KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

CDC Director Says West African Ebola Epidemic Far From Over; USAID Chief Speaks With L.A. Times; U.S. Defense Secretary Reassures Troops On Ebola Mission

News outlets report on U.S. officials’ comments on efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

The Hill: Ebola epidemic ‘nowhere near over’ in West Africa, CDC director says
“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Thomas Frieden said the Ebola epidemic is ‘nowhere near over’ in West Africa, despite a decline in cases in Liberia, one of the hardest-hit countries. Speaking at an event at the Aspen Institute on Monday, Frieden compared the epidemic to a widening forest fire that could easily spread to other regions in Africa. He said he was ‘very concerned’ by the idea that Ebola is receding, which has been promoted by some media outlets…” (Viebeck, 11/17).

Los Angeles Times: Is the U.S. pursuing the right strategy against Ebola?
“…The Los Angeles Times spoke with Rajiv Shah, the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, to find out what the government is doing to get ahead of the virus. Here is an edited transcript of the conversation…” (Zavis, 11/17).

Reuters: Hagel seeks to reassure U.S. troops about safety of Ebola mission
“Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sought on Monday to reassure soldiers training for the fight against Ebola in Liberia that their mission was a legitimate use of the military and the Pentagon was taking every step to ensure their safety…” (Alexander, 11/17).

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U.N. Concerned Over Further Isolation Of Ebola-Hit West Africa

Inter Press Service: West Africa: U.N. Concerned Over Ebola Backlash
“The United Nations, which is working on an emergency footing to battle the outbreak of Ebola, is worried about the potential for further isolation of the hardest-hit nations in West Africa. ‘It’s a psychological fear,’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told IPS. ‘And there has been a chain reaction’…” (Deen, 11/17).

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Doctor Dies Of Ebola After Transport To U.S. Hospital; Case Shows Importance Of Early Detection, Treatment

Washington Post: Death of second Ebola patient in U.S. shows need for early, accurate tests, experts say
“…[Martin] Salia’s death highlights what experts say is a critical need in the ongoing fight against the worst Ebola outbreak in history: the ability to quickly and accurately diagnose the disease in order to halt its spread and give patients the best chance for survival. … There has been a big push in recent months to develop rapid tests that can more quickly provide a diagnosis. But even those tests wouldn’t necessarily be able to help doctors diagnose Ebola soon after a person is infected but before symptoms begin…” (Sun/Dennis, 11/17).

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Recruiting HCWs To Combat Ebola In West Africa Proving Challenging, Red Cross Says

Associated Press: Red Cross officials: Ebola flaring anew in Africa
“Red Cross officials helping to lead the fight against Ebola in West Africa said Monday the virus is still spreading, and they’re having trouble recruiting health care workers to combat it…” (Dahlburg, 11/17).

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In Ebola Response, Officials, HCWs Work To Gain Trust Of African Villagers Who Follow Traditional Healers

Wall Street Journal: Africa’s Village Healers Complicate Ebola Fight
“…[O]fficials and health workers got residents to change behavior, accept modern medicine and break a chain of deadly infections. An important part of that work has zeroed in on dispelling rumors and debunking miracle cures health workers say [a traditional healer] peddled in the village of Kpondu, the suspected source of Sierra Leone’s outbreak. The resistance they met from villagers underscores a little-understood dynamic in the Ebola epidemic: Healers in parts of Africa — both herbal and faith-based — are often more highly regarded than those who come to promote more unfamiliar forms of medical care…” (Wonacott, 11/17).

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Barbara Bush, Melinda Gates Discuss Impact Of Ebola On Women's Health, Other Topics At New York Event

Newsweek: Barbara Bush on the Impact of Ebola on Women’s Health
“Women’s health is becoming a casualty of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, philanthropists and health advocates Barbara Bush and Melinda Gates said on Monday. … Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Barbara Bush, former president George W. Bush’s daughter and co-founder and CEO of the international health care nonprofit Global Health Corps (GHC), spoke with journalist Katie Couric on topics ranging from educating women and girls to the Catholic Church and contraception, at a women’s health event titled ‘Better by Half’…” (Westcott, 11/17).

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Health Care, Education Vital For Record Number Of Global Youth, UNFPA Report Says

News outlets discuss the findings of a recently released report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) that estimates 1.8 billion people worldwide are between the ages of 10 to 24 years old.

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Youth bulge could unleash rapid economic growth
“The record number of young people in the world today could unlock fast economic growth in many developing countries unless lack of access to health care and education hinder progress, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Tuesday…” (Caspani, 11/17).

New York Times: Global Number of Youths Is Highest Ever, U.N. Reports
“…The report is designed to shape the debate around new global development goals that are to be finalized next year. A bulge of young people creates obvious risks. Homicide rates are higher where there are more young people. And there is a strong correlation between the youthfulness of a society and the status of women: Levels of income inequality are higher where youths make up a higher share of the population…” (Sengupta, 11/17).

TIME: How Prioritizing Women’s Health Can Lift Countries Out of Poverty
“…Given the high number of youth and adolescents today, the U.N. report says several countries are poised for [accelerated economic growth] if they can ensure that their young people actually make it into the workforce. Several factors can contribute to this transition, like increasing living standards and creating transparent regulatory environments, but one of the greatest factors cited by the U.N. report is if a country significantly prioritizes and invests in women’s health, including sexual health…” (Sifferlin, 11/17).

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Complications From Preterm Births Leading Cause Of Death Among Children Under Five, Study Shows

News outlets report on a recent study showing complications from preterm birth are the leading cause of mortality among young children worldwide.

The Guardian: Complications from preterm births now the main killer of under-fives
“Complications associated with preterm births have become the leading single killer of children under five, outpacing pneumonia and claiming 3,000 lives every day in what has been described as ‘one of the greatest health challenges of the 21st century,’ a study published in the medical journal The Lancet said…” (Chonghaile, 11/17).

U.N. News Centre: On World Prematurity Day, U.N. stresses importance of improving children’s health
“…Some of the highest rates of preterm deaths are in West Africa, particularly in the countries currently dealing with the challenges of the Ebola virus. Of the estimated 6.3 million deaths of children under the age of five in 2013, complications from preterm births accounted for nearly 1.1 million deaths, according to new findings published in The Lancet…” (11/17).

VOA News: Study: Preterm Birth Complications Leading Cause of Death for Young Children
“…Dr. Andres de Francisco, interim executive director of the Geneva-based Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health, said, ‘Over the last few years the proportion of deaths due to preterm births has been increasing. The reason for this is that we do not really have major interventions in place to avoid premature births — and second, to manage them in most communities where they occur’…” (DeCapua, 11/17).

Washington Post: Being born too early is now the leading cause of death in young children
“…The researchers, who came from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the World Health Organization and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, project that if such trends regarding childhood mortality continue, 4.4 million children will die in 2030, with 60 percent of those deaths happening in sub-Saharan Africa” (Izadi, 11/17).

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USAID, Bilateral Donors To Sign Joint Communiqué To Promote LGBTI Rights In Aid Programs, Shah Says

Devex: USAID, top donors to mainstream LGBTI rights in development programs
“U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah announced Friday that the organization and other bilateral donors are pushing efforts to promote LGBTI rights worldwide. This push will come in the form of a joint communiqué, Shah said during closing remarks at the Global Conference on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Human Rights and Inclusive Development in Washington, D.C….” (Tyson, 11/17).

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DfID Encourages Public-Private Partnerships On Post-2015 Development Goals

Devex: DfID to NGOs: Engage business on SDGs
“Nonprofits need to engage more with the private sector in developing countries to raise awareness over the future sustainable development goals, according to the British aid agency’s focal point on the post-2015 agenda. The U.K. Department for International Development wants both NGOs and businesses to be deeply involved in crafting the framework that will replace the current Millennium Development Goals, David Hallam, post-2015 director at DfID, told Devex on the sidelines of last week’s Bond Conference…” (Jóźwiak, 11/18).

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Drowning Is 'Serious And Neglected' Global Health Threat, WHO Report Says

Media sources report on findings from a recently released WHO report on drowning.

U.N. News Centre: Drowning claims over 40 people every hour in ‘needless loss of life’ — U.N. report
“The first United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) report on drowning released [Monday] reveals that more than 370,000 people drown every year in bathtubs, buckets, ponds, rivers, ditches, and pools as people go about their daily lives in a ‘serious and neglected public health threat’…” (11/17).

WHO: WHO highlights devastating global impact of drowning
“WHO’s first ‘Global report on drowning: preventing a leading killer’ reveals that drowning claims the lives of 372,000 people each year and is among the 10 leading causes of death for children and young people in every region…” (11/17).

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South Africa To Spend $2.2B Over 2 Years On HIV Antiretrovirals

Reuters: South Africa to spend $2.2 billion on HIV drugs in next two years
“South Africa plans to spend $2.2 billion over two years to buy HIV/AIDS drugs for public hospitals, a government minister said on Monday, as a study shows the prevalence of the virus is rising…” (Motsoenen, 11/17).

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Sudan Again Denies U.N. Access To Darfur To Investigate Mass Rape Allegations

Reuters: Sudan denies U.N. access to Darfur village to check rape accusations
“Sudan has refused to let U.N. and African Union peacekeepers visit a village in the western Darfur region to investigate allegations of mass rape for the second time this month, saying it was skeptical about the motives for the visit…” (11/18).

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Humanitarian Aid Workers Fear Corruption, Terrorist Prosecution In Somalia, Expert Says

Reuters: Terrorism fears cripple rotten aid system in hungry Somalia — expert
“Aid workers in Somalia, which faces worsening hunger three years after famine struck the country, believe the humanitarian system is ‘rotten’ and are hamstrung by fears of being prosecuted for aiding terrorists, an expert said…” (Migiro, 11/17).

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New FAO Data Book Provides Information On Nutrition Trends From 1990-Present

U.N. News Centre: U.N. launches ‘pocketbook’ on nutrition ahead of major conference in Rome
“The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has today published a comprehensive pocketbook of nutrition-related data covering all regions of the world ahead of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) taking place in Rome this week. Food and Nutrition in Numbers … offers data highlighting trends on micronutrient deficiencies, obesity, and non-communicable diseases from 1990 to the present…” (11/17).

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NPR Blog Interviews Reproductive Health Expert About Popularity Of Sterilization Among Women

NPR: Why Sterilization Is The Most Popular Form Of Family Planning
“…[F]emale sterilization is the world’s most popular form of family planning. In 2009, 223 million women used sterilization as birth control and that number is on the rise. … For insights, Goats and Soda talked with John Townsend, director of reproductive health at the Population Council in Washington, D.C….” (Klibanoff, 11/17).

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Editorials and Opinions

Congress Should Pass International Agriculture, Food Security Legislation To Bolster U.S. Programs

Indianapolis Star: U.S. needs to lead in feeding the world
Richard Lugar, former Republican senator from Indiana

“The United States needs to institutionalize a global agriculture and food security strategy across a broad swath of public and private interests. Doing so would build on the progress made in the last two administrations and would pave a way forward to ensuring that chronic hunger is eliminated. This is no small task. But a diverse coalition of conventional and organic producers, ranchers, input suppliers, aggregators, retailers, energy experts, environmentalists, nutrition and public health experts, and international development veterans, in the form of AGree, are joining forces with other leading organizations to make this a reality. … AGree has created a roadmap that charts a path forward. One of its recommendations is to ensure the future viability of U.S. leadership by asking Congress to act on international agriculture and food security legislation…” (11/17).

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Curbing Preterm Birth Mortality Will Require Commitment To Prevention

Huffington Post: Preterm Birth: Forging the Path to Prevention
Eve Lackritz, deputy director of the Global Alliance to Prevent Prematurity and Stillbirth

“New global estimates of child mortality show important gains have been made for nearly all causes of child death, except one in which progress has remained nearly stagnant: newborn mortality. … Today, we face the post-2015 challenge of preterm birth in the same way that we once faced the other leading causes of child mortality two decades ago, challenges with limited solutions and against great odds. Today we have come to forge the commitment, to advocate for the required resources, and to roll up our sleeves and start the arduous journey, taking the next step on the long path ahead for the prevention of preterm birth” (11/17).

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Devex Features Several Opinion Pieces As Part Of #HealthyMeans Series

Devex: The power of ‘we’: Partnering for a healthier world
Yvonne Chaka Chaka, global goodwill ambassador for the Roll Back Malaria

Devex: Toward a global partnership for an AIDS-free generation
Catherine Connor, director for public policy and advocacy at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation

Devex: The best of both worlds: How PPPs can deliver ‘choice’ to women living in poverty
Brendan Hayes, head of social franchising for Marie Stopes International

Devex: To end preventable maternal mortality, let’s explore ‘business as unusual’
Dagfinn Høybråten, board chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Devex: Why global health needs the private sector
Dagfinn Høybråten, board chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

Devex: Working together to combat multidrug-resistant tuberculosis
Chrispin Kambili, global medical affairs leader at Janssen Global Public Health

Devex: Innovation and collaboration are core to progress in global health
Seema Kumar, a member of the communications leadership council at Johnson & Johnson

Devex: Radical partnerships: 5 ways to make them work
Douglas Rouse, corporate partnerships director at Save the Children, and Jon Pender, vice president in GSK’s government affairs team

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Working With West African Governments To Maintain Economic Growth Amid Ebola Epidemic

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: Recapturing Growth in Ebola-Stricken West Africa
Stephen O’Connell, chief economist for USAID, discusses how the Ebola epidemic is affecting the economies of the three worst-hit nations and the work being done to counteract those effects. “…New Ebola cases continue to be recorded in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, but as health workers have begun to contain the epidemic, we are already turning our attention, in partnership with host governments, to the task of restoring business activity in these countries…” (11/17).

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Blog Post Highlights Birx's Comments On PEPFAR's Transparency Made Last Month At Report Launch

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: As “most improved” for transparency among U.S. agencies, PEPFAR is one to watch in 2015
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses comments made last month by U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator Ambassador Deborah Birx at a launch of the 2014 Aid Transparency Index. Birx “explain[ed] how some success against the pandemic in recent years had made data sharing more important than ever…” (11/17).

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