Kaiser daily global health policy report the henry j. kaiser family foundation gas prices going up


“For more than 50 years, the United States Agency for International Development has been the largest financial supporter of women’s reproductive health services in the world’s poorest countries, with funding contributing to programs that have lowered maternal mortality rates, unintended pregnancies and the spread of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. But health care workers in the world’s least developed countries have expressed concern that an executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump shortly after he took office last year has left women without access to free contraception, with many turning instead to unsafe abortions. … For many international NGOs, U.S. [global health] aid has been a crucial lifeline for their services that local governments have been unable, or sometimes unwilling to fund. With those NGOs concerned about reduced access to contraception in the world’s least developed countries, we examine how contraceptive access and use has changed globally over time in six charts…” (Fox et al., 5/23).

“…[H]ealth workers in Kenya told CNN that the number of backstreet abortions have increased since the United States cut [U.S. global health] aid to family planning programs that provide abortion services, in addition to contraception, in the world’s least developed countries. Ushered in [again] by President Donald Trump’s administration, the Mexico City policy, or global gag rule, was supposed to reduce the number of abortions, but health care workers in Kenya say it’s doing the opposite. The cuts, which left thousands of women in Kenya without contraception, have forced many to resort to risky, backstreet abortions as a form of birth control. … Reliant on international donors for support, communities like [Kenya’s] Kibera are where the Mexico City policy has been felt the most and, so far, the national government says it has been unable to make up the shortfall…” (Elbagir et al., 5/23).

“A Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill to reauthorize federal programs for health emergencies like large-scale disease outbreaks or major catastrophes. The Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee advanced the bill ( S. 2852) 22-1. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was the only dissenter. The House has yet to hold a hearing or markup on companion legislation…” (Siddons, 5/23).

“…S. 2852, introduced on May 15 by U.S. Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), would reauthorize certain programs under the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA) that are set to expire on Sept. 30. The law last was reauthorized in 2013 and is on a fast track to the president’s desk. … The bipartisan S. 2852, signed by original cosponsors Sen. [Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)] and U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member of the Senate HELP Committee, and Bob Casey (D-Penn.), who also serves on the HELP Committee, includes myriad provisions aimed at improving the nation’s preparedness and response to man-made and naturally occurring threats, or chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) attacks, as well as emerging infectious diseases, potential pandemics, and antimicrobial resistance…” (Riley, 5/23).

“President Donald Trump’s top health official said Wednesday that the U.S. and global partners will ‘take the steps necessary’ to try to contain a new Ebola outbreak, asserting that the fight against infectious diseases is one of the administration’s top priorities for the World Health Organization, the U.N. agency taking the lead. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar stopped short of predicting whether the outbreak in Congo … will be contained, but he praised WHO’s early response and vowed: ‘If it spreads, we will take further actions’…” (Keaten, 5/23).

“U.S. health authorities said on Wednesday they were preparing to send an experimental Ebola treatment to the Democratic Republic of Congo for use in a clinical trial aimed at stemming an outbreak in the country that has spread to Mbandaka, a city of about 1.5 million people. The trial would test the effectiveness of a treatment called mAb114 against the highly contagious virus, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said in a telephone interview. … Scientists in Fauci’s vaccine research center had just begun a first-in-man trial of the treatment last week when Fauci said he received a request from the health ministry in Congo asking that the treatment be used in a clinical trial there…” (Steenhuysen, 5/23).

“…According to a recent study conducted jointly by WHO and the Guttmacher Institute, the overwhelming majority of abortions are safe in countries where the procedure is broadly legal, while most are unsafe in countries where it is highly restricted. … As long as women are being injured or are dying from unsafe procedures, there is a clear need to improve polices and services to prevent that from occurring. … Women and couples worldwide should have the right to safely achieve their desired family size and preferred timing of births. To make this a reality, high-quality, comprehensive contraceptive services need to be available and affordable, so that women and couples can prevent unintended pregnancy whenever possible. But when contraceptives fail or when a woman experiences an unwanted pregnancy for any reason, access to safe services to terminate that pregnancy are essential. Countries should expand the circumstances under which abortion is legal, and ensure safe abortion services are available and accessible. And public awareness campaigns can help to reduce stigma. These are smart moves to promote the health of women, their families, and societies as a whole. Simply put, they are the right thing to do” (5/22).