KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Obama To Appoint Former VP Chief Of Staff Ron Klain As 'Ebola Czar'

News outlets report on the announcement this morning from the White House that U.S. President Barack Obama will appoint Ron Klain as the new Ebola response coordinator.

CNN: Obama will name Ron Klain as Ebola Czar
“President Barack Obama will appoint Ron Klain his ‘Ebola czar,’ knowledgeable sources tell CNN. The president on Thursday signaled his openness to the idea to have one individual coordinating the entire federal response to any threat of an outbreak in the United States…” (Tapper, 10/17).

The Hill: Obama to name Dem operative Klain to oversee Ebola response
“President Obama is set to appoint top Democratic operative Ron Klain to oversee the government’s Ebola response. Klain served as chief of staff to Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joe Biden and currently works in the private sector as president of Case Holdings and general counsel to Revolution LLC, an investment firm. Klain will report directly to Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco and the national security adviser Susan Rice, according to a White House official…” (Viebeck/Sink, 10/17).

New York Times: Ron Klain, Chief of Staff to 2 Vice Presidents, Is Named Ebola Czar
“President Obama will appoint Ron Klain, a former chief of staff for Vice Presidents Al Gore and Joseph R. Biden Jr., to manage the government’s response to the deadly virus as anxiety grows over its possible spread, a White House official said on Friday…” (Shear/Davis, 10/17).

Politico: President Obama selects Ron Klain as Ebola czar
“President Barack Obama has chosen Ron Klain to serve as his administration’s Ebola response coordinator, the White House said Friday. Klain will be responsible for the administration’s ‘whole of government Ebola response,’ a White House official said. The official did not refer to Klain as Obama’s ‘Ebola czar,’ but his responsibilities fit the definition…” (Epstein, 10/17).

Washington Post: Obama taps Ron Klain as Ebola czar
“President Obama has asked Ron Klain, who served as chief of staff to both Vice President Biden and former vice president Al Gore, as his Ebola response coordinator, according to a White House official…” (Eilperin/Nakamura, 10/17).

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Obama Approves National Guard Use For West African Ebola Efforts, Continues Talks With Leaders

News outlets report on U.S. President Barack Obama’s actions and comments on the Ebola epidemic over recent days. Obama on Thursday authorized the use of the National Guard to respond to Ebola in West Africa; said travel bans are not the best option for Ebola containment at this time; and continued talks with U.S. and world political leaders about responses to the epidemic.

The Hill: Obama: Travel ban ‘not the best way to go’ (Laing, 10/16).
The Hill: Obama calls Guard into Ebola fight (Sink, 10/16).
The Hill: Obama calls lawmakers on Ebola (Sink, 10/16).
The Hill: Obama may appoint Ebola czar (Sink, 10/16).
New York Times: Obama May Name ‘Czar’ to Oversee Ebola Response (Healy et al., 10/16).
New York Times: White House Takes Drop-Everything Approach to Respond to Public Health Crisis (Shear, 10/16).
Politico: President Obama: Ebola czar ‘may be appropriate,’ travel ban ‘not the way to go’ (Epstein, 10/17).
Politico: Obama OKs reservists for Africa Ebola fight (Ewing, 10/16).
Reuters: Obama approves reservists for Ebola fight, government under fire (Morgan et al., 10/16).
Reuters: Obama open to appointing Ebola ‘czar’, opposes travel ban (Holland et al., 10/17).
Washington Post: Ebola presents health, political challenges for Obama (Eilperin, 10/16).

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CDC Director Defends U.S. Response To Domestic Ebola Cases; Some Lawmakers Call For Travel Bans At House Hearing

News outlets report on a U.S. House hearing examining the federal response to Ebola cases in the U.S., including calls from some lawmakers to enact travel bans for people from West Africa.

The Hill: CDC under fire for Ebola missteps
“Lawmakers in both parties are questioning the competence of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as fears swell about the spread of Ebola in the United States. Gathering for the first congressional hearing since the infections in Dallas, lawmakers took aim at CDC on Thursday, arguing the agency has bungled the response to a major health crisis…” (Ferris, 10/16).

PBS NewsHour: Lawmakers call health agencies to account for Ebola mistakes
“Growing anxiety over Ebola in the U.S. prompted a House hearing to question the nation’s top health officials. Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner and others suggested that limits be placed on travelers coming from West Africa, but a White House spokesman dismissed the idea of a travel ban” (Iffil, 10/16).

Politico: CDC chief survives trial by fire on Hill
“Tom Frieden is getting a lot of public scoldings for all of the missteps in the handling of the Dallas Ebola cases — and there have been plenty of them. But so far, the criticisms don’t appear to be rising to the level where the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention needs to worry about his job. Frieden came through a three-hour House hearing Thursday with some bruises but also with his ability to function as director seemingly intact…” (Nather/Norman, 10/16).

Reuters: Lawmakers blast government handling of Ebola on American soil
“U.S. lawmakers on Thursday blasted the Obama administration’s handling of Ebola on American soil, warning that public trust is waning after two nurses caring for a Liberian man with the disease contracted the virus…” (Morgan et al., 10/16).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Ebola Response Is Slammed by Lawmakers
“…In the nearly three-hour hearing Thursday, which pulled lawmakers off the campaign trail, House members raised alarms that one of the nurses was allowed to fly shortly before being diagnosed with Ebola. Lawmakers also questioned infection-control protocols at the Dallas hospital. The hospital conceded it made mistakes…” (Armour/Lee, 10/16).

Wall Street Journal: Upbeat Tone on Ebola Threat Questioned (Armour, 10/16).
Washington Post: Republicans have plenty of prescriptions for Ebola experts (Henneberger, 10/16).
Washington Post: CDC director’s challenge: Deadly Ebola virus and outbreak of criticism (Sun et al., 10/16).
The Atlantic: The Argument Against an Ebola Travel Ban (Berman, 10/16).
CQ News: GOP Calls Mount for Ebola Travel Restrictions (Attias, 10/16).
The Hill: Clash over Ebola travel ban (Viebeck, 10/16).
Politico: Why a travel ban wouldn’t work (Caygle/Wolfe, 10/16).
Washington Post: Congress presses for Ebola travel ban (Berman/Bernstein, 10/16).
The Hill: Texas hospital official: ‘We are deeply sorry’ (Byrnes, 10/16).
VOA News: Texas Health Official: ‘We Made Mistakes’ in Ebola Case (10/16).

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House Minority Leader Pelosi Calls For 'Immediate' Appropriations Hearing To Discuss Ebola Funding

The Hill: Pelosi demands hearing on Ebola funding
“House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is calling for appropriators to ‘return to Washington immediately’ to approve additional funding for the Ebola response. Pelosi said the House Appropriations Committee must quickly ‘convene hearings to discuss and debate the issue of funding levels’ for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) in a statement Thursday…” (Shabad, 10/16).

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Polls Examine Americans' Views, Knowledge Of Ebola

News outlets report on findings from a new poll on Americans’ views on Ebola conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, as well as another poll conducted by Harvard University.

The Hill: Poll: Most Americans confident in CDC to handle Ebola
“The majority of Americans have confidence in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to contain the spread of the Ebola virus within the United States, according to a new survey. The poll, conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation, found 73 percent of Americans said they had a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in the CDC to control the virus. … There are slightly lower levels of confidence in local hospitals and health departments to handle infections, however. More broadly, Americans remain confident that there will not be a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States…” (McCabe, 10/16).

Kaiser Health News: Poll: Many Unaware How Ebola Is Spread
“A new survey finds the public has a lot to learn about how the Ebola virus is transmitted, which could help explain the growing fears of the disease. The survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that while nearly all adults (97 percent) know a person can become infected through direct contact with the blood or other body fluids of someone who is sick with Ebola, there are still misconceptions. (KHN is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)…” (Galewitz, 10/16).

Reuters: Majority of Americans believe Ebola spreads through air: poll
“A majority of Americans believe the Ebola virus can be spread by sneezing or coughing and more than a third fear that they or someone in their immediate family may contract the deadly disease in the next year, according to a Harvard University poll…” (Malone, 10/16).

Washington Post: Half of Americans fundamentally misunderstand Ebola
“There’s a reason politicians are mentioning Ebola on the campaign trail: Many Americans are reasonably concerned about the disease. But why are people that concerned about Ebola? Well, in large part, it’s because they fundamentally misunderstand it. Case in point: A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll. The poll asked Americans a series of questions about how the disease can spread from one person to another. As you might imagine, they flunked the test…” (Blake, 10/16).

Washington Post: Ebola is scarier when you don’t know how it’s spread
“As Americans are becoming increasingly fearful of Ebola, there’s still some pretty notable confusion about how the deadly virus is spread, according to new polling. Even though 70 percent of U.S. adults say they’re closely following news about Ebola, just 36 percent know that a person infected with the deadly virus must be showing symptoms to transmit the infection to others, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation Tracking Poll…” (Millman, 10/16).

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NPR Interviews USAID's Shah On U.S. Ebola Efforts In West Africa

NPR: USAID Head Speaks Of Heroic Efforts — And Heroes — In West Africa
“More than 300 beds in a matter of weeks. That’s the plan for construction of the ‘world’s largest Ebola treatment unit’ in Liberia, says Rajiv Shah, head of USAID, the U.S. Agency for International Development. It’s one of 18 facilities going up in Liberia alone. The czar of the federal agency for foreign aid took a break from his tour of West Africa, where he is monitoring the progress of American interventions, to speak with Morning Edition’s Rachel Martin…” (10/16).

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Ebola Needs To Be Stopped At Source, World Bank President Says

News outlets report on World Bank President Jim Yong Kim’s recent comments on the Ebola epidemic.

NPR: World Bank Head On Ebola: Put The Fire Out Where It’s Raging
“To stop the raging Ebola epidemic in West Africa, ‘we need to pay attention to where the fire is burning.’ That means there is no ‘magic solution,’ Jim Yong Kim, the head of the World Bank, told NPR’s Steve Inskeep during an interview on Morning Edition. So appointing an Ebola czar to monitor the international response isn’t going to suddenly stop the outbreak. Neither will closing the borders between U.S. and the three hardest-hit countries: Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone…” (10/17).

Reuters: Ebola must be stopped at source, not via travel bans: World Bank’s Kim
“Closing national borders to people from countries hit hardest by the Ebola outbreak is ‘not an effective strategy’ for stopping the deadly disease, the president of the World Bank said on Thursday. There is only one way to end the Ebola crisis, which is to stop the spread of disease in the three worst-hit countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the World Bank’s Jim Yong Kim told the Reuters Climate Change Summit…” (Yukhananov, 10/16).

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News Outlets Report On U.S., Local Ebola Efforts In Liberia

News outlets report on Ebola efforts in Liberia, including the role of U.S. personnel in building and staffing health care facilities, as well as a local politician providing ambulances.

The Hill: U.S. personnel will staff Liberian Ebola hospital
“The commander in charge of the U.S. response to Ebola in Africa said Thursday that 65 U.S. uniformed personnel would soon staff a 25-bed hospital in Monrovia that will directly treat Liberian health care workers if they are infected…” (Wong, 10/16).

Wall Street Journal: In Liberia, U.S. Soldiers Race Ebola
“American and Liberian soldiers hammer, saw, and sweat in the afternoon sun here in a frenetic campaign to build [this Liberian] county’s first Ebola-treatment unit. Soon, the soldiers will have floodlights to work round-the-clock shifts…” (Vogt, 10/16).

Washington Post: In Ebola-crippled Liberia, six U.S. ambulances become critical
“In a country where public services have virtually collapsed, where about a dozen ambulances are normally available for four million people, saving an Ebola patient often comes down to this: phoning a barrel-chested politician with a taste for Hummers. … In February, weeks before the disease hit, the lawmaker [Saah Joseph] imported six shiny ambulances from central California. His goal was modest — to serve his constituents suffering everyday ailments, and to burnish his reputation in the process. But now, his personal cellphone number is announced on the radio and exchanged by friends in crisis. … While the United States and other donors channel more than a billion dollars into impoverished Liberia, Joseph, 38, has created one of the most vital services in this disease-stricken land: his own emergency medical team. He has six more ambulances on the way from California…” (Sieff, 10/16).

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E.U. Strengthens Measures To Prevent Ebola's Spread In Europe; Germany Increases Funding For West Africa

News outlets report on actions taken by European entities to prevent the spread of Ebola within Europe, as well as address the epidemic in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: E.U. may boost exit screening in Ebola-hit states
“European health ministers agreed Thursday to launch an immediate review of the screening of passengers departing Ebola-hit countries in West Africa and boost them if the measures are found to be failing…” (Carmichael, 10/16).

Associated Press: E.U. vows to beef up Ebola exit tests in West Africa
“European Union nations are promising to reinforce passenger screening for Ebola at the airports in the hardest-hit West African nations and coordinate a common approach for the deadly virus at E.U. entry points…” (10/16).

New York Times: Europe Evaluates Ebola Measures as Possibility of New Cases Arises in France and Spain
“Several new suspected cases of Ebola were reported in Europe on Thursday, amid heightened fears that measures to prevent the virus from spreading here are insufficient and that more people, especially health personnel attending to Ebola patients, are at risk of contamination…” (Breeden/Minder, 10/16).

Wall Street Journal: Germany Steps Up Ebola Aid Amid Criticism of Slow Response
“Germany on Thursday announced a sixfold increase in funding to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa after facing criticism it had been slow in delivering on its pledge to help the region at the center of the outbreak…” (Thomas, 10/16).

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Donations For Ebola Efforts Slow To Fill U.N. Fund; Officials Call For Additional Assistance

News outlets report a U.N. Ebola fund has received few pledges, as U.N. officials call for stepped up efforts by the international community and experts wonder why donations from Americans for Ebola efforts have been slow.

Reuters: U.N. Ebola trust fund gets $100,000, almost $1 billion needed
“A United Nations trust fund seeking nearly $1 billion for rapid, flexible funding of the most urgent needs to fight Ebola in West Africa has received a deposit of just $100,000 nearly a month after it was set up…” (Nichols/Wroughton, 10/16).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. chief stresses need for urgent global action as Ebola continues deadly rampage
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on the international community to step up its efforts to respond to the Ebola crisis and turn pledges into action, while the United Nations health agency warned of continuously deteriorating situation in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone…” (10/16).

U.N. News Centre: Funding gap looms amid efforts to tackle ‘twin plagues’ Ebola, ISIL, warns U.N. rights chief
“Combating the ‘twin plagues’ of Ebola and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), while addressing the largest number of forcibly displaced people since World War II amid budget cuts is like ‘being asked to use a boat and bucket to cope with a flood,’ the United Nations’ new human rights chief told journalists in Geneva [Thursday]… (10/16).

Associated Press: Modest response by donors thus far to Ebola crisis
“Individual Americans, rich or not, donated generously in response to many recent international disasters, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and last year’s Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The response to the Ebola epidemic is far less robust, and experts are wondering why…” (Crary, 10/16).

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MSF Develops Model Ebola Treatment Standards, Urges Other Agencies To Join Efforts As Group Reaches Its Limit

News outlets examine Médecins Sans Frontières’ response to Ebola in West Africa, where the medical aid agency has developed effective protocols for treating Ebola patients but is running out of resources.

Los Angeles Times: Aid group has set the gold standard on Ebola safety
“…How did an aid group working out of white tents in West Africa become the gold standard in Ebola treatment, when hospitals in Dallas and Madrid have struggled to protect the workers they’ve deployed to treat Ebola patients?…” (Dixon, 10/16).

Reuters: Medical charity says has reached limit in fight against Ebola
“Médecins Sans Frontières, a medical charity that has been at the forefront in the fight against Ebola in West Africa, said it was reaching its limit and urgently needed other organizations to step up the efforts against the deadly disease…” (Bartenuk, 10/15).

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East African Community To Send 600 HCWs To West Africa, Heeding A.U. Call For More Health Staff

News outlets report on a call from the African Union for member states to send health care workers to Ebola-hit West Africa, while the East African Community announces it is sending a cadre of workers to the region.

Agence France-Presse: East Africa to send 600 health workers for Ebola fight
“East African nations are sending over 600 health workers including 41 doctors to West Africa to combat the spread of Ebola, the regional five-nation bloc said in a statement Friday. The decision was made after health ministers met this week, where they raised their concern at the ‘rapid increase in the number of cases and deaths’ from Ebola, the East African Community said in a statement…” (10/17).

Reuters: A.U. asks African leaders to send doctors to Ebola-stricken states
“The African Union has appealed to all leaders in the continent to contribute health workers and specialists to staff new Ebola clinics and hospitals being built in West Africa, its chairperson said on Thursday…” (Maasho, 10/16).

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Health Officials Record Ebola Cases In Sierra Leone's Last Healthy District

News outlets report health officials have detected Ebola cases in the last untouched district in Sierra Leone.

Associated Press: Ebola comes to last safe district in Sierra Leone
“The deadly Ebola virus has infected two people in what was the last untouched district in Sierra Leone, the government said Thursday, a setback in efforts to stop the spread of the disease in one of the hardest-hit countries…” (Roy-Macaulay/Schemm, 10/16).

Reuters: Ebola spreads to last healthy district in Sierra Leone
“…[D]isease surveillance officer Abdul K. Sesay said two of six samples taken from the village of Fankoya, where suspicious deaths had been recorded, tested positive on Wednesday. ‘We have tightened surveillance around the area and are investigating … how the two confirmed cases might have contracted the disease,’ said Sesay…” (Fofana, 10/16).

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Western Nations Slow To Respond To Ebola Because Outbreak Began In Africa, Annan, Geldof Say

News outlets report on comments about Ebola and the West’s response from former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and human rights activist Bob Geldof.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola neglected because it started in Africa: ex-U.N. head Annan
“Wealthy countries were slow to tackle the Ebola epidemic as it began in Africa, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said in tough criticism of the response to the crisis on Thursday…” (10/16).

The Telegraph: Sir Bob Geldof: Ebola shows West not interested in Africa
“Sir Bob Geldof said people in West Africa are dying of Ebola because Europe and America ‘pay no interest in the poor.’ The campaigner told ITV News that victims of the virus in countries including Sierra Leone and Liberia are ‘dying of poverty again’…” (10/15).

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Ivory Coast, Mali Preparing For Ebola

Reuters: WHO to test Ebola preparedness in Ivory Coast and Mali
“The World Health Organization will send experts to test the Ebola-preparedness measures in Ivory Coast and Mali, the two countries at greatest risk of being the next to be affected by the epidemic, WHO’s health security response chief Isabelle Nuttall said on Thursday…” (Miles, 10/16).

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Bloomberg News Examines WHO's Role In Ebola Outbreak

Bloomberg News: How the World’s Top Health Body Allowed Ebola to Spiral Out of Control
“Poor communication, a lack of leadership, and underfunding plagued the World Health Organization’s initial response to the Ebola outbreak, allowing the disease to spiral out of control…” (Gale/Lauerman, 10/17).

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News Outlets Examine Development, Importance Of Ebola Vaccines

News outlets report on efforts to develop an Ebola vaccine and the importance of using such a tool.

The Guardian: Ebola epidemic may not end without developing vaccine, scientist warns (Boseley, 10/16).
The Hill: HHS advances third Ebola vaccine development (Kamisar, 10/16).
ScienceInsider: Issues continue to dog the testing of Ebola drugs and vaccines (Cohen, 10/16).

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Conflict Heavily Impacting Medical Services In Syrian City

Wall Street Journal: Medical Help Scarce in Besieged Syrian City
“A doctor inside the besieged Syrian city of Kobani described desperate conditions on the ground, with hospitals being targeted by Islamic State militants and an acute lack of medical workers and supplies. … Islamic State fighters are targeting the main hospitals and clinics, and airstrikes also have hit medical centers, medical workers, and residents in Kobani, said [Walat Omar]…” (Albayrak, 10/16).

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Medicine, Product Shortages Hindering Venezuela's Efforts Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Reuters: Shortages hinder Venezuela’s battle against fever outbreaks
“Shortages have complicated Venezuela’s efforts to treat severe outbreaks of mosquito-borne fevers this year, creating long lines at pharmacies to buy medicines and leaving the ill without treatments for swollen joints and aching bones…” (Pons, 10/16).

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Saudi Arabia Seeing 'Sporadic' MERS Cases, Health Ministry Reports

Agence France-Presse: ‘Sporadic’ MERS cases in Saudi: health ministry
“Saudi Arabia is seeing ‘sporadic’ cases of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), which has killed 324 people in the country, the health ministry said Thursday…” (10/16).

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Devex Conducts Thought Leader Survey On Future Of Global Development

Devex: The future of #GlobalDev
“What’s global development going to look like a decade from now? That was the question Devex asked Executive Members in a survey about the future of the industry. Following the publication of the survey results, Devex Impact reporter Adva Saldinger posed the same question to CEOs of global corporations, executives at nongovernmental organizations, and others on the sidelines of the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting in New York…” (Saldinger, 10/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorials, Opinion Pieces Address Various Aspects Of Ebola Epidemic

The following editorials and opinion pieces address various aspects of the Ebola epidemic and response.

New York Times: Keeping Ebola at Bay
Editorial Board

“The Ebola cases in the United States show that American hospitals and public health officials have much to learn about effective ways to protect health care workers and the public from possible infection. … [S]ome members of Congress, mostly Republicans, have called for barring entry to all people who have been in the Ebola-stricken countries as a way to keep the virus out. The danger is that if other nations followed an American ban with bans of their own, economies in West Africa would be crippled. That could only reduce the ability of those nations to fight the epidemic, and make it even more likely the disease would spread through porous borders to other African nations and beyond” (10/16).

Washington Post: Bipartisan solutions, not blame, can help in managing Ebola
Editorial Board

“The Ebola virus reached this country at the height of the 2014 campaign, so perhaps it was inevitable that the political parties would try to exploit it. … [T]his is an unprecedented challenge for the American health care system, and everyone involved — from the president to front-line health care workers — is acting in good faith and, necessarily, learning on the job. As for budget cuts, it’s preposterous to assert either that more money would guarantee a cure or that one party alone is responsible for the alleged lack of funds. … [E]ven if there’s no evidence that budget cuts ’caused’ the mistakes in the Ebola response, it’s likely that more resources, more thoughtfully allocated, may be needed in the near future. The broader lesson is to readjust federal priorities so that leaders actually have the capacity to prevent and, if necessary, govern through crises — and not just blame each other for them” (10/16).

Washington Post: Fight fear of Ebola with the facts
Richard Besser, chief health editor at ABC News

“…The best way to fight fear and stigma is with facts. The fact is that many viruses are easily transmitted, but Ebola is not one of them. … What we need to do is communicate, as strongly and as often as we can, what the real risks are and aren’t” (10/15).

Washington Post: Ebola challenges America’s ability to adapt
Michael Gerson, opinion writer

“…Those who pursue political sport during a health emergency — either finding a symbol of liberal incompetence or a symbol of inadequate public investment — are not helping matters. Fighting infectious disease is an essential federal role, not an ideological metaphor. … [B]illions in spending and thousands of hospital beds are now urgently required to prevent a human catastrophe involving the destabilization of West Africa. The spread of a global pandemic would make Ebola harder to fight for everyone” (10/16).

Washington Post: Ebola vs. civil liberties
Charles Krauthammer, opinion writer

“…President Obama, in his messianic period, declared that choosing between security and liberty was a false choice. On the contrary. It is the eternal dilemma of every free society. Politics is the very process of finding some equilibrium between these two competing values. Regarding terrorism, we’ve developed a fairly reasonable balance. But it took time. With Ebola, we don’t have time. Viruses don’t wait. The sooner we reset the balance — the sooner we get serious — the safer we will be” (10/16).

Dallas Morning News: Former Sen. William Frist: Ebola crisis in West Africa could last into next spring
Jim Mitchell, columnist

“…[Former Senate Majority Leader Bill] Frist estimates that 23,000 people will die of the flu this year, and in America less than ‘ten will die of Ebola, hopefully just one.’ And while every death is tragic, the reality is that protocols have to be strictly established and followed. ‘This is not contagious virus like flu,’ he said. … Frist, in town to champion global investment for sensible family planning policies in underdeveloped countries, said the world response to HIV/AIDS showed the value of a global response. … The overarching message is that the global health agenda must be just that — global…” (10/16).

The Guardian: We won’t beat the Ebola outbreak without bureaucrats and bureaucracy
Andy Ratcliffe, director of strategy and development at the Africa Governance Initiative

“…I have worked with the governments of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea for a number of years now, and I know, with fast enough and big enough support from the international community, they will get Ebola under control. There will be many heroes in that story, the Liberian, Sierra Leonean, and Guinean public servants who are working behind the scenes to organize things — the bureaucrats — should count among them” (10/17).

Washington Post: On Ebola, we need a dose of candor
Eugene Robinson, opinion writer

“Let’s make a deal: We’ll all promise not to panic about Ebola if the experts — especially those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — agree to get their stories straight. … The thing is, Americans are anxious about Ebola but not panicked. This will change, however, unless experts speak more honestly about the nature of the threat” (10/16).

New York Times: Step One to Fighting Ebola? Start with Corruption
Josh Ruxin, executive director of Health Builders

“…[I]nternational pressure against corruption in poor nations must finally begin in earnest. In the long run, that will do more than all the aid groups can achieve. Where corruption is ended, prosperity thrives, and in a prosperous land, people can afford their own family health care. That is when they are safe from such things as Ebola. When they are safe, we all are safe — and only then. Corruption and Ebola are essentially the same hemorrhaging disease. If we cure corruption, we will have the healthy planet we all truly want and our children deserve” (10/16).

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Opinion Pieces Discuss Issues Surrounding Food Security, Hunger

The following opinion pieces address issues surrounding food security in recognition of World Food Day on October 16.

Devex: 5 things we can do to better ensure food security
Dyno Keatinge, director general of AVRDC, the World Vegetable Center, and chair of the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture; and Trevor Nicholls, chief executive officer of CABI and a steering committee member of the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture (AIRCA)

“…As a research and development-focused organization, the Association of International Research and Development Centers for Agriculture believes that science, technology and knowledge sharing can help provide answers. With this in mind, here are five things we can do better to ensure food security. 1. Balance food and nutritional security. … 2. Embrace new technology for knowledge transfer. … 3. Take a balanced ‘landscape’ approach to agriculture. … 4. Stop the spread of non-native invasive species. … 5. Create careers in agriculture for young people and women…” (10/16).

The Hill: On World Food Day, think nutrition for all
William Lambers, author and member of the Feeding America Blogger Council

“Today, Oct. 16, is World Food Day. Around 805 million people globally will mark the occasion suffering from hunger. If they are fortunate, they might find one meal the whole day. Nutrition often doesn’t make news headlines. But it matters if we want to live in a peaceful world. … So on this World Food Day think of the power of food and nutrition. Think of the war victims from Syria and Iraq who, having fled ISIS, are facing severe hunger. … Nutrition can make the difference between progress or poverty. Food is what can make or break our efforts for a peaceful world” (10/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CDC's MMWR Examines Ebola 'Incident Management System' In Liberia

CDC’s MMWR: Developing an Incident Management System to Support Ebola Response — Liberia, July-August 2014
In its latest edition of the MMWR, the CDC examines the joint Ebola-related efforts of the CDC and the Liberian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) “in instituting incident management system (IMS) principles to enhance the organization of the response.” The MMWR “describes MOHSW’s Ebola response structure as of mid-July, the plans made during the initial assessment of the response structure, the implementation of interventions aimed at improving the system, and plans for further development of the response structure for the Ebola epidemic in Liberia…” (10/17).

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Blog, Other Posts Address Various Aspects Of Ebola Epidemic

The following posts address various aspects of the Ebola epidemic.

American Civil Liberties Union’s “Free Future”: Treat Ebola as a Public Health Issue, Not a National Security Matter (Stanley, 10/15).

Campaign on Accelerated Reduction of Maternal, Newborn and Child Mortality in Africa’s “Updates”: Peter Piot on Ebola and Maternal Mortality (Piot, 10/13).

Development Policy Center’s “DevPolicy Blog”: Ebola — lessons so far for the international community (Byfield, 10/16).

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Dean’s Symposium on Ebola: Crisis, Context and Response — Videos (Various Speakers, 10/15).

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U.S. Government, World Bank Mark World Food Day, Discuss Food Security Issues

The following posts from the U.S. government and the World Bank mark World Food Day and address issues related to global food security.

U.S. Department of State: World Food Day
The U.S. Department of State posted a statement from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry marking World Food Day (10/16).

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: 2014: A Year of Food Assistance
Nina Rosenberg, information officer in USAID’s office of Food for Peace, discusses the activities of USAID’s Office of Food for Peace and its role in various conflicts and emergencies in 2014 (10/16).

World Bank: To Feed The Future, We’re Putting All Hands on Deck
Juergen Voegele, senior director of the agriculture global practice, and Paula Caballero, senior director of the environment and natural resources global practice at the World Bank, mark World Food Day and discuss World Bank activities addressing food security and the sustainability of food systems (10/15).

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IntraHealth's Board Chair Discusses New Obstetric Fistula Initiative In Mali

IntraHealth’s “Vital”: New Partnership Will Bring Holistic Fistula Care to the Women of Mali
Margarite Nathe, senior editor/writer for IntraHealth International, interviews Louise Winstanly, chair of the Board of Directors of IntraHealth International, about a new initiative addressing obstetric fistula in Mali (10/16).

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