KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Ebola Death Toll Continues to Grow; News Outlets Examine Response, Factors Contributing to Spread

News outlets continue to report on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, discussing the current death toll, the response, as well as factors contributing to the spread of the disease.

ABC News: Liberia’s Medical Conditions Dire Even Before Ebola Outbreak
“Ebola has run rampant throughout West African countries such as Liberia because the medical situation there is so dire to begin with, according to an American doctor who leads humanitarian missions into the region…” (Neporent, 8/4).

Associated Press/Washington Post: World Health Organization says death toll from Ebola has grown from 729 to 887 in recent days
“World Health Organization says death toll from Ebola has grown from 729 to 887 in recent days” (8/4).

Boston Globe: Few preparations in event of Ebola in U.S.
“As the death toll from Ebola nears 900 in West Africa, medical ethicists warn that U.S. medical facilities and states have few plans in place to allocate limited supplies of life-saving medications and equipment such as ventilators if such a deadly outbreak were to occur here. Public health officials say it is unlikely the disease would spread widely in the United States because infection control procedures and protective gear are more advanced than in Africa. But the unprecedented number of cases in Africa and the ease of travel have ethicists and emergency preparedness experts pondering what-if scenarios…” (Kotz, 8/5).

LiveScience/Fox News: How the Ebola outbreak became deadliest in history
“The reasons why the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has grown so large, and why it is happening now, may have to do with the travel patterns of bats across Africa and recent weather patterns in the region, as well as other factors, according to a researcher who worked in the region…” (Gholipour, 8/4).

The Hill: Health officials scramble to contain Ebola
“Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell met with African leaders about the Ebola outbreak on the sidelines of a White House diplomatic summit Monday. The meeting is a sign of the Obama administration’s desire to get a handle on the growing crisis in West Africa, where nearly 900 people have died from Ebola since March…” (Viebeck, 8/4).

Los Angeles Times: Ebola death toll rises to 887 as spread of disease picks up speed
“The deadly Ebola virus sweeping through West Africa continues to accelerate, according to numbers released Monday by the World Health Organization…” (Mai-Duc, 8/4).

New York Times: Lax Quarantine Undercuts Ebola Fight in Africa
“…Here in Sierra Leone, the nation with the most cases of the disease, the government has decreed a broad state of emergency — telling families to stay at home on Monday for ‘reflection, education, and prayers’ — and has ordered strict new measures, like bans on many public gatherings and the quarantine edict. … But that tough stance is being accompanied by loose enforcement that is deeply worrying to doctors and health care workers trying to stem the rapid spread of the virus…” (Nossiter, 8/4).

Reuters: Second Ebola patient arrives in Georgia for treatment
“A plane carrying a second American aid worker infected with Ebola in West Africa arrived on Tuesday at an air base outside of Atlanta, the city where she will be hospitalized as doctors try to save her and a colleague from the deadly virus. … [Her] arrival came a day after Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City said it was testing a man who traveled to a West African nation where Ebola has been reported…” (McKay, 8/5).

Reuters: Ebola death toll rises to 887, Nigeria cases increase – WHO
“The death toll from the world’s worst Ebola outbreak had risen to 887 by Aug. 1, while the total number of cases in the four West African countries affected stood at 1,603 on the same date, the World Health Organization said on Monday. Nigeria, the latest country to import the disease, has had up to four cases, of which three are classed as ‘probable’ Ebola and one as ‘suspected’, the Geneva-based agency said in a statement…” (Miles 8/4).

Reuters: Sierra Leone, Liberia deploy troops as Ebola toll hits 887
“Hundreds of troops deployed in Sierra Leone and Liberia on Monday to quarantine communities hit by the deadly Ebola virus, as the death toll from the worst-ever outbreak reached 887 and three new cases were reported in Nigeria…” (Fofana/MacDougall, 8/4).

U.N. News Centre: Doctors, nurses and health staff urgently needed to combat Ebola — U.N. health agency
“The United Nations health agency today appealed for urgently needed contributions to combat the deadly Ebola disease in West Africa, saying hundreds of doctors, nurses, health staff, and materials are needed in the region ‘as fast as possible’…” (8/4).

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Ebola Vaccine, Drug Under Investigation

News outlets discuss a potential vaccine and treatment for Ebola.

ABC News: How an Ebola Vaccine Could Change the Next Deadly Outbreak
“As Ebola ravages West Africa … officials are desperate for a way to stop the spread of the disease. One possible way to curb the infections is the use of a vaccine that would inoculate those at risk. In September an Ebola vaccine developed by the U.S. National Institute for Health will be tested in humans for the first time in its first phase 1 clinical trial. If approved, it could be ready for use by mid to late 2015…” (Mohney, 8/3).

The Hill: Secret drug might have saved Ebola patients
“A top-secret experimental drug was flown to Liberia last week and likely saved the lives of U.S. missionary workers who have contracted Ebola, CNN reported Monday. The drug, called ZMapp, was sent by a representative from the National Institutes of Health to Samaritan’s Purse, the aid organization Dr. Kent Brantly [an American infected with Ebola] works for in Liberia…” (Shabad, 8/4).

Time: We’re Getting Closer to Vaccines and Drugs for Ebola
“On Monday, National Institutes of Health immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci told CBS This Morning that his research team is working on a vaccine to prevent Ebola, which is completely effective in monkeys, and will be tested in humans in September. And he’s not the only one developing a treatment for the deadly disease. The question is: Should experimental treatments be rushed into practice, given the breadth of this outbreak?” (Park, 8/4).

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CDC Issues Ebola Guidelines For Airlines; Officials To Screen Passengers Arriving In U.S. From Africa

News outlets discuss new CDC guidelines on Ebola for airlines and the screening of passengers arriving in the U.S. for symptoms of Ebola.

Associated Press: Feds watch airline passengers for Ebola symptoms
“Federal agents at U.S. airports are watching travelers from Africa for flu-like symptoms that could be tied to the recent Ebola outbreak, as delegations from some 50 countries arrive in the nation’s capital for a leadership summit this week…” (Flaherty, 8/4).

The Hill: Airlines told they can deny boarding to people with Ebola symptoms
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told airlines they can deny boarding to passengers who are exhibiting symptoms of the Ebola virus. In guidelines issued by the CDC, the health body also says airlines should separate infected passengers who display signs of the virus during flights from other flyers…” (Laing, 8/4).

The Hill: U.S. won’t turn back flights over Ebola
“The United States will not turn back flights from West Africa over concerns about the Ebola virus, the White House said Monday. ‘There are in place a lot of precautions to ensure the safety of the American public and the traveling public,’ White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday at a press briefing…” (Viebeck, 8/4).

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World Bank Pledges $200M To Combat Ebola; African Development Bank Promises Emergency Funding

News outlets report on the World Bank’s pledge of $200 million and the African Development Bank’s promise of emergency funding to fight Ebola in West Africa.

Financial Times: World Bank pledges $200m to fight Ebola
“The World Bank pledged up to $200m in emergency funding to help fight the Ebola virus in West Africa, as the death toll in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea mounts. … The African Development Bank has also promised emergency funding, with a package of about $60m…” (Blas, 8/4).

Reuters: World Bank announces up to $200 mln in assistance for Ebola epidemic
“The World Bank on Monday announced up to $200 million in emergency assistance to help Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, which has killed hundreds in West Africa. The funding will also help those countries improve their public health systems and cope with the epidemic’s economic impact, the Washington-based lender said in a statement…” (Yukhananov, 8/5).

Reuters: Development banks, U.S. increase support for Ebola-hit countries
“International development banks on Monday committed $260 million in emergency loans for three West African countries hit by the deadly Ebola virus as nearly 50 African leaders gathered in Washington for a U.S.-hosted summit focusing on the region…” (Wroughton, 8/4)

Agence France-Presse: World Bank pledges $200 million to fight Ebola
“The World Bank said Monday that it would provide up to $200 million to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to help the West African nations contain a deadly Ebola outbreak…” (8/4).

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U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit To Cover Food Security, Climate Change, U.S. Private Sector Role in Africa

News outlets continue to report on the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit, which takes place in Washington, D.C. this week. Topics being discussed include health, food security, climate change, and the U.S. role in Africa’s development.

Associated Press: Business, Ebola discussed at U.S.-Africa summit
“The Obama administration sought Monday to strengthen ties with Africa at an unprecedented summit with dozens of African leaders, grappling with issues such as investment, poverty, terrorism, corruption, and deadly diseases…” (Riechmann, 8/4).

NPR: Africa Summit To Tackle Food Stability And Climate Change
“An unprecedented gathering of African leaders opened in Washington, D.C. The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit is covering topics including food security, climate change, regional stability, and expanded business opportunities between the U.S. and Africa…” (Kelemen, 8/4).

Politico: Africa Leaders Summit: What to expect
“As 51 African leaders descend on Washington, D.C. for a summit with President Obama beginning Monday, Mike Allen speaks with USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah on the historic significance, Africa’s economic potential, and the U.S. private sector’s role…” (Allen, 8/4).

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Child Malnutrition Robs Africa Of Up To 16% Of Continent's Potential Growth

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Child malnutrition costs Africa its future growth
“Poorly fed children rob Africa of up to 16 percent of its potential growth, making investment in programs to end malnutrition as critical to the continent’s future as building bridges and roads, African leaders and development officials said on Monday…” (Dawson, 8/5).

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U.S. Using Mobile Technology To Improve Health In Africa

Politico: Mobile tech on the Africa health frontier
“Billions have been spent to bring AIDS medicines to patients in Africa, but a technology with just as much lifesaving potential can be had for pennies: the text message. As African leaders gather for a summit with President Barack Obama this week, U.S. health agencies are beginning to invest in programs to help expand mobile health technology, which has the potential to dramatically improve life for millions in sub-Saharan Africa, the world’s poorest region…” (Allen, 8/4).

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Uganda Court Ruling Step Forward For LGBT Community

Devex: Court ruling over anti-gay law ‘fragile gain’ for anti-HIV aid in Uganda
“There were ‘tears, dancing, and celebration’ in Uganda on Friday after the Supreme Court declared null and void the country’s anti-homosexuality law, giving LGBT activists and civil society groups respite from a long battle over Ugandans’ human rights and their freedom to access anti-HIV treatment without fear of prosecution. … But the fight for gay rights is far from over in Uganda…” (Ravelo, 8/4).

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Nigeria Approves Funding For Maternal, Child Health

The Guardian/AllAfrica: Nigeria: Govt Approves Subsidies for Pregnant Women, Children, Health Care Funding
“The federal government has approved the implementation of Millennium Development Goal (MDG) subsidy funding for pregnant women and children under the age of five year[s]. The measure is aimed at enlarging the number of beneficiaries of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS)…” (Gyamfi, 8/4).

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Nigeria Struggles With HIV Infection Rate

Inter Press Service: Nigeria Wakes Up to its AIDS Threat
“…Nigeria’s HIV infection rate of 3.2 percent appears low in comparison to southern Africa’s, but with a population of 173 million, it translates into huge numbers — 3.4 million Nigerians lived with HIV in 2013…” (Olukoya, 8/4).

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South Sudan Peace Talks Resume Amid Warnings Of Impending Famine

The Guardian: South Sudan peace talks begin as spectre of famine lurks
“Talks between rebels and the government to try to end seven months of bloodshed in South Sudan resumed in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Monday. The session begins amid continuing reports of fighting and increasingly dire warnings from aid agencies of impending famine…” (Davison, 8/4).

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Key Anti-Malaria Drug Becoming Less Effective In Southeast Asia, Scientists Report

New York Times: A Key Malaria Drug Becomes Less Effective
“The parasite that causes the most deadly form of malaria is becoming more resistant to the most effective drug used to treat it, scientists in Southeast Asia are reporting…” (Bakalar, 8/4).

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Temporary Ceasefire Allows U.N. To Deliver Humanitarian Aid In Gaza

U.N. News Centre: Temporary ceasefire allows U.N. to restock water, food, following another school attack
“Amid a seven-hour ceasefire announced by Israel in Gaza, the United Nations and aid partners are restocking supplies in schools and other buildings being used as temporary shelters for the nearly 270,000 displaced people throughout the Gaza Strip…” (8/4).

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UNICEF Promotes Breastfeeding Campaign

U.N. News Centre: U.N. promotes ‘effective’ breastfeeding, aims to cut on breast-milk substitutes
“The United Nations children’s agency [Monday] said it is working with governments, the private sector, and local communities to make it easier for women to breastfeed their infants, and to end false marketing of breast milk substitutes…” (8/4).

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Editorials and Opinions

Ebola Crisis Can Serve As Opportunity For U.S. To Examine Global Health Security System

Foreign Policy: Three Lessons the White House Should Learn from the Ebola Outbreak
Michael Miller, consultant and adjunct associate professor at the Duke Global Health Institute

“…Instead of allowing the ‘lessons learned’ process around Ebola to default to a recommendation [for the U.S.] to simply spend more money — a typical Washington impulse — this crisis should be an opportunity to also honestly examine potential systemic weaknesses and advance policies that could be the difference between life and death for millions of people. … In cases of ‘lessons learned,’ the default course for government tends to be one that leads only to a plea for more spending — doing something different will take a commitment of effort and discipline that seem in short supply in Washington these days. By using the Ebola crisis as an opening for honest evaluation and real reforms, the president has the chance to address some critical deficiencies in our government and the weak global health-security system upon which we all depend” (8/4).

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Antibiotic Resistance Poses Dangerous Health Threat

CNN’s “Global Public Square”: Time to act on the ‘other’ health crisis
Tracey Guise, CEO of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, and Laura Piddock, director of Antibiotic Action and professor of Microbiology at the University of Birmingham

“It’s not surprising that international attention has been focused on the ongoing outbreak of Ebola that has struck West Africa. … But while Ebola is getting the headlines, another health threat has been growing across the globe, one with implications every bit as serious: the rapid rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria. … [H]ealth professionals across the globe grapple with a dual crisis of antibiotic resistance and a depleted antibiotic discovery and development pipeline. Together, they pose a global crisis to human health as critical as the AIDS pandemic in the 1980s and 1990s. This is not a crisis pending — it is already here…” (8/4).

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Tackling Health, Poverty Essential For Growth, Prosperity In Africa

Reuters: Africa’s about more than Ebola, it’s about optimism, too
Michael Elliott, president and chief executive officer of The ONE Campaign

“…[I]t’s key to avoid slipping into a discussion of African policy that is riddled with false dichotomies — as if then it was about tackling health and poverty, while now it should be about growth and opportunity. The truth is, these are two sides of the same coin. … The best news coming out of the summit is that policymakers understand these old and new narratives are part of the same story. Through hard work, skill, and determination, Africans are building something new and exciting. … In the last two decades, funding to tackle Africa’s health crises, poverty, and hunger have been essential to provide the wherewithal for growth and prosperity. Now is not the time to forget that truth” (8/5).

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Development Must Be Community-Driven To Be Most Effective

Forbes: Peace Through Community-Led Development
Musu Clemens-Hope, chief of party at the Peace through Development II program, a USAID-funded initiative implemented by IRD

“USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah likes to remind the development community that the purpose of foreign aid, including relief efforts, is to help people create the conditions so they no longer need it. … Relieving the immediate suffering of vulnerable people is the duty of all humanitarian organizations. Assisting in the stabilization and resilience of communities wracked by violence is an emerging focus, as development groups recognize that economic and social development requires stable relationships, consensus-driven rules, and expectations that the future will be better than the past. Both relief and stabilization can and must ‘look to the end.’ That end is market-driven economic and inclusive social development that rids communities of poverty, enhances stable and effective governance, and enables development groups to look elsewhere to achieve their goals” (8/4).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Announcements At African Leaders Summit

USAID: USAID Announcements At The African Leaders Summit For Monday, August 4th
A USAID press release lists announcements made by the agency on food security, climate-smart agriculture and resilience, health, civil society, gender, and wildlife trafficking at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C (8/4).

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Director Of USAID's Office Of HIV/AIDS Discusses Takeaways From AIDS 2014

USAID’s “Impact”: Five Takeaways from AIDS 2014
David Stanton, the director of USAID’s Office of HIV/AIDS in the Bureau for Global Health, writes about his key takeaways from the 2014 International AIDS Society Conference in Melbourne, Australia, including UNAIDS’ goal to end AIDS in cities by 2030, preventing infections in key populations, defining “treatment as prevention,” and prioritizing pediatric HIV/AIDS (8/4).

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Treatment For Hepatitis C Effective For People With HIV/HCV Co-infection, Researchers Say

AIDS.gov: Researchers Find Hepatitis C Cures Effective for People Living with HIV/HCV Coinfection – Reports from AIDS 2014
Michelle Moses-Eisenstein, public health analyst, and Corinna Dan, viral hepatitis policy adviser at the Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provide a round-up of coverage on viral hepatitis and HIV co-infection research at the AIDS 2014 conference (8/4).

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Western, Traditional Health Systems Working Together Has 'Unlimited Potential'

Project Syndicate: A New World of Health Care
Prabhjot Singh, professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, director of Systems Design at the Earth Institute and chair of the One Million Community Health Worker Campaign in Sub-Saharan Africa, discusses the need for health care system reform and suggests ways that health care initiatives can be accelerated globally (8/5).

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Human Rights Watch Calls For Taliban To Stop Blocking Polio Vaccination Teams

Human Rights Watch: Afghanistan: Taliban Should Stop Blocking Polio Teams
“The Taliban insurgency should stop preventing mobile polio vaccination teams from operating in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, Human Rights Watch said [Monday]…” (8/4).

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GHTC Provides Roundup Of Recent Global Health Research News
Global Health Technologies Coalition’s (GHTC) “Breakthroughs”: Research Roundup: Drug-resistant malaria, MDGs, World Breastfeeding Week, LHHS appropriations, and more
Nick Taylor, GHTC’s senior program assistant, highlights “some of the most interesting reads in global health research from the past week” (8/4).

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