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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Ebola Coordinator Klain Urges Congress To Approve Emergency Funding; Will Leave Position By March 1

The Hill: Ebola czar hoping for ‘large chunk’ of White House funding request
“The White House Ebola czar said Friday that he is hopeful that Congress will pass a ‘large chunk’ of its $6.2 billion emergency funding request, calling the current international funding levels inadequate…” (Ferris, 12/5).

Los Angeles Times: Ebola ‘czar’ urges Congress to authorize emergency funding
“…Klain said that though U.S. efforts have had an effect in fighting the outbreak, dedicated funds need to be set aside for recurrences, even as public attention in this country has drifted from the threat…” (Hansen, 12/5).

Fortune: So long, Ebola Czar. Ron Klain is heading back to the private sector.
“…Klain has committed to former AOL chief Steve Case that by March 1, he’ll be back on the job as president of Case Holdings and general counsel for Case’s venture firm Revolution LLC, Case tells Fortune. An administration official confirmed the plan…” (Newmyer, 12/6).

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Omnibus Spending Bill Expected To Include Ebola Emergency Funding But Less Than Total Request

Roll Call: Omnibus Expected to Include Funding to Fight Ebola
“Appropriators are expected to include significant extra funding in an omnibus spending package to help agencies continue responding to the Ebola outbreak, but the final number will be less than President Barack Obama requested…” (Ethridge, 12/5).

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Ebola Solidifies Some Lawmakers' Commitment To Biomedical Research Spending

Roll Call: Ebola Drives Interest in More Biomedical Research
“…Top appropriators from both parties say they are committed to investing in biomedical research, particularly the National Institutes of Health. But the parties have not agreed on how to boost that funding, and lawmakers also have criticized some of the government’s public health preparations…” (Ethridge, 12/5).

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International Response To Ebola Must Address Threat To Sustainable Development, U.N. Officials Say

U.N. News Centre: World must do ‘whatever it takes’ to ensure recovery of Ebola-affected countries — Ban
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appealed today to members of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) ‘to do whatever it takes’ to help the West African countries hardest hit by Ebola grow back stronger and more resilient, while the head of the U.N. health agency noted that the ‘fear of Ebola is moving faster than the virus’ itself…” (12/5).

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Ebola Response In Sierra Leone Struggles With Poor Coordination, Inefficiency

New York Times: As Ebola Rages, Poor Planning Thwarts Efforts
“…Aid officials in Sierra Leone say poor coordination among aid groups, government mismanagement, and some glaring inefficiencies are costing countless lives. … Many aid officials in Sierra Leone said they crave a more effective command structure. The government runs a national emergency center, but aid officials said that with scores of foreign experts, government delegations, and private charities flocking here, coordination was still messy, with many gaps and overlaps…” (Gettleman, 12/6).

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Liberian Supreme Court Stays President's Ban On Mass Gatherings To Prevent Ebola Ahead Of Elections

Associated Press: Liberian president’s son wants rally ban lifted
“President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s son, who is running for a Senate seat, has filed a lawsuit contesting her Ebola-related ban on political rallies, an official said Monday…” (Paye-Layleh, 12/8).

New York Times: Liberian President’s Ban on Rallies Is Seen as Political
“Anger has been building for days over a decree by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia that bans all political rallies in Monrovia, the capital, which she said had been meant to prevent the further spread of Ebola. Critics allege her real motivation was to promote a victory for her son, Robert, in a hotly contested Senate race against George Weah, a former soccer star, presidential aspirant and opponent of Mrs. Sirleaf…” (MacDougall/Fink, 12/7).

Reuters: Liberia court suspends ban on mass gatherings in Monrovia
“Liberia’s top court issued a stay on a government order banning public gatherings in the capital ahead of Senate elections next week that was imposed because electioneering risks spreading Ebola, Information Minister Lewis Brown said on Sunday…” (Giahyue, 12/7).

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Washington Post Highlights Stories Of 5 Ebola Survivors

Washington Post: Surviving Ebola
“Recovering from one of the most fearsome infections known to humankind should provide a time of unsurpassed joy. But it doesn’t always work out that way. More than 3,100 Liberians have died of Ebola. But against long odds, some fortunate people have overcome the virus. They have been granted one precious gift, something even modern medicine cannot convey: immunity to this strain of the disease…” (Bernstein, 12/7).

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Sierra Leone, UNICEF To Distribute Anti-Malarial Drugs To 2.5M People In Effort To Prevent Mistaken Ebola Diagnoses

Agence France-Presse: Sierra Leone gives out malaria pills in fight against Ebola
“Sierra Leone began a campaign on Friday to protect almost half the population from malaria, reducing the burden on health services of people visiting clinics wrongly fearing they have Ebola. … More than 9,300 trained community health workers will go door-to-door in districts where the risk of Ebola is highest to administer anti-malarial tablets to 2.5 million people over three days…” (12/5).

VOA News: Anti-Malaria Campaign Underway in Ebola-Stricken Sierra Leone
“…The U.N. Children’s Fund, which is spearheading this campaign, says reducing malaria cases also will help the fight against Ebola. … Malaria symptoms of fever, headache, and aching joints are similar to Ebola in its early stages. The disease is often misdiagnosed. This causes confusion among patients and health care workers and people with malaria often are referred to Ebola Treatment Units…” (Schlein, 12/5).

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Pentagon Joins International Effort To Stop Drug-Resistant Malaria In Mekong Region

Financial Times: Pentagon joins international fight to halt drug-resistant malaria
“The U.S. military is throwing its weight behind an international campaign to stop drug-resistant malaria spreading from southeast Asia to Africa and triggering a fresh international health crisis. The Pentagon has joined forces with countries across the Mekong region in an effort to staunch a new strain of the mosquito-borne disease that sprang up in remote and conflict-prone regions and is now lapping towards the India border…” (Peel, 12/7).

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Linking Human Rights To HIV/AIDS Efforts Critical To Achieving AIDS-Free Generation, Shah Says

Washington Blade: Rajiv Shah: Human rights essential to fight against HIV/AIDS
“The head of the U.S. Agency for International Development on Thursday said protecting human rights is essential to the fight against HIV/AIDS. … Shah made his remarks during a day-long World AIDS Day forum [at FHI 360 in Washington, D.C.,] that highlighted a USAID-backed initiative through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) to fight the global epidemic among men who have sex with men, transgender people, and other disproportionately affected groups…” (Lavers, 12/5).

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Advocates Concerned Coast Guard Bill Provision Would Limit Transparency, Efficiency Of U.S. Food Aid Program

Devex: Senate bill may limit transparency, effectiveness in transporting U.S.-sourced food aid
“Two sections buried within a lengthy maritime reauthorization bill that is moving through the U.S. Congress have some emergency food aid NGOs up in arms…” (Anders, 12/5).

Humanosphere: Congress sneaks damaging U.S. food aid provision in Coast Guard bill
“The U.S. Senate is considering a bill that would set back food aid reform. A provision sneaked into the act would change the agency that oversees cargo preference requirements for food aid shipments. Advocates warn that the proposal pits food aid delivery against a mandate to strengthen the U.S. shipping industry…” (Murphy, 12/5).

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White House National Security Council Voices Concern Over Gambian Anti-Homosexuality Actions

Reuters: U.S. condemns Gambia over disappearances, new anti-gay law
“President Barack Obama’s National Security Council (NSC) has voiced concern over Gambia’s moves to block access to top United Nations human rights investigators and enact tough new legislation against homosexuality…” (Saine, 12/7).

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Success From WFP's Online Campaign Allows Agency To Reinstate Food Aid To Some Syrian Refugees

BBC News: U.N. reinstates Syrian refugees World Food Programme aid
“The U.N. World Food Programme says it will reinstate food aid this month to the very poorest Syrian refugees. An online campaign by the WFP has raised some $25m out of $64m needed to keep the program running this month…” (12/5).

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Editorials and Opinions

Global Health Investment In Women, Children Yields 'Impressive Returns' Of Lives Saved, Economic Benefits

Forbes: Smart Investments: Invest In The Health Of Women And Children Worldwide, Foster Sustainable Growth
Bill Frist, former U.S. senator from Tennessee and chair of Hope Through Healing Hands, and Jenny Eaton Dyer, executive director of Hope Through Healing Hands

“As governments, organizations, and private individuals commit large contributions to fight Ebola in western Africa, we are reminded of the need to invest in building health care systems in developing nations that are designed to handle public health crises, and provide basic primary health services for the people they serve. … Investing in global health issues, like healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, yields impressive returns in terms of saving lives and promoting economic growth in developing nations. Yet family planning often goes overlooked on the crowded landscape of urgent global health issues. Let’s reconsider its role, and how the U.S. budget might better invest in programs that save the lives of women and children while also helping to break the cycle of poverty and create sustainable futures for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations” (12/5).

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Many Worldwide Contribute To Continuing Successful AIDS Efforts

Huffington Post: Celebrating Friends of the Global Fight and a Decade of Progress in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS
Chris Dodd, chair and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America and former U.S. senator from Connecticut

“…Because of the continuing work of groups like Friends of the Global Fight and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (on whose board I have the honor of serving), great progress has been made in the continuing fight against HIV/AIDS. … It is a cause which has brought together bi-partisan political leaders, members of the creative community, advocates, and countless others. And I look forward to continuing to work with all of them and seeing what progress we can accomplish in the years to come” (12/5).

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World Must Do More To Address Hunger

New York Times: Letter to the Editor: Fighting Hunger Abroad
William Lambers, author

“The world needs to pay attention to the cries of hunger coming from Syria … Today, the public is a powerful force in raising money and awareness about the hunger facing Syria’s war victims. … [W]e are facing emergencies all over, including Iraq, South Sudan, and the Ebola countries. We need to do our part to help the hungry, and we cannot fail” (12/3).

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Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of Ebola Epidemic

Washington Times: The Ebola virus survives a turf war
Editorial Board

Huffington Post: Ebola Vaccines: Why Clinical Trials Are Just the First Step
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance

The Guardian: Sierra Leone’s Ebola battle is being led by local talent that deserves our support
Tom Dannatt, founder and chief executive of Street Child

Roll Call: Congress Should Approve Ebola Funding
Swannie Jett, president-elect of the National Association of County and City Health Officials and Executive Director of the Seminole County Health Department in Florida

The Hill: “Year of Ebola” highlights need to invest in preventive health
Derek Yach, executive director of the Vitality Institute

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation Analysis Examines Global Funding For Malaria Control, Elimination, R&D

Kaiser Family Foundation: Global Financing for Malaria: Trends & Future Status
A new Kaiser Family Foundation report “provides an analysis of malaria funding trends for control and elimination and R&D activities over time compared to the estimated need presented in the GMAP [(Global Malaria Action Plan)]. It also looks ahead to assess projected funding availability.” The analysis finds that funding for global malaria control and elimination activities has risen from US$871 million in 2005 to US$2.6 billion in 2013. However, total funding is significantly below US$5.1 billion, the goal set by the GMAP, which is a framework endorsed by world leaders in 2008 to reach global malaria reduction targets (Kates/Wexler, 12/8).

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PEPFAR's 'Global Pediatric ARV Commitment-To-Action' Aims To Improve Drug Access

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Accelerating Access to Innovation and Saving Children’s Lives
U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx, Colleen Chien, senior adviser to the CTO at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Tom Kalil, deputy director for technology and innovation at the OSTP, discuss “PEPFAR’s ‘Global Pediatric Antiretroviral (ARV) Commitment-to-Action,’ which aims to accelerate the development and supply of child-friendly ARV medicines in low- and middle-income countries…” (12/5).

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Gender-Based Violence, HIV/AIDS Efforts Are Critically Linked

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: The Intersection of HIV/AIDS and Gender-Based Violence: A Critical Connection
Carla Koppell, USAID’s chief strategy officer, discusses linkages between gender-based violence prevention and efforts to reduce the spread of HIV (12/5).

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CSIS Report Examines India's Global Fund Allocations

Center for Strategic & International Studies: India and the Global Fund
Todd Summers, senior adviser at the CSIS Global Health Policy Center, and Katherine Peck, program coordinator and research assistant, discuss the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s funding for India, which has “a three-year allocation under the Global Fund’s new funding mechanism of $850 million” (11/30).

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