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Global Health Roundup ~ 06/11/2018

Heads Up! Upcoming Conferences in DC & Beyond
Summer is fast approaching and instead of taking a vacation, the global health and development communities are ramping up the heat as they host and participate in several landmark conferences. On the development front, this week the InterAction Forum (June 12-14) will host breakout sessions that address issues like strengthening local health centres while Devex World (June 12) will lead discussions on maternal and child health, HIV, and more. Speaking of honing in on specific global health topics, registration is open for the civil society hearing on the prevention and control of Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) as part of the preparatory process for the UN High-Level meeting on September 27. Moreover, the latest advances in HIV prevention science will be on display at the 22nd International AIDS Conference (July 23-27). Finally, network and develop solutions to the most pressing water-related challenges of today at the 2018 World Water Week (August 26-31). More details about these conferences and others can be found on GHC’s Upcoming Calendar of Events.

Governments Off Track to Meet Sustainable Development Goal 3.4 Targets
On World No Tobacco Day (May 31), WHO released its second edition of the Global Report on Trends in Prevalence of Tobacco Smoking 2000-2025. The report indicates that 27% of the population smoked tobacco in 2000, compared to 20% in 2016. While this may demonstrate progress, the report warns that global and national commitments toward tobacco reduction targets (22% reduction by 2025) are falling behind. Consecutively, on June 1, the WHO Independent High-Level Commission on NCDs published its “Time to Deliver” Report, highlighting the limited progress addressing NCDs. The report reveals that SDG target 3.4, which includes a one-third reduction of premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment by 2030, may not be met due in part to the inaction from multiple national governments in following through with the commitments that they have made to tackle NCDs. In the midst of these reports, WHO shared its new goal to reduce physical inactivity in adults by 15% by 2030 through the Global Action Plan on Physical Activity 2018-2030. We encourage the advocacy community to use these WHO reports and recommendations to demonstrate the need for continued and additional support from governments and donors.

A New Global Gag Rule Report Points Toward a Significant Scale Down of Services
On June 5, the Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) released its “Prescribing Chaos in Global Health Report,” scanning the effects of the expanded Mexico City Policy, a U.S. government policy blocking funding to international NGOs providing services associated with family planning. The report demonstrates the reach of the policy among existing programs, which include, but are not limited to, sexual and reproductive health services. Other services affected include HIV and AIDS prevention and treatment programs, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and nutrition programs. While some programs have found flexibility to maintain funding levels, other programs have suffered in terms of potential future partnerships. CHANGE and others are continuing to collect impact stories from the community.

NEWS BITES

May 18: The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is looking to recruit a diverse range of organizations and fellowship applicants for its Bloomberg Fellows Program. Potential fellows will have the opportunity to complete fully-funded Master of Public Health degrees.

June 1: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a call for abstracts for their International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases. Abstract submission is open until June 22.

June 4: The Medtronic Foundation is seeking innovators and advocates for the Bakken Invitation, which brings together patients who “Live On” through their advocacy contributions, “Give On” through their innovation, and “Dream On” through their vision of a better world. Applicants are encouraged to apply by July 18.

June 4: Civil society representatives identified multiple priorities in order to realize an impactful political declaration to end Tuberculosis at an Interactive Civil Society Hearing in NewYork City. This is one event, supported by the Stop TB Partnership and WHO, in the lead up to the UN High-Level Meeting on TB (September 26). Watch the recording of the hearing.

June 6: In recent news from the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, five investigational drugs have been approved for compassionate use in treating the disease. View more information on WHO’s response strategy. Also, see Gavi’s statement of support regarding the ongoing Ebola vaccine campaign.

Advocacy Update ~ June 11, 2018

This post was written by Danielle Heiberg, Senior Policy and Advocacy Manager, and Melissa Chacko, Policy Associate.

White House Withdraws Ebola Rescission

Early last week, the White House made a number of modifications to its proposed rescission package, including a removal of the rescission of $252 million in remaining unobligated Ebola response funding. The modifications to the package were expected after pushback from a number of Congressional Republicans on several of the proposed rescissions, including the Ebola response funding.  Late last week, the House voted on it modified bill, H.R. 3. The Senate has until June 22 to act on the rescission package, but it remains unclear if it will act on it. (Read more about the rescission process.)

The timing of the withdrawal also comes shortly after the administration committed an additional $7 million to respond to the current Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the additional funding during the World Health Assembly in Geneva in late May. Read the Global Health Security Roundtable’s statement on the funding commitment.

The White House is reportedly working on another rescission package targeting unobligated funding from Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. The International Development Budget is expected to be a target and proposed rescissions will reflect the administration’s budget requests for FY2018 and FY2019.

FY19 Appropriations: Update on Bills and Pompeo Testifies on State Department Budget

Congress remains committed to completing the FY2019 appropriations process by the end of the fiscal year on September 30, with markups of the individual bills expected to begin this month. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) canceled three weeks of the Senate August recess, in order to work on nominations and appropriations. The House is still expected to take all of August off. Despite all of this, many Beltway-insiders still expect that a Continuing Resolution (CR) will be needed to keep the government open after September.

In late May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 State Department budget. Both hearings focused on a range of foreign policy issues including North Korea, Iran, and South Sudan, and on diplomatic security. There was little emphasis on global health issues. However, Representative Ami Bera (D-CA) and Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) were concerned by the President’s rescission package which includes a $252 million cut to remaining unobligated Ebola response funding from the International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account at USAID (the White House has since withdrawn this rescission; see item above). In the Senate, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) pushed on the administration invoking the Kemp-Kasten amendment and the withholding of funds from UNFPA without any evidence, to which Secretary Pompeo responded that he would follow up on the question.

NCDs: We Have Had ENOUGH. Have You? – A Global Public Health Campaign

DOWNLOAD THE TOOLKIT

ENOUGH is an NCD Alliance-led campaign calling for the right to a healthy life free from preventable suffering, disability and death from noncommunicable diseases for everyone, everywhere. Death and illness caused by NCDs bring suffering and heartache to millions of people worldwide every year – those who live with the diseases, as well as their families and friends. The greatest injustice: much of this NCD suffering and death is preventable, and we have long known the solutions. This is unacceptable.

The ENOUGH campaign appreciates the support to help build a movement to end preventable death and suffering from noncommunicable diseases. The hope is that for the 2018 UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs, this campaign will show policymakers that they must act now, and you can help.

In addition to a  social media toolkit, the Alliance has provided an array of social assets that you can share with some of the suggested posts, with more being added ahead of the day of action.

From May 31, 2018:

1) Download the social media toolkit and accompanying graphics – remember to share with the hashtag #enoughNCDs.
2) Sign up for their Thunderclap Campaign.

On June 14:

As well as signing up to the Thunderclap, post one of the messages and accompanying graphics from the social media toolkit.  To amplify the impact of ENOUGH, tag friends, other influencers and community leaders!

NCD champions are stepping up to the challenge to raise awareness, motivate investment, and inspire and commit to political action to reverse the trajectory of NCD burden. Consider following their digital channels for the campaign on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Global Health Roundup ~ 05/29/2018

Medtronic Foundation Offers Grants To Improve the Efficiency of Healthcare Delivery

Medtronic Foundation invites organizations to submit project ideas that test or scale innovative solutions aimed at improving the efficiency of healthcare delivery. Example project proposals include: reducing barriers and addressing gaps in distance, time or workforce capacity; demonstrating health outcomes for underserved populations; and addressing non-communicable diseases. Successful applicants will receive a one-time, one-year grant for $50,000 – $100,000, and will participate in a global learning collaborative facilitated by the Medtronic Foundation. Up to 10 grants will be provided and two webinars will be held for those interested. Health and non-health organizations are encouraged to apply by June 14.

GHC Members and Partners Join Hands to Strengthen National Immunization Programs

On May 15, Yale Global Health Initiative, the University of Global Health Equity, PATH, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance launched a training program to strengthen the management of national immunization programs in Gambia, India, Liberia, Rwanda, and Zambia. The Expanded Program on Immunization Leadership and Management Program (EPI LAMP) is a training course designed to improve the managerial capacity of governments in order to support Gavi’s mission of ensuring that 300 million children worldwide are immunized between 2016 and 2020. The program will address planning, implementation, and monitoring gaps in national immunization programs, especially in countries with inadequate training resources.

Atlanta Enhances its Global Health Impact With a New Health Innovation Hub

On May 9, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, along with the Georgia Global Health Alliance and Deloitte, launched Global Health ATL in the background of Atlanta’s 2018 Bill Foege Global Health Awards. Global Health ATL is an initiative designed to grow the current global health talent pool in the Atlanta metro region, foster health innovation, increase funding for global health programs, and drive impact in disease eradication. The Georgia Global Health Alliance will lead the long-term relationships and collaborations that result from the Global Health ATL initiative. Atlanta is also home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and GHC members such as the American Cancer Society, thus making it an ideal city to initiate the next innovation hub. Read the press release.

NEWS BLURBS

1) May 1: Unitaid launched a call for proposals to fund projects to fight tuberculosis and its drug-resistant strains, with a special focus on targeted gene sequencing, a technique that finds genetic mutations in TB bacteria associated with drug resistance. Deadline for submission is June 29, 12 Noon CET.
2) May 8: A new report from WaterAid and PATH’s Defeat Diarrheal Disease (Defeat DD) Initiative showed major gains can be obtained when and if decision-makers act to coordinate, integrate, and invest in child health and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) interventions.
3) May 14: The Triangle Global Health Consortium announced that abstract submissions are now open for the 2018 Triangle Global Health Annual Conference. Submissions for panel discussions, workshops, and story-telling are due by July 11, 5 PM ET.
4) May 16: Management Sciences for Health announced a microlearning seminar (June 4-8) to highlight practical solutions for using evidence to inform decision making in global public health.

Global Health Security Roundtable Welcomes Additional U.S. Funding for Ebola Response

Washington, DC (May 23, 2018) — The Global Health Security Roundtable welcomes U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar’s announcement that the U.S. is contributing an additional $7 million in response to the evolving Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), bringing the total U.S. commitment to $8 million. From May 8 – 21, the outbreak has led to 58 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases, including 27 deaths, and the number of cases is expected to increase.

This recent outbreak illustrates the continuing threat of infectious diseases to the United States and the world, and the outstanding need to more effectively finance prevention, detection, and response. While the Roundtable is encouraged to see today’s announcement of additional support, it is critical to note that this commitment comes just two weeks after a proposed $252 million rescission of Ebola supplemental funding, which Congress allocated in 2015 to assist with comparable future outbreaks.

History has shown us that as successful public health interventions stem an outbreak or lead to an overall decline in infectious disease rates, public funding for those very programs is subsequently cut in favor of other priorities, leaving us vulnerable to the next infectious disease threat. The Global Health Security Roundtable calls on the Administration and Congress to prioritize future and preventive investments in preparedness, and notes that it should not come at the expense of other lifesaving global health and development programs, which often serve as the backbone of health security programming. Additionally, the Roundtable reiterates the need for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other U.S. agencies to have access to the same types of financing as the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Emergency Response Fund, in support of a comprehensive U.S. response to outbreaks such as that in the DRC.

The ongoing threat that epidemics and pandemics pose to U.S. health, economic, and national security interests demands dedicated and sustained funding for global health security, with a concerted focus on enabling low- and middle-income countries to strengthen their capabilities in proven public health interventions. Although it may be impossible to completely prevent the emergence and spread of infectious threats, the United States and the world can be much better prepared, coming together behind a comprehensive U.S. strategy for outbreaks, robust investments, and continued vigilance both at home and abroad.

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About the Global Health Security Roundtable

Managed by Global Health Council and chaired by Beth Cameron (Nuclear Threat Initiative), Carolyn Reynolds (PATH), and Annie Toro (U.S. Pharmacopeia)—the Global Health Security Roundtable is a diverse coalition of over 40 organizations that seek to provide effective tools for U.S. Congress and the current administration on the importance of investments in global health security.

About Global Health Council

Established in 1972, Global Health Council (GHC) is the leading membership organization supporting and connecting advocates, implementers, and stakeholders around global health priorities worldwide. GHC represents the collaborative voice of the community on key issues; we convene stakeholders around key priorities and actively engage with decision makers to influence global health policy. Learn more at www.globalhealth.org.

Media Contact

Liz Kohlway, Senior Manager, External Affairs & Operations
Global Health Council
ekohlway@globalhealth.org
(703) 717-5283