Dr. Margaret Chan’s term as head of the World Health Organization is expiring and there is much intrigue as the race to replace her heats up. Later today, the WHO’s executive board will announce the three finalists from the following “shortlist” of five candidates: Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus; Dr Flavia Bustreo; Professor Philippe Douste-Blazy; Dr David Nabarro; and Dr Sania Nishtar. All member states of the WHO will vote among the three finalists at the World Health Assembly in May. Check out WHO.int for updates tomorrow evening, Geneva time.

Trump’s version of the Global Gag Rule is actually far more invasive than Bush’s…Rather than applying the Global Gag Rule exclusively to US assistance for family planning in the developing world, which amounts to about $575 million per year, the Trump memo applies it to “global health assistance furnished by all department or agencies.” In other words, NGOs that distribute bed nets for malaria, provide childhood vaccines, support early childhood nutrition and brain development, run HIV programs, fight ebola or Zika, and much more, must now certify their compliance with the Global Gag Rule or risk losing US funds. According to analysis from PAI, a global health NGO, this impacts over $9 billion of US funds, or about 15 times more than the previous iteration of the Global Gag Rule which only impacted reproductive health assistance. (UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/2jYIEFT)

 

Death Toll From Nigeria IDP Camp Bombing Rises Dramatically…As the death toll climbs to more than 230 in a Nigerian military attack on a refugee camp, new accounts from witnesses and satellite photos are revealing the full horror of the disaster. The Nigerian air force has apologized for the attack, calling it an accident. But witnesses say a Nigerian warplane circled twice and dropped two bombs in the middle of the town of Rann, Nigeria, where as many as 40,000 refugees have sought shelter from Boko Haram, the radical Islamist militia.” (Globe and Mail https://tgam.ca/2jbqMDf)

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