KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

European Nations Agree To Ramp Up Ebola Efforts In West Africa

News outlets report on European nations’ efforts to ramp up their responses to Ebola in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: E.U. agrees to appoint Ebola czar
“European Union foreign ministers agreed Monday to appoint an Ebola coordinator to bring together resources and funding to tackle the deadly disease before it becomes a global disaster. … The coordinator will be based at the E.U.’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre in Brussels…” (10/20).

Devex: Ministers ‘agree to agree’ on ramping up E.U.’s Ebola response
“More money, more coordination, more staff on the ground, more equipment. For the European Union’s foreign ministers, it’s clear what is needed to combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Nevertheless, progress was still painstakingly slow as they met in Luxembourg Monday, and the gathering wrapped up with a solemn vow to step up efforts — but there were few concrete steps…” (Kramers, 10/21).

Associated Press: France pledges new measures in anti-Ebola fight
“France’s foreign minister pleaded for greater efforts to stem the spread of the Ebola virus, while pledging that France would intensify its measures in the hard-hit West African nation of Guinea. Laurent Fabius and U.N. Special Envoy for Ebola David Nabarro ‘agreed that the international community must further intensify its efforts’ to fight the virus, the foreign minister said after a meeting with Nabarro…” (10/21).

Agence France-Presse: U.K. minister, troops fly to Sierra Leone in Ebola effort
“International Development Secretary Justine Greening joined around 100 soldiers on a flight to Sierra Leone early Tuesday as part of Britain’s response to the deadly Ebola virus. … They will staff an Ebola Training Academy alongside around 90 personnel from 22 Field Hospital who left for Sierra Leone last week…” (10/21).

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Obama To Meet With New U.S. Ebola Coordinator

News outlets report on the schedule for the newly appointed U.S. Ebola response coordinator, Ron Klain, as he assumes his new position.

The Hill: Obama to huddle with Ebola czar
“White House Ebola czar Ron Klain will spend Wednesday meeting with President Obama and senior administration officials responsible for coordinating the federal response to the deadly virus…” (Sink, 10/21).

Reuters: Obama, advisers to huddle with new Ebola ‘czar’ on Wednesday
“…It will be the first official day on the job for Klain, a political insider and former White House aide, who Obama named on Friday to help manage the response both abroad and at home…” (Rampton, 10/21).

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Congressional Appropriators Examine Funding For CDC, NIH Ebola Efforts

CQ News: CDC, NIH Could Seek Additional Funds if Ebola Crisis Deepens
“Appropriators are weighing whether the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health have enough funding to respond to the Ebola outbreak and still handle their regular duties, as the administration prepares a supplemental spending request…” (Ethridge, 10/21).

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U.S. To Funnel All Airline Passengers Originating In 3 Ebola-Hit Nations Through 5 Airports

News outlets report on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new regulations channeling all airline passengers who began travel in Liberia, Sierra Leone, or Guinea through only five U.S. airports. The measure is aimed at catching anyone infected with Ebola before they enter the country.

ABC News: Travelers From West Africa Must Enter U.S. Through Only 5 Airports to Help Stop Ebola Spread (Levine, 10/21).
Associated Press: Homeland Security orders new screening for Ebola (Caldwell, 10/21).
CQ News: U.S. Toughens Restrictions on Travelers from Ebola-Afflicted Countries (Scholtes, 10/21).
Foreign Policy: Are Ebola Travel Restrictions a Misstep in Obama’s Fight to Stop the Disease? (Francis, 10/21).
The Hill: U.S. to reroute passengers from Ebola areas (Viebeck, 10/21).
The Hill: Senior Republicans: Ebola travel restrictions not enough (Ferris, 10/21).
National Journal: Why the New Ebola Airport Screenings Won’t Work (Novack, 10/21).
New York Times: 5 U.S. Airports Set for Travelers From 3 West African Nations (Apuzzo/Fernandez, 10/21).
Reuters: U.S. to funnel travelers from Ebola-hit region through five airports (Dastin, 10/22).
Roll Call: New Ebola Restrictions Not Enough for Republicans Pushing Travel Ban (Fuller, 10/21).
Roll Call: Ebola Shift Shows Fine Line Between Reassuring And Deterring Travel (Curry, 10/21).
Wall Street Journal: Ebola: Travelers From Stricken Countries Only Can Enter 5 U.S. Airports (Peterson/Hughes, 10/21).

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U.N. Welcomes Additional Donations To Ebola Fund

News outlets report a U.N. Ebola fund has received more donations in recent days.

Associated Press: U.N. has praise as money starts to flow in for Ebola
“The United Nations secretary-general is welcoming the cash and promises from countries in response to last week’s news that a U.N. trust fund for Ebola had only $100,000 in the bank. A statement by the spokesman for Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday thanks Australia, which has deposited $8.7 million. It also thanks Colombia, which gave the original $100,000, and Venezuela for its signed commitment of $5 million…” (10/21).

Reuters: Pledges to U.N. fund to fight Ebola more than double to $50 million
“Pledges to a United Nations trust fund calling for nearly $1 billion to fight Ebola in West Africa have more than doubled to almost $50 million, days after it was disclosed that only one $100,000 donation had been deposited…” (Nichols, 10/22).

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U.N.'s Ban Cancels Planned Surprise Trip To West Africa

Foreign Policy: Exclusive: Ban Cancels Visit to Ebola-Ravaged West Africa
“…On Oct. 31, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon planned to make a surprise trip to Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to underscore the need to end the region’s increasing isolation and counter what he has argued is an overblown fear of contagion. But Ban’s travel plan — which was not made public — has been quietly canceled. … The decision underscores the challenges that the United Nations faces in convincing a weary world that the Ebola epidemic, however fatal, is no cause to seal off a country’s border…” (Lynch, 10/21).

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World Bank President Urges International Community To Give More Resources To Fight Ebola

France 24: Interview: Ebola ‘a wake-up call,’ says World Bank chief
“…World Bank President Jim Yong Kim worries the [Ebola] death toll could rise further if the international community does not act faster. In an interview with France 24’s Marc Perelman, he praises the U.S., U.K., and France for their efforts to fight Ebola, but urges other countries to help, too…” (Perelman, 10/21).

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Sierra Leone Reports Uptick In Ebola Cases, Opens First Ebola Orphanage

News outlets report on the spreading Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone and the disease’s impact on the country’s orphaned children.

Associated Press: Ebola cases rise sharply in western Sierra Leone
“After emerging months ago in eastern Sierra Leone, Ebola is now hitting the western edges of the country where the capital is located with dozens of people falling sick each day, the government said Tuesday. So many people are dying that removing bodies is reportedly a problem…” (Roy-Macaulay, 10/21).

VOA News: Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone
“Sierra Leone’s first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. A new interim care center is aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola…” (Bailes, 10/20).

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Large Ebola Vaccine Trial Could Begin In January In West Africa, WHO Says

News outlets report on efforts to develop Ebola vaccines and therapies.

Associated Press: WHO: Ebola vaccine trials in W. Africa in January (Heilprin, 10/21).
The Hill: Ebola vaccine to begin trials in West Africa in January (Ferris, 10/21).
New York Times: Testing for Ebola Vaccines to Start Soon, WHO Says (Pollack, 10/22).
Reuters: Tens of thousands expected to get Ebola vaccines from January: WHO (Nebehay, 10/21).
Reuters: Drugmakers to join forces to make millions of Ebola vaccine doses (Hirschler, 10/22).
Reuters: MSF aims to start drug trials in Ebola clinics next month (Flynn, 10/21).
U.N. News Centre: As Ebola response accelerates, U.N. health agency prepares for arrival of trial vaccines (10/21).
USA TODAY: Ebola vaccine trials could start in Africa in January (Szabo, 10/21).
VOA News: WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan. (10/21).

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Cuba's Response To Ebola Outbreak Receives Attention, Praise

News outlets report on Cuba’s contributions to Ebola efforts in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: Cuban response to Ebola outbreak helps thaw relations with U.S.
“Cuba’s contribution of hundreds of doctors and nurses to fight Ebola puts the island at the forefront of the international response and is even thawing relations with a sworn enemy, the United States. … The island’s response to the epidemic, which has killed more than 4,500 people in West Africa, has won plaudits from humanitarian workers who say the international community’s reaction has otherwise been lacking. … Cuba’s contribution has also won plaudits on the international stage — even in the United States, where Cold War bitterness toward the island still lingers, more than 50 years after the Cuban Missile Crisis and the severing of diplomatic ties…” (Jara/Grosbois, 10/21).

Associated Press: Cuba sends 91 more doctors to fight Ebola
“The 91 [Cuban] nurses and doctors going to Guinea and Liberia join 165 already in Sierra Leone — making this island of 11 million people one of the largest global contributors of medical workers to the fight against Ebola. The commitment has drawn rare praise from the U.S. and focused worldwide attention on Cuba’s unique program of medical diplomacy…” (Weissenstein, 10/21).

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Two High-Profile Ebola Patients Cleared Of Disease In Spain, U.S.

News outlets report that a Spanish nurse and an American cameraman have recovered from Ebola virus disease.

CNN: Freelance cameraman free of Ebola, can leave Nebraska hospital
“Freelance cameraman Ashoka Mukpo no longer has the Ebola virus in his bloodstream and will be allowed to leave Nebraska Medical Center, the hospital said Tuesday…” (Ellis et al., 10/21).

New York Times: Spanish Nurse Is Declared Free of Ebola
“The Spanish auxiliary nurse who was the first person known to have contracted the Ebola virus outside Africa was declared free of the disease on Tuesday, after four consecutive tests for the virus in recent days came back negative, according to officials at the hospital where she has been treated since Oct. 7…” (Minder, 10/21).

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Ebola Challenges West Africa's Tenuous Stability

New York Times: Ebola Outbreak Erodes Recent Advances in West Africa
“…Ebola is fast washing away the small gains made over the last decade in war-scarred parts of West Africa, as schools shut down, immunization campaigns are suspended, and a food crisis looms as farmers abandon their fields…” (Sengupta, 10/21).

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China Evacuates Workers From West Africa, Impacting Economy

Wall Street Journal: Ebola Fears Spark China Pullback in West Africa
“…China’s massive commercial footprint in Africa has grown despite civil wars and military coups. Ebola is a different story. Companies from the continent’s largest trade partner have evacuated scores of workers from Ebola-affected countries in West Africa — curtailing trade, stalling crucial projects, and compounding the region’s economic troubles…” (Wonacott, 10/21).

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New Yorker Article Explores History Of Ebola Epidemic, Research Into Therapies

New Yorker: The Ebola Wars
“…After Ebola infected the boy, it went from him to his mother, who died, to his three-year-old sister, who died, and to their grandmother, who died, and then it left the village and began moving through the human population of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Since there is no vaccine against or cure for the disease caused by Ebola virus, the only way to stop it is to break the chains of infection…” (Preston, 10/27).

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U.N. Helps Organize Polio Vaccinations In 6 Central African Nations

VOA News: U.N. to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations
“The United Nations said it is assisting six Central African countries in organizing synchronized vaccinations after Cameroon reported a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory…” (Kindzeka, 10/21).

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Consultation To Review Beijing Declaration Implementation Progress In Africa

Xinhua/GlobalPost: Experts laud civil society for implementing Beijing declaration in Africa
“African experts have highlighted the contribution of civil society to efforts made to accelerating the implementation of the Beijing declaration, a commitment by governments to ensure gender equality and women’s empowerment among others. … A two-day consultation dubbed Beijing+20 civil society organizations (CSOs) consultation meeting kicked off on Tuesday on the premises of the U.N. Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. … The consultation aims to review the extent to which African member states have met their commitments in implementing the [Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action ] BPfA…” (10/21).

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Ghana's Successful Hunger Campaign Offers Lessons For Other Countries

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Ghana’s success in fight against hunger has lessons for others
“As India starts its version of Brazil’s famous zero hunger campaign, the world’s most populous democracy could take some inspiration from Ghana. The West African country ‘has met zero hunger,’ Jose Graziano da Silva, head of the Food and Agriculture Organization, said on Thursday…” (Arsenault, 10/21).

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Number Of Chagas Cases Grows In U.S.

FOX News Latino: 300,000 people in U.S. have Chagas disease as country unsure how to deal with growing threat
“…Chagas — along with its cousins dengue fever and the chikungunya virus — is a disease found mainly in Latin America, but is starting to gain a foothold in the U.S. … The CDC believes that there are currently 300,000 people infected with Chagas in the U.S., enough for a clinic devoted to diagnosing and treating the disease to open at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and doctors in New York City and Georgia to start screening patients who have travelled to Latin America…” (10/21).

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Efua Dorkenoo, Pioneer To End FGM, Dies Of Cancer At Age 65

News outlets report on the death of women’s rights activist Efua Dorkenoo, who pioneered the movement to end female genital mutilation.

The Guardian: Efua Dorkenoo OBE, the ‘incredible African female warrior,’ has died
“Efua Dorkenoo, widely seen as the mother of the global movement to end female genital mutilation, has died after undergoing treatment for cancer, her family have confirmed. She was 65. Dorkenoo — known affectionately to many as ‘mama Efua’ — was a leading light in the movement to bring an end to FGM for more than 30 years, campaigning against the practice since the 1980s…” (Topping, 10/20).

Reuters: Anti-FGM campaigners mourn death of pioneer Efua Dorkenoo
“Campaigners against female genital mutilation are mourning the death of Efua Dorkenoo, regarded by many as ‘the mother’ of the global movement to end FGM. Dorkenoo’s pioneering work over three decades strongly contributed to the international recognition of FGM as a public health and human rights issue…” (Batha, 10/20).

Devex: ‘Nothing can stop’ fight against female genital mutilation — advocacy group
Marking her death, Devex republished an April 2014 exclusive interview with Efua Dorkenoo, who was program director at the End FGM Social Change Campaign (Patton, 4/2).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Various Aspects Of Ebola Epidemic

The following editorial and opinion pieces discuss various aspects of the Ebola epidemic.

New York Times: Some Good News on the Ebola Front
Editorial Board

“…Both [Nigeria and Senegal, each recently declared Ebola-free after outbreaks,] will need to keep their guards up. As long as the epidemic rages out of control in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, there will always be a risk that infected people will leave their home countries and seek better conditions elsewhere. In Dallas, the 43 people being monitored [after coming into contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, who died of Ebola,] emerged from the 21-day incubation period for the virus without a single one becoming sick. … The danger of an outbreak affecting the public in this country is very, very slight, and the experience in Nigeria and Senegal shows that diligent responses can work” (10/21).

Providence Journal: To fight Ebola, we must help poorest of the poor
Anne De Groot, a director of the Institute for Immunology and Informatics and CEO of EpiVax Inc.

The Hill: In the midst of a health crisis, keeping Liberia’s economy functioning
Watchen Harris Bruce, chief of party for USAID’s Liberia Investing for Business Expansion (IBEX) Program

Wall Street Journal: The U.N. Agency That Bungled Ebola
Brian Hook, founder of Latitude

Financial Times: How to stop a modern plague that is spread by love and fear
Wendy Orent, author of ‘Plague: The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the World’s Most Dangerous Disease’

The Hill: Ebola exposes the lie of the precautionary principle
Autry Pruitt, syndicated radio host and owner of UrRepublic

Huffington Post: The Youngest Victims: Combating the Social Isolation of Ebola Orphans
Kim Samuel, president of the Samuel Family Foundation

Huffington Post Canada: Don’t Rush To Hand Out the Ebola Vaccine
Lawrence Solomon, columnist

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Obama Should Appoint Special Envoy For LGBT Rights

The Hill: Special envoy for gay rights needed
Shawn Gaylord, advocacy counsel for LGBT rights at Human Rights First

“…[In his first term,] Obama signaled that he intended to champion the concerns of LGBT people not just in the United States but also overseas. … But now in his second term, the rise of ISIS is dominating the president’s foreign policy, nudging other issues aside. Even as persecution of LGBT people intensifies in various countries, including some allied with the United States — the issue is in danger of slipping off the radar. To ensure that it remains a priority, the president should appoint a special envoy tasked with the responsibility of safeguarding the rights of LGBT people abroad. Such a move would elevate the stature of the issue within the government and convey to the world that the United States won’t allow discrimination and violence against LGBT people to go unchallenged…” (10/21).

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Mobile Phones, Data Can Help End Malaria

Devex: Data and mobile
Martin Edlund, founding member and CEO of Malaria No More

“Of all the tools in the malaria fight (including the obvious ones such as nets, testing, treatment, and spraying) mobile phones may be the ones that tip the balance toward ending this disease. That’s why at Malaria No More we’ve been bold in proclaiming that malaria can be the first disease beaten by mobile. … The Novartis-led SMS for Life program has demonstrated the potential of mobile to address stock outs and ensure that people have malaria drugs when and where they need them. … In a similar fashion, mobile phones may be the key to solving the challenge of counterfeit and stolen malaria treatments. … If anything, harnessing the power of mobile and data becomes more important as countries move toward malaria elimination. As the scale of the problem shrinks, the need for timely and precise surveillance data only grows. Vital elements such as real-time reporting of cases and accurate intervention mapping are now possible thanks to Web, mapping, mobile, and data analytics tools…” (10/21).

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Network Of Hospitals In Middle East Gulf States Work To Fight Antibiotic Resistance

The Guardian: Tackling antibiotic-resistant bacteria through collaborative networking
Hosam Zowawi, microbiologist and scientific entrepreneur

“…In 2011, the World Health Organization dedicated World Health Day to antibiotic-resistance and produced a policy package to combat antimicrobial resistance. Proposed measures included increasing surveillance and laboratory capacity, regulating and promoting the rational use of medicines, enhancing infection prevention and control, and fostering innovation and research & development for new tools. As a medical research team at the Centre for Clinical Research in the University of Queensland, and at the King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Science, we have followed WHO’s lead and started taking action accordingly. … Our project started by successfully establishing the first collaborative network of hospitals in the Gulf States (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) to share data and samples of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. … The beauty of our campaign is that it has a local perspective. The data and case studies all come from our research in the Gulf countries. This helps people really identify with the issues” (10/21).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Infographic Comparing Ebola To Other Infectious Diseases

Kaiser Family Foundation: Ebola Characteristics and Comparisons to Other Infectious Diseases
The Kaiser Family Foundation published an infographic that compares Ebola to 12 other infectious diseases that continue to represent public health challenges today and offers five key takeaways about the disease (10/21).

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Blog Posts Discuss Ebola Epidemic Responses

The following blog posts discuss various aspects of the Ebola epidemic.

Center for Global Development’s “Views From The Center”: Six Reasons an Ebola Travel Ban Makes Us No Safer — and No Sense (Moss/Kenny, 10/21).

Defeat DD: Secret to Nigeria’s success in overcoming Ebola: ORS (Simpson, 10/21).

Health Affairs Blog: Thomas Frieden And The U.S. Ebola Response (Morrison, 10/20).

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: Can the Global Fund Help Address New Health Challenges? (Seifman, 10/21).

National Law Review: Ebola Spurs Global Cooperation to Prevent, Detect, and Respond to Future Health Crises (Pence, 10/21).

Physicians for Human Rights: Ebola: Dying of Poverty for Lack of a Functioning Health Care System (Brown, 10/21).

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: Ebola has Taught us a Crucial Lesson about our Views of “Irrational” Health Behaviors (Gorman, 10/22).

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: “I’ve Never Had a Job Like This”: Life Inside an Ebola Treatment Unit (Wingard, 10/21).

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WHO Releases Annual Global TB Report

World Health Organization: Global tuberculosis report 2014
The WHO released its annual global report on tuberculosis (TB), which “provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic and progress in implementing and financing TB prevention, care and control at global, regional, and country levels using data reported by over 200 countries that account for over 99 percent of the world’s TB cases” (10/22).

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For-Profit Companies Impart Lessons About Global Health Supply Chains

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Supply Chains for Global Health
David Sarley, senior program officer at the Gates Foundation, discusses lessons that three Seattle-area companies — Starbucks, Microsoft, and Trident Seafood — can provide to improve public health supply chains (10/21).

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New Policy Brief Looks At Actions For Ending NTDs, Malnutrition

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End the Neglect”: Toward a Healthy Future: Working Together to End Neglected Tropical Diseases & Malnutrition
Amber Cashwell of the Global Network discusses a new policy brief that “examines the relationship between NTDs and malnutrition, and the actions needed to address both of these challenges” (10/21).

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