KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

In Series Of Interviews, Sierra Leonean President Outlines Ebola Recovery Needs Of West Africa

Reuters: West Africa seeks $5-6 billion aid, debts canceled: Sierra Leone’s Koroma
“The Ebola-stricken nations of West Africa are asking international donors to cancel their debts and give them $5-6 billion over two years to rebuild their economies, devastated by the deadly disease, Sierra Leone’s president said on Thursday…” (Dawson, 4/16).

VOA News: Sierra Leone President Koroma Bemoans Ebola Impact on Economy
“In [a video] interview with VOA’s Shaka Ssali on Wednesday, President Ernest Koroma said the outbreak undermined his government’s efforts to boost and restructure the economy after years of civil war” (4/15).

Washington Post: Sierra Leonean president looking past Ebola to broad national recovery
“…Looking beyond Ebola is the main goal of Koroma’s current visit to Washington. He and other leaders from the worst Ebola-stricken nations met with President Obama on Wednesday. On Friday, Koroma and the others will visit the World Bank to talk with finance and development officials. Koroma told the Washington Post that he is seeking assurances that the world will help Sierra Leone and the other nations regain their economic footing from the devastating blow of Ebola…” (Frankel, 4/16).

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U.N., NGO, Multilateral Groups Urge Continued Support For West African Nations Hit Hard By Ebola

CIDRAP News: Multilateral groups to address Ebola economic recovery
“With leaders of West African leaders from Ebola-hit nations in Washington, D.C., this week for high-level talks on outbreak recovery, President Barack Obama [Wednesday] urged international partners to stay committed to the fight against the disease and to stand ready to help the nations and their economies recover. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group meetings begin [Friday] and run through Apr 19, with Ebola recovery on the agenda…” (Schnirring, 4/16).

Inter Press Service: 1.7 Billion Dollars Needed to Improve Ebola-hit Countries’ Health Care, Says Oxfam
“The international humanitarian charity Oxfam is calling on the World Bank and major donors to raise 1.7 billion dollars to improve poor health systems in Ebola-affected countries and strengthen community networks for preventing another epidemic…” (Ieri, 4/16).

U.N. News Centre: ‘Dramatic’ progress in fighting Ebola must be followed by long-term recovery efforts
“Intense efforts to control the Ebola outbreak in the three most-affected West African countries will continue, the United Nations health chief said in Washington, D.C., [Thursday], adding that the international community is also looking for ways to build on dramatic recent progress by aiding with efforts aimed at recovery from the outbreak…” (4/16).

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Researchers Studying Risk Of Sexual Transmission Of Ebola

New York Times: Ebola Researchers Take New Look at Risk of Sexual Transmission
“Concerned about the potential for sexual transmission of Ebola, international health officials are investigating new reports of suspected cases and beginning studies to determine how often and how long the virus remains active in semen. And, for now, they are warning Ebola survivors to practice protected sex indefinitely…” (Fink, 4/16).

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Ebola-Hit Liberia Focuses On Repairing Child Health Care System

Agence France-Presse: Ebola-hit Liberia rebuilds devastated child health care system
“…The 46-bed unit [at Liberia’s first ever children’s hospital], just opened in Monrovia by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), is part of the country’s response to the challenge of repairing its wrecked health service as it emerges from the nightmare of Ebola. … Liberia is now in the Ebola recovery phase with no new cases reported for weeks, but like Sierra Leone and Guinea has missed a goal of being ‘Ebola free’ by mid-April…” (Dosso, 4/16).

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Guinea Confirms 9 New Ebola Cases In Southwest Region

Reuters: Guinea finds nine new Ebola cases near border with Sierra Leone
“Guinean authorities have confirmed at least nine new cases of Ebola in the southwest region of Forecariah near the border with Sierra Leone, the area hardest hit by the year-old outbreak, a senior health official said on Thursday…” (Samb, 4/16).

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World Bank-Funded Projects Have Displaced 3.4M People Over Past Decade, Investigative Report Says

Huffington Post/ICIJ: How The World Bank Broke Its Promise To Protect The Poor
“…For more than three decades, the [World Bank] has maintained a set of ‘safeguard’ policies that it claims have brought about a more humane and democratic system of economic development. Governments that borrow money from the bank can’t force people from their homes without warning. … The World Bank has broken its promise. Over the past decade, the bank has regularly failed to enforce its rules, with devastating consequences for some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet, an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, the Huffington Post and other media partners has found…” (Multiple authors, 4/16).

Inter Press Service: Investigation Tears Veil Off World Bank’s “Promise” to Eradicate Poverty
“An exposé published Thursday by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and its media partners has revealed that in the course of a single decade, 3.4 million people were evicted from their homes, torn away from their lands, or otherwise displaced by projects funded by the World Bank. Over 50 journalists from 21 countries worked for nearly 12 months to systematically analyse the bank’s promise to protect vulnerable communities from the negative impacts of its own projects…” (D’Almeida, 4/16).

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New Health Research Partnership To Focus On Chronic, Non-Communicable Diseases

The Lancet: New global center launched to address chronic diseases
“A new international health research partnership plans to tackle chronic diseases ranging from diabetes to dementia in an integrated way. … The Centre for Control of Chronic Conditions (CCCC), launched in New Delhi, India, on April 7, brings together experts from four leading institutes in Europe, America, and Asia — Emory University, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI) — to increase collaboration in research into non-communicable diseases…” (Sharma, 4/18).

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Clean Cookstoves Can Benefit Health Of Women, Children In Nepal

Inter Press Service: Clean Cookstoves Could Change the Lives of Millions in Nepal
“…According to the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, over 80 percent of Nepali people use solid fuels such as wood and cow dung for cooking. In this country of 28 million, over 75 percent of households cook indoors, and 90 percent cook on open fires. In January 2013 the government of Nepal announced clean cooking solutions for all by 2017. This initiative is in line with the United Nation Foundation’s Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves project, which aims to adopt clean cooking solutions for 100 million households worldwide by 2020…” (Aryal, 4/15).

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59K Killed By Rabies Annually; More Resources Needed To Prevent Disease, Study Says

VOA News: Study: Rabies Kills 59,000 People Annually
“Canine rabies kills tens of thousands of people every year and costs economies billions of dollars. A new global study said understanding the true burden of the disease may result in more resources to prevent it…” (DeCapua, 4/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

West African Nations Need Support Of International Partners For Socioeconomic Recovery From Ebola Epidemic

Project Syndicate: Turning the Page on Ebola
Alpha Condé, president of Guinea; Ernest Bai Koroma, president of Sierra Leone; and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia

“…The impact of the epidemic has been devastating, calling into question our three countries’ significant socioeconomic progress in the aftermath of decades of conflict and instability. … [W]e ask our international partners to support a common economic stimulus plan, with an emphasis on practical solutions that can enhance growth and increase employment. … We urge our international partners to support our economic recovery in the same spirit of cooperation, and with the same sense of urgency, that helped us fight the Ebola virus. Together, we can build health care systems, infrastructure, and regional institutions that will be stronger than before the start of the epidemic. Together, we can build a lasting legacy of health and progress for our peoples” (4/16).

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U.S. Congress, Agencies Can Take Steps To Ensure Foreign Assistance Spent Effectively, Efficiently

Devex: Making U.S. foreign assistance count
Ben Leo, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and director of the Rethinking U.S. Development Policy initiative, and Tom Hart, North America executive director of ONE

“…With a new set of development goals looming on the horizon that will shape development efforts for the next 15 years, there are several concrete steps that the U.S. government can take this year to ensure that its own development efforts are fully transparent, effective, and well-managed. First, Congress should reintroduce and pass the Foreign Assistance Transparency and Accountability Act … Second, U.S. agencies … need to harness the necessary political will and technical expertise to overcome internal bottlenecks and report to IATI standards. Lastly, both Congress and the administration ought to encourage agencies like USAID and the State Department to redouble monitoring and evaluations efforts and allow them the space to admit and learn from failure…” (4/16).

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U.S. 'Should Lead The Way' To Increase Quality, Quantity Of World's Food Supply

Huffington Post: Stopping Malnutrition’s Assault on Our Health and Economy
Doug Bereuter, president emeritus of the Asia Foundation, and Dan Glickman, former secretary of agriculture, both co-chairs of a task force on food and nutrition launched by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

“…It is time to use the biggest tool at our disposal — the multitrillion-dollar global agriculture and food sector — to increase the quality, not just the quantity, of our food and give billions more people access to the nutrients they need to thrive. A new Chicago Council on Global Affairs study says that the United States — with its world-renowned agrifood businesses and universities and the power of its assistance and example — should lead the way. … We can save lives and roll back the multitrillion-dollar burden to taxpayers and businesses caused by malnutrition by making more-healthful food available to more people. Leveraging the ingenuity of the food and farm sector is one of the most essential steps” (4/16).

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Devex Opinion Pieces Discuss Access To Health For All

Devex: UHC: Our best defense against crises, and an investment in our future
Michael Myers, managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation

“…It’s essential that countries shore up their health systems to detect and contain diseases before they become epidemics that threaten communities, nations, and entire regions. Health systems need to be resilient so that when disease threatens to overwhelm them, they can adjust and bend, but not break. … Strong health systems must be founded on equity, and universal health coverage is a proven way to ensure all people can access the health services they need without fear of falling deeper into poverty. … Country governments and international partners must recognize that universal health coverage is a smart investment that will both improve the lives of people on a daily basis and protect from health shocks down the line…” (4/16).

Devex: Health can tackle (and measure) inequities
Tim Roosen, coordinator of Action for Global Health

“…Europe has a unique opportunity to be bold, rethink structures, and shape the future of health. As the largest donor worldwide with extensive expertise in the field of ‘global health,’ but most of all using a ‘richesse’ of diverse health models that are anchored in human rights, the E.U. can shape a sustainable development goal for health that reaches everyone: a health goal that tackles inequity. … Health is a basic human right. As Europeans, we have the means and expertise needed to assist other governments and stakeholders to ensure affordable, accessible, and qualitative health care is provided. Even better, we have a commitment to ensure everyone, everywhere can claim that right, either individually or collectively” (4/15).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Power Of Nutrition Fund Aims To Raise $1B For Child Nutrition

World Bank: New fund targets billion dollars for children’s nutrition
“The Power of Nutrition, a new independent fund launched [Thursday], will help millions of children reach their full potential. Backed by leading organizations from private philanthropy and international development, the partnership aims to unlock one billion dollars to tackle child undernutrition in some of the world’s poorest countries…” (4/16).

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West African Presidents To Share Ebola Recovery Response Plans At World Bank Meeting

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Presidents of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone To Share Ebola Recovery Plans at IMF — World Bank Group Spring Meetings
Nasserie Carew, senior adviser in the Bureau of Public Affairs, discusses what to expect at a high-level roundtable meeting on Ebola with the presidents of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leon, and chaired by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim (4/16).

World Bank: On Ebola Response and Recovery, World Bank and Partners Keep Pressure On
Melanie Mayhew, communications officer at the World Bank, discusses how “the World Bank has been one of the leading financiers of the Ebola response, providing treatment and care, containing and preventing the spread of infections, helping communities cope with the economic impact of the crisis, and improving public health systems.” She also previews a meeting where West African presidents will share their Ebola recovery plans (4/16).

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French Red Cross's Public Tours Of ETU In Guinea Helping To Dispel Ebola Myths

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: Battling Ebola: How Tours into Guinea’s Hot Zone are Helping in the Fight
Harlan Hale, a regional advisor with USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance who has served on the Ebola Disaster Assistance Response Team, writes about how the French Red Cross in Guinea is helping to dispel Ebola myths by offering public tours of an Ebola treatment unit (4/16).

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Strengthening Global Food System Critical To Improving Nutrition

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Harnessing Food Systems to Improve Nutrition
Shawn Baker, director of nutrition at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses the foundation’s efforts to strengthen the global food system and improve nutrition worldwide (4/16).

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Safe Transportation Plays Role In Women, Girls' Reproductive Health, Education

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Traffic and Sex on the Road to School
Talia Dubovi, associate director and senior fellow with the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, discusses how adequate and safe transport plays a role in women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health and education, using Tanzania as an example. “…At the end of the day, the traffic-sex connection is an important reminder of the need to remain focused on the people who health programs are trying to reach, and to design initiatives that effectively mitigate the challenges they face on a daily basis — as well as the need for infrastructure and broader development programs to adequately address health and safety priorities…” (4/16).

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PLOS Article Provides Update On NTDs In ASEAN Nations

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Neglected Tropical Diseases among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): Overview and Update
Peter Hotez, co-editor in chief of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, and a U.S. science envoy, and colleagues provide an update on NTDs in the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) (4/16).

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