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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

FY15 Compromise Spending Bill Includes $5.4B In Ebola Funding, $300M Increase For PEPFAR

The Hill: Ebola funding in ‘cromnibus’ falls just short of Obama request
“The $1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled Tuesday night includes nearly all of President Obama’s massive $6.2 billion emergency funding request to fight the Ebola outbreak. Lawmakers have agreed to spend $5.4 billion on Ebola treatment and prevention measures in the U.S. and West Africa…” (Ferris, 12/10).

POLITICO: Cromnibus targets risk corridors, IPAB — Reid: We never recovered from ACA rollout
“…The [Ebola] funds can reimburse hospitals for providing Ebola care but don’t support the administration’s proposal to have a specially designated Ebola hospital in every state. PEPFAR: The [bilateral] AIDS relief program will get a boost of $300 million from its current funding level, with Senate Democrats blocking cuts to family planning and climate change programs that Republicans had initially proposed in order to boost PEPFAR’s budget…” (Cunningham et al., 12/10).

ScienceInsider: Within NIH’s flat 2015 budget, a few favorites
“Although the massive 2015 spending agreement reached by Congress last night gives the National Institutes of Health (NIH) a flat budget, it contains modest increases for a few programs within the agency. An accompanying report also contains several directives that biomedical research advocates are eyeing warily…” (Kaiser, 12/10).

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Liberian President Praises U.S. Ebola Efforts, Warns Virus Still Threatens West African Region

CQ News: Liberian President: U.S. Aid Helps ‘Stabilize’ Ebola Crisis
“Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told a Senate panel Wednesday that U.S. support has helped drive down the number of new Ebola cases in her country from 100 a day to just eight, but said eradicating the outbreak will require tracing and monitoring thousands of people who have come in contact with infected patients in hard-to-reach rural communities…” (Oswald, 12/10).

The Hill: Liberian president praises Obama for Ebola effort
“…Sirleaf praised the American response as ‘significant and timely,’ pushing back against widespread criticism from U.S. lawmakers and aid workers that the effort has been slow and uncoordinated. With the U.S. help, she said spread of Ebola is now ‘manageable’ in Liberia, though it is far from controlled…” (Ferris, 12/10).

Los Angeles Times: Liberian president warns that Ebola still threatens her nation
“Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked the Obama administration Wednesday for its efforts in stemming the tide of the country’s Ebola outbreak, but warned that the disease was still a threat in her developing nation. … [T]he Liberian leader emphasized that despite her nation’s gains, she would not consider the outbreak extinguished until all neighboring countries were free of the disease…” (12/10).

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WHO, Global Community Slow To Respond To Ebola Outbreak, Agency Head Says

Agence France-Presse: ‘We were slow’: WHO admits mistakes in Ebola response
“The head of the World Health Organization conceded on Wednesday that the U.N. body was slow to respond to the outbreak of Ebola that has now killed more than 6,300 people in West Africa. ‘It is fair to say the whole world, including WHO, failed to see what was unfolding, what was going to happen in front of our eyes,’ WHO director general Margaret Chan told the BBC in an interview…” (Larson, 12/10).

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TIME Magazine Names Ebola Workers As 'Person Of The Year'

TIME: The Ebola Fighters
“…Ebola is a war, and a warning. The global health system is nowhere close to strong enough to keep us safe from infectious disease, and ‘us’ means everyone, not just those in faraway places where this is one threat among many that claim lives every day. The rest of the world can sleep at night because a group of men and women are willing to stand and fight. For tireless acts of courage and mercy, for buying the world time to boost its defenses, for risking, for persisting, for sacrificing and saving, the Ebola fighters are TIME’s 2014 Person of the Year” (12/10).

CNN: Ebola fighters are Time’s ‘Person of the Year’ (McLaughlin, 12/10).
The Guardian: Time magazine names Ebola health workers as its ‘person of the year’ (Glenza, 12/10).
Reuters: Ebola survivors, doctors named “person of the year” by Time (12/10).
U.N. News Centre: U.N. congratulates frontline workers battling Ebola in West Africa (12/10).
USA TODAY: ‘Time’ names ‘Ebola fighters’ as Person of the Year (Stanglin, 12/10).

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Gavi Commits Up To $300M To Buy Ebola Vaccines; Additional $90M Could Support Health Systems

Reuters: Gavi alliance commits up to $300 mln to buy Ebola vaccines
“Gavi, the global vaccines alliance, has committed up to $300 million to buy Ebola vaccines and is ready to begin procurement as soon as the World Health Organization recommends one for use, the alliance said on Thursday. Up to an additional $90 million could also be used to support countries to introduce the vaccines and to rebuild their health systems, it added…” (12/11).

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WHO Team Discovers Overwhelmed Health Clinics, Workers In Remote Sierra Leone District Hit Hard By Ebola

Associated Press: Sierra Leone area to hold 2-week Ebola ‘lockdown’
“Health workers sent to Sierra Leone to investigate an alarming spike in deaths from Ebola have uncovered a grim scene: piles of bodies, overwhelmed medical personnel, and exhausted burial teams … [in] a diamond-mining area that Sierra Leone put on ‘lockdown’ Wednesday…” (Faul/Roy-Macaulay, 12/10).

Reuters: Sierra Leone diamond zone hit by largely hidden Ebola outbreak
“…The WHO said on Wednesday that it had sent a response team to the diamond-rich Kono district following a worrying spike in reported Ebola cases in the district, which lies along the country’s eastern border with Guinea…” (Miles/Bavier, 12/10).

VOA News: Previously Unknown Ebola Outbreak Kills Dozens in Sierra Leone
“…As of Tuesday, the Kono district officially had 123 confirmed cases of Ebola. But the director of disease control for Sierra Leone’s health ministry, Dr. Amara Jambai, suggested that number was far too low…” (12/10).

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Interpersonal Violence 3rd Leading Cause Of Death Globally Among Adult Men, U.N. Report Shows

News outlets report on findings from the recently released U.N. report, Global status report on violence prevention 2014.

The Guardian: Murder is third biggest killer of men aged 15-44
“Nearly half a million people were murdered in 2012, making it the third leading cause of death globally for men aged 15-44 years (after HIV/AIDS and road accidents), a report said on Wednesday. It urged governments to do more to enforce laws to protect citizens…” (Chonghaile, 12/10).

New York Times: More People Die From Homicide Than in Wars, U.N. Says
“…The figures are based on detailed data collection from 133 countries that together account for 88 percent of the global population…” (Cumming-Bruce/Gladstone, 12/10).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. report on ‘interpersonal violence’ shows urgent need to scale up prevention
“…Jointly published [Wednesday] by the World Health Organization (WHO), the U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), and the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Global Status Report on Violence Prevention 2014 is the first survey of its kind to assess national efforts to address interpersonal violence, namely child maltreatment, youth violence, intimate partner violence, sexual violence, and elder abuse at home, school, and communities…” (12/10).

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Antibiotic Resistance Could Cause 10M Additional Annual Deaths, Cost $100T By 2050, British Government-Commissioned Report Shows

BBC News: Superbugs to kill ‘more than cancer’ by 2050
“Drug resistant infections will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide — more than currently die from cancer — by 2050 unless action is taken, a study says…” (Walsh, 12/10).

Financial Times: Drug resistance to cost $100tn by 2050, study finds
“Without global action, drug resistant infections will cause 10m deaths a year worldwide by 2050 — more than cancer — and will cost at least $100tn during the next 35 years, according to the first economic analysis of the problem…” (Cookson, 12/11).

The Guardian: Drug-resistant infections could lead to 10 million extra deaths a year — report
“…The stark figures, published on Thursday, and believed to be the first to quantify the potential impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) — drug-resistant infections or superbugs — will be used to make the case to global leaders that urgent action is needed…” (Siddique, 12/11).

Reuters: Unchecked superbugs could kill 10 million a year, cost $100 trillion
“…Former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim O’Neill, who led the work, noted that in Europe and the United States alone around 50,000 people currently die each year from infections caused by superbug forms of bacteria such as E. coli…” (Kelland, 12/10).

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Elder Abuse 'Important Public Health Problem,' WHO Report Says

U.N. News Centre: Tens of millions of elderly are abused each month — U.N. health agency reports
“Millions of elderly people report significant abuse each month, ‘an important public health problem’ expected to increase in many countries as the number of people aged 60 and older is forecasted to reach about 1.2 billion by the year 2025, the World Health Organization reported [Wednesday]…” (12/10).

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HIV-Positive Kenyan Women Sue Over Alleged Forced Sterilization

BBC News: Kenyan women with HIV sue over sterilization
“A group of HIV-positive women in Kenya has taken legal action against the government, accusing it of arranging for them to be forcibly sterilized…” (12/10).

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Editorials and Opinions

Support For National, Global LGBT Rights Should Be Part Of Obama Administration Legacy

The Hill: To consolidate an Obama legacy, entrench support for global LGBT rights
Raymond Smith, senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute

“With attention increasingly turning to the legacy of the Obama administration, one area of civil rights seems sure to be viewed as a breakthrough success: the recognition and advancement of equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. And while this legacy is already on solid footing on the domestic front, many opportunities still exist to entrench support for LGBT rights globally…” (12/10).

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Opinion Pieces Discuss Risk Communication Surrounding Ebola, U.S. Funding For Ebola Efforts

CIDRAP: When the next shoe drops — Ebola crisis communication lessons from October
Peter Sandman and Jody Lanard, risk communication experts

“…The U.S. Ebola experience highlights four main crisis communication errors. 1. Don’t over-reassure … 2. Acknowledge uncertainty … 3. Don’t overdiagnose or overplan for panic … 4. Tolerate early overreactions; don’t ridicule the public’s emotions…” (12/9).

The Hill: Emergency Ebola funding will safeguard global health and security
Jay Perman, president of the University of Maryland

“President Obama has asked Congress for $6.2 billion in emergency funds to advance the U.S. fight against Ebola. I urge Congress to approve this funding, which is critical to containing the epidemic in West Africa, to improving the capabilities of American health systems to care for Ebola patients, and to developing vaccines and therapies to prevent and treat the disease…” (12/10).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation Resource Examines Global Health Components Of FY15 Omnibus

Kaiser Family Foundation: Congress releases FY15 Omnibus
According to the foundation’s Policy Tracker, “Excluding the emergency Ebola funding, total known funding for U.S. global health programs in the FY 2015 Omnibus is $9.1 billion, which is essentially flat compared to FY 2014, but is $353 million (4%) above the president’s FY 2015 Budget Request…” (12/10).

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FCAA Report Examines Philanthropic Funding For HIV/AIDS, Shows Decrease

Funders Concerned About AIDS (FCAA): Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS in 2013
The latest edition of this annual report from FCAA shows that “[f]unding to address HIV/AIDS from global private philanthropic institutions totaled $592 million in 2012, an 8% decrease from 2012, and the lowest level of funding since 2007” (December 2014).

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Promoting Human Rights Can Advance Global Development

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: A ‘Daily’ Struggle for Human Rights
Nicole Widdersheim, human rights adviser for USAID’s Center for Democracy, Human Rights and Governance, discusses U.S. efforts to expand human rights, as well as its link to economic development (12/10).

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Major Milestone Met In Efforts Against Malaria; Investment In New Strategies Can Advance Progress

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: A Major Milestone in the Fight Against Malaria
Alan Magill, director of the Malaria Program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses the release of the WHO 2014 World Malaria Report, highlighting progress made and the path ahead to reaching the goal of malaria eradication (12/10).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
The latest issue of the Global Fund News Flash discusses sex workers’ rights, the Technical Review Panel’s review form, and the Development Continuum working group (12/11).

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