KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Ban To Discuss Ebola Efforts With U.N. Organization Heads

U.N. News Centre: Ban to take up fight against Ebola with heads of all U.N. organizations
“On the eve of a meeting of United Nations agency chiefs to discuss ways to jointly tackle the Ebola outbreak, the World Bank reported today Liberia’s labor sector has suffered a huge blow since the start of the crisis, as a ‘massive effort’ was underway in Mali to halt the spread of the re-emerged virus. … Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will [Friday] discuss the common effort to counter the Ebola outbreak with the U.N. System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), made up of 29 executive heads of U.N. funds and programs, specialized agencies, including the Bretton Woods Institutions, and related organizations — the World Tourism Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency…” (11/20).

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U.S. House Committee Passes Bill To Authorize $1.8B For USAID Emergency Ebola Aid

CQ News: $1.8 Billion in Emergency Ebola Aid Advanced by House Panel
“The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday backed by voice vote a bill to provide additional assistance to West African countries stricken by Ebola. The measure (HR 5710) would authorize $1.8 billion in emergency aid for the U.S. Agency for International Development’s International Disaster Assistance account, which could be tapped to build treatment facilities, train safe-burial teams, and provide emergency food assistance…” (Zanona, 11/20).

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U.S. Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Ban Travelers From Ebola-Hit Nations, While DHS Grants Temporary Protection For West Africans Already In U.S.

News outlets report on moves in the U.S. aimed at restricting travelers from West African nations and allowing those from Ebola-affected nations already in the country to temporarily stay.

The Hill: GOP bill would impose Ebola travel ban
“A group of five Republican senators on Thursday introduced legislation that would restrict those who live in Ebola-stricken countries from traveling to the United States, while allowing exceptions for some aid workers and foreign military members…” (Kamisar, 11/20).

Reuters: Exclusive: U.S. to allow people from nations hit by Ebola to stay temporarily
“…People from Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone in the United States as of Thursday may apply for protection from deportation, as well as for work permits, for 18 months, said a Department of Homeland Security official…” (Edwards, 11/20).

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Mali Marks 7 Ebola Deaths As Questions Raised Over Hospital's Response To Outbreak

News outlets report on Ebola in Mali, where questions are being raised about the nation’s response to two outbreaks after the death of the doctor who treated the country’s second Ebola index patient brings the number of deaths to seven.

Associated Press: Mali Ebola crisis deepens with doctor’s death (Ahmed, 11/20).
Reuters: Doctor who treated source of second Mali Ebola outbreak dies (Diallo et al., 11/20).
VOA News: Doctor’s Death Pushes Mali’s Ebola Toll to Seven (11/20).
IRIN: Questions over Mali’s Ebola response (11/18).
Reuters: Guinea imam’s trip to Mali exposes gaps in Ebola response (Penney/Farge, 11/20).
Washington Times: WHO outlines six Ebola cases in Mali (Howell, 11/20).

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Ebola Spread In Liberia Has Slowed, But Logistical Challenges Remain

News outlets report on the logistical challenges of diagnosing Ebola patients in Liberia, even as the spread of the disease there has slowed.

New York Times: Ebola Spread Has Slowed in Liberia, CDC Says
“The international response to West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, coupled with more effective action by local communities, has stopped the exponential spread of the disease in one of the hardest-hit countries, Liberia, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday…” (Cooper, 11/20).

Washington Post: U.S. seeking ways to speed blood samples from remote areas for Ebola tests in Liberia
“U.S. officials are scrambling to resolve a key logistical hurdle in fighting the fast-moving Ebola epidemic in Liberia: the ability to transport blood samples from remote areas of the country for laboratory testing…” (Sun, 11/20).

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Ebola Epidemic Impacts Adoption Process In W. Africa; More Social Services Needed For Orphans

News outlets report on issues surrounding an increase in the number of orphans due to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Associated Press: Ebola heightens need for aid for orphans
“The Ebola epidemic has put adoptions in impacted West African countries at a standstill for obvious reasons. … [E]ven as some families keep their commitment to adopt, despite the Ebola threat, the numbers of children in West African orphanages who’ve lost parents is only increasing because of the deadly virus…” (Irvine, 11/20).

IRIN: Ebola orphans now face stigma, stress
“Of the hundreds of children in Sierra Leone who have lost parents to Ebola, the vast majority have lost both their mother and their father. … Nationwide, more than 3,400 children have been directly affected by the virus, including at least 89 children who have lost one parent and more than 795 who have lost both parents to Ebola, according to the MSWGCA [(Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs)]/UNICEF-led Family Tracing and Reunification (FTR) network…” (11/20).

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Pope Calls On Nations To Share Wealth, Lower Food Waste To Combat Hunger; Yemen Minister Warns Of Child Malnutrition

News outlets report on comments made Thursday at the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in Rome by Pope Francis and Yemen Agriculture Minister Farid Mujawar.

Associated Press: Pope demands just distribution of world’s bounty
“Pope Francis demanded a more just distribution of the world’s bounty for the poor and hungry Thursday, telling a U.N. conference on nutrition that access to food is a basic human right that shouldn’t be subject to market speculation and quests for profit…” (Winfield, 11/20).

Reuters: Pope says food commodity speculation hurts fight against hunger
“…Addressing a United Nations conference on nutrition, he called on rich nations to share their wealth and denounced waste, excessive consumption, and unequal distribution of food…” (Pullella, 11/20).

U.N. News Centre: Pope Francis urges concrete action in global nutrition challenge at U.N. conference in Rome
“…He told delegates from the 172 nations attending the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) to make sure their pledges assure food security to all citizens are put into concrete practice, saying that the right to a healthy diet was about dignity, not charitable hand-outs. Despite there being enough food for everyone, food issues are regularly subject to manipulated information, claims about national security, corruption, and ‘teary-eyed’ evocations of economic crisis, Francis said…” (11/20).

Reuters: Half Yemen’s children malnourished as hunger worsens strife
“Nearly half the children in Yemen are suffering from malnutrition, the agriculture minister has said, as insurgencies, water scarcity, and climate change exacerbate sectarian strife in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest state…” (Arsenault, 11/20).

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World Clean Cookstove Conference Aims To Reduce Pollution Deaths

Newsweek: The Stoves Used by Millions in Developing Countries Are a Silent Killer
“As many as four million people in developing countries die every year from illnesses caused by smoke and other pollutants that fill their homes every time they fire up the stove to cook a meal for their families. Diplomats, U.S. government officials, manufacturers, and advocates gathered at a New York conference on Thursday to come up with ways to reduce that number…” (Westcott, 11/20).

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U.S. House Passes Legislation To Improve Female Birth Data, Promote Legal Rights Of Women

Devex: U.S. House votes to make girls count
“Women and girls in developing countries found support on Capitol Hill, as the U.S. House of Representatives passed Wednesday two pieces of legislation aimed to improve data around female births and encourage more U.S.-funded scholarships for Pakistani women. .. The Girls Count Act of 2014 aims to encourage the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development to support programs focused on ‘improved civil registration and vital statistics systems’ so that female births, in particular, will be better recorded in developing countries…” (Igoe, 11/20).

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Lancet Series Highlights Global Problem Of Violence Against Women, Girls, Steps For Interventions

Media sources report on a new series from The Lancet titled, “Violence against women and girls.”

The Guardian: One in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence from partner
“One in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence from their partner, while seven percent will be assaulted at some point in their lives by a non-partner, say the authors of a new series of papers in the Lancet. They conclude that too little is being done to counter violence against women, which is endemic around the globe…” (Boseley, 11/20).

WHO: Worldwide action needed to address hidden crisis of violence against women and girls
“…Although many countries have made substantial progress towards criminalizing violence against women and promoting gender equality, the series authors argue that governments and donors need to commit sufficient financial resources to ensure their verbal commitments translate into real change. Even where laws are progressive, many women and girls still suffer discrimination, experience violence, and lack access to vital health and legal services…” (11/21).

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Africa Closer To Polio Elimination With Marked Reduction In Case Numbers, CDC Reports

News outlets discuss a CDC report showing Africa has not recorded a wild poliovirus (WPV) case since August and Nigeria has seen a significant reduction in case numbers so far this year.

Slate: Are We on the Verge of a Polio-Free Africa?
“With all of the news about Ebola’s rapid, dispiriting spread through West Africa, you may have missed an encouraging public health development: The continent appears tantalizingly close to fully eradicating polio, once one of the world’s most feared and destructive diseases…” (Keating, 11/20).

TIME: Africa Nears Polio Eradication, CDC Says
“…No case of polio has been recorded on the continent since August, the report finds, and ones earlier this year were all found in Nigeria, one of the last three endemic nations alongside Pakistan and Afghanistan. Officials recorded only six known cases of Type 1 WPV between January and September in Nigeria, marking a drastic reduction from 49 cases in the previous year…” (Kemey, 11/20).

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Egyptian Court Acquits Doctor In FGM Trial

News outlets report on an Egyptian court’s acquittal of a doctor charged with performing female genital mutilation on a young girl that led to her death.

Associated Press: Egypt acquits doctor in female genital mutilation
“An Egyptian court on Thursday acquitted a doctor charged with performing female genital mutilation that led to a 13-year-old girl’s death in a Nile Delta village, the country’s first trial on charges of breaking the ban on the practice…” (Michael, 11/20).

The Guardian: Egypt’s first female genital mutilation trial ends in not guilty verdict
“…Raslan Fadl, a doctor and Islamic preacher in the village of Agga, northern Egypt, was acquitted of mutilating Sohair al-Bata’a in June 2013. The 12-year-old died during the alleged procedure, but Fadl was also acquitted of her manslaughter. No reason was given by the judge, with the verdict being simply scrawled in a court ledger, rather than being announced in the Agga courtroom. Sohair’s father, Mohamed al-Bata’a, was also acquitted of responsibility…” (Kingsley, 11/20).

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Mozambique Aims To Lower Cervical Cancer Rate With Screenings, HPV Vaccinations

VOA News: Mozambique Rolls Out Cervical Cancer Vaccines for School Girls
“Mozambique has one of the world’s highest rates of cervical cancer, a disease that kills 4,000 women there every year. A new plan to vaccinate 10-year-old girls could turn the tide in the fight against a devastating illness that is widening an already gaping gender divide in some of the globe’s poorest countries. … At the Boane clinic, Jhpiego, a non-profit health organization, has integrated screening into HIV-related health services…” (Parker, 11/20).

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MERS Source Remains Unknown, Leaving Concerns About Animal-Borne Diseases' Spread Among Humans

Reuters: Saudi Arabia tackles MERS virus, still hunting source
“Saudi Arabia has not yet traced the source of a mysterious camel virus, leaving many questions about a disease that has killed 346 people in the Kingdom. The lack of scientific evidence about how camels contract the virus, which causes an often fatal illness called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in people, echoes wider concerns about the threat posed to human health by animal-borne pathogens, including the Ebola virus…” (Kelland, 11/21).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Piece, Letter To Editor Discuss How Sustained Responses To Ebola, Health Systems Strengthening Needed In West Africa

Huffington Post: Ebola is What Happens When Promises Are Broken
Bono, lead singer of U2 and co-founder of ONE

“…The Ebola outbreak in West Africa — and the world’s inept initial response to it — shows how fragile we are on all fronts. Because the epidemic isn’t just a failure of health systems in poor countries, or of leadership and coordination by wealthy ones, it’s also a failure of our value system. If governments the world over had kept their promises to fight extreme poverty and diseases, the three countries most affected would have had stronger national immune systems. … Ebola has taught us that our value system needs a shot in the arm. The real villain is not a virus or microbe, it is when good policies, well thought-out, are not funded or followed through” (11/20).

New York Times: Fighting Ebola in Liberia: The CDC Director’s View
Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

“‘Internal Discord Hampers a Fight Against Ebola’ (front page, Nov. 20) may leave readers with the impression that little has been achieved by international efforts against Ebola in Liberia. … Despite limited health care infrastructure and the challenging epidemic, real progress is being made through collaboration between Liberian and international health professionals. … Rapid changes in the epidemic require rapid adaptations of the response. Healthy discussion and debate are a normal part of any emergency response. There is much farther to go. Accelerating speed and scale is critical in the coming months, and it will be possible to track and stop every chain of transmission and control Ebola only with additional resources from Congress” (11/20).

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Increased Funding For NIH Infectious Diseases Research 'An Investment In Our Health And Our Future'

Seattle Times: Fund the National Institutes of Health to fight infectious diseases
Alan Aderem, president and director of Seattle BioMed

“…Disease research is some of the most critical and challenging work of the 21st century. Increased funding to the NIH is the single most important component to discovering new vaccines, drugs, and cures for the world’s deadliest diseases. … U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., and Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., and U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, have introduced the Accelerating Biomedical Research Act to increase NIH funding, offsetting severe budget caps previously imposed on the agency. Harkin said, ‘It is time for us on a bipartisan basis to reverse this erosion of support for biomedical research to ensure America’s standing as a world leader in this field.’ Protecting public health is not an issue of politics. The NIH’s mission reaches across party lines. Funding it is an investment in health and our future…” (11/20).

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Preventing Violence Against Girls Vital To Ending AIDS

Daily Beast: To End HIV, Stop Violence Against Adolescent Girls
Michele Moloney-Kitts, director of Together for Girls

“…Until girls’ rights and needs are placed at the top of our agenda, we won’t get far in achieving our goal to stop HIV, not to mention many other critical public health issues. … Investing in this work is incredibly smart. As country governments build their capacity to respond to and prevent violence, they are also protecting their citizens from a host of other negative health conditions, including HIV/AIDS, unintended pregnancy, and the maternal deaths that young teen mothers risk. Taking on this egregious human rights issue contributes to an environment where children can grow up both safe and healthy…” (11/20).

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Christian Institutions, Organizations Can Play Greater Role In NTD Prevention, Treatment

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: Global Christianity and the Control of Its Neglected Tropical Diseases
Peter Hotez, co-editor in chief of PLOS NTDs and dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine

When data from the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life are superimposed with WHO’s Preventive Chemotherapy and Transmission Control (PCT) Databank, “…The findings confirm that approximately one billion Christians who live in developing countries of Africa, Asia, and the Americas are highly vulnerable to NTDs. These diseases, which are highly destabilizing and associated with chronic and debilitating effects, represent a major force that traps the world’s poorest Christians in poverty. … Christian institutions and organizations could have an important role in expanding the control or treatment of NTDs among the 1.3 billion Christians estimated to live in the Global South. … Through NTDs, a renewed dialogue with faith-based organizations that work in developing countries and elements of the hierarchy of the Christian Church could make an important difference in global Christianity and the lives of the world’s poorest people” (11/20).

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Opinion Pieces Discuss Issues Surrounding 25th Anniversary Of Child Rights Convention

Huffington Post: It Is Time for an International Children’s Court
Gordon Brown, U.N. special envoy for global education and former U.K. prime minister

Inter Press Service: U.S. Missing in Child Rights Convention
Kul Gautam, a former UNICEF deputy executive director and U.N. assistant secretary general

Huffington Post: 25 Years Later, Children’s Rights Still Lacking
Anne Goddard, president and CEO of ChildFund International

Devex: CRC at 25: How the E.U. can fulfill its commitments to children
Alexandra Makaroff, head of the Plan E.U. office; Ester Asin Martinez, director and E.U. representative of the Save the Children International E.U. Office; and Deirdre de Burca, director of advocacy at World Vision

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID Assistant Administrator Lindborg's Testimony Before Senate On Ebola In West Africa, U.S.

USAID: Testimony of Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
The agency presents a transcript of Lindborg’s testimony delivered on Wednesday discussing “the U.S. response to the ongoing Ebola epidemic in West Africa and other emerging health security threats” (11/19).

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First U.S.-Built Ebola Treatment Unit Finished In Liberia

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: Building Ebola Treatment Units to Foster Hope, Healing in Liberia
Carol Han, press officer for USAID’s Ebola Disaster Assistance Response Team, discusses the construction of first Ebola treatment unit (ETU) built by the U.S. in Liberia (11/20).

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Blog Post Examines Pneumonia Case Numbers, Mortality Rates, Spending

Humanosphere: Explaining pneumonia’s big global decline on a tiny budget
In a guest post, Nancy Fullman, a policy translation specialist at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, discusses the relationships among global pneumonia case numbers, mortality rates, and spending on the disease (11/20).

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Asia Pacific Nations Adopt Goal To Eliminate Malaria By 2030

UCSF Global Health Sciences: Commentary: Asia Pacific adopts game-changing goal to be malaria-free by 2030
Erika Larson, advocacy and communications manager of the Malaria Elimination Initiative at the Global Health Group at the University of California, San Francisco, discusses the Asia Pacific malaria elimination goal, which was adopted last week by leaders of 18 nations during the East Asia Summit in Myanmar and commits to eliminating malaria in the Asia Pacific by 2030 (11/20).

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