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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

International Focus Should Now Be On Ebola In Sierra Leone, Guinea, U.N. Special Envoy Says

Associated Press: U.N. Ebola chief’s focus is on Sierra Leone, Guinea
“…Dr. David Nabarro says his staff is focused now on ‘two particularly troublesome areas’ centered around Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown, and the forested mountainous region in southeastern Guinea…” (12/9).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. envoy says intense response needed for western Sierra Leone and Guinea-Mali border
“…[Nabarro] later briefed by video link the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., and told members debating the response to the Ebola outbreak that he believed the needed capacity should be in place in the three most affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone by the end of January next year…” (12/9).

VOA News: U.N. Official: Focus on Ebola Shifts to Sierra Leone, Guinea
“…Dr. Nabarro said more beds in treatment centers and more international and national staff were needed. He said it took about 300 people to operate a 50-bed facility. The U.N. special envoy said tackling Ebola in the interior of Guinea presented greater difficulties than in Sierra Leone…” (Schlein, 12/9).

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U.S. Government Agencies Assist In Search For Ebola Vaccine; HHS Offers Immunity To Ebola Vaccine Makers

CQ HealthBeat: BARDA Finds Ways to Help Boost Vaccine Production
“Far less famous than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health is a program at the heart of the fight against diseases such as the flu and Ebola — the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA…” (Young, 12/9).

Reuters: U.S. agency offers legal immunity to Ebola vaccine makers
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday offered liability protections to drugmakers rushing to develop Ebola vaccines and urged other countries to follow suit…” (Steenhuysen, 12/9).

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Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee To Hold Ebola Hearing; Liberian President To Appear Via Video Link

The Hill: Senate panel to hear from Liberian president
“Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hear testimony from Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on the Ebola crisis. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) will chair the Subcommittee on African Affairs hearing on Wednesday titled, ‘The Ebola Epidemic: The Keys to Success for the International Response’…” (Cox, 12/5).

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Ebola Doctors Strike For 2nd Day In Sierra Leone; CDC Reports Higher Cumulative Ebola Incidence Among HCWs In Country

Associated Press: Sierra Leonean docs strike again over Ebola care
“Sierra Leone’s junior doctors went on strike for a second day Tuesday, a move they dubbed a ‘tactical retreat’ to demand better care for medical workers who catch Ebola after a spate of deaths. … On Tuesday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study that found the rate of lab-confirmed Ebola infections this year has been 100 times higher in medical workers in Sierra Leone than in other adults…” (Roy-Macaulay/Stobbe, 12/10).

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Reproductive Rights Groups' Rally Asks Policymakers To Clarify Application Of Helms Amendment

The Guardian: Rally outside White House calls on U.S. to aid abortion services abroad
“Dozens of reproductive rights groups braved piercing rain in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to denounce a controversial law that prevents the U.S. from providing aid for abortion services in foreign countries…” (Holpuch, 12/9).

Inter Press Service: Groups Push Obama to Clarify U.S. Abortion Funding for Wartime Rape
“…The groups gathered Tuesday outside of the White House to draw attention to what they say is an ongoing misreading by politicians as well as humanitarian groups of four-decade-old legislation. That law, known as the Helms Amendment, specifies women’s health services that can be supported by U.S. overseas funding…” (Biron, 12/10).

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U.S. House Bill Would Authorize Feed The Future Program

Devex: Feed the Future’s moment on Capitol Hill?
“As budget talks in the U.S. Congress lurch toward a frenzied conclusion this week, the House could vote as soon as Thursday on a bill that gives staying power to U.S. President Barack Obama’s Feed the Future initiative. If passed, the Global Food Security Act of 2014 would grant congressional authorization — though on a somewhat shorter-term basis than many hoped — to the U.S. Agency for International Development’s $1 billion effort to fight hunger in 19 targeted countries through agriculture programs…” (Anders, 12/10).

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U.S. Government Spending Compromise Includes Flat Funding For NIH Research

ScienceInsider: First look: New U.S. spending deal a mixed bag for science
“NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) appear to be among the winners — relatively speaking — in a spending deal reached Tuesday night by lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, with both agencies receiving modest funding boosts. But research budgets at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Energy would remain flat…” (Malakoff/Mervis, 12/9).

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Large Portion Of Global Population Cannot Afford Health Care, ILO Report Says

U.N. News Centre: “Paying out-of-pocket for health care leads to ‘deep impoverishment’ — U.N. report”
“Some 80 percent of the population across 44 countries lives without any health protection, essentially being deprived of the right to health care simply because they cannot afford it, according to a new report released by the International Labor Organization (ILO). Globally, some 40 percent of the population is excluded from access to health care, the ILO said in a statement [Tuesday]…” (12/9).

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WFP To Resume Food Aid To Syria After Success With Online Fundraising Campaign

New York Times: U.N. Food Agency to Resume Aid to Syrians After Donors Step Up
“The United Nations said Tuesday that it would soon resume food aid to Syrian refugees after a successful emergency appeal through social media, which brought an outpouring of financial support from thousands of people and a number of Middle Eastern and European governments…” (Cumming-Bruce, 12/9).

Reuters: WFP restarts food aid for Syrian refugees after campaign
“The U.N. World Food Program is restarting food aid for 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt after it received enough donations to fund the halted program…” (Westall, 12/9).

U.N. News Centre: Surpassing fundraising goal, U.N. agency restarts urgent food aid for Syrian refugees
“…The campaign, which elicited one dollar donations from the public through online contributions, quickly raised more than $80 million, far surpassing the pre-established $64 million goal the WFP had set. The electronic vouchers will now be uploaded with an average amount of $30 per family member available for immediate use in local shops while the excess amount will allow for some funding to carry through to January…” (12/9).

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Gunmen Kill Polio Vaccinator In Pakistan

Deutsche Welle: Pakistan: Polio vaccinator killed in Faisalabad
“Gunmen have killed a polio vaccinator in Pakistan’s Punjab province just a day after the Taliban claimed responsibility for attacking two policemen assigned to protect an immunization team in the country’s northwest…” (Shams, 12/9).

New York Times: Anti-Polio Worker Slain in Pakistan
“…Pakistan is struggling to contain the spread of polio as militant violence and a chaotic political environment hobble the campaign’s progress. At least 268 new cases of polio have been reported in the country this year. Despite the government’s repeated vows to protect health workers, the attacks continue…” (Masood, 12/9).

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Communities In Eastern Europe, Central Asia Warn Against Cuts To HIV, TB Funding

Inter Press Service: Marginalized Communities Warn of AIDS/TB “Tragedy” in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
“…The EECA is home to the world’s only growing HIV/AIDS epidemic and is the single most-affected region by the spread of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). For years, HIV/AIDS and TB programs in many of its countries have been heavily, or exclusively, reliant on funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. But this year has seen the Global Fund move to a new financing model based on national income statistics, under which funding in many EECA countries has already been — or will soon be — heavily cut…”

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South Africa Ranks Among Most Obese Nations, Surveys Show

Reuters: Obesity, South Africa’s emerging health crisis
“…Nearly three quarters of South Africans are overweight and the country ranks third in a list of the world’s most obese nations behind the United States and Mexico, according to surveys by GlaxoSmithKline and medical journal The Lancet. Africa has for decades been grappling with well-publicized epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, malnutrition, and malaria, but a wave of new health risks has gone relatively unnoticed…” (Motsoeneng, 12/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

New PEPFAR Partnership Will Help Prevent HIV Among Girls, Young Women In Eastern, Southern Africa

Huffington Post: PEPFAR, Nike Foundation and Gates Foundation Partnership Restores Hope for an AIDS-free Future for Girls
Deborah Birx, ambassador-at-large and coordinator of U.S. government activities to combat global HIV/AIDS

“…Despite success in other areas, like prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, HIV prevention efforts to date have not successfully addressed the many challenges that make young women and adolescent girls particularly vulnerable to infection. … That is why the United States (U.S.) is proud to launch a new partnership, through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the Nike Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which will — for the first time — scale-up a core package of evidence-based interventions to address the many interlocking challenges that face adolescent girls and young women in the hardest hit countries in Eastern and Southern Africa…” (12/9).

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Human Rights Component Vital To HIV Prevention, Care

Devex: Inextricable links: HIV and human rights
Kevin Osborne, FHI 360’s project director for LINKAGES

“…As we recognize International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10, we cannot lose sight of the inextricable link between HIV and human rights, which should be the cornerstone of our response to and understanding of this epidemic. … While the increased global conversation about the end of AIDS is aspirational and motivates action, an AIDS-free generation will not be achieved without a sizable investment in tailored programs and responses that address the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men, sex workers, people who inject drugs, and transgender people. And this is beginning to happen…” (12/10).

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Post-2015 Development Agenda Must Include 'Intentional Focus On Adolescent Girls'

Huffington Post: Girls Left Behind: Review of Secretary General’s Report Leaves Much to Be Desired for Girls, Women
Lyric Thompson, senior policy manager at the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW)

“Late last week, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released his long-awaited report synthesizing various inputs to and, theoretically setting a vision for, the post-2015 development agenda that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the end of 2015. … The omission of an explicit reference to key rights and standards related to gender equality is a missed opportunity … An intentional focus on adolescent girls and their rights is nothing short of vital to achieving sustainable development. We can only hope that the Member States to whom the work of negotiating the next framework falls will now take up this important task” (12/9).

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2015 Holds Best Opportunity To Work Toward Sustainable Development

Project Syndicate: The Year of Sustainable Development
Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and special adviser to the U.N. secretary general on the Millennium Development Goals

“The year 2015 will be our generation’s greatest opportunity to move the world toward sustainable development. … In July 2015, world leaders will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to chart reforms of the global financial system. In September 2015, they will meet again to approve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide national and global policies to 2030. And in December 2015, leaders will assemble in Paris to adopt a global agreement to head off the growing dangers of human-induced climate change, pollution, water depletion, and the extinction of countless species. … Agreements at next year’s three summits will not guarantee the success of sustainable development, but they can certainly orient the global economy in the right direction. The chance will not come along again in our generation” (12/9).

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U.S. Hospitals Need More Financial Support To Prepare For Ebola Response

Roll Call: Ebola: Who Bears the Cost of Keeping Us Safe?
Kenneth Davis, president and CEO of Mount Sinai Health System, and Kenneth Raske, president and CEO of the Greater New York Hospital Association

“The Ebola virus, which has now touched our shores and taken the lives of two victims in the U.S., is a threat lethal enough to demand full mobilization of our health care resources, which is what federal officials have urged. Consequently, hospitals in recent weeks have been arming themselves with the necessary knowledge, supplies, and resources to confront the danger and ensure it is contained and managed skillfully. … We understood the preparations would be costly, yet fully expected the federal government to lend support to what is, in fact, an unfunded mandate. The financial response from Washington, however, has not been commensurate with our efforts, not even close. … Hospitals have stepped up to face the Ebola challenge. Now it is Congress’ turn, so that hospitals have the ability to continue protecting the public health, even when confronted with the threat of a deadly infectious disease” (12/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Greater Effort Needed To Prevent Violence, WHO Study Shows

WHO: New study highlights need to scale up violence prevention efforts globally
“The ‘Global status report on violence prevention 2014’ reveals that 475,000 people were murdered in 2012, and homicide is the third leading cause of death globally for males aged 15-44 years, highlighting the urgent need for more decisive action to prevent violence…” (12/10).

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Blog Post Examines Funders Concerned About AIDS Report

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: HIV dollars drop with waning philanthropic funds … and a goodbye to England’s Rose
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses a recently released report, titled “Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS in 2013,” from Funders Concerned About AIDS (12/9).

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Blog Post Discusses ECOSOC Meeting On Ebola's Impact On Development In West Africa

Center for Global Development’s “Global Health Policy Blog”: Responding to Ebola’s Long-Term Threat to Development
Mead Over, senior fellow at CGD, discusses his participation in the U.N. Economic and Social Council’s (ECOSOC) first meeting on the Ebola epidemic’s long-run implications on development in the affected countries (12/9).

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