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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Development Experts React To, Praise Trump's Nomination Of Mark Green To Head USAID

NPR: Trump’s Proposed USAID Head Knows Aid — And Politics
“…The former Republican congressman from Wisconsin [Mark Andrew Green] has been tapped to run USAID — the U.S. Agency for International Development. If confirmed, the 56-year-old Green will take over USAID at a time when global humanitarian crises are mounting. And he’ll have to answer to a president who’s been openly hostile to handing out American taxpayer dollars abroad. Across the development world, Green’s nomination has been widely praised…” (Beaubien, 5/11).

Washington Post: Foreign aid advocates and fiscal hawks all like Trump’s nominee to head USAID
“…Fiscal hawks in Congress said Green would work to make sure programs receiving tax dollars were run more efficiently. Aid groups that focus on development and disaster relief welcomed someone who cares about foreign economic aid to argue on their behalf. Republicans said Green would promote liberty and human rights. Democrats said he would work in a bipartisan fashion…” (Morello, 5/12).

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Negotiations Ongoing, 'Anything Possible' For Taiwan's Prospect Of Attending World Health Assembly, WHO Official Says

Associated Press: Taiwan not invited to WHO assembly, but negotiations go on
“The World Health Organization on Friday left open the possibility that Taiwan could still attend its upcoming annual assembly, saying talks are continuing despite China’s insistence that a delegation from the island must be excluded for the first time since 2009. For now, WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan, who is from Hong Kong, ‘is not in a position to issue an invitation for Taiwanese observers to attend to the World Health Assembly’ that starts May 22, said Dr. Tim Armstrong, who heads the WHO department of governing bodies. But Armstrong told reporters that ‘negotiations are still ongoing,’ adding, ‘Anything is possible’…” (5/12).

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U.N., U.K., WHO Officials Call For Additional Funding To Address Food Insecurity, Humanitarian Crisis In Somalia

Associated Press: U.N. chief: drought-stricken Somalia ‘hangs in the balance’
“British Prime Minster Theresa May and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called Thursday for more support for drought-stricken Somalia, with the U.N. chief requesting another $900 million in aid this year. They spoke at a high-level conference to address the Horn of Africa nation’s deepening humanitarian and security crisis. ‘Somalia now hangs in the balance between peril and potential,’ Guterres said. ‘Here in London we can tip the scales from danger to safety.’ … WHO added that if the current drought situation continues, ‘famine could soon be a reality’…” (Katz/Anna, 5/11).

Devex: Somalia pledging conference opens as famine looms
“…Already, $672 million was pledged in the run-up to the conference, in accordance with the World Humanitarian Summit’s Grand Bargain, says a report from the U.N. — but aid organizations say the amount is nowhere near enough to head off the coming crisis, with millions of people in need of food aid. Earlier this year, the U.N. appealed for $4.4 billion to deal with the food crises in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Yemen collectively, but has struggled to raise the funds…” (Anders, 5/11).

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Forum On Fair Drug Pricing Proposes Several Potential Actions For Stakeholders

Intellectual Property Watch: WHO, Stakeholders Take ‘First Step’ On Fair Pricing For Medicines
“The World Health Organization has concluded a major one-day forum on fair pricing of medicines, bringing a wide range of stakeholders together in Amsterdam and coming up with several possible actions for the way ahead. Key points of discussion included a definition of fair pricing, moving away from value-based pricing, delinkage of price from research and development costs, and greater transparency, according to participants…” (Saez/New, 5/12).

Reuters: WHO wants transparency, market revamp for fairer drug pricing
“…Drugmakers are under growing fire as a wave of new treatments for serious conditions like cancer and hepatitis C come to market at sky-high prices, putting them out of reach of many patients and national health services. … WHO Assistant Director-General Marie-Paule Kieny said there was agreement that industry needed reasonable returns on research and development, but governments should play a stronger role in setting prices and directing the drug research agenda…” (Hirschler, 5/11).

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Global Health NOW Features Final 2 Installments Of Q&A With WHO DG Candidate Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Global Health NOW: Goal Setter: DG Candidate Tedros Adhanom’s Q&A, Part III
“…In this 3rd part of the GHN Q&A, Tedros explains how health system reforms were carried out and the lessons he learned from the experience…” (Simpson, 5/11).

Global Health NOW: Ready to Roll: DG Candidate Tedros Adhanom’s Q&A, Part IV
“…In this final piece of GHN’s Q&A with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the DG candidate offers his take on the three greatest threats to global health and his plans to confront them (think universal health coverage) as well as the need for clear priorities for WHO and the role of politics in the global health arena…” (Simpson, 5/12).

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Brazil Ends Zika Public Health Emergency After Reported Cases Drop

Associated Press: Brazil declares end to Zika emergency after fall in cases
“Brazil declared an end to its public health emergency over the Zika virus on Thursday, 18 months after a surge in cases drew headlines around the world…” (DiLorenzo, 5/12).

Deutsche Welle: Brazil marks end of Zika virus outbreak health emergency
“…The number of babies born with microcephaly, a birth defect in which the baby’s head and brain do not develop properly, has been falling since the start of the year in Brazil. Between January and April there were 7,911 new cases of Zika reported in the South American country compared to 170,000 cases for the same period in 2016…” (5/12).

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Editorials and Opinions

PEPFAR Continues To Support Mothers With HIV, Help Prevent Transmission To Their Babies

Huffington Post: Healthy Mothers, Healthy Families Through PEPFAR
Deborah L. Birx, coordinator of U.S. government activities to combat HIV/AIDS and U.S. special representative for global health diplomacy

“…At the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the late 1990s, the picture was bleak. At that time, access to treatment was extremely limited, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where the rate of new HIV infections was exploding. Without treatment, the majority of pregnant women living with HIV died before seeing their children grow up, and many of their children were themselves infected with HIV, passing away before their lives had truly begun. Today, all pregnant women accessing PEPFAR services are immediately offered lifelong antiretroviral treatment if they are diagnosed with HIV, enabling mothers to thrive and watch their children do the same. … As a result of PEPFAR’s and the international community’s expanded efforts — largely through a Global Plan to protect mothers and babies from HIV/AIDS — there was a 60 percent decline in the number of new HIV infections among children in 21 high-burden sub-Saharan African countries between 2009 and 2015. … We have made tremendous progress, but this is no time to slow down or rest on our laurels. PEPFAR’s commitment to mothers — #PEPFAR4Moms — remains stronger than ever, not only on Mother’s Day but every day…” (5/11).

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Needs Of Released Chibok Girls Underscore Importance Of U.S. Funding For Women's Health, UNFPA

Washington Post: How Trump’s global war on women could hurt the Chibok girls
Karen Attiah, global opinions editor at the Washington Post

“If the United States is serious about Boko Haram and #BringBackOurGirls, President Trump’s administration should #BringBackFundingForGlobalWomen. … Now, one effect of the [Chibok] girls’ release [by Boko Haram] may be to reveal how the Trump administration’s policies hurt women and girls around the world who face violence in conflict zones. … The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which is the U.N.’s reproductive health agency, was completely defunded by the Trump administration … The UNFPA is tasked with providing lifesaving health care to pregnant women, particularly in conflict zones. In Nigeria, UNFPA works with women in Boko Haram-affected areas in the northeast of the country, including women and girls who have been freed by the group. The organization provides psycho-social support, shelter, bedding, doctors for health screenings (including for sexually transmitted diseases) and transportation for families to be reunited with newly freed women and girls. … Eugene Kongnyuy, UNFPA’s deputy representative in Nigeria, told me over the phone on Tuesday that the U.S. funding cuts have already hurt their ability to help kidnapped women and girls recover after being freed from Boko Haram…” (5/12).

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Upcoming U.N. Meeting Opportunity To Address Gender Inequality In Disaster Risk Reduction Efforts

Inter Press Service: Gender Equality Can Save Women’s Lives in Disasters — We must not miss the opportunity to set this right
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, under secretary general of the United Nations and executive director of U.N. Women, and Robert Glasser, U.N. secretary general’s special representative for disaster risk reduction and head of U.N. Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

“Later this month, the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) will take place in Mexico. This meeting provides an important opportunity to reboot global progress on embedding gender equality in disaster risk management and redress deadly exclusion. Even though the quality of disaggregated data needs to be improved, research shows that women and girls die in much greater numbers in extreme disaster events. The inclusion of women’s perspectives and leadership is a necessary recognition both of the greater risks women experience and their unique roles in resilience building, disaster response, and recovery. … Fundamentally, resilience cannot flourish in an environment where those affected most by disaster and climate risk are excluded from participation in prevention and mitigation efforts. We must not miss the opportunity to set this right…” (5/11).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts Discuss Nomination Of Mark Green As USAID Administrator

Center for Global Development: A Sound Choice for USAID Administrator
Scott Morris, a senior fellow and director of the U.S. Development Policy Initiative at CGD, writes, “With so much uncertainty about the future of U.S. foreign assistance, engendered by skinny budgets, executive orders, and a rumor mill on overdrive, [President Trump’s nomination of Mark Andrew Green as USAID administrator] amounts to a heavy dose of comfort that comes with a familiar name and a clear and sound track record as a development policymaker…” (5/11).

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: We’re reading about USAID nominee Mark Green: Former Tanzania ambassador, Congressman, WorldTeach volunteer
Antigone Barton, senior editor and writer of “Science Speaks,” summarizes Green’s work in global health and development, listing several “[p]ieces focused on his work [that] offer a glimpse of the thinking behind [his support for foreign aid funding], and the vision he might carry to his next job…” (5/11).

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Global PPPs For Health Must Better Mainstream Gender, Analysis Concludes

Globalization and Health Journal: Gender blind? An analysis of global public-private partnerships for health
Sarah Hawkes of the Institute for Global Health at University College London, Kent Buse of UNAIDS, and Anuj Kapilashrami of the Global Public Health Unit at the University of Edinburgh “identified 18 [Global Public Private Partnerships for Health (GPPPH)] … and conducted a gender analysis of each. … Gender was poorly mainstreamed through the institutional functioning of the partnerships. … [N]one addressed non-communicable diseases (NCDs) directly, despite the strong role that gender plays in determining risk for the major NCD burdens.” The authors suggest two areas of action: “First, GPPPH need to become serious in how they ‘do’ gender; it needs to be mainstreamed through the regular activities, deliverables, and systems of accountability. Second, the entire global health community needs to pay greater attention to tackling the major burden of NCDs, including addressing the gendered nature of risk…” (5/12).

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ODI Interactive Index Shows Donor Countries' Resilience For Future Development Challenges, Current Spending Priorities

Overseas Development Institute: Donor resilience index
Mikaela Gavas, head of program for development strategy and finance at ODI, and colleagues present an interactive index that explores donor countries’ current spending priorities and preparedness for future development challenges (May 2017).

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From the U.S. Government

USAID Highlights Success Stories Of Mothers Worldwide For Mother's Day

USAID/Medium: These 4 Women Are Helping Moms and Babies Thrive
This entry states, “Mothers are the backbones of their families, communities, and local economies. USAID works to improve the health and wellbeing of mothers around the globe, helping developing countries thrive. This Mother’s Day, we celebrate by highlighting the success stories of mothers living in communities where USAID works, where our efforts have saved the lives of 200,000 women since 2008…” (5/8).

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