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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Trump Administration's Expansion Of Mexico City Policy Will Impact U.S. Global AIDS Efforts, Experts Say

Washington Post: How a Trump order on abortion could hurt the fight against AIDS in Africa
“A Trump administration order took effect this week barring U.S. aid for [foreign] global health organizations that discuss or provide referrals for abortion. But the new policy put another program in the crosshairs: America’s global HIV/AIDS effort. … Under President Trump’s expansion of the so-called global gag rule … many HIV/AIDS organizations funded by the United States stand to lose their funding, putting at risk the possibility of eliminating the epidemic by 2030, a commitment established at the U.N. General Assembly last year. … Experts say Trump’s policy could especially affect girls and young women, who are now the most likely people to contract the disease…” (Sieff, 5/18).

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U.S. Secretary Of Health Price Speaks About Global Health Security During Visit To Liberia

Daily Observer: Trump’s Secretary of Health Visits Liberia
“The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. Thomas Price, is currently in Liberia on a two-day visit. … Speaking shortly after arrival at the Roberts International Airport on May 17, Dr. Price said the visit is meant to ‘Deliver a message of support, appreciation, and commitment’ of the bilateral relation between the United States and Liberia. He added that Liberia has over the years worked tremendously and shown resilience in battling infectious diseases, including the devastating Ebola virus disease, and the U.S. [is] working together with Liberia through mutual cooperation to build the needed health system in the country…” (Sendolo, 5/18).

FrontPageAfrica: Trump’s Administration to Assist Liberia Build Resilient Health Sector
“… ‘Together we have much to be proud of, specifically Liberia’s progress in the ability to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats,’ Secretary Price [said]. ‘We are here this week to promote global health security and to express President Trump and his administration’s appreciation for this great work being done here in Liberia. We know that by ensuring that all countries around the world are better prepared to prevent, detect, respond to, and control disease outbreaks at the local level, we can reduce the threat of international health emergencies,’ said [the] U.S. secretary of HHS…” (Mbayo, 5/17).

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U.S. House Health Appropriations Subcommittee Members State Bipartisan Support For NIH Funding

CQ Roll Call: Top HHS Appropriator Builds Case for NIH Budget Increases
“… ‘This money is money that’s well spent,’ House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Chairman Tom Cole said Wednesday of the NIH’s budget, which he helped increase by $2 billion to about $34 billion for fiscal 2017. ‘Now if we can spend it more efficiently, that’s fine, too. We should have that discussion, but we ought to recognize that the basic investment here is a wise one’…” (Young, 5/17).

The Hill: Lawmakers shoot down Trump’s proposed cuts to medical research
“Lawmakers are making clear that they have no intention of carrying out President Trump’s proposal to decrease funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency. In a hearing Wednesday, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) — the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee overseeing the NIH’s budget — said he was ‘disappointed’ to see the White House’s recommendation to cut NIH funding by about $5.8 billion in its budget [blueprint] proposal for fiscal 2018…” (Roubein/Hellmann, 5/17).

Science Speaks: Biomedical research benefits bring House members, NIH leaders together
“… ‘Partisan politics usually falls by the wayside,’ agreed Appropriations committee ranking member Rep. Nita Lowey, when members consider the accomplishments across the institutes that make up the world’s leading biomedical research entity…” (Barton, 5/17).

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PEPFAR Pledges $526M To Tanzania Under Country Operational Plan, U.S. Embassy Says

Reuters: U.S. pledges $526 million aid in 2017 to Tanzania to fight AIDS
“The United States on Thursday approved $526 million aid to Tanzania [from October 2017 to September 2018] to expand the roll out of life-prolonging antiretroviral drugs to people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. … ‘This support will bring the total number of Tanzanians on HIV treatment up to 1.2 million,’ the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania said in a statement. The funds were donated through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the world’s largest provider of AIDS-fighting medicine…” (Ng’wanakilala, 5/18).

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BBC Podcast Features Interviews With 3 WHO DG Candidates; Bloomberg Examines Private Sector's Stake In DG Election

BBC: Dr. Who — Who Will Lead The WHO?
“Next week we will have a new figurehead for the global health community — as the World Health Organization votes to appoint a new director general. The role is a tough one — with a flu pandemic long overdue and challenges such as Zika and Ebola. We hear from the final three candidates — Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from Ethiopia, Dr. Sania Nishtar from Pakistan, and David Nabarro from the U.K. — about what they think they could bring to the role of guardian of the world’s health…” (5/17).

Bloomberg: Businesses from PepsiCo to Pfizer have a stake in who leads WHO
“…One of three candidates will be elected at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on May 23 for a five-year term to provide the leadership, muster the resources, and implement the strategies that are central to global health, security, and development. … Here are 10 reasons why the election is of interest to the global business community: 1. Pandemic Warnings … 2. Controlling Tobacco … 3. Healthy Diets … 4. Procuring Medicines … 5. Health Insurance for All … 6. Breast Is Best … 7. Calling the Shots … 8. Saving Antibiotics … 9. Battling the Bottle … 10. Labeling Carcinogens…” (Torsoli, 5/17).

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Taiwan Vice President Says Island Has 'Fundamental Right' To Attend World Health Assembly

TIME: Taiwan’s Vice President Talks to TIME About the Global Health Risks Arising From the Island’s Isolation
“…This year China has blocked [Taiwan’s] attendance [at the World Health Assembly] over Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s refusal to publicly endorse Beijing’s view that the island and the mainland are part of a single Chinese nation. Taipei is infuriated that its exclusion could not only endanger its own 23m citizens, but create a loophole in global health security networks that, it claims, will risk lives across Asia and beyond. On May 15, Taiwanese Vice President Chen Chien-jen sat down with TIME at the presidential office in central Taipei to explain why he believes Taiwan has a ‘fundamental right’ to attend…” (Smith, 5/18).

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Global Community Must Work Together To Prevent Antimicrobial Resistance, German Health Minister Says Ahead Of G20 Meeting

Reuters: G20 health ministers seek to avert return to “pre-penicillin era”
“The world risks a return to the pre-penicillin era if leading nations do not cooperate to combat the threat from antibiotic-resistant bugs and means are not found to finance research into new, more effective medicine, Germany’s health minister said. Speaking ahead of Friday’s first meeting of health ministers from the Group of 20 leading developed and developing economies, Hermann Groehe said more collaboration was needed to minimize the risk posed by possible pandemics…” (Escritt, 5/19).

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London Summit On Family Planning Aims To Refocus Efforts To Improve Access To Contraceptives, Reach 2030 Development Goals

Devex: Plans for major family planning summit take shape in Europe as U.S. cuts back
“Work is underway for a repeat of a major reproductive health summit, which raised $2.6 billion when it was first held in 2012, as the international community braces itself for the knock-on effects of the United States cuts to family planning services. The 2017 London Summit on Family Planning will be held in London, United Kingdom on July 11, organized by the U.K. Department for International Development, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation…” (Edwards, 5/17).

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Sanofi Pasteur Refuses U.S. Army's Request For 'Fair' U.S. Pricing Of Experimental Zika Vaccine Developed With Federal Grants

STAT: Sanofi rejects U.S. Army request for ‘fair’ pricing for a Zika vaccine
“Sanofi Pasteur has rejected a request from the U.S. Army to set an affordable U.S. price for a Zika virus vaccine that the company is developing with American taxpayer funds, prompting an angry response from Senator Bernie Sanders. For months, Sanders has pushed the Army to negotiate a more favorable agreement with Sanofi, which is one of the world’s largest vaccine makers and which has already received a $43 million U.S. research grant. But Sanofi recently refused, according to an Army timeline of events reviewed by STAT…” (Silverman, 5/17).

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NPR Publishes Comments On Gap In Global Health Assistance Distribution Among Young, Old In Developing Countries

NPR: Ethics Of Aid: Should Donated Health Dollars Go To ‘Children First’?
“…We published a story on the huge gap in health care dollars for young and old in the developing world. A study looked at the $36.4 billion allocated by development agencies and nonprofit donors and found that a major share goes to children under five. The authors of the study didn’t take a position on whether this is an appropriate allocation. But they’ve heard opinions from lots of people. … Over the past week, we received dozens of responses from our readers. Here’s a sampling, edited for length and clarity…” (Gharib, 5/17).

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Ebola Outbreak In Remote DRC Poses Challenges In Contact Tracing, Prevention Efforts, WHO Says

Associated Press: WHO: 400 contacts being traced in Congo’s Ebola outbreak
“Health workers are monitoring more than 400 people amid an Ebola outbreak in a remote corner of Congo where already three deaths have been blamed on the virus, the World Health Organization said Thursday…” (Larson, 5/18).

Reuters: Tackling Ebola outbreak in remote Congo presents huge challenge: WHO
“…In an update on an outbreak that officials believe began in late April, the United Nations health agency said there were two confirmed and 18 suspected cases of Ebola infection. Three people have died among the suspected and confirmed cases, including a 39-year-old man thought to be the first, or so-called ‘index’ case. Peter Salama, the WHO’s executive director for health emergencies, said the agency’s risk assessment on the outbreak was that it is high at a national level, medium at African regional level, and low at global level…” (Kelland, 5/18).

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Committee On World Food Security Chair Urges World To 'Rally Support' To Prevent Famine In 4 Nations

U.N. News Centre: As four countries face famine, world ‘must step up now’ says top U.N. food security forum
“With famine looming in four countries, the United Nations-backed Committee on World Food Security (CFS) stressed [Wednesday] the need to rally support for both immediate relief to people at risk and for longer-term initiatives. ‘Governments, civic groups, and businesses need to rally support for both immediate relief to people in countries at risk of famine and longer-term initiatives that will allow them to recover and restore their livelihoods,’ Ambassador Amira Gornass, chair of the CFS, said [Wednesday] in Rome…” (5/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

'Science Diplomacy,' Partnerships Across Political Borders Critical To Detecting, Stopping Emerging Threats

Scientific American: Science Diplomacy Is More Vital Than Ever
Scientific American Editors

“…In recent years the U.S. has taken some crucial steps to strengthen our science diplomacy [including the establishment of the U.S. Science Envoy program] … Yet the future of the envoy program under President Donald Trump remains unclear. … That is unfortunate because better science — and dialogue about science — benefits us all. Detecting and stopping emerging threats such as Zika or Ebola require partnering with countries around the globe. Understanding the extent of Zika damage and testing candidate vaccines among susceptible populations, for instance, will call for international cooperation. … Let’s resist the urge to turn inward and isolate ourselves. Instead we must continue to forge strong ties worldwide, using science as a diplomatic wedge. We gain far more from these partnerships than we risk. Weakening them will hurt us all” (June 2017).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

WHO-Commissioned Report Reflects On Achievements, Challenges In Global Health Over Past Decade

WHO: Healthier, fairer, safer: the global health journey 2007-2017
“This independent report, commissioned by WHO and written by Sir Liam Donaldson, [chancellor of Newcastle University,] reflects on the trends, achievements, and challenges in global health over the past decade during which Dr. Margaret Chan has been director general of WHO. It discusses the role of WHO in dealing with such issues as the rise of noncommunicable diseases, leaps in life expectancy, and emerging threats like climate change and antimicrobial resistance” (May 2017).

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Lancet Article Offers Recommendations For Reforms To 'Global Health Law Trilogy'

The Lancet: The global health law trilogy: towards a safer, healthier, and fairer world
Lawrence O. Gostin, professor and faculty director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University; Mary Clare DeBartolo, associate at the O’Neill Institute; and Rebecca Katz, associate professor and co-director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University, discuss how law can be an important tool in global health policy. The authors write, “The Lancet-O’Neill Institute, Georgetown University Commission on Global Health and the Law aims to demonstrate the power of law to achieve global health with justice. Here, as a prelude to the Commission’s full report, we examine and offer reforms for this global health law trilogy[, including the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), International Health Regulations (IHR), and the Pandemic Influenza Preparedness (PIP) Framework.] New governance strategies would assure the instruments’ success, providing an essential roadmap for the new WHO director general” (5/15).

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Research Funders, International NGOs Announce New Standards Requiring All Clinical Trials They Fund, Support To Be Registered, Results Disclosed Publicly

WHO: Major research funders and international NGOs to implement WHO standards on reporting clinical trial results
“Some of the world’s largest funders of medical research and international non-governmental organizations today agreed on new standards that will require all clinical trials they fund or support to be registered and the results disclosed publicly. In a joint statement, [these organizations] agreed to develop and implement policies within the next 12 months that require all trials they fund, co-fund, sponsor, or support to be registered in a publicly available registry. They also agreed that all results would be disclosed within specified timeframes on the registry and/or by publication in a scientific journal…” (5/18).

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From the U.S. Government

NIH Statement Recognizes HIV Vaccine Awareness Day

NIH: NIH statement on HIV Vaccine Awareness Day — 2017
In recognition of HIV Vaccine Awareness Day on May 18, Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and Carl W. Dieffenbach, director of the Division of AIDS at NIAID, discuss progress made in HIV/AIDS research (5/18).

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From the Kaiser Family Foundation

Kaiser Family Foundation Updates Mexico City Policy Explainer

Kaiser Family Foundation: The Mexico City Policy: An Explainer
This updated explainer from the Kaiser Family Foundation includes information on the Trump administration’s implementation plan for the Mexico City policy released on May 15. The explainer also provides an overview of the policy, including its history and changes over time (5/17).

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