Global Health Policy Center Monthly Newsletter: September 2016
September 9, 2016
Welcome to the first monthly newsletter from the Global Health Policy Center (GHPC) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)! In our newsletters, we will provide updates on our recent activities and information on upcoming events and publications. You can expect to receive our newsletters the first week of every month.
- We are phasing out smartglobalhealth.org this month. Going forward, our content can be accessed here on the new CSIS website. Please update your bookmarks and subscription preferences to receive targeted mailings and invitations.
- August 3 : In collaboration with the Kaiser Family Foundation, we hosted a briefing to discuss the major outcomes of the 2016 International AIDS Conference, which took place in Durban, South Africa from July 18 to 22. I moderated a panel that included Chris Beyrer, Immediate Past President of the International AIDS Society; Ambassador Deborah Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator; and Jen Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation Vice President and Director of Global Health and HIV Policy.
AIDS 2016 was an opportunity to take stock of the successes and failures of the AIDS response. Dr. Beyrer summarized the major scientific research presented at the conference, including promising findings in the areas of vaccine development, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), vaginal micro flora, a new dolutegravir-based treatment regimen, and long-acting ARV injectibles. Scientific optimism was tempered, however, by clinical studies revealing challenges with long-term adherence and care. Amb. Birx applauded successes in both preventing mother-to-child transmission and data collection but also pointed out ongoing challenges addressing the epidemic in adolescent girls and men. Dr. Kates discussed the sobering findings of the Kaiser/UNAIDS financing report, which showed a $1 billion decline in global HIV funding to low- and middle-income countries between 2014 and 2015. When asked how this year’s International AIDS Conference would be remembered, panelists agreed AIDS 2016 was a call to re-focus attention on AIDS and a reminder to the global community that the fight against AIDS is far from over.
In Durban, I joined Amb. Birx and South African Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi for a candid discussion of the South Africa-U.S. partnership in battling HIV/AIDS. A video of our conversation can be viewed here. I also hosted a private dinner with 30 senior opinion leaders from Africa, Europe, and North America for a conversation on the factors that are weakening high-level political and financial commitments to HIV/AIDS and what strategy makes sense looking ahead.
- August 31: I joined a panel discussion on Zika at the Georgetown O’Neill Center, organized and moderated by Larry Gostin, and featuring Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and Daniel Lucey of Georgetown University. Discussion topics included NIH research on vaccines and treatments, funding and action for Zika prevention and control, and the World Health Organization’s declaration of Zika as an Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This event was broadcast live on C-SPAN2 and covered by NBC.
- Japan’s Role in Addressing Global Antimicrobial Resistance: AMR has the potential to undermine decades of progress against infectious diseases and is a threat to every nation. The global spread of drug-resistant pathogens is already on the rise and, if left unchecked, will result in severe health and economic consequences worldwide. The Group of 7 (G7) made AMR a key health priority in 2016 under Japan’s leadership. In April 2016, Audrey Jackson, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, convened a U.S.-Japan expert meeting on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in partnership with the Tokyo-based Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI). A new CSIS/HGPI report summarizes the meeting discussion and presents recommendations for G7 action. Our recommendations are relevant to upcoming discussions this September at the G7 Health Ministers Meeting (September 11-12) and the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Meeting on Antimicrobial Resistance (September 21).
- Failing on Zika: Though President Obama first went to Congress with an emergency request of $1.9 billion for Zika in early February, then appeared willing to bargain at a lower $1.1 billion level, Congress could not rise above partisan squabbles and went into recess in mid-July having passed no emergency measure, forcing the Obama administration to borrow and divert almost a billion dollars from various worthy purposes, in a frantic, ad hoc scramble. In the meantime, the reality of the threat has become steadily more visible, as imported cases of Zika infection surpass 2,000, home-grown transmission predictably commenced in Florida, and the crisis in Puerto Rico reached a point where the White House just declared the Zika epidemic there an emergency. In a recent commentary, I outlined four main reasons why we are conspicuously failing on Zika.
- Polio Eradication’s Biggest Threats: Insecurity and Complacency: Just past the two-year anniversary marking Nigeria’s last case of polio, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced two new paralytic polio cases in Borno state, a part of the country wracked with Boko Haram-instigated violence. In this blog, Nellie Bristol, Senior Fellow with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses how insecurity and difficulties maintaining political momentum and resource mobilization for a disease seen as on the wane are threats to polio eradication.
- IMB Imposes Urgent Deadlines to Jump-Start Needed Polio Program Improvements: The Independent Monitoring Board (IMB) of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) pushes urgent deadlines to jump-start improvements as the polio program aims for stopping wild poliovirus transmission by the end of the year. Nellie Bristol writes in a new blog that although there are a record low number of polio cases so far this year, the IMB notes with concern that the polio high season is beginning and the two remaining polio endemic countries still have significant polio reservoirs to contend with.
- Zika Moves North: Listen to my discussion on U.S. preparedness for Zika with Colm Quinn on The CSIS Podcast.
- September 20: Last November, we convened the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health because we saw an historic opportunity for the United States to advance the health of women and their families around the world. Over the past year, this bipartisan group of 25 thought leaders has worked to formulate a clear, concrete vision for the next administration and Congress on how the U.S. can best contribute to the four critical areas of reproductive health and family planning; maternal, newborn, and child health; nutrition; and immunizations. Its mandate includes outlining steps which can accelerate innovation, better leverage the private sector, and bring about integration across different programs. It is giving a special emphasis to adolescent girls and young women, while also acknowledging the special needs arising from the burgeoning refugee crisis and the implications of the spread of Zika. The Task Force will meet on September 20. The Task Force final report will be completed by year’s end and formally launched on March 8, 2017, at CSIS.
- October 20: We will host a discussion in the morning of October 20 on the Lancet Maternal Health series. Additional details to follow.
GHPC STAFF UPDATES:
- Cathryn Streifel was promoted to Associate Director and is responsible for program and project management.
- Lily Dattilo joined GHPC in July as Program Coordinator and Research Assistant. She recently graduated from Princeton with a degree in microbiology. Lily is supporting the HIV and Zika portfolios.
- Deen Garba joined in August also as Program Coordinator and Research Assistant. He is a 2015 graduate of the University of North Carolina with a degree in Health Policy and Management. Deen spent the last year working in Nigeria and is supporting the Tuberculosis and Malaria portfolios.
As always, I welcome your questions and comments.
J. Stephen Morrison
Senior Vice President and Director, Global Health Policy Center
Center for Strategic and International Studies