KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- WHO's 'Ebola Response Roadmap' Reports 3,439 Deaths From Virus
News outlets report on the WHO’s latest update on the number of confirmed Ebola cases and deaths.
Reuters: Ebola death toll rises to 3,439: WHO
“The world’s worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed 3,439 people, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday…” (10/4).
Reuters: Battle against Ebola hampered by gaps in data, hidden cases
“Ebola’s rapid spread through West Africa has been quickened by the difficulty of keeping track of the deadly disease, and filling in the huge gaps in knowledge about the epidemic is key to eventually containing it, health experts say. U.N. and World Health Organization data show the number of cases across the region had reached 7,423 by Sept 29, including 3,355 deaths. That is widely agreed to be an underestimate…” (Miles, 10/3).
Washington Post: The U.S. is now on the World Health Organization’s ‘Ebola Response Roadmap’
“…For the first time during the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, the WHO has included the United States on the “Ebola Response Roadmap,” including the single case from Texas in its update…” (Freedom du Lac, 10/3).
- U.N. Warns Funding For Ebola Response 'Lagging'
News outlets report on U.N. warnings that funding to address the Ebola epidemic is “lagging.”
The Hill: U.N. warns anti-Ebola funds ‘lagging’
“Only one-quarter of the nearly $1 billion pledged to fight Ebola has been handed out, the United Nations said Friday. The affected countries in Africa have received $256 million in humanitarian aid out of the $988 million, according to a statement by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. … But public officials and aid workers have complained that the money has been slowly trickling into the affected areas, where many health workers continue to lack basic medical supplies…” (Ferris, 10/3).
U.N. News Centre: Ebola outbreak ‘running’ ahead of world’s response, U.N. warns as funding lags
“As the head of the United Nations mission working to stop the Ebola outbreak continued his visit to hard-hit countries in West Africa today, the world body’s humanitarian wing said funding for the international response is lagging, with only 26 percent of the $988 million needed having been received thus far…” (10/3).
- Budget, Staff Cuts Weakened Global Responses To Ebola, Media Outlets Report
News outlets report on international responses to the Ebola epidemic, including how budget and staff cuts are hindering efficiencies.
Bloomberg Businessweek: Ebola Flew to Dallas as Budgets to Fight Disease Waned
“The loss of tens of thousands of public health jobs and smaller research budgets for infectious disease is leaving the U.S. susceptible to an emerging tide of deadly and dangerous pathogens. That’s the message from public health advocates pointing to the Ebola case reported in Dallas last month, even as other threats have arisen…” (Lauerman, 10/4).
Boston Globe: Ebola outbreak a wake-up call to the world
“…Illnesses abroad no longer seem so far away. A sick person anywhere in the world can get on an airplane and arrive in Paris, London, or Boston in a matter of hours. And our success providing affordable AIDS medications to ravaged regions of the world has shown that the problems are not as hopeless as they once seemed. Today, with the outbreak of Ebola raging in West Africa, there is unprecedented recognition that global public health, long the redoubt of do-gooders, is now everyone’s concern…” (Weintraub, 10/6).
Reuters: Aid workers ask where was WHO in Ebola outbreak?
“…Some aid workers and U.N. officials blame a lack of WHO leadership in the emergency response, particularly in the early stages when it would have been easier to contain. On several occasions, WHO officials played down the outbreak, they say. MSF International President Joanne Liu, who warned that her organization could not cope with the rising number of Ebola victims, has accused the WHO of failing its mandate to help member states cope with health emergencies…” (Flynn/Nebehay, 10/5).
Washington Post: Out of control: How the world’s health organizations failed to stop the Ebola disaster
“…The virus easily outran the plodding response. The WHO, an arm of the United Nations, is responsible for coordinating international action in a crisis like this, but it has suffered budget cuts, has lost many of its brightest minds, and was slow to sound a global alarm on Ebola. Not until Aug. 8, 4 1/2 months into the epidemic, did the organization declare a global emergency. Its Africa office, which oversees the region, initially did not welcome a robust role by the CDC in the response to the outbreak…” (Sun et al., 10/4).
- U.S. House Appropriators Request Ebola Plan; DoD Authorizes 1K Additional Troops
News outlets report that U.S. House appropriators have requested an Ebola response plan from the Obama administration, while the Department of Defense announced additional troops have been authorized for the response in West Africa.
CQ News: Appropriators Seek More Information on Ebola Response Costs
“The House’s top appropriators are requesting more information from the Obama administration on its plans for fighting the spiraling Ebola crisis in West Africa…” (Hallerman, 10/3).
The Hill: Appropriators want detailed Ebola plan for funding decisions
“…The administration has asked Congress for permission to shift $1 billion in Pentagon funds as part of the fight against Ebola. The Pentagon would manage the money with the Health and Human Services Department, and lawmakers are concerned about whether those agencies will coordinate well…” (Shabad, 10/3).
Reuters: U.S. lawmakers set Oct. 17 deadline for Obama Ebola plan
“Senior Republican and Democratic members of the U.S. Congress have set an Oct. 17 deadline for the Obama administration to lay out details of how it plans to battle a growing outbreak of Ebola in West Africa…” (10/4).
The Hill: House panel calls Ebola hearing
“Top federal health officials will testify about the U.S. response to the Ebola crisis at a hearing later this month, lawmakers announced Friday. A panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee will meet Oct. 16 to examine the federal response to Ebola. It will be the fourth time that lawmakers meet to discuss the virus…” (Ferris, 10/3).
Foreign Policy: As Ebola Spreads to U.S., Pentagon Deploys More Troops to Africa to Fight Outbreak
“…Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said on Friday that up to 4,000 troops are now authorized for deployment, though that number could climb if commanders there decide they need more help. The growing military response shows that the Obama administration, which only two weeks ago said that it would send up to 3,000 troops, is trying to get an increasingly dangerous situation under control…” (Brannen/Drennan, 10/3).
The Hill: U.S. sending 1,000 more troops to fight Ebola
“The Pentagon is sending as many as 1,000 more troops to Africa to help fight the Ebola virus. The troops are being sent on top of the 3,000 President Obama has already ordered to help efforts in West Africa. … More than 230 U.S. troops are currently in Africa helping to contain the disease…” (Wong, 10/3).
Reuters: U.S. ramps up Ebola troop deployments, total may near 4,000
“…The Army said it has already committed 3,200 forces for troop deployments. The Pentagon cautioned it may never deploy all of the nearly 4,000 forces it says may be needed but also refused to commit to any firm numbers going forward…” (Stewart, 10/4).
DoD News: Rodriguez: Troops in Liberia Will Be Protected From Ebola
“Soldiers deployed to Liberia to help with the Ebola outbreak there will receive the best equipment and training beforehand, be monitored on the ground and be screened before they go home, the commander of U.S. Africa Command said at the White House [Friday]… (Pellerin, 10/4).
- U.S. Health Officials Move To Calm Fears Over Ebola As Epidemic Becomes Political Issue
News outlets report on U.S. health officials’ efforts to reduce fears of a widespread Ebola outbreak after a Texas hospital isolated the first Ebola patient in the country and how the Ebola epidemic is becoming a U.S. domestic political issue ahead of the November mid-term elections.
Associated Press: Health officials: U.S. well-equipped to stop Ebola
“The Obama administration is seeking to allay fear about the single confirmed case of Ebola in the United States, saying that despite some initial missteps the health care system is doing what needs to be done to prevent an outbreak. … An unusual high-level briefing at the White House on Friday reflected the administration’s urgency in seeking to reassure the public. [NIAID Director Anthony] Fauci was one of five senior administration officials who spoke with reporters, including Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, and Lisa Monaco, President Barack Obama’s top homeland security adviser…” (Baldor/Neergaard, 10/4).
The Hill: NIH official dismisses Paul’s Ebola concerns
“A top official at the National Institutes of Health on Sunday pushed back on comments from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who said authorities were underestimating the transmissibility of Ebola…” (Balluck, 10/5).
The Hill: ‘We won’t have an outbreak,’ NIH infectious disease chief says
“Dr. Anthony Fauci, infectious disease chief at the National Institutes of Health, said Sunday that he wouldn’t be surprised if someone who came into close contact with a Dallas Ebola patient comes down with the disease, but stressed the U.S. ‘won’t have an outbreak’…” (Needham, 10/5).
The Hill: Obama aide: Ebola will be stopped ‘at its source’
“Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Sunday defended the Obama administration’s responses to a number of recent crises, arguing it is being proactive to stop Ebola ‘at its source’…” (Joseph, 10/5).
Newsweek: U.S. Public Response to Ebola Could Echo Early Days of AIDS Epidemic
“…Global health experts are concerned that now, in the U.S., stigmatization of people from the three most affected countries in the region — Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia — could follow. … Jennifer Kates, vice president and director of global health and HIV policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told Newsweek she worries that in the coming weeks public response to Ebola in the U.S. could mirror the fear seen during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, when some health care workers refused to treat AIDS patients…” (Westcott, 10/5).
Politico: CDC ‘confident’ no large Dallas Ebola outbreak
“The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday he’s confident that the man in Dallas infected with Ebola is not going to spark a large-scale outbreak there…” (Herb, 10/5).
Politico: GOP 2016ers on Ebola: Panic
“For once, President Barack Obama and Texas Gov. Rick Perry [R] are on the same page. At separate briefings on the Ebola crisis, Obama administration officials and Perry have delivered the same message: Don’t panic — the health authorities know what they’re doing. But for other Republicans — and conservative media outlets — it’s time for panic…” (Nather, 10/3).
Wall Street Journal: International Ebola Crisis Finds a Place in American Domestic Politics
“The growing international Ebola crisis has entered American domestic politics, with would-be 2016 presidential candidates using fear of the disease to criticize President Barack Obama…” (Epstein, 10/3).
Wall Street Journal: Ebola Case in U.S. Draws Calls for Calm From Officials
“Top federal health officials, seeking to calm a nervous public, ruled out Friday the possibility of an Ebola outbreak in the U.S., as Texas officials moved to contain the first case of the deadly virus diagnosed in America…” (Campoy et al., 10/3).
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Health Officials Continue to Play Down Ebola Fears
“Top U.S. health officials said they remain confident that the U.S. won’t suffer a widespread Ebola outbreak and again rejected calls for a travel ban involving countries hit by the disease, saying it could lead to political instability…” (Portlock/Zibel, 10/5).
Wall Street Journal: Health Official: Ebola Bioterrorism ‘Very Far-Fetched’
“A top U.S. public health official rebuffed the suggestion that Americans could potentially be at risk from Ebola brought into the country by illegal immigrants or as part of a terrorism plot…” (Zibel, 10/5).
- U.S. Lawmakers Press For Travel Ban From Ebola-Hit Countries, But Experts Warn Ban Could Make Outbreak Worse
News outlets report on the debate about whether the U.S. should issue a ban on travelers from Ebola-stricken West African countries.
CQ Roll Call: Lawmakers Start Asking for Ebola Travel Ban
“Congress is weighing in heavily on the administration’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, following the news that a man incubating the disease had traveled from Monrovia to Dallas…” (Harrison, 10/3).
The Hill: Senator calls for Ebola screening at airports
“Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) on Friday said U.S. airports should screen international travelers for Ebola, as the virus ravages Africa…” (Devaney, 10/3).
The Hill: House Republican presses leadership for Liberia travel ban
“Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) urged Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to pursue an immediate air travel ban on all passengers traveling to the U.S. from Liberia who are not American citizens to prevent spread of the Ebola virus…” (Marcos, 10/3).
The Hill: CDC director: Travel ban could make Ebola outbreak worse
“A travel ban to the countries facing an Ebola outbreak could paradoxically make the problem worse, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden said during a Saturday press conference. Frieden said the CDC would consider any and all precautions, but warned that a travel ban could make it harder to get medical care and aid workers to regions dealing with the outbreak…” (Joseph, 10/4).
International Business Times: A Ban On Air Travel From Ebola-Stricken Countries Would Backfire, Experts Say
“The first travel-associated case of Ebola in the United States has raised concerns once again about whether flights should be restricted from the West African countries ravaged by the epidemic…” (Mangla, 10/3).
VOA News: U.S. Ebola Case Raises Travel Concerns
“The emergence of the Ebola virus in the United States has raised concerns about whether the U.S. should restrict travel from affected West African nations. The State Department says when it comes to granting visas, the safety and security of the United States is the top priority…” (Dockins, 10/3).
Washington Post: Why hasn’t the U.S. closed its airports to travelers from Ebola-ravaged countries?
“…The State Department has warned U.S. citizens against non-essential travel to Liberia and Sierra Leone, but there are currently no plans to alter the travel warning in the wake of diagnosis, a State Department official told The Post on Wednesday…” (Phillip, 10/4).
- Health Officials' Handling Of First U.S. Ebola Case Raises Questions
News outlets report on issues surrounding the first U.S. Ebola case, including how the case is being handled by health officials.
New York Times: Dallas Hospital Alters Account, Raising Questions on Ebola Case
“Health officials’ handling of the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States continued to raise questions Friday, after the hospital that is treating the patient and that mistakenly sent him home when he first came to its emergency room acknowledged that both the nurses and the doctors in that initial visit had access to the fact that he had arrived from Liberia…” (Fernandez et al., 10/3).
Wall Street Journal: U.S. Tracking People Exposed to Dallas Ebola Patient
“Health officials said Saturday they have narrowed the number of people who had direct exposure to an Ebola patient in Dallas to nine family members and health care workers, and that none have had any symptoms of the disease…” (McKay et al., 10/4).
Wall Street Journal: Ebola Case in Dallas Points Out Flaws
“The aggressive response that health officials have mounted to the Ebola virus in Dallas is likely to prevent a wide-scale outbreak. But multiple snafus reveal some unexpected issues the U.S. would have to prepare for in the event of a larger-scale infectious disease threat…” (Campoy/McKay, 10/5).
- News Outlets Report On Medical Research Surrounding Ebola, Other NTDs
News outlets report on medical research related to potential Ebola treatments and vaccines, as well as research related to other neglected tropical diseases.
The Guardian: Ebola is in America — and, finally, within range of Big Pharma
“As the Ebola epidemic continues to rage in West Africa, with more than 3,000 dead and infections doubling every few weeks, the first confirmed case in the U.S. last week stepped up global fears over the rapid spread of the incurable virus. But behind the gruesome headlines, the scale of the outbreak has been raising hopes that it could focus minds at the world’s biggest pharmaceutical groups, boosting research on other devastating tropical diseases that have been neglected for years by the drugs makers…” (Kollewe, 10/4).
New York Times: A Plan to Use Survivors’ Blood for Ebola Treatment in Africa
“With no proven drugs to treat Ebola and experimental ones in short supply, the health authorities are planning to turn instead to a treatment that is walking around in the outbreak zone in West Africa. That would be the blood of people who have been sickened by the Ebola virus but have since recovered. Their blood should contain antibodies that might help other patients fight off the infection…” (Pollack, 10/3).
Wall Street Journal: Ebola Vaccine Safety Study Could Expand by Early 2015 in West African Patients
“The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said an early safety study of an Ebola vaccine has been under way for more than a month, and that the vaccine could be tested in West African patients by early 2015. Anthony S. Fauci, appearing with other federal officials at a news conference at the White House on Friday, said the early testing of the vaccine for safety in humans ‘looks good so far’…” (Burton, 10/3).
- Nextgov Examines How Steven VanRoekel Will Contribute Tech Ideas To Ebola Response
Nextgov: Here’s How the Incoming USAID Tech Guru Plans to Fight Ebola
“Ruggedized tablets, belt-worn printers, and a high-tech alternative to the stiflingly hot protective gear health care workers must wear when dealing with patients. Those are some of the technology tools the incoming chief innovation officer at the U.S. Agency for International Development says he plans to explore to combat the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa…” (Moore, 10/2).
- Systems in Liberia Contributing To Ebola's Spread
Agence France-Presse: Backstory of U.S. Ebola victim exposes Liberia failings
“The story of how the first Ebola victim diagnosed in the U.S. caught the disease has exposed the multiple failings in his home country of Liberia, where poverty, an overloaded health care system and an unresponsive government have deepened the crisis…” (Bastien/Cooper, 10/5).
- Supplies For HCWs Stuck In Sierra Leone Port, As Country Records 121 Ebola Deaths In One Day
News outlets report on the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone, where hospital supplies are stuck in port and the country reports a record number of Ebola deaths in one day.
New York Times: Ebola Help for Sierra Leone Is Nearby, but Delayed on the Docks
“It has been sitting idly on the docks for nearly two months: a shipping container packed with protective gowns, gloves, stretchers, mattresses, and other medical supplies needed to help fight Sierra Leone’s exploding Ebola epidemic. … In many ways, the delay reflects what some in the growing ranks of international officials pouring into this nation to fight Ebola describe as a chaotic, disorganized government response to the epidemic…” (Nossiter, 10/5).
Reuters: Sierra Leone records 121 Ebola deaths in a single day
“Sierra Leone recorded 121 deaths from Ebola and scores of new infections in one of the single deadliest days since the disease appeared in the West African country more than four months ago, government health statistics showed on Sunday…” (Fofana/Bavier, 10/5)
- Haiti Bans Citizens From Helping In Ebola Epidemic; Cuba Sending HCWs, Supplies
News outlets report on Haiti’s and Cuba’s responses to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.
Reuters: Haiti bans its citizens from U.N. mission against Ebola
“Haitian volunteers have been banned from departing for African countries hit by the Ebola virus, the government said on Friday, citing other diseases that have devastated the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere…” (Baron, 10/3).
Washington Post: In the medical response to Ebola, Cuba is punching far above its weight
“While the international community has been accused of dragging its feet on the Ebola crisis, Cuba, a country of just 11 million people that still enjoys a fraught relationship with the United States, has emerged as a crucial provider of medical expertise in the West African nations hit by Ebola…” (Taylor, 10/4).
- Guardian Interviews Bill Gates On Ebola
The Guardian: Bill Gates on Ebola and the low risk of the disease in the U.S.: ‘Health is very unjust’
“…The Guardian asked [Bill] Gates a few questions about the [Ebola] epidemic. … What do you think when you see the focus that’s been put on Ebola, knowing the number of people who die from malaria? ‘…[I]t is fair to ask why does Ebola deserve this huge response. And a key answer is that Ebola is shutting down the health care system. It’s actually shutting down a lot of activity in terms of food getting to people, kids going to school. But let’s just focus on the health system. … We need to get treatment capacity, people willing to go to treatment centers so that the health system can re-operate again’…” (Moore, 10/3).
- Ebola Co-Discoverer Peter Piot Discusses Current Epidemic
News outlets profile Peter Piot, the virologist who helped discover the Ebola virus, and highlight his thoughts on the current epidemic.
Financial Times: Peter Piot: Out to stop the Ebola virus he found
“…It was 1977, the year after a Belgian medical team led by the young microbiologist [Peter Piot] helped discover the virus behind a mystery illness that was killing hundreds of people in what was then Zaire. Some argued for a decisive international effort to diagnose patients and coordinate the kind of systematic response that could stop the disease in its tracks. Nearly four decades later, Prof Piot recalls sadly: ‘None of the recommendations were ever implemented. We have to avoid making the same mistake this time’…” (Cookson/Jack, 10/3).
The Guardian: ‘In 1976 I discovered Ebola — now I fear an unimaginable tragedy’
The Guardian interviews “Peter Piot [who] was a researcher at a lab in Antwerp when a pilot brought him a blood sample from a Belgian nun who had fallen mysteriously ill in Zaire…” (Von Bredow/Hackenbroch, 10/4).
- Majority Of World's Donors Failed To Meet Aid Pledges In 2013, Report Says
Thomson Reuters Foundation: World’s richest nations fail to meet aid pledges: report
“The majority of the world’s rich donor nations failed to meet their development aid pledges in 2013 and only one third of the money went to the poorest countries, a report said on Monday. Aid by members of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) rose 5.3 percent year-on-year to a record $131.2 billion in 2013 after two consecutive years of decline, the One Campaign said in its annual aid data report…” (Zweynert, 10/5).
- Ugandan President Warns Anti-Gay Law Could Impact Trade, Economic Growth
News outlets report on the Ugandan president’s hesitancy over proposed anti-homosexuality legislation, saying that it could impact trade and economic growth.
Agence France-Presse: Uganda president warns of economic impact of anti-gay bill
“Uganda’s president on Friday signaled he is having second thoughts over tough anti-homosexuality legislation, arguing the East African nation needed to consider the impact on trade and economic growth…” (Fallon, 10/3).
Reuters: Uganda’s Museveni says new gay law risks trade boycott by the West
“Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has said his country risks a trade boycott by the West if it reintroduces a divisive anti-gay law that was rejected by the constitutional court…” (Biryabarema, 10/3).
- Indian PM Modi Launches 'Clean India Mission' To Improve Sanitation
Reuters: Modi aims to shake up sanitation with Clean India drive
“…On Thursday, a holiday for Gandhi’s birthday, [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi launched the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, or Clean India Mission, to modernize sanitation within five years…” (Nair, 10/2).
- 80 People Quarantined In Uganda After Man Dies Of Marburg Hemorrhagic Fever
Reuters: Outbreak of Ebola-like Marburg fever kills man in Uganda
“A man has died in Uganda’s capital after an outbreak of Marburg, a highly infectious hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, authorities said on Sunday, adding that a total of 80 people who came into contact with him were quarantined…” (Biryabarema, 10/5).
- Despite Being Legal, About 4,600 Women Die Annually In India From Unsafe Abortions
NPR: Abortion In India Is Legal Yet Women Are Still Dying
“…An estimated two-thirds of abortions performed [in India] are unsafe, done illegally at home or by quacks and midwives, and the annual death toll is about 4,600. Many women end up with life-long health problems. And women in rural India are disproportionately affected. And yet, abortion has been legal in India since 1971…” (Chatterjee, 10/2).
Editorials and Opinions
- Editorials, Opinion Pieces Discuss Ongoing Ebola Epidemic
The following editorials and opinion pieces address various aspects of the Ebola epidemic.
Wall Street Journal: The Ebola Stand
“…Ebola is stoppable and there’s little reason to think that the world’s leading disease experts at the CDC aren’t ready to combat its spread — except these days government competence is all too often exposed as a fragile veneer. When an elite corps like the Secret Service can’t remember to lock the White House’s front door and alleged health technocrats can’t build a working ObamaCare website for less than $2 billion, a sense of low-level worry about Ebola seems more than reasonable” (10/5).
Washington Post: Missteps in handling the Ebola virus in the U.S. can’t be repeated
“…A core requirement of managing a crisis like [Ebola] is that public health officials and political leaders maintain the public’s confidence. This premise applies just as well to the United States as it does to Africa, and in recent days, a significant misstep in Dallas has shaken that confidence…” (10/4).
Washington Post: Paying for wars against the Islamic State, Ebola and more
“The cost of the new U.S. military operation in Iraq and Syria is already approaching $1 billion, according to a study released last week. The Pentagon has meanwhile launched a $750 million mission to fight Ebola in Africa and has committed to rotating U.S. troops through NATO countries bordering Russia. These are all justified initiatives with broad support from Congress and the public. But the budgetary foundation needed to sustain them is crumbling…” (10/5).
TIME: There’s a Solution to Ebola — It’s Called ‘Money’
Peter Doherty, co-recipient of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine
“…We could have been better prepared for his horrible Ebola epidemic, but who pays? The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has done a terrific job when it comes to countering developing world diseases, but they can’t do everything. One thing that would be inexpensive is to develop and distribute much better educational material using, for example, the cell phones that are as ubiquitous in developing countries as they are here. And are we in for a U.S. Ebola epidemic, or even a pandemic? I don’t think so, though we should take this as a warning and exercise ‘duty of care’ when it comes to sustaining our public health services” (10/3).
Wall Street Journal: Stopping Ebola Before It Turns Into a Pandemic
Scott Gottlieb, a physician and resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Tevi Troy, president of the American Health Policy Institute
“…The U.S. dropped the ball on advancing a number of promising Ebola drugs and vaccines over the last decade. Medical countermeasures floundered for years in preclinical testing, largely because funding was sparse, and regulators applied conservative terms to how they wanted these medical products to be tested. In short, there was no sense of urgency. Now there should be…” (10/3).
Huffington Post: In Ebola Crisis, a Commitment to Ensure Health Services
Leslie Mancuso, president and CEO of Jhpiego
“…As infectious disease experts marshal reinforcements, materials, and supplies to contain the Ebola outbreak and care for the sickest, those of us in the global health community have a responsibility to ensure that health workers on the front lines of the crisis have the support, proper training, and tools they need to do their jobs safely and with confidence. This support is integral to maintaining lifesaving health services for mothers and babies during this public health crisis…” (10/3).
The Guardian: Ebola must never again be allowed to claim lives for want of basic health care
Jim Murphy, Labour MP for East Renfrewshire and the shadow secretary of state for international development
“…As always, prevention is better than cure. … What matters now is stopping Ebola and ending the crisis, but the lesson for the future is clear: there is no substitute for adequate local health cover. … No one should die for want of the basic health care that many in the rest of the world take for granted. Over the next 15 years we can make that ambition a reality — and save and change millions of lives in the future…” (10/6).
Devex: Urgent needs and participation of women must be prioritized in Ebola response
Babatunde Osotimehin, executive director of the U.N. Population Fund
“…As the world ramps up its response to the escalating Ebola crisis, women are being disproportionately affected, and their needs and participation should be prioritized in the response. … While immediate action is required to save lives, long-term investment is needed to significantly strengthen health systems and rapid response systems at all levels, with the full participation of women, men and youth to deal with the increasingly frequent and devastating emergencies that characterize our time” (10/3).
The Guardian: How to stop Ebola becoming an HIV-style pandemic
Jimmy Whitworth, head of population health at the Wellcome Trust
“…What are desperately needed are better tools for preventing future outbreaks. With Ebola, we are essentially relying on the same methods for controlling the epidemic that we had in the 1970s during the first outbreaks. We need better diagnostics, effective medicines and vaccines. While it is difficult to do research in these kinds of crisis settings, it is essential that we do make the effort in order to be better prepared for the next epidemic. Each time an Ebola outbreak occurs, we need to learn from each epidemic and take that forward to confront the next…” (10/6).
- U.S.-India Partnership Must Include Engagement In Public Health
Huffington Post: Fulfilling the U.S. and India’s Extraordinary Promise Through Public Health
Akash Goel, resident physician in internal medicine at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University
“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to the United States has ushered in a wave of newly found interest and enthusiasm in U.S.-India engagement. There has been considerable interest by both private and public sectors alike regarding the outcomes and specific deliverables that will follow on the heels of the visit to fulfill what President Obama calls the ‘extraordinary promise of U.S.-India strategic partnership.’ … An area that has received little attention, quite shortsightedly, is engagement on public health. There are a few key areas of low hanging fruit in which there are natural and obvious synergies for engagement in public health between the U.S. and India. … Now is a defining moment of leadership between both countries. Any strategic partnership must include engagements on public health in order to fulfill the extraordinary promise of the world’s two largest democracies” (10/3).
- Clean Energy Targets Should Be Part Of Development Goals
TIME: How Indoor Stoves Can Help Solve Global Poverty
Bjørn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center
“Clean cooking and better sources of energy can have a domino effect on health and education. Last week world leaders at the U.N. began a year-long conversation on global goals for the next 15 years. Many will rightly talk about poverty, food, water, and environment. Few will mention energy. Yet, we should. … With such high-return targets, the economic evidence shows that — if carefully chosen — energy targets should definitely be part of the world’s promises for the next 15 years…” (10/3).
- Global Agenda Must Integrate Mental Health
Washington Post: Global agenda must include mental health
Annie Sovcik, director of the Washington office of the Center for Victims of Torture
“Access to mental health and psychosocial support must be an integral part of the global health agenda. … Global leaders recently convened in Washington to advance the Global Health Security Agenda on infectious diseases. Moving forward, we hope this important initiative will help bring government focus to psychological concerns and make mental health a priority. Prompt action by the international community is vital to stem the horrific tide of more children becoming part of the lost generation of Syrian children” (10/3).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- USAID Economist Writes About Ebola's Impacts On Liberia
USAID Chief Economist Stephen O’Connell writes about the Ebola epidemic’s impacts on Liberia.
IMPACTblog: Standing with Liberia to Reverse Ebola’s ‘Spillover’ Effects
“…Ebola threatens not only lives, but livelihoods. The main driver of economic impacts is not the loss of labor to sickness and death, or even the major diversion of resources into health care, but rather the much broader spillover effects from peoples’ fear of contagion…” (10/3).
IMPACTblog: Washington Post Overly Alarmist on Liberia’s “Descent into Hell”
“The Washington Post’s September 30 story of Liberia’s ‘descent into economic hell’ was overly alarmist and disconnected from that country’s recent history. … [T]he Ebola crisis has hit a society that is on the rise economically and in the midst of constructing legitimate and effective government institutions. This is ascent, not descent…” (10/3).
- Bill Gates Discusses Ebola, Underscores Need To Strengthen Health Systems
Gates Notes: Ebola, Beyond the Headlines
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including the response to date, and highlights the need to strengthen health systems in the most-affected countries and in others around the world. He writes, “…Even as we do everything we can to stop this crisis, we should also be studying its long-term implications. It’s a reminder of the urgent need to strengthen health systems in the world’s poorest countries. … Health systems — which encompass everything from rural clinics to community health workers to hospitals — are the best protection against epidemics. … Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea need support to strengthen their primary care systems now. Governments, donors, and other partners … can join forces to build short-term capacity, while also building the foundation for health systems of the future. It will take an aggressive plan, with accountability measures in place, to start delivering core services such as routine immunization, maternal health, and family planning again…” (10/6).
- Blog Posts Discuss Ebola Epidemic
The following blog posts discuss different aspects of the ongoing Ebola epidemic.
Center for Global Development’s “Views From The Center”: Finding a Cure for Ebola (Barder, 10/3).
Council of Council’s “Global Memos”: Ebola and Cultures of Engagement: Chinese Versus Western Health Diplomacy (Penfold/Fourie, 10/3).
Humanosphere: Fix health systems, solve Ebola crisis, experts say (Murphy, 10/3).
Humanosphere: Here’s how Ebola erodes overall health in West Africa (Leach-Kemon, 10/3).
Open Society Foundations’ “Voices”: Ebola’s Legacy Can Be a Thriving Community Health System (Panjabi, 10/3).
- Blog Posts Highlight Grand Challenges In Global Health
Two posts in the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists” blog discuss Grand Challenges.
Impatient Optimists: How Do We Measure the Value of Grand Challenges?
Steven Buchsbaum, deputy director of discovery and translational sciences in the Global Health Program of the Gates Foundation, discusses how different Grand Challenges projects are evaluated, as well as how they contribute to global health knowledge and innovation (10/3).
Impatient Optimists: Grand Challenges: Success and Surprise
Peter Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada, writes about the successes and lessons learned from Grand Challenges, which “has spread to become a global movement [that] continues to spread…” (10/4).