people who use drugs is a first for conference
The Center for Global Health Policy’s blog summarizes a plenary session from CROI that discussed the success of harm reduction methods to reduce the risk of HIV infection (Barton, 3/4).

Science Speaks: CROI 2014: Research backed Senegal’s AIDS control efforts
The blog summarizes a talk by Souleymane Mboup of the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop in Dakar, who discussed Senegal’s efforts to reduce HIV transmission (Barton, 3/4).

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Dengue Deaths Surge In Malaysia; Citizens Urged To Drain Stagnant Water

Wall Street Journal: Dengue Deaths Soar in Malaysia
“Reeling from a severe dengue outbreak, Malaysia has launched a community-driven neighborhood cleaning program to destroy breeding sites of Aedes mosquitoes that are responsible for spreading the virus. The initiative, launched on Sunday across 110 dengue hot spots, involves citizens and local government authorities jointly clearing garbage and draining stagnant water from public and private places, where the mosquitoes usually hatch their eggs…” (Gangopadhyay, 3/4).

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WASH Efforts See Urban-Rural Gaps In Laos

IRIN: Laos’s urban-rural WASH divide
“Laos has been growing at eight percent a year over the past decade but rural areas, where most people still live, are being left behind in terms of access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, health experts warn. Nearly half of the Lao rural population practices open defecation, the second highest rate in Southeast Asia, says a 2013 U.N. joint monitoring report…” (3/5).

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Drug-Resistant TB Cases Becoming More Prevalent In India, IPS Reports

Inter Press Service: India Fights a Tougher TB
“…For many [tuberculosis (TB) patients], lack of proper diagnosis and interrupted dosages are increasing their resistance to available drugs. Drug resistance is human-made — an iatrogenic disease resulting from mismanagement of TB, experts say. Drug-resistant TB can occur as a primary infection or develop during a patient’s treatment. India accounted for the greatest increase in MDR-TB in 2012 with an estimated 64,000 new cases…” (Das, 3/5).

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Polio Vaccination Efforts Prove Challenging Along Afghanistan-Pakistan Border

Agence France-Presse: Polio’s last stand on the Afghan-Pakistan border
“About 1.3 million oral vaccinations are administered every year to children at the Torkham Gate crossing, the focal point of an intense global campaign to eradicate polio by 2018. But Afghanistan and Pakistan — two of the three remaining ‘endemic’ polio nations — face a tough task due to fighting on either side of the border, Taliban opposition to vaccinations and rumors that the drops could cause impotency…” (Sheppard, 3/5).

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Aid Groups Warn Northern Mali Still Needs Humanitarian, Food Aid

IRIN: Emerging from crisis, Mali braces for hunger
“As Mali slowly emerges from its 2012 political crisis and the Islamist insurgency in the north, the new government and its partners are focusing on long-term development. But aid groups warn that there are humanitarian needs that must be addressed immediately, particularly ensuring more food aid gets to extremely vulnerable communities in the north…” (3/3).

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WFP Says Food Aid Reaching More People In CAR

VOA News: Food Distribution Increases in CAR
“The World Food Programme says emergency food supplies are reaching more people in Central African Republic. However, the main supply road from Cameroon to CAR’s capital Bangui remains insecure…” (DeCapua, 3/4).

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China Might Further Loosen Family Planning Policy, Official Says

The Guardian: China may opt for ‘two children’ policy in future, says senior official
“After decades of enforcing a one-child policy, China may in the future allow every couple to have two children, a senior family planning official has said…” (Branigan, 3/4).

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Recent Releases

Blogs, Organizations Discuss Obama's FY15 Budget Request

The Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks” blog discusses funding for global AIDS programs under President Barack Obama’s FY 2015 budget request (Aziz, 3/4). Writing in the ONE Blog, Jen Olson, ONE deputy director of U.S. government relations, discusses the international affairs and global health aspects of the budget request (3/4). In a press release, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria notes, “In his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2015, released today, President Obama requested $1.35 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, plus an additional $300 million increase through the new Opportunity, Growth and Security Initiative, if enacted by Congress…” (3/4). The GAVI Alliance in a press release states, “The Obama Administration has requested a record $200 million in its fiscal year 2015 budget to support the GAVI Alliance in its mission to save children’s lives and protect people’s health in the world’s poorest countries by increasing access to vaccines (3/4). The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition “applauds the administration’s $50 billion International Affairs Budget request for protecting America’s global engagement” in a press release and also offers an analysis of the request (Miller, 3/4).

Additional information about global health spending proposed in the FY15 budget request is available from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s “Policy Tracker” (3/4).

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Polio Vaccine Partnership Will Help Eradicate Disease, Bring Global Health Equity

“…Thanks to a new arrangement announced last week, which was made in partnership among GAVI, our foundation and the pharmaceutical industry, a major barrier to global vaccination with [inactivated polio vaccine (IPV)] is erased now with the availability of IPV at a significantly-reduced price for the world’s poorest countries. … GAVI is working together with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to help these 73 poorest countries purchase and deliver these vaccines to all their children. This new collaboration between organizations created to work on routine immunization and polio eradication is symbolic of the fact that polio eradication will help us get better at global health in general. … This is a big step toward polio eradication — and a big step toward global health equity,” Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-Chair Bill Gates writes in the foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog (3/4).

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CGD Blog Examines Questions On Allocation Methodology For Global Fund's New Funding Model

Writing in the Center for Global Development’s (CGD) “Global Health Policy” blog, Amanda Glassman, director of global health policy and a senior fellow at CGD, in a joint post with Victoria Fan, CGD research fellow, examines unanswered questions on the allocation methodology in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s new funding model. Glassman and Fan assert, “The new allocation methodology is a step forward. But the Global Fund Board and its partners can and should better explain the rationale for choices taken, and better document the impact of the new formula on recipients and money-burden mismatches. Most importantly, we hope that the Global Fund Board will revisit the allocation methodology in the coming years and adjust as needed.” They also offer recommendations for different approaches to allocation in a draft paper (.pdf) (3/4).

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USAID Releases 2013 Progress Report For Health-Related Research, Development

USAID has released its 2013 report to Congress, “Health-Related Research and Development Progress Report,” which “provides an update, broken down by health area, on the agency’s work under its multi-year strategy for health-related research and development.” More specifically, the report highlights technologies, which are in various stages of development, that are included in USAID’s global health research and development portfolio (2/28).

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IFRC, UNAIDS To Support Better Access To HIV Treatment

“The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) [on Tuesday] signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to a closer partnership to support the implementation of UNAIDS’ Treatment 2015 initiative and develop a community model for delivering better access to HIV treatment,” according to an IFRC press release (3/4).

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March 2014 Issue Of WHO Bulletin Available Online

The March 2014 issue of the WHO Bulletin features an editorial on the difficulty of making healthy choices, an article about operationalizing WHO’s definition of unsafe abortion, and an article on how insecticide resistance in Malawi threatens to reverse gains in the country’s control of malaria, among other articles (March 2014).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of ‘Global Fund Observer’

Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has published Issue 238 of its “Global Fund Observer.” The issue includes an article on the fund’s concern about the public health implications of the new anti-gay law in Uganda; an article on feeding programs for HIV and TB inmates; and a commentary on transparency within the fund, among other articles (3/4).

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