KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

Nurse Infected With Ebola In Spain; Case Sparks Concern Over Western Nations' Preparedness To Treat Ebola Patients

News outlets report on a Spanish nurse who is the first person to contract Ebola virus disease outside of the current West African outbreak zone. Several of her contacts also have been hospitalized for observation, and the case has sparked concerns over the preparedness of Western nations to treat Ebola patients.

Agence France-Presse: Spanish Ebola case fuels fear of European outbreak
“Spain was investigating Tuesday how a nurse in Madrid could have become infected with Ebola, sparking fears of the first outbreak outside Africa…” (Cuzin, 10/7).

Agence France-Presse: Three more hospitalized in Madrid Ebola scare
“Three more people were hospitalized in Madrid on Tuesday for observation after a nurse in the city became the first person to contract the deadly Ebola virus outside Africa, health officials said. Apart from the infected 40-year-old woman, doctors from La Paz-Carlos III hospital told a news conference that three other ‘suspect cases’ had been admitted, including her husband who is considered at ‘high risk,’ a second nurse, and a man recently returned from abroad…” (Cuzin, 10/7).

Associated Press: New concern worldwide as nurse in Spain gets Ebola
“…In Spain, the stricken nurse had been part of a team that treated two missionaries flown home to Spain after becoming infected with Ebola in West Africa. The nurse’s only symptom was a fever, but the infection was confirmed by two tests, Spanish health officials said. She was being treated in isolation, while authorities drew up a list of people she had had contact with…” (Cass/Neergaard, 10/7).

New York Times: Ebola Infects Spanish Nurse, a First in West
“A nurse in Spain has become the first health worker to be infected with the Ebola virus outside of West Africa, raising serious concerns about how prepared Western nations are to safely treat people with the deadly illness…” (Minder/Grady, 10/6).

Wall Street Journal: Spain Struggles to Address Concern Over Ebola Case
“…The European Union said it had contacted Spanish authorities to find out more details of how the medical worker contracted the disease, the first suspected transmission outside West Africa. The E.U. has also activated its Early Warning and Response System, a confidential computer network that allows the bloc’s members to share information on a disease outbreak and coordinate a response. A committee made up of health experts from the E.U.’s 28 countries, the World Health Organization, and the Sweden-based European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, and other groups was to meet Wednesday morning…” (Roman, 10/7).

Additional coverage includes:

BBC News: Ebola outbreak: Nurse infected in Spain (10/6).
Reuters: Spanish nurse becomes first to contract Ebola outside West Africa (Pinedo/Morris, 10/7).
Wall Street Journal: Health Care Worker Contracted Ebola in Spanish Hospital (Neumann/Brat, 10/7).
Washington Post: Spanish nurse contracts Ebola in first transmission case outside of Africa (Izadi/Ferdman, 10/6).

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Obama Exploring Additional Airline Passenger Ebola Screenings As Some Officials Call For Travel Limits

News outlets report on the Obama administration’s announcement it is exploring additional procedures for screening airline passengers to prevent more people infected with Ebola from entering the U.S., as some Republicans call for travel bans to be implemented. The White House also released a new fact sheet on the U.S. response to Ebola.

The Hill: Obama: We’re boosting Ebola screenings
“The White House is developing additional passenger screening protocols to prevent persons with Ebola from entering the United States, President Obama told reporters following a meeting with top health officials on Monday…” (Sink, 10/6).

Los Angeles Times: Obama announces plans for new Ebola screening of airline passengers
“The Obama administration is developing additional screening protocols for airline passengers both overseas and in the United States to control infectious diseases like Ebola, the president said Monday…” (Hennessy-Fiske/Muskal, 10/6).

New York Times: Ebola Screening at Airports Will Increase, Obama Says
“…Mr. Obama made the announcement after being briefed in Washington by Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Mr. Obama called the fight against Ebola ‘a top national security priority,’ but did not specify how screening would be changed. Dr. Frieden said that officials would explore a variety of options…” (Sack, 10/6).

Politico: Barack Obama to boost airport screening for Ebola
“…National security, homeland security, and senior health officials briefed the president on the continuing U.S. response to [the Ebola] outbreak, from measures in Dallas to contain the disease after the first U.S. case was diagnosed there in a Liberian man, to the escalating federal mobilization as part of a global response in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea…” (Levine, 10/6).

Reuters: U.S. working on new screenings for Ebola but no travel ban
“…However, the White House said that a ban on travel from West African countries, which some U.S. officials have called for, would slow the fight against Ebola. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said officials did not want to impede transport systems used to send supplies and personnel to the hardest-hit countries in West Africa, so a travel ban was not being considered…” (Rampton/Valdmanis, 10/7).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Weighing Additional Passenger Screenings for Ebola
“…Officials said adding a U.S. screening process for incoming passengers would be designed to strengthen procedures for checking people who enter from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the countries hardest hit by the virus. There are no direct commercial passenger flights from those countries to the U.S., so the logistics of identifying specific passengers to screen could be complicated. The administration is expected to announce the measures in coming days…” (Lee/Sparshott, 10/6).

Washington Post: U.S. will augment Ebola screenings for airline passengers in U.S. and Africa
“…In his remarks Monday, Obama was sharply critical of countries that he said have not responded aggressively enough to the epidemic, which has killed more than 3,400 people and infected double that number…” (Berman/Dennis, 10/6).

The Hill: Rick Perry: Feds must act now to stop Ebola
“The effort to contain Ebola in Texas is working, Gov. Rick Perry (R) declared Monday even as he urged the federal government to take ‘immediate steps’ to keep infected people out of the United States…” (Ferris, 10/6).

Wall Street Journal: Texas Gov. Rick Perry Calls For Added Federal Ebola Screening
“…Speaking at the Texas capitol building, the Republican governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate said Texas had ‘learned a lot about the unique challenges of situations like this, and it’s important that we continue to adapt our responses’…” (Koppel, 10/6).

Washington Post: Leading Republicans press for limits on travel to prevent spread of Ebola
“…Republican strategists say [calls from Republicans for the Obama administration to do more on Ebola are] all part of an effort to flex leadership credentials and tap into concerns Americans have with President Obama’s readiness to handle crises after a series of missteps in his second term…” (Sullivan, 10/6).

The Hill: House Ebola hearing planned at Dallas airport
“The House Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the Ebola epidemic Friday at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the panel’s chairman announced Monday. … The hearing follows rising calls from the GOP for the Obama administration to ban travel from countries affected by Ebola…” (Viebeck, 10/6).

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Republican Lawmakers Urge Obama To Appoint Coordinator For U.S. Ebola Efforts

The Hill: GOP floats Gates, Powell for Ebola czar
“Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) are urging President Obama to tap an Ebola czar to oversee the U.S. effort to stop the global outbreak, and they have a few ideas about who should get the job. Their suggestions include former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and former Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt…” (Ferris, 10/6).

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U.S. Officials, Experts Express Concern Budget Cuts Hampering Local, Federal Ebola Responses

News outlets report on state and federal officials’ concerns that recent budget cuts are hindering local and national responses to Ebola.

CQ News: Ebola Case Prompts New Appeals for Local Health Spending
“The first case of Ebola diagnosed in the United States has led public heath officials to lobby for a reversal of deep budget cuts made in recent years to local preparedness efforts against damaging and deadly infectious diseases. … Recent federal budget standoffs have resulted in a disproportionate hit to some public health grants and to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the main conduit for channeling public health dollars into the community…” (Young, 10/6).

The Hill: CDC funds ‘moving in the wrong direction,’ Casey says
“Sen. Bob Casey Jr. (D-Pa.) on Monday expressed concern over funding the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) amid the Ebola outbreak. On MSNBC’s ‘Jose Diaz-Balart,’ Casey noted that the CDC budget has been cut by more than $500 million in recent years. … Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), ranking member on the House Budget Committee, said last Thursday on CNN that there’s ‘no doubt’ health care cuts have made it more difficult to respond to the Ebola epidemic…” (Shabad, 10/6).

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Most Americans Confident In Government's Ability To Stop Major Ebola Outbreak In U.S.

News outlets report on Pew Research Center survey findings showing a majority of Americans are confident the federal government can prevent a major Ebola outbreak in the country.

The Hill: Poll: Majority believe U.S. government can stop ‘major’ Ebola outbreak
“Americans remain largely confident that the federal government can prevent a ‘major outbreak’ of the Ebola virus in the United States, according to a new poll from the Pew Research Center. Fifty-seven percent of poll respondents said that they had either a great or fair amount of confidence in the government’s ability to prevent an outbreak of the disease. Only 32 percent said they were very or somewhat worried that they or someone in their family might come into contact with the deadly disease…” (McCabe, 10/6).

Wall Street Journal: Polling Ebola
“Despite the sensational news coverage, Americans aren’t panicking over Ebola and seem to be taking matters in stride compared to past health scares. But our faith in government to prevent a major outbreak in the U.S. mostly breaks down along party lines. … Pew… reports that Republicans are more skeptical of the government’s ability to prevent a major Ebola outbreak in the U.S….” (Riley, 10/6).

Washington Post: No, Americans aren’t freaking out about Ebola. Not even close.
“Ebola has made its way into the United States, and judging by the TV coverage, you would think people are (or should be) in full-scale panic mode. They are not. Not even close. A new poll from the Pew Research Center shows that just 11 percent of Americans are ‘very worried’ about the Ebola virus infecting them or someone they know…” (Blake, 10/6).

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Foreign Policy Examines Ebola's Impact On Guinea

Foreign Policy: The Toxic Politics of Ebola
“…With borders closed, quarantines imposed, and West African economies left in shambles, there is also a growing fear that what began as a public health crisis is quickly morphing into a full-blown catastrophe for Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia, countries already struggling with poverty, the ravages of past civil wars, and other enormous development challenges. In the case of Guinea specifically, recent attacks targeting health workers have sent shock waves through the country, reinforcing fears that the longer the Ebola crisis continues, the greater the possibility that it could tear apart a social fabric delicately woven along ethno-political lines…” (Tinti, 10/6).

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Liberian Health Workers Plan Slowdown To Demand Ebola Hazard Pay

Reuters: Liberia health workers to stage go-slow for Ebola hazard pay
“Liberian health care workers still plan to stage a go-slow, or work slowdown, to press demands for hazard pay on the front line of the Ebola epidemic, a union leader said on Monday. The protest, announced last week, would come despite a plea from the U.N. health agency that the workers avoid industrial action…” (Giahyue/Fofana, 10/7).

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Ebola Response Must Be Linked To Health Systems Strengthening, Paul Farmer Says

Washington Post: Paul Farmer on Ebola: “This isn’t a natural disaster, this is the terrorism of poverty”
“…[Paul Farmer, Harvard professor and co-founder of Partners in Health,] argues that the only way to solve these epidemics is to focus on the four S’s — stuff, staff, space, and systems. ‘All over the world there are warehouses of guidelines and policies and protocols, but you’ve got to have stuff, staff, space, and systems in the places where you need them most. You can’t work magic out of nothing,’ Farmer said. He said if it were a purely ‘natural’ disaster, the case fatality rate would be the same everywhere. But it’s not…” (Achenbach, 10/6).

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Firestone Rubber Plantation Successful In Containing Ebola

News outlets report on Firestone’s successful efforts to contain Ebola within Harbel, Liberia, where the company’s rubber plantation is located.

NPR: Firestone Did What Governments Have Not: Stopped Ebola In Its Tracks
“…When it comes to Ebola, the rubber met the road at the Firestone rubber plantation in Harbel, Liberia. … Firestone detected its first Ebola case on March 30. … Since then Firestone has done a remarkable job of keeping the virus at bay. It’s built its own treatment center and set up a comprehensive response that’s managed to quickly stop transmission. Dr. Brendan Flannery, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s team in Liberia, has hailed Firestone’s efforts as resourceful, innovative, and effective…” (Beaubien, 10/6).

Wall Street Journal: Liberian Rubber Farm Becomes Sanctuary Against Ebola
“As Ebola exploded here this year, a rubber farm embarked on a crash course on how to tame an epidemic that has killed thousands of people and derailed governments across West Africa. … Firestone has turned the tide of infections, offering a sanctuary of health in a country where cases are doubling every three weeks…” (Hinshaw, 10/6).

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Women's Reproductive Rights At Risk Of Being De-Emphasized As U.N. Drafts SDGs

The Nation: Will the U.N.’s New Development Goals Downplay the Need for Gender Equality?
“As the 193 member countries of the United Nations struggle to agree on development priorities to be adopted next year, the rights of women and sexual minorities have again become a contentious issue. … [A]s the [Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)] are drafted, there is a danger that women’s reproductive rights — control of their own bodies — may be diminished in emphasis globally depending on how they are placed in the goals…” (Crossette, 10/6).

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South Sudanese Face Lack Of Health Care, Food Insecurity, Sexual Violence

News outlets report on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, where violence is impeding access to health care and threatening famine. In addition, a U.N. envoy warns about the damage to future generations from sexual violence.

The Lancet: Fighting restricts access to health care in South Sudan
“…The fighting that has raged in South Sudan for more than nine months has left at least 10,000 people dead, displaced 1.8 million more, and devastated much of the country’s health system. Now, across vast swathes of South Sudan’s eastern half, the only viable health care options are at a handful of U.N. bases. That affords easy access for the nearly 100,000 people who are sheltering at the bases to escape the fighting. But for the hundreds of thousands of people who were driven from their homes deep into the bush, accessing health care — or any form of aid — is either extremely dangerous or impossible. Humanitarian groups have warned that many of those communities are now facing emergency levels of food insecurity and malnutrition…” (Green, 10/4).

Reuters: Famine threatens South Sudan if conflict deepens: report
“Famine could strike another million people across South Sudan early next year if the civil war escalates, a report said on Monday. … Tariq Riebl, head of Oxfam in South Sudan, said although humanitarian aid was vital, a political resolution was urgent…” (Guilbert, 10/6).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. envoy on sexual violence warns rapes in South Sudan will ‘haunt’ generations
“The horrors of sexual violence in South Sudan did not end with the ceasefire agreement, a senior United Nations official [Monday] said calling on citizens of the world’s youngest country to stand together and say ‘enough is enough.’ Speaking at a press conference on her first visit to the country, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on sexual violence in conflict, Zainab Bangura, said that armed men — civilians and soldiers from all parties to the conflict — are responsible, and some carry on the acts…” (10/6).

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Multiple Challenges Contribute To Pakistan's Failure To Eradicate Polio, WHO Spokesperson Says

Deutsche Welle: WHO: Polio in Pakistan is at a ‘tipping point’
“…In a DW interview, Sona Bari, spokeswoman for polio eradication at the World Health Organization (WHO), says that although militants and the climate of fear have definitely played a role in Pakistan’s failure to eradicate the disease, management and accountability failure on the part of authorities have also contributed to its prevalence…” (Mazumdaru, 10/6).

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Study Finds Gap Between India's Official Dengue Statistics, Actual Disease Burden

News outlets report on the findings of a study in India that show official data on dengue underestimate the disease’s burden.

The Economist: The billion-dollar disease
“Just because statistics are official does not mean they can be trusted. Take India, where official reported cases of dengue fever look hopelessly inadequate. … A new report, published on October 7th, gives the first clear sense of how wrong the official data may be, and makes a stab at producing reliable statistics…” (10/7).

LiveMint: India’s dengue cases 282 times higher than official data: study
“The annual number of dengue fever cases in India was around six million between 2006 and 2012, about 282 times higher than average of 20,474 cases reported by the ministry of health, according to a study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene…” (Jagwani, 10/7).

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Waste Dumps Pose Health, Environmental Threats, Report Says

The Guardian examines a new report showing that waste dumps are health and environmental threats, particularly when located near urban areas.

The Guardian: Smelly, contaminated, full of disease: the world’s open dumps are growing
“…According to the [new Waste Atlas], compiled by teams of academics and waste professionals on four continents, the 50 [largest waste dump] sites are all pollution and health timebombs…” (Vidal, 10/6).

The Guardian: The world’s biggest and most dangerous dump sites — interactive
“Waste is now a global business yet more than half of the world’s population have little option but to use dumps for disposing rubbish, creating massive sites full of hazardous materials, often in the world’s poorer countries. The latest Waste Atlas report, developed by D-Waste and supported by the Waste Atlas partnership, lists 50 of the biggest sites, and we profile 18 of the mountains of grime here, listed alphabetically by country…” (Blight, 10/6).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Ebola Epidemic

The following editorial and opinion pieces address different aspects of the Ebola epidemic.

New York Times: Stopping Ebola in America
Editorial Board

“…[I]t makes sense to add another layer of protection at airports in this country. Travelers from West Africa could be asked to fill out an additional questionnaire, on which they might be less tempted to lie since they will already have reached American soil. Verbal questioning could further probe whether a passenger is likely to be infected. Until the epidemic in West Africa is controlled, it remains possible, even likely, that another Ebola case would reach this country. The American health care system should be prepared to move quickly, treat the victim, and trace and isolate all people the patient had contact with. Bungled responses like the one in Dallas are simply unacceptable” (10/6).

Washington Post: Epidemiologist: Stop the flights now
David Dausey, dean of the School of Health Professions and Public Health at Mercyhurst University

“…The human errors in [the Dallas Ebola] case highlight why it is urgent that we ban all commercial flights from the impacted countries to all non-affected countries until the outbreak is contained. … It’s time to take security precautions that align with the gravity of the threat. That means doing whatever it takes to keep infected people from coming here” (10/6).

Washington Post: Seven things we now know about how the world has handled Ebola
Daniel Drezner, professor of international politics at Tufts University and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution

Drezner examines news and feature articles, commentaries, actions, and political discourse surrounding Ebola, concluding, “…The one glimmer of good news is that the CDC still retains high degrees of bipartisan trust. My hunch is that the CDC’s still-sterling reputation, the United States’ superior health infrastructure, and the continued failure of rumored Ebola cases to pan out, will cause the more responsible tone to win out over the crazies of the left and right. But it’s going to be a near-run thing” (10/6).

Foreign Policy: How to Keep Ebola Out of Your Neighborhood
Laurie Garrett, senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations

“…In the African epidemic, there is currently no way to tell who the Ebola carriers and spreaders are, as nobody is diagnosed until they are visibly sick, by which time they have often infected two or three others. A point-of-care test could easily discriminate the infected from the non-infected. Moreover, it could assure feverish individuals that Ebola is not the cause of their 100 degree Fahrenheit reading — perhaps as determined by a process of elimination, they have malaria, HIV, Lassa fever, or a long list of microbial ailments that commonly lurk in West Africa…” (10/6).

Washington Post: Ethical choices surround a potential Ebola vaccine
Michael Gerson, opinion writer

“…Why, in times of medical emergency, do we need to trust reliable scientific authorities? Because they are required to do unspeakably difficult things that would not survive the majority vote of a frightened public. In a Phase 2 trial, researchers give some people a vaccine that may hurt them, and some people a placebo that may result in their infection and death. This turns out to be the only ethical way we currently have to determine if a vaccine actually works. On an Ebola vaccine, this process should be expedited in any way possible. But it can’t be avoided without the potential for great harm” (10/6).

Bloomberg Businessweek: Fighting Ebola: The American Argument Against an African Travel Ban
Charles Kenny, senior fellow at the Center for Global Development

“…Travel bans are less effective than hiding under a rock and considerably more costly. To battle continuing epidemics and any future potential pandemics, we need strong health and surveillance systems in every country and research and development not just for the diseases of the rich but for the infections of the poor. Hitting emerging disease threats early and where they emerge is far less costly in terms of lives and financing than trying to play catch-up once they have spread” (10/6).

Foreign Policy: Ebola: Part II
Michael Miller, consultant and adjunct associate professor at the Duke Global Health Institute

“…The president has shown leadership and taken real risks with the United States’ response to Ebola thus far. But his job will not be complete with the conclusion of Operation United Assistance. We should all hope that he shows similar resolve and leadership against the weaknesses in a global health security framework that represent a potentially much greater threat against which our military is as vulnerable as the rest of us” (10/6).

The Guardian: What can Nigeria’s Ebola experience teach the world?
Oyewale Tomori, professor of virology at the Nigerian Academy of Science

“…As world leaders begin to break from their collective apathy, the lessons from Nigeria are clear. There needs to be enough trained health workers, equipment, and facilities available to isolate those showing Ebola symptoms in well-equipped treatment centers. Accelerated action in West Africa, specifically educating communities about the disease, symptoms, treatment, contact tracing, and how to bury the dead, can end this virus. There are no short cuts, and urgent international support is critical to building treatment centers and stopping Ebola…” (10/7).

Roll Call: Ebola Crisis Creates Sense of Urgency to Restore NIH Funding Now
Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America

“…Funding for medical research in our country has been stagnant and even cut over the past decade, holding back the NIH — America’s primary source for life-changing medical research — from finding cures. … Medical research is America’s most powerful means of combating global epidemics such as Ebola, keeping our shores safe. It is also the best way to find cures for diseases that touch each of us in the lives we lead here at home. Our nation’s elected representatives must take a stand for medical research now, and act for the NIH” (10/6).

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Tackling Climate Change Will Lead To Health, Economic Benefits

The Guardian: Tackling global warming will improve health, save lives, and save money
John Abraham, professor of thermal sciences at the University of St. Thomas School of Engineering

“A very recent study released in JAMA (Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunities for Global Health) provides a very thorough review showing how climate change affects human health. Perhaps more importantly, the paper also describes how tackling climate change leads to many health and economic benefits. … [T]oo often, the cost-benefit analysis is focused solely on the energy costs … Rarely do we think of the other benefits that might be achieved by taking smart actions. … We often hear that mitigating and adapting to climate change is too expensive. We are now learning that doing nothing is very costly and an unwise choice. What this latest work shows us is that taking action will provide hidden auxiliary benefits that should encourage us to act faster” (10/6).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. Government Blog Posts Discuss U.S Response To Ebola, Health Systems Strengthening

Blog posts from USAID and the State Department discuss the U.S. response to the Ebola epidemic and the importance of strengthening health care systems.

USAID’s “IMPACTblog”: At the Heart of Ebola — Health Systems That Need Strengthening
Chris Thomas, communications adviser in USAID’s Bureau for Global Health, discusses the U.S. response to the West African Ebola epidemic and the importance of strengthening health systems, writing, “If we use all of our might to ramp up the response to Ebola while also investing in strengthening critical health care systems (including the components that prevent, detect, and respond to infectious diseases), we can help bring the current epidemic under control and reduce the possibility of future outbreaks” (10/6).

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: The U.S. Response to the Ebola Epidemic in West Africa
The blog post discusses the U.S. response to the Ebola epidemic, stating, “Since the first cases of Ebola were reported in West Africa in March 2014, the United States has mounted a whole-of-government response to contain and eliminate the epidemic at its source, while also taking prudent measures at home…” (10/6).

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Blog Post Outlines Actions Needed To Continue Progress On MDG 6 As Target Date Approaches

Health Affairs Blog: 500 Days And Counting: Critical Steps In The Countdown To Achieving MDG 6
Deb Derrick, president of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Peter Yeo, vice president of public policy and advocacy at the United Nations Foundation, outline actions needed to continue to make progress on MDG 6, which addresses HIV/AIDS, malaria, as well as other diseases, as the 2015 target date approaches. They write, “The MDG target date is drawing closer, but global health partners have a well-marked path to make great progress on MDG 6. By achieving financial deficiencies, building strong partnerships and using science to direct resources most effectively, the world will be well positioned to reach this goal…” (10/6).

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Blog Post Highlights 10th Grand Challenges Meeting

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: Celebrating Ten Years of Grand Challenges
Trevor Mundel, president of global health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, highlights the 10th annual Grand Challenges meeting happening this week. He writes, “[The Gates Foundation] will welcome more than 1,000 scientists and partners to celebrate the 10th anniversary, reflect on what’s been accomplished, and issue new challenges to address some of the biggest problems in global health. In 2003, Grand Challenges in Global Health was created to drive innovation and test novel solutions for health problems that disproportionately affect the world’s poor — a population that, historically, has not benefited from innovations in health…” (10/6).

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Australia Has Important Role In Infectious Disease Research

BMJ Blogs: Sharon Lewin: The challenge of infectious diseases
Sharon Lewin, inaugural director of the Doherty Institute in Melbourne, Australia, discusses the importance of accelerating scientific research on infectious diseases in light of both existing and emerging threats, including Ebola, as well as the role of Australia’s scientific community (10/6).

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