KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

WHO Declares End Of Ebola Epidemic In Sierra Leone; Country Enters 90-Day Intensive Surveillance Period

News outlets report on the WHO’s declaration made Saturday that Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone.

Al Jazeera America: Sierra Leone declared free of Ebola
“The World Health Organization on Saturday declared Sierra Leone free from Ebola transmissions, as a battle continues to stamp out the deadly virus in neighboring Guinea…” (11/7).

Associated Press: Sierra Leone declared free of Ebola, as Guinea struggles
“…Nearly 4,000 people have died in Sierra Leone of Ebola since the outbreak began in late 2013. The World Health Organization said 42 days have passed since the country’s last confirmed Ebola patient was discharged on Sept. 25 after two consecutive negative test results…” (Roy-Macaulay, 11/7).

The Atlantic: Sierra Leone’s Long Road to Becoming Ebola-Free
“…In Sierra Leone, 8,704 people were infected and 3,589 died of the disease. About 4,000 survived. More than 12,000 children were orphaned as a result of the outbreak, according to a report by the British charity Street Child. The average age of orphans was nine…” (Koren, 11/7).

Deutsche Welle: World Health Organization (WHO) declares Sierra Leone free of Ebola
“…[A]uthorities in Sierra Leone have been warned to remain vigilant as the country enters a 90-day intensive surveillance period…” (11/7).

The Guardian: WHO officially declares Sierra Leone Ebola-free
“…The National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) will continue to operate until the end of the year, and the swabbing of all dead bodies for Ebola will be mandatory until June 2016. [President Ernest Bai] Koroma said he was ‘humbled by the dedication’ of 35,000 Ebola response workers ‘whose heroism is without parallel in the history of our country’…” (O’Carroll/Fofana, 11/7).

PBS NewsHour: WHO: Sierra Leone is free of Ebola
“… ‘The world had never faced an Ebola outbreak of this scale and magnitude and the world has neither seen a nation mobilizing its people and resources as Sierra Leone did,’ Dr. Anders Nordström, the WHO representative in Sierra Leone, said on Saturday. ‘The power of the people of Sierra Leone is the reason why we could put an end to this outbreak today’…” (Mach, 11/7).

Quartz: Sierra Leone is free of Ebola, says the WHO
“…Medical experts and scientists have been careful not to jump the gun in declaring the disease defeated, because of the unprecedented strength of last year’s epidemic and a lack of proven vaccines or cures…” (Adegoke, 11/7).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola virus transmission has been stopped in Sierra Leone — U.N. health agency
“…The strong leadership of the Sierra Leone government, working with partners from around the globe, mobilized the necessary expertise needed to contain the outbreak. … WHO says that it will maintain an enhanced staff presence in Sierra Leone during this transition from outbreak control, to enhanced vigilance, to the recovery of essential health services…” (11/7).

Washington Post: Sierra Leone is free of Ebola, 18 months and 4,000 deaths after outbreak
“…Before Ebola arrived, Sierra Leone’s economy was expected to grow by about 11 percent in 2014 — making the country one of West Africa’s economic bright spots. The World Bank now estimates that Sierra Leone’s economy will shrink by 23.5 percent this year and will lose $1.4 billion in growth as a result of the outbreak…” (Sieff, 11/7).

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Climate Change, Policies Linked With Poverty Elimination Efforts, World Bank Report Says

News outlets discuss the links between global health, poverty elimination, and climate change, including a new World Bank report on the issue.

Associated Press: World Bank: Climate change could result in 100 million poor
“Climate change could push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030 by disrupting agriculture and fueling the spread of malaria and other diseases, the World Bank said in a report Sunday. Released just weeks ahead of a U.N. climate summit in Paris, the report highlighted how the impact of global warming is borne unevenly, with the world’s poor woefully unprepared to deal with climate shocks such as rising seas or severe droughts…” (Ritter, 11/8).

The Guardian: Rising temperatures could drive 100m into extreme poverty, World Bank warns
“…Climate change has led to crop failures, natural disasters, higher food prices, and the spread of waterborne diseases, creating poverty and pushing people at risk into destitution, according to Shock Waves: Managing the Impacts of Climate Change on Poverty, released on Sunday…” (Anderson, 11/8).

IRIN: Will climate change = more disease?
“…[M]any scientists are unequivocal that a link between climate change and disease spread to humans can be made. The difficulty is proving causality. [Barbara Han of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies] believes the case ‘can absolutely be made.’ The issue, she says, is ‘not whether, but how’…” (Garson, 11/6).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: World Bank warns climate change could add 100 mln poor by 2030
“…The bank’s estimate of 100 million more poor by 2030 is on top of 900 million expected to be living in extreme poverty if development progresses slowly. In 2015, the bank puts the number of poor at 702 million people. Climate change is already hurting them through decreased crop yields, floods washing away assets and livelihoods, and a bigger threat of diseases like malaria, said John Roome, World Bank senior director for climate change. He described ending poverty and tackling climate change as ‘the defining issues of our generation’…” (Rowling, 11/9).

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Some Experts Criticize Republican Efforts To Block USAID Administrator Nominee, Say Attempts Weaken U.S. Humanitarian Responses

Al Jazeera: U.S. foreign aid becomes political pickle
“…Critics say Republican attempts to block Gayle Smith, U.S. President Barack Obama’s nominee to head the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), are weakening the American response to humanitarian crises in places like Syria and Ukraine…” (Sheridan, 11/6).

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WHO, Partners Working To Strengthen Resiliency, Prepare For El Niño

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency scales up coordination for dramatic effects of powerful El Niño expected worldwide
“Deeply concerned about potential deaths, illness, malnutrition, and psychosocial effects brought by the ongoing El Niño phenomenon, the strongest in nearly two decades, the World Health Organization (WHO) is ramping up its efforts with regional offices and partners to guide countries on El Niño preparedness and timely response to curb its health risks…” (11/6).

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Malaria Prevention, Control Efforts Lead To 70-80% Drop In Disease Cases, Deaths In Latin America, PAHO Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Malaria deaths, cases plunge in Latin America — WHO
“…Across the Americas, increased prevention and control of malaria has led to a nearly 70 percent fall in cases from 1.2 million in 2000 to 375,000 in 2014. Malaria deaths have dropped by nearly 80 percent over the same period, with 89 deaths reported in the region last year, according to latest figures from PAHO, the regional arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) in the Americas…” (Moloney, 11/6).

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Vietnam's Adoption Of 'One Health' Infectious Disease Control Methods Helps Stem Large Outbreaks

NOVA Next: How Vietnam Mastered Infectious Disease Control
“…[‘One Health’ is] a holistic approach to global health that, over the past decade, has become the dominant force in emerging infectious diseases and global health security. After that first big avian flu scare of 2003, Vietnam became an early adapter of One Health and is now a global leader. … In the global health world, One Health may not have enemies, but it does have challenges, including keeping funders interested in prevention and getting the public on board…” (Silberner, 11/5).

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U.N. Agencies Supporting Iraqi Government Efforts To Stop Cholera Outbreak

U.N. News Centre: Iraq: amid fears cholera outbreak may worsen, U.N. agencies step up support to government-led response
“…UNICEF is part of urgent efforts underway to protect communities and families from the effects of a cholera outbreak that has already infected more than 2,200 people — about 20 percent of them children — across 15 of the country’s 18 governorates. With concern rising that the disease could spread further, UNICEF — alongside the World Health Organization (WHO) — indicates that it has provided support to the Iraqi Ministry of Health, delivered and secured clean water supplies, offered treatment for people with cholera symptoms, and undertaken a national communication campaign to help people protect themselves against the disease…” (11/6).

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International Community Must Better Prepare For Pandemics, Bill Gates Says

Financial Times: Bill Gates warns over risk of pandemic precipice
“Bill Gates says there could be one benefit from the Ebola epidemic that has killed more than 11,000 people in West Africa since 2014. ‘It may serve as a wake-up call,’ says the Microsoft founder. ‘We must prepare for future epidemics of diseases that may spread more effectively than Ebola’…” (Ward, 11/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

U.S. 'Strategic Health Diplomacy,' Global Health Program Investments Increase National Security

U.S. News & World Report: Saving Lives, Strengthening Nations
Tom Daschle, former U.S. senator from South Dakota, co-founder of the Bipartisan Policy Center, and founder of the Daschle Group; and Bill Frist, former U.S. senator from Tennessee, co-chair of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Health Project, and chair of Hope Through Healing Hands

“…It is indisputable that global health projects save lives, but we now have evidence to suggest that they can also increase U.S. national security. Healthier populations build more prosperous societies, more competent institutions, and more stable governments. Additionally, when gains in health are made possible by our government, they foster support and goodwill for the United States around the world. … This is why we call PEPFAR a potential example of strategic health diplomacy: The idea that when Americans improve the health of people in developing nations, we not only fulfill a vital humanitarian mission, but can also make the world more secure. This is precisely the sort of smart foreign policy that Obama called for in this year’s National Security Strategy … Moreover, this is a policy that both parties should support — doing good in the world and furthering our interests simultaneously. … [W]e need a robust strategic health diplomacy plan moving forward…” (11/9).

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Reaching Key Populations Vital To Ending Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Newsweek: Ending AIDS Means Leaving No One Behind
William Oates, content editor at AVERT

“…Despite significant progress in countries with generalized [HIV] epidemics, certain groups — including the LBGT community and young women in particular — are at a heightened risk of HIV. … Reaching these key populations is vital to ending the global HIV and AIDS epidemic. By making HIV services readily available to members of key populations, the impact of the global response can be maximized. The new [Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF)/PEPFAR] partnership reflects this change of focus … LGBT and other key population issues relating to HIV need to be understood in a local context. It is vitally important that funding, similar to that announced by EJAF and PEPFAR, is allowed to be implemented at the grassroots level acknowledging cultural differences in order to bring lasting change…” (11/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Empowering Women, Girls Essential To Improving Community Health, Environmental Conservation

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: Empowering Women and Girls for a Better, Healthier Planet
Elizabeth Jordan, director of the State Department’s Office of Global Health Diplomacy, discusses the work of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) and the link between gender equality, health, and conservation. Jordan writes, “JGI’s work across Africa has reinforced the idea that improving the health of communities — and specifically empowering women and girls through education and information about their own health — better positions these communities to minimize their environmental impact and take an active role in environmental conservation” (11/6).

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CFR Blog Post Examines Role Of WHO In Global Health Sector, Need For Reform

Council on Foreign Relations’ “The Internationalist”: Global Health and the WHO: Revival or Marginalization?
In a guest post, Miles Kahler, senior fellow for global governance at the Council on Foreign Relations and distinguished professor at American University’s School of International Service, discusses the WHO’s current role in the global health sector and the organization’s need for reform (11/6).

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Podcast Discusses Women In Global Health Leadership Roles

Pangea: Women in Global Health: Growing a Movement for Leadership
In this podcast, Jaclyn Schiff, executive producer and host of the Pangea podcast, speaks with Roopa Dhatt and Caity Jackson, two of the co-founders of #WomeninGH, “a new group that aims to empower women leadership in global health,” about the lack of women in global health leadership roles (11/4).

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