Global Health Policy Center Monthly Update: February 2017

Dear colleague,
Welcome to the February newsletter from the Global Health Policy Center (GHPC) at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS)! We invite you to catch up on our latest content:


  • Leveraging the Latent Dedication of Health Care Workers in Nigeria: In 2012, a new prevalence study revealed that Nigeria’s tuberculosis (TB) burden was nearly three times greater than previously realized. In order to have more reliable estimates on which to base control efforts, there arose a need for innovative strategies to increase case detection. The Nigerian government has failed to match the commitment of its dedicated workforce with sufficient financing and resources. In a new blog post, Deen L. Garba, Program Coordinator and Research Assistant, describes some of the new interventions for increasing case finding of TB in Nigeria and highlights how unified advocacy efforts by health workers could ramp up additional financial support from the federal government.
  • Sara Allinder, Deputy Director and Senior Fellow, and Lily Dattilo, Program Coordinator and Research Assistant, traveled to Cambodia and Thailand to examine U.S. engagement fighting HIV in the two countries. Both countries’ HIV success are among the world’s most impressive; however, challenges remain as both countries endeavor to achieve epidemic control in all sub-populations, while at the same time external funding diminishes. A detailed trip report focusing on the sustainability of the HIV responses in these countries and what it means for U.S. engagement is forthcoming.
  • Former Drug Czar Michael Botticelli on Opioids and More: In a new podcast episode, which I host, Michael Botticelli, former Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, reflects on his tenure at the White House and current issues surrounding the opioid epidemic.
  • The Mexico City Policy and Implications for Global Health: On his first business day in office, President Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which denies U.S. funding to any NGOs that perform, counsel, or refer about abortion with non-U.S. funds. In past Republican administrations, this policy applied only to programs receiving U.S. funding for international family planning, but President Trump has expanded it to apply to all global health funding. In a new podcast episode hosted by Senior Associate Janet Fleischman, Jen Kates, Vice President and Director of Global Health & HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, discusses the new policy and the potential implications for global health programs.
  • What Does the Trump Administration Mean for Global Health?: In a new podcast episode hosted by Sara Allinder, I reflect on what the new Trump administration is likely to mean for U.S. global health commitments.
  • Addressing Health is Essential to Propel Myanmar Forward: Audrey Jackson, GHPC Senior Fellow, and Lindy Fenlason, Global Nutrition and Health Technical Advisor, traveled to Myanmar in June 2016. In a new podcast episode hosted by Sara Allinder, they reflect on Myanmar’s health sector, opportunities for U.S. engagement, and the recent reports of escalating violence in Rhakine state.
  • The podcast series is available here and you can subscribe using the podcast app. Upcoming episodes will feature Sarah Williamson, Executive Director of Protect-the-People; Ambassador Deborah L. Birx, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator; Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, former President's Malaria Initiative Global Coordinator; and former Ambassador to Zambia Mark Storella.
  • February 24: The current opioid epidemic cuts across all sectors of societies, challenging our public health approaches. On February 24 from 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm, we will host Surgeon General Vivek Murthy for a moderated conversation about substance misuse and U.S. public health policy. The Surgeon General will discuss his ideas for promoting the well-being of Americans in a unified way. Lunch will be provided. An invitation with registration details will be circulated next week.
  • March 14We will host a conference to discuss solutions to Nigeria’s health challenges. Participants will outline policy ideas and program innovations that improve the quality and reach of health care in Africa’s most populous country. Confirmed speakers include the outgoing Governor of Ondo State, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko and the Nigeria Country Director of Challenge TB, Dr. Gidado Mustapha. The conference will be used to launch two new reports by the GHPC. "Promoting Accountability in Nigeria’s Health System", by CSIS Africa Program Deputy Director and Fellow Richard Downie, evaluates the U.S-Nigeria health relationship and suggests strategies for future engagement. "Tackling Infectious Diseases in Nigeria: Turning the Tide on Tuberculosis and Accelerating towards Malaria Elimination", by Audrey Jackson and Deen Garba, examines Nigeria’s progress—with U.S. support—in fighting malaria and TB.  Look out for more details in the coming weeks.
  • March 20In October 2015, we launched the CSIS Task Force on Women’s and Family Health, in the belief that there is an exceptional opportunity – and pressing need – for U.S. leadership in this critical area. The Task Force has generated a bold vision for a major U.S. initiative by the Trump Administration to unlock the potential of adolescent girls and young women in select low-income countries. The Task Force will launch its final report at CSIS on the afternoon of March 20. The conference will feature several Task Force members. Full details on the program are forthcoming.
  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