KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- U.N., U.S. Move Forward With Ebola Efforts, Recruiting Qualified Staff Remains Challenge
News outlets report on U.N. and U.S. efforts to contain Ebola in West Africa, and the challenges aid agencies face in treating patients.
Agence France-Presse: Stopping global Ebola spread ‘world’s highest priority’: U.N.
“The U.N. launched a mission Thursday to prevent the global spread of Ebola, describing the epidemic as the world’s ‘highest priority’ as the U.S. scrambled to limit its own outbreak to one patient…” (Dosso, 10/2).
New York Times: U.S. Aid Effort in Liberia Barely Off the Ground as Ebola Rages
“…Two weeks after President Obama announced that time was running out in the fight to stem the epidemic, the American treatment centers planned here in the center of West Africa’s Ebola crisis are still a long way off…” (Cooper, 10/2).
U.N. News Centre: Amid ongoing outbreak, head of U.N. Ebola response mission begins work with visit to Liberia
“Despite ‘good results’ in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, much still remains to be done in order to extinguish the threat posed by the virulent disease, the head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) confirmed [Thursday]…” (10/2).
Wall Street Journal: Lack of Qualified Staff Hurts Ebola Fight in Africa
“The U.S. government and its allies combating Ebola in West Africa have been frantically recruiting health workers to care for thousands suffering from the killer virus, but while more people are volunteering, finding enough qualified personnel has proven difficult…” (McKay/Hinshaw, 10/2).
Washington Post: Aid organizations are ‘desperate’ for help with Ebola as death toll surges past 3,300
“…Aid is now on its way from several countries, including the United States, which has dispatched a military unit to Liberia to build hospitals and coordinate the logistics of delivering aid to workers on the ground. The British government has also pledged a 700-bed hospital in Sierra Leone. But the impact of these efforts may not be felt for weeks or months. Meanwhile, the current rate of transmission and deaths continues to grow rapidly…” (Philip, 10/2).
- Liberian President Says U.S., U.N. Grim Ebola Forecasts Wrong, Epidemic Stabilizing
News outlets report on comments the Liberian president made during a FRANCE 24 interview, saying that U.S. and U.N. Ebola estimates were wrong and the Ebola crisis is stabilizing in the country.
FRANCE 24: Exclusive: Liberian president dismisses grim Ebola forecast
“In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on Wednesday blasted the U.S. health agency and the World Health Organization (WHO) for their latest estimates on the expected number of new Ebola cases. The Liberian leader said that an estimate released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week was flat-out wrong…” (10/1).
Reuters: Ebola stabilizing in Liberia, doomsday forecasts wrong — president
“Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf says the Ebola crisis is stabilizing in her country and new data will soon prove that warnings from U.S. and U.N. experts of tens of thousands of cases were ‘simply wrong’…” (Lewis, 10/2).
- Congress Members Speak Out On U.S. Ebola Response; Sen. Moran Calls For 'Ebola Czar'
News outlets report on U.S. Congress members’ comments on the Ebola epidemic, including calls for an “Ebola czar.”
BuzzFeed: Who’s Actually Leading The U.S. Response To The Ebola Epidemic
“America’s Ebola effort lacks a leader, a key senator told BuzzFeed News. With Ebola cases doubling every 24 days in Liberia and showing no sign of slowing, Kansas Republican Sen. Jerry Moran said President Obama needs to appoint an Ebola czar to coordinate the government’s sprawling, multi-agency effort…” (Stanton, 10/2).
The Hill: Republicans call for Ebola czar
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) said Thursday that the lack of a central U.S. authority on Ebola has hindered lawmakers’ ability to confront the crisis’s major funding challenges. Moran, ranking member on the Appropriations Committee’s health subcommittee, said he doesn’t know what resources are needed to control the outbreak because President Obama has not appointed one person to direct the response…” (Ferris, 10/2).
The Hill: Ebola becomes political fight
“Ebola is becoming an issue for the midterm election campaign, with several Republicans using the spread of the virus to the United States to criticize President Obama’s leadership. Republican lawmakers are accusing Obama of underplaying the threat. They say the national response to the discovery of an infected patient in Dallas has been woefully inadequate…” (Ferris, 10/2).
The Hill: Ron Paul warns of Ebola ‘overreaction’
“Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) warned that it was ‘very dangerous’ for the U.S. to overreact to Ebola and urged ‘common sense’ to contain the deadly virus…” (Byrnes, 10/2).
The Hill: Rand Paul accuses Obama of ‘underplaying’ threat from Ebola
“Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) accused the Obama administration of ‘underplaying’ the threat of Ebola after it was identified in the U.S. In an interview with the Laura Ingraham Show on Wednesday, Paul said the administration was failing to adequately warn the public about the disease because health officials insisted on maintaining ‘political correctness’…” (Ferris, 10/2).
- Health Officials Investigate First U.S. Ebola Case, Take Measures To Quarantine, Monitor Possible Contacts
News outlets report on efforts being undertaken by health officials to investigate why the first U.S. Ebola case initially was released by hospital staff, as well as to trace and quarantine potential contacts of the man.
The Hill: Health officials clam up about effort to contain Ebola in Texas
“Health officials are refusing to answer growing questions about their response to the first Ebola case in the United States. Under intense questioning from reporters, officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Texas health department, and the City of Dallas repeatedly declined Thursday to provide details about the steps being taken to prevent an outbreak…” (Viebeck, 10/2).
The Hill: NIH official: Ignoring Ebola patient’s travel history ‘not excusable’
“…Anthony Fauci, who is the director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with MSNBC on Thursday that the hospital’s error [of ignoring the travel history of a man who has since been diagnosed with Ebola] was ‘not excusable’…” (Laing, 10/2).
Washington Post: Dallas hospital blames ‘flaw’ in ‘workflow’ for release of Ebola patient as a more complete picture of his travels emerges
“The Dallas hospital that failed to admit a man who later tested positive for Ebola said Thursday night that a nurse had noted his recent trip from Africa. But because of an electronic records ‘flaw,’ his travel history wasn’t seen by the physician who released him…” (Bever, 10/2).
Agence France-Presse: Texas monitors 100 people in U.S. Ebola scare
“Health officials in Texas were monitoring 100 people for signs of Ebola and ordered four close family members to stay home as authorities investigate the first confirmed U.S. case of the deadly disease…” (10/2).
Associated Press: United contacting those who flew with Ebola victim
“United Airlines said Thursday it is notifying passengers who were on flights with a man later diagnosed with Ebola and telling them how to contact federal health officials…” (Koenig, 10/2).
Reuters: Four people close to U.S. Ebola patient quarantined in Dallas
“Four people close to the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States were quarantined in a Dallas apartment, where sheets and other items used by the man were sealed in plastic bags, as health officials widened their search for others who had direct or indirect contact with him…” (Garza, 10/3).
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Ebola Screening Widens
“The number of people in Texas who are being screened for potential exposure to Ebola expanded Thursday to roughly 100, as health officials cast a wide net to try to prevent the one confirmed case of the disease from sparking an outbreak…” (Campoy et al., 10/2).
Washington Post: Texas Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, may have had contact with up to 100 people
“Public health officials in Texas said Thursday that as many as 100 people may have had contact with the Liberian man diagnosed with Ebola. Four of those people, at least two of whom are family members, have been ordered to remain at home in an attempt to prevent the spread of the disease…” (Berman, 10/2).
- Liberian Government Plans To Prosecute Man Who Left Nation, Later Diagnosed With Ebola In U.S.
News outlets report on Liberia’s plans to prosecute a man who allegedly lied to airline officials about his contact with an Ebola patient and later became the first person to be diagnosed with the disease in the U.S.
Associated Press: Liberia to prosecute man who brought Ebola to U.S.
“The Liberian man infected with Ebola who brought the disease to the United States will be prosecuted when he returns home for lying on his airport screening questionnaire, Liberian authorities said Thursday…” (Paye-Layleh, 10/2).
The Atlantic: Why Liberia Is Prosecuting the Man Who Brought Ebola to the U.S.
“As health officials scramble to determine the number of people who may have had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man currently being treated for Ebola in Dallas, Texas, Liberian officials have taken the aggressive step of announcing that they plan to prosecute Duncan. The government alleges that Duncan lied about having come into contact with someone affected by Ebola during an airport screening in Liberia…” (Chandler, 10/2).
Reuters: Liberia says may prosecute man who flew to U.S. with Ebola
“…The Liberian government said Duncan failed to declare that he helped neighbor Marthalene Williams after she fell critically ill on Sept. 15. Duncan tried to arrange for a car to take her to a hospital, but failed…” (Felix, 10/3).
- U.K. Criticized For Cutting Aid To W. Africa; London Conference Sees New Partnerships But Challenges Remain
News outlets report on U.K. aid to Sierra Leone and Liberia and a London conference addressing international assistance to Ebola-hit nations.
The Guardian: Cut in U.K. aid to Sierra Leone may have helped spread of Ebola, MPs say
“…The International Development Select committee says Britain’s reduced funding to [Liberia and Sierra Leone] could have helped compromise their health systems, which have disintegrated in the face of the epidemic, exacting a heavy death toll on health workers as well as patients. The report comes as world leaders and public health experts are gathering in London for a conference to raise awareness about the Ebola virus…” (Boseley, 10/2).
IRIN: Ebola and Sierra Leone — money is the easy bit
“…The U.K. Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said that although the U.K. was leading and coordinating the response in Sierra Leone, it needed international help, and the [London] meeting had brought significant progress; new partnerships had been forged and he expected those to lead to significant further pledges. … One of the officials who organized the conference told IRIN that offering money was an easy decision, but pledging medical staff, equipment and logistical help took a lot more working out…” (10/2).
- U.N. Says Air Travel Should Continue From Ebola-Hit Nations; CDC, Airlines Defend Screening Procedures
News outlets report on issues surrounding the Ebola epidemic and air travel, as the U.N. urges continued flights to and from affected nations, and the CDC and airlines defend their passenger screening procedures.
Associated Press: U.N.: Air travel from Ebola nations should continue
“The spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general says the United Nations believes air travel to and from the West African countries affected by the Ebola virus should continue despite the first reported case in the United States…” (10/2).
CQ News: CDC Defends Airport Ebola Screening Procedures
“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden says despite the precautions at airports in countries affected by Ebola, more victims carrying the virus could make it to the United States undetected. … Frieden defended the travel screening procedures that have been set up and said cutting off flights from affected countries would not be the right solution…” (Harrison, 10/2).
New York Times: Ebola Patient’s Journey Shows How Global Travel Spreads Disease
“The arrival in the United States of a Liberian man infected with the Ebola virus shows how difficult it is to control or restrict the disease from spreading, and how porous current procedures are in a world of globalized air travel…” (Onishi/Mouawad, 10/2).
Politico: Ted Cruz: FAA needs to ensure Ebola victims are kept away from U.S.
“Following reports that someone infected with Ebola has turned up in his home state of Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz [R] on Thursday asked the Federal Aviation Administration to ‘take every available precaution in preventing additional cases from arriving in the United States.’ The FAA so far has responded to concerns about Ebola by saying it is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is taking the lead on responding to the threat…” (Wolfe, 10/2).
Reuters: Air industry battles Ebola with heat scans and handwash
“…Some airlines have already suspended or cut back flights since the summer, and only one European carrier now offers direct services to Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. However, those still operating have taken measures to protect passengers and crew, along with airports in the region and beyond…” (Bryan, 10/2).
Washington Post: Airlines: No need to panic over Ebola
“The airline industry worked Thursday to tamp down fears that its jetliners might provide a pipeline for the lethal Ebola virus that is ravaging parts of West Africa to hop across the Atlantic to the United States…” (Halsey, 10/2).
- Saudi Authorities Take Ebola, MERS Precautions During Hajj Pilgrimage To Mecca
News outlets report on safeguards being taken to prevent the spread of Ebola and MERS during the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
Deutsche Welle: Ebola casts shadow over Mecca
“The annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca has begun. But this year, there will be fewer Muslims from West Africa. They have been refused entry to Saudi Arabia because of the Ebola virus devastating their home…” (Hille, 10/2).
New York Times: Mideast Virus MERS Merits Caution, Not Alarm, WHO Says
“Despite their worries earlier this year, world health authorities say there is little reason to fear that the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which began Thursday, will spread the MERS virus widely around the world. But they are emphasizing that vigilance is still important…” (McNeil, 10/2).
Reuters: Saudi authorities on Ebola watch as millions gather for hajj
“Anxious to safeguard Islam’s hajj pilgrimage from the threat of Ebola, Saudi authorities are screening pilgrims arriving from West Africa and have deployed mobile laboratories to test any suspected cases quickly…” (Bakr, 10/2).
Reuters: MERS patient in Austria assumed infectious on Doha-Vienna flight: WHO
“A Saudi woman suffering from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is assumed to have been infectious when she flew from Doha to Vienna on Sept. 22, the World Health Organization said on Thursday…” (Miles/Nasralla, 10/2).
- Ebola Outbreak Disrupting Exxon Mobile Corp. Operations In West Africa
News outlets report on the announcement from the CEO of Exxon Mobile Corp. that Ebola is disrupting its oil and gas operations in West Africa, including work off Liberia’s coast.
The Hill: Ebola disrupts ExxonMobil operations
“Oil and gas giant ExxonMobil said the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is disrupting some of its operations there…” (Cama, 10/2).
Reuters: Exxon sees some disruption from Ebola outbreak: CEO
“Exxon Mobil Corp. has seen some of its oil and gas activities in West Africa disrupted by the Ebola outbreak, including plans to drill offshore Liberia, the company’s chief executive officer said on Thursday…” (Driver, 10/2).
Wall Street Journal: Exxon Delays Some Work Because of Ebola
“…The company has prohibited travel for some of its employees to countries plagued by Ebola and put some activity on hold, said Rex Tillerson, chief executive of Exxon. He was in Houston on Thursday to speak at an industry event…” (Cook, 10/2).
- Efforts Continue To Identify Ebola Therapies, Vaccines, Prevent Sales Of Fraudulent Products
News outlets report on efforts to develop Ebola vaccines and therapies and keep fraudulent products off the market.
Bloomberg TV: Meet the Ebola Virus Hunters Searching for a Cure
In a video, “Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Scripps Research Institute’s Dr. Erica Ollmann Saphire discuss the first case of deadly Ebola diagnosed in the U.S. They speak with Pimm Fox on ‘Taking Stock’…” (10/1).
Huffington Post: Why We Won’t Have An Ebola Cure Or Vaccine For Years
“…The world has known about Ebola for almost 40 years, yet there’s no cure or vaccine on the market. That could change amid worldwide attention to the ongoing outbreak of the virus in West Africa, which has claimed more than 3,000 lives already, and the first diagnosis of a patient with the disease in the United States. But not for a few more years — at least…” (Young, 10/2).
Wall Street Journal: FDA Cracks Down on Sellers Touting Ebola Treatments
“The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on sellers of so-called essential oils who are claiming on social media sites that their products prevent or cure Ebola. The actions are part of a broader effort by the regulatory agency to stop false claims that spread quickly via online social networks…” (Andrews, 10/2).
Washington Post: A Liberian doctor is using HIV drugs to treat Ebola victims. The NIH is intrigued.
“…Gorbee Logan, a doctor in rural Liberia, has given at least 15 Ebola patients lamivudine, which is considered a long-term and effective drug to treat HIV patients. All but two of them survived, Logan told CNN last week. Since that interview, Logan has been in contact with Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, about the treatment…” (Izadi, 10/2).
- The Guardian Interviews Experts About Effects Of Ebola On West Africa's Long-Term Progress
The Guardian: What does the Ebola crisis mean for long-term progress in Sierra Leone and Liberia? — podcast
“With thousands dead and no end to the crisis, the Ebola outbreak threatens to cause lasting damage to progress in postwar Sierra Leone and Liberia. But just how strong were the development gains made in those countries in the first place? And what can be done to ensure that West Africa establishes better infrastructure next time round?…” Guardian staff speak with experts to address these and other questions (O’Carroll/Hill, 10/2).
- NBC Cameraman With Ebola To Be Treated In U.S.; Ugandan Doctor To Be Treated In Germany
News outlets report on an NBC News freelance cameraman who contracted Ebola in Liberia and will receive treatment in the U.S., and a Ugandan doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone and will receive treatment in Germany.
New York Times: Ebola Strikes NBC News Cameraman in Liberia
“A freelance cameraman working for NBC News in Liberia has contracted the Ebola virus, the fourth American known to have contracted the disease in Liberia. As a precaution, NBC News ordered the production team working with the cameraman, which includes Dr. Nancy Snyderman, the network’s top medical correspondent, to return to the United States and enter quarantine for 21 days…” (Carter, 10/2).
Wall Street Journal: American Freelance Journalist Tests Positive for Ebola in Liberia
“…The 33-year-old man is tentatively scheduled to be transported out of the Liberian capital Monrovia on Sunday, said his father, who is a physician in Rhode Island…” (Levitz, 10/2).
Washington Post: NBC says cameraman tested positive for Ebola. Entire crew to be flown home.
“…The network reported that Ashoka Mukpo had just been hired Tuesday to be a second cameraman for NBC News medical editor, Nancy Snyderman, a physician. Mukpo, who has been working in Ebola-ravaged Liberia for some time, showed symptoms Wednesday and was feeling ‘tired and achy’ before being tested, according to NBC News…” (Barbash/Ohlheiser, 10/3).
Associated Press: Germany set to receive second Ebola patient
“A German hospital says it’s preparing to receive an Ebola patient from Africa for treatment — the second to be treated in the country during the current outbreak…” (10/2).
Reuters: Ebola patient arrives in Germany from Sierra Leone
“A Ugandan doctor infected with Ebola arrived in Frankfurt from Sierra Leone for treatment, local officials said on Friday…” (Schuetze, 10/3).
- ScienceInsider Interviews Two Ebola Survivors
ScienceInsider interviews two Ebola survivors about their experience with the virus.
ScienceInsider: Ebola survivor I, Senga Omeonga: ‘Every day I’m still thinking: When was I contaminated?’
“…[Senga Omeonga, a medical doctor from the Democratic Republic of Congo,] was one of a handful of people worldwide to receive ZMapp, an experimental antibody cocktail. … On 24 September, he spoke with Science about his experience, including his suspicions about how he became infected, and the epidemic now devastating Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone…” (Cohen, 10/2).
ScienceInsider: Ebola survivor II, Nancy Writebol: ‘We just don’t even have a clue what happened’
“…[Nancy] Writebol, a clinical nurse associate, became ill with the disease while working for the missionary group SIM in Monrovia. She and her husband David spoke with Science on 24 September about a topic that has yet to receive much attention: How do health care workers who are trained to protect themselves nevertheless become infected with the Ebola virus? The Writebols also discuss how the outbreak grew into an epidemic, as well as the treatment she received both in Liberia and then at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta…” (Cohen, 10/2).
- U.S. Not Attending Global Tobacco Talks In Russia Because Of Nation's Actions In Ukraine
The Hill: In Putin snub, U.S. will skip global tobacco summit hosted by Russia
“In a shot at Russian President Vladimir Putin, the United States will not send a delegation to Moscow this month to participate in global health talks that hold major implications for the tobacco and burgeoning e-cigarette industries…” (Goad, 10/3).
- Room For E.U. To Improve Its Global Health Involvement, Experts Say
EurActiv: E.U. punching below its weight on global health issues
“The Ebola crisis and immunization campaigns in Africa have demonstrated the E.U.’s added value in addressing global health issues. But there is still potential to improve if E.U. countries were less ‘suspicious’ of each other, health experts say…” (Jacobsen, 10/3).
- Auditors Criticize E.U. Post-Earthquake Aid To Haiti, Prompting Review Of Operations
Devex: Auditors verdict on E.U. aid to post-earthquake Haiti: Not effective enough
“The European Court of Auditors gave a critical assessment of relief efforts undertaken by the European Commission following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Based on the lessons learned during the intervening period, Devex has learned that the European Union’s executive arm is currently reviewing the design of its humanitarian and development operations in the Caribbean island state…” (Kramers, 10/2).
- Devex Interviews Gavi Chief On Innovative Financing For 2016-2020
Devex: Gavi to seek more innovative financing for 2016-2020
“As the Gavi Alliance gets ready for its next replenishment conference on Jan. 27, 2015, in Berlin, the organization is already in talks with donors and partners to figure out how to get the $7.5 billion the alliance needs for 2016-2020. In a video interview with Devex Associate Editor Richard Jones at the 2014 Convergences World Forum in Paris, Gavi CEO Seth Berkley [discusses the group’s funding cycle]…” (Santamaria, 10/2).
- Report Finds Difficulty In Keeping HCWs, Medical Students In Conflict Zones, Developing Countries
TIME: How to Keep Health Care Workers in Conflict Zones
“About a third of medical and nursing students in developing countries have no intention of working in their homeland, according to a new study. … [A] new study published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization reveals that less than one fifth of health care students intend to work in rural areas when they graduate…” (Sifferlin, 10/2).
- HIV Recurs In Child Who Had Undetectable Viral Load On Therapy For 3 Years
News outlets report on the recurrence of HIV in an Italian three-year-old boy who stopped antiretroviral therapy after three years of treatment and undetectable viral load test results.
Bloomberg News: HIV Cure Quest Suffers Setback in Italian Boy’s Relapse
“HIV returned in a three-year-old boy who doctors thought had been cured of the virus, echoing a similar case last year that suggests early aggressive treatment fails to clear the reservoirs that make the disease a lifelong infection…” (Bennett, 10/2).
The Guardian: HIV bounces back in baby ‘cleared’ of the virus by drug treatment
“…The case comes after doctors in Mississippi this year reported a similar return of HIV in a baby girl who was born with the virus but tested negative after an early and aggressive course of antiretroviral treatment…” (Sample, 10/2).
Washington Post: False hope from ‘cure’ of Mississippi baby with HIV leads to reinfection of second child
“…The news was especially devastating because — unlike the child in Mississippi who missed treatments because her mother neglected to bring her back to for followup visits — doctors in this case stopped the antiretrovirals on purpose…” (Cha, 10/2).
- Urban Growth, Transportation Likely Spread HIV In 1920s Kinshasa, Beyond, Study Shows
News outlets report on a new study examining the origins of HIV.
The Guardian: HIV pandemic originated in Kinshasa in the 1920s, say scientists
“A ‘perfect storm’ of urban change that began in 1920s Kinshasa led to the catastrophic spread of HIV across Africa and into the wider world, according to scientists who used genetic sequencing and historical records to trace the origins of the pandemic…” (Sample, 10/2).
National Geographic: Early Spread of AIDS Traced to Congo’s Expanding Transportation Network
“…A new family history of the HIV virus that causes AIDS, reported Thursday, is troubling but instructive: Modernization in mid-20th-century Africa, especially in the city Kinshasa, played a profound role in shaping that global epidemic…” (Keim, 10/2).
Reuters: HIV pandemic’s roots traced back to 1920s Kinshasa
“…[Oliver Pybus, a professor at Oxford University’s zoology department who co-led the research,] and an international team of researchers analyzed HIV-1 group M sequences from a major HIV sequence database and then combining these analyses with spatial and epidemiological data. Their study will be published in the journal Science on Thursday…” (Kelland, 10/2).
Editorials and Opinions
- Opinion Pieces Address Various Aspects Of Ebola Epidemic
The following opinion pieces address various aspects of the Ebola epidemic.
VICE News: Ebola Doesn’t Threaten America — Other Tropical Diseases Do
Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute
“…[W]hile there won’t be Ebola epidemic in the U.S., I am very concerned about the neglected tropical diseases now affecting the U.S. Gulf Coast. They’re widespread, but because they occur predominantly among Americans who live in extreme poverty, very few people know about them. … This year, the End Neglected Tropical Diseases Act (HR 4847) was introduced in the U.S. Congress. The bill represents an important first step toward tackling neglected tropical diseases abroad and at home. But we need even more help” (10/2).
CNN: Ebola and health care’s ‘Achilles’ heel
Ashley Judd, advocate and global ambassador for Population Services International (PSI), and Karl Hofmann, president and CEO of PSI
“…The United States has a strong health system and trained health workers who can efficiently and effectively contain Ebola. This is good news for America, but what about the rest of the world? In fact, the devastation of Ebola highlights an urgent global crisis that, as we now see, can reach into the United States: Across the world, there is a shortage of 7.2 million health workers. … With a health workforce at capacity, we could expand our efforts to address the economic inequities that allow these diseases to take root” (10/3).
Salon: The problem with “Ebola”: The troubling, xenophobic language of disease
Randy Malamud, Regents’ Professor of English and chair of the department at Georgia State University
“…Certainly the front lines of the war on Ebola involve nurses, doctors, researchers, public health workers, the pharmaceutical industry, the U.N., the WHO, the CDC, and an array of other institutional partners and funders. At the same time, though, on a wider and more indirect cultural level, our society’s response to this global crisis is inflected significantly by how we talk about it, how we think about it, what vocabulary and terms and discourse we bring to bear on the subject…” (9/28).
TIME: Plagues on the Poor: What Ebola Can Learn From Malaria
Karen Masterson, author
“…Ebola is the newest plague on impoverished people; and now it’s the latest silo for targeted spending for drug development and delivery. But while its characteristics are far scarier than the others, Ebola has one thing in common with them all: it spreads best where people lack basic health care. Redirect global health programming to build health care infrastructure for disease prevention — not just capacity for drug delivery — and wealthy countries will get more for the money. They will also target all at once HIV, TB, malaria, the neglected diseases, Ebola, and the next scary infectious disease to emerge from the caves” (10/2).
GlobalPost: Lessons from FDR can help regain public trust during Ebola crisis
Juliet Sorensen, professor at Northwestern Law School
“…In Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, the countries most affected by the Ebola virus, trust in government by the governed was low when the Ebola outbreak began early this year. Lack of deep trust was the result of decades of corruption and illicit financial outflows, and has grown along with the spread of the disease. … In plotting the long road to recovery from the Ebola epidemic, how can governments win the confidence of their people? To start, governments should publish accurate health budgets and related financial information … Health workers and other government employees must be paid a living wage … Democratic governance free from corruption and patronage at the local level, as well as the national level, can yield leaders that inspire trust. Leadership of frankness and vigor has been sorely lacking for too long in West Africa. Now it is needed more than ever” (10/2).
- Continued Government, Philanthropic Leadership On Health Issues 'Formula For Success' In India
Live Mint: Bill Gates: With affluence comes responsibility
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
“…Melinda and I have made a point of visiting India regularly; our most recent visit to the country was just last month. A centerpiece of our visit was the launch of the India Newborn Action Plan, or INAP. This plan reflects the Indian government’s admirable and far-sighted commitment to the health of mothers and children. In this undertaking, the government’s job will be to maintain funding and accountability at the necessary levels. But philanthropists — especially those based right here in India — have their own tasks ahead of them: To identify the unsolved aspects of the problem; to invest in truly innovative solutions; and to collaborate intelligently with the government in ways that derive maximum leverage from the strengths of each sector. As India’s own national experience has demonstrated, this is a proven formula for success. I have deep and growing faith in the governmental and philanthropic leadership of this country to apply that formula in ever more meaningful ways” (10/3).
- Cross-Sector Services, Integrated Policies Needed To Address Global Health Issues
Huffington Post: The “Celebrity Couples” of Global Health and Development
Leith Greenslade, co-chair of child health at the MDG Health Alliance
“Sanitation and nutrition, contraception and newborn survival, girls’ education and child survival, infrastructure and maternal survival, women’s incomes and violence — these are just some of the most powerful relationships in global health and development today. Odd couples, you might think. … So, if we know that we can accelerate achievement of health goals for women and children by investing in toilets, contraception, education, roads, electricity, water, and women’s incomes, why don’t we see more partnerships beyond the health sector? Why do single disease (e.g. AIDS) and single intervention (e.g. vaccines) investments still proliferate? Why are we not building health systems that harness the power of these cross-sector relationships? … The real question is: Can the U.N., governments, non-governmental organizations, and corporations achieve the unprecedented levels of collaboration that are required to develop integrated policies, products, and services, and, ultimately, finance not just single disease or single interventions but programs that combine the power couples of global health and development for maximum impact?…” (10/2).
- Ending Polio Is Moral, Practical
TIME: What It Will Take to End Polio
Jeffrey Kluger, editor at large for TIME magazine and TIME.com
“Franklin Roosevelt never knew the Pakistani babies battling polio today, but he knew their pain. The world is fighting to end that suffering forever. … It made him a champion of children with polio — an effort that led to the March of Dimes and the later Salk and Sabin vaccines — and for that matter a champion of all people who suffered hardship. … The effort to snuff out polio altogether is more than merely the moral thing, it’s also the practical thing. Bill Gates repeatedly stresses that $1 billion spent per year over the next few years can save $50 billion of the next 20 years, money that would otherwise be spent treating polio and constantly fighting the brushfire war of vaccinating against outbreaks. Eliminate the disease for good and those costs go with it. What’s more, the delivery networks that are put in place to do the job can be easily repurposed to fight other diseases…” (10/2).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- Brookings Blog Post Examines Economic Toll Of Ebola On West Africa
Brookings Institution’s “Africa In Focus”: Understanding the Economic Effects of the 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa
Amadou Sy, senior fellow in the Africa Growth Initiative, and Amy Copley, project coordinator and research assistant at Brookings, discuss the economic effects of and efforts to address Ebola in West Africa (10/1).
- U.K., U.S. Step Forward To Stop FGM
Council on Foreign Relations: The West Steps Forward in the Fight Against Female Genital Mutilation
Becky Allen, former intern in the Women and Foreign Policy program at CFR, discusses U.K. and U.S. efforts to stop female genital mutilation in their countries (10/1).
- Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'
Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has published Issue 252 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter includes several news articles, including one on the Global Fund’s response to the Ebola epidemic (10/2).