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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Military's Role In West African Ebola Efforts Peaks, General Says; MSF's U.S. Head Calls For Greater Military Role In Region

The Hill: U.S. troops fighting Ebola peak at 2,900
“The leader of the U.S. Africa Command said Wednesday that the number of U.S. troops helping to fight Ebola has likely peaked at 2,900. Gen. David Rodriguez told reporters that the biggest components of the military’s role in West Africa — logistics support and treatment center construction — will start to ‘trail off’ next month…” (Ferris, 12/3).

The Hill: Doctors Without Borders: Military must do more against Ebola outbreak
“The head of Doctors Without Borders’ U.S. branch said Wednesday that the American military must do more than ‘transport cement’ to help fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Executive Director Sophie Delaunay said in an interview that the armed forces’ current role in West Africa has been ‘insufficient,’ leaving too much of the work to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)…” (Ferris, 12/3).

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VanRoekel Speaks About Technology Infrastructure Building In Ebola-Hit West African Nations

FedScoop: VanRoekel talks firsthand of Ebola-plagued West Africa
“Steven VanRoekel, about two months into his detail as chief innovation officer of the U.S. Agency for International Development and its battle against Ebola, recently spent seven days in Ebola-stricken Liberia. … ‘A region that was really the shining star of the continent on economic growth, on education — on so many things that were happening here, they’re now seeing stalled,’ he said during an Information Technology Industry Council event Wednesday in Washington, D.C….” (Mitchell, 12/3).

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Ebola Data Not Reliable Enough To Accurately Measure Progress In Containing Disease, WHO Says; 11th Sierra Leonean Doctor Diagnosed With Disease

Associated Press: 11th Sierra Leonean doctor infected with Ebola
“Another Sierra Leonean doctor has become infected with Ebola, as the U.N. health agency said Wednesday that poor data from the outbreak is complicating efforts to measure progress in containing the disease. … The World Health Organization said Monday that [Guinea and Liberia] had met an interim goal to isolate 70 percent of patients and safely bury 70 percent of corpses. But in a report Wednesday, WHO called into question that progress, saying the data is too poor to draw conclusions…” (Roy-Macaulay/DiLorenzo, 12/3).

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World Bank To Speed Emergency Funding Disbursement For Sierra Leone, Pledges Additional Money, Kim Says

Reuters: World Bank fast tracks Ebola aid as Sierra Leone calls for help
“…On a visit to Sierra Leone, where the epidemic is spreading fastest, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the lender would accelerate disbursement of $162 million in emergency support to ensure the money was delivered in two years instead of three. To help kick-start Sierra Leone’s economy, Kim said the bank would make available an additional $170 million over the next two years, mostly to strengthen infrastructure and agriculture…” (Fofana et al., 12/3).

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Sierra Leone's Ebola Workers Face Challenges In Persuading People To Trust Health System

Washington Post: Stricken with Ebola, a family runs away from treatment — and into the jungle
“…Six months after the world’s largest Ebola outbreak began, experts say one of their biggest challenges is persuading people to trust the medical system. Families still hide suspected Ebola victims or refuse to take them to health facilities. The problem exists in Liberia, but some foreign health officials say it’s even more daunting in Sierra Leone, where the transmission rate continues to climb even as it declines in the neighboring country…” (Sieff, 12/3).

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Liberia Must Remain Vigilant, Maintain Ebola Activities Despite Declining Case Numbers, U.N. Envoy Says

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. special envoy appeals to Liberians to remain vigilant, sustain response
“The United Nations Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro, today took his message directly to the people of Liberia, applauding them for the progress made so far in combating the virus, but cautioning that ‘the most dangerous time is actually when it looks as though you are near a point where the disease is coming under control because people relax and stop being vigilant’…” (12/3).

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A.U. To Send More Than 200 Additional Medical Workers To Ebola-Hit West Africa

VOA News: A.U. to Deploy Second Wave of Health Professionals in Ebola Fight
“The deputy chairman of the African Union Commission says more than 200 medical professionals will be deployed Thursday to the three West African countries battling the Ebola outbreak…” (Clottey, 12/3).

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2 Senators, Aid Groups Oppose Cargo Preference Provision In Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill

Roll Call: Food Aid Shipping Issue Could Block House Bill
“The House overwhelmingly passed the Coast Guard reauthorization bill Wednesday. But it faces opposition from two senators due to a provision that they say it would make it more expensive to ship U.S. food aid to countries in need. … A coalition of non-government organizations and aid groups including Oxfam America, Catholic Relief Services, and InterAction, also opposes the cargo preference provision in the House bill” (Curry, 12/4).

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U.N. Marks International Day Of Persons With Disabilities

U.N. News Centre: On world Day, Ban spotlights how technology can improve life for 1 billion persons with disabilities
“More than one billion people — or approximately 15 percent of the world’s population — live with some form of disability and have generally poorer health, lower education achievements, fewer economic opportunities, and higher rates of poverty than people without disabilities, the United Nations highlighted today on its International Day of Persons with Disabilities…” (12/3).

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Women, Girls With Disabilities In India Face Institutionalization, Abuse, HRW Report Shows

New York Times: Group Cites Grim State of India’s Mentally Ill
“Women and girls with intellectual disabilities or mental illness in India are subject to forced institutionalization in sometimes overcrowded and unsanitary conditions, verbal and physical abuse, and medication without consent, according to a report released by Human Rights Watch on Wednesday…” (Najar, 12/3).

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WFP Launches Social Media Campaign To Raise Funds For Syrian Refugee Voucher Program

Associated Press: U.N. asks people to give $1 each for Syrian refugees
“The World Food Programme launched an unusual campaign Wednesday to raise $1 contributions from 64 million people around the world so it can restore food vouchers to Syrian refugees who won’t be getting any U.N. help in December…” (Lederer, 12/3).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. agency launches social media campaign to bring urgent food aid to Syrian refugees
“…The appeal follows the WFP’s announcement on Monday that it will halt a food voucher program targeting 1.7 million destitute Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. The refugees use the electronic vouchers to purchase food in local shops and without them many families would simply go hungry. As many of them already live in very precarious conditions, the agency warns that the consequences of halting food assistance will be ‘devastating’…” (12/3).

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Humanitarian Assistance Groups Must Partner To Ensure Timely, Efficient Aid Responses, U.N. Official Says

U.N. News Centre: At ‘crossroads,’ humanitarian system must engage earlier, more systematically — U.N. deputy chief
“With needs rising faster than the world’s capacity to meet them, humanitarian actors must grapple with the challenge of working in partnership to ensure people’s needs are met as quickly and efficiently as possible, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said [Wednesday], opening the Third Annual Global Humanitarian Policy Forum in Geneva…” (12/3).

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Doubling Current Annual Spending For Sexual, Reproductive Health Would Improve Lives Of Women, Newborns, Reduce Long-Term Costs, Report Says

The Guardian: Spending $25 a woman annually on health care could save millions of lives
“Spending on average $25 a woman annually on sexual and reproductive health services would drastically lower the number of women dying in pregnancy and childbirth, and the number of newborn deaths, says a report that calculates the cost and benefits of health care provision. … The report, published on Thursday by the Guttmacher Institute and the U.N. Population Fund, the UNFPA, says $39.2bn (£20.9bn) a year is needed to provide an essential package of services to all women of reproductive age, typically between 15 and 49…” (Ford/Kweifio-Okai, 12/4).

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Deaths From Chronic Diseases Rising, Disproportionately Affecting Younger Populations In LMICs, Report Shows

New York Times: Chronic Diseases Are Killing More in Poorer Countries
“Chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease are rising fast in low- and middle-income countries, striking far younger populations than in rich countries and causing much worse outcomes, according to a new report. Deaths from chronic diseases have risen by more than 50 percent in low- and middle-income countries over the past two decades, according to the report, by the Council on Foreign Relations…” (Tavernise, 12/4).

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Antibiotic Resistance Contributing To India's High Neonatal Mortality

New York Times: ‘Superbugs’ Kill India’s Babies and Pose an Overseas Threat
“A deadly epidemic that could have global implications is quietly sweeping India, and among its many victims are tens of thousands of newborns dying because once-miraculous cures no longer work. These infants are born with bacterial infections that are resistant to most known antibiotics, and more than 58,000 died last year as a result, a recent study found…” (Harris, 12/3).

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Myanmar Pledges To Provide Free ARVs To Nearly All Its HIV-Positive Patients By 2016

Radio Free Asia: Myanmar to Provide Free Treatment to Half of HIV/AIDS Patients by 2016
“…Health Minister Than Aung told reporters in the capital Naypyidaw on Monday that the government would spend around U.S. $5 million next year on antiretroviral therapy (ART) for nearly all of the people affected with HIV/AIDS in Myanmar that are not already receiving the treatment…” (Toe et al., 12/3).

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Progress Against HIV/AIDS Made In China But Challenges Remain, WHO Country Representative Says In Interview

Deutsche Welle: WHO: ‘China is witnessing an evolving HIV epidemic’
“…Bernhard Schwartländer, WHO Representative in China, says in a DW interview that while the country has made remarkable progress in some areas, China still faces many challenges in terms of preventing new HIV infections, and ensuring equitable access to health care and treatment for all who need it…” (Dominguez, 12/3).

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Egypt's H5N1 Bird Flu 2014 Death Toll Reaches 7, Health Ministry Says

Reuters: Egyptian dies of H5N1 bird flu, bringing total to seven: health ministry
“Another Egyptian has died of H5N1 bird flu, bringing the total number of deaths in Egypt from the virus to seven this year out of 14 identified cases, the health ministry said on Wednesday…” (Fahmy/Bushra, 12/3).

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More Funding For Detection Of Possible Zoonotic Diseases Needed, Animal Health Group Says

Reuters: Animal health body calls for more spending on disease detection
“More money needs to be spent on detecting disease in domestic and wild animals, an intergovernmental group said on Wednesday, following a series of bird flu outbreaks and previous mutations of animal viruses into ones that can be passed between humans…” (La Hamaide/Miles, 12/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Continued U.S. Investment In Global Health Necessary To Save Lives, Protect Americans

Roll Call: The Unseen Effects of Ebola
Bruce Wilkinson, president and CEO of Catholic Medical Mission Board

“Pandemics as rapid and devastating as the current Ebola outbreak, although rare, serve as an important reminder of the critical security and humanitarian work the U.S. does around the world and here at home — not with drones and air bases, but with medical tents and syringes. … The tragedy of Ebola is going to be made all the worse if we do not continue to vigorously support all global health, not just in the countries hit by the disease, but in the dozens of countries where foreign aid is making unprecedented advancements in global health and development. … A supplemental funding request for Ebola may be essential to continue global health work that saves lives and protects us here at home…” (12/4).

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Ownership Over Data Collection, Disaggregation Essential For Creating Disability-Inclusive Development Programs

Devex: Data disaggregation for disability-inclusive development
Pauline Thivillier, program delivery monitoring officer at Sightsavers

“The U.K. Department for International Development published Wednesday its first-ever Disability Framework, which reflects its ambitious vision to deliver disability-inclusive development. It signals the first step in DfID’s commitment to making its programs systematically inclusive of and accessible to people with disabilities. … To support this area of work, Sightsavers is running a pilot project to disaggregate data by disability. The aim is to help us better understand how development programs can include those most in need and are delivering demonstrable results. For this to be successful, it is critical that policymakers, health workers, and grassroots communities engage the process and take ownership…” (12/3).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. Can Be Leader In Bringing Positive Reform For People With Disabilities Worldwide, Kerry Says

U.S. Department of State: International Day of Persons With Disabilities 2014
In a statement marking the day, Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. can be a leader in helping bring reform to other nations to assist people with disabilities, using the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a model (12/3).

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Blog Post Assesses Progress On HIV/AIDS As MDG Deadline Approaches

U.S. Global Leadership Coalition: An AIDS-free Generation is Within Reach
Zach Silberman, policy manager at USGLC, and Lindsay Markle, a USGLC intern, outline progress made over the past 15 years in stemming the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and they write that as the world approaches the Millennium Development Goals deadline, “an AIDS-free generation does not seem as far off as it once did” (12/3).

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