KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. House Stopgap Spending Measure Will Meet White House Request For Ebola Funding

News outlets discuss congressional actions on the Ebola outbreak, including the announcement of additional funding contained in a continuing resolution.

The Hill: GOP meets request for Ebola funds
“House Republicans earmarked $88 million to fight Ebola in their stopgap bill to fund the government, ultimately meeting the White House’s request for additional aid. The move was a reversal from earlier in the day when Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) limited the funding to $40 million, a source close to the negotiations told The Hill…” (Viebeck, 9/9).

The Hill: Senate to hold joint hearing on Ebola
“Two major Senate panels will hold a joint hearing next week on the Ebola outbreak as Congress debates how much funding to allocate to agencies involved in the response. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the Appropriations subcommittee on health spending will meet together next Tuesday to explore ways the U.S. can address the epidemic…” (Viebeck, 9/9).

Politico: Hal Rogers: CR will include extra money for Ebola
“The 2015 government funding proposal from the House will offer extra money to help combat the growing Ebola crisis in West Africa and allow federal departments new flexibility to manage undocumented minors at the U.S. border. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) said Tuesday that Republicans will match the White House’s funding request for Ebola response but declined to detail if additional funding will be made available for other global crisis like Islamic militants in Iraq…”

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U.S. Announces $10M In Additional Ebola Funding, Bringing Total To More Than $100M

News outlets report on USAID’s announcement that it will provide an additional $10 million for efforts to control Ebola in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: U.S. to send $10 mn to aid fight Ebola
“The United States will contribute $10 million to pay for medical workers and equipment to fight the deadly Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa, officials in Washington said on Tuesday. The latest cash infusion would bring to more than $100 million the funds that the U.S. government has spent trying to combat the outbreak, the U.S. Agency for International Development said…” (9/9).

The Hill: U.S. pumps more money into Ebola response
“…The new funds, announced Tuesday by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will support the African Union’s deployment of roughly 100 health workers to support exhausted medical personnel. The money will serve to transport the health workers to Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, where health officials warn the outbreak is spiraling out of control, and to provide supplies…” (Viebeck, 9/9).

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Reaction Mixed To Announced U.S. Military Involvement In Ebola Response

News outlets report on reaction to recently announced U.S. military involvement in the Ebola outbreak response.

Inter Press Service: U.S. Military Joins Ebola Response in West Africa
“The U.S. military over the weekend formally began to support the international response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Advocates of the move, including prominent voices in global health, are lauding the Pentagon’s particularly robust logistical capacities, which nearly all observers say are desperately needed as the epidemic expands at an increasing rate. … Yet already multiple concerns have arisen over the scope of the mission — including whether it is strong enough at the outset as well as whether it could become too broad in future…” (Biron, 9/8).

ScienceInsider: In Liberia, disappointment at U.S. military’s planned Ebola response
“When President Barack Obama spoke about the U.S. military helping combat the Ebola epidemic on NBC News’s ‘Meet the Press’ this past Sunday, Tim Flanigan, an American clinician working in Monrovia, Liberia, says he was ‘ecstatic.’ It was exactly what many of the people leading the Ebola effort in Liberia, the hardest hit country, had been hoping for. But that joy turned to dismay the next day, when Flanigan learned the details of the Pentagon’s plans…” (Cohen, 9/10).

Washington Post: Official: U.S. military’s response to Ebola hampered by lack of expertise with virus
“Despite President Obama’s call for increased involvement of the U.S. military in the fight against the rapidly escalating Ebola epidemic in West Africa, the United States is hamstrung by a lack of military medical personnel with expertise dealing with the deadly virus, a top official in charge of coordinating the U.S. response said Tuesday…” (Sun, 9/9).

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Ban Appoints Deputy U.N. Ebola Coordinator, Will Convene High-Level Meeting On Outbreak

News outlets report on U.N. efforts to address the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: Ban to convene high-level meeting at U.N. headquarters to scale-up crisis response
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will convene leaders gathering in New York for the upcoming high-level segment of this year’s United Nations General Assembly to highlight the urgent needs and required response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa…” (9/9).

U.N. News Centre: ‘Merciless’ spread of Ebola in Liberia must be stopped in its tracks, Security Council told
“Liberia is facing its greatest threat since its years-long conflict, the Security Council was told today in a briefing that focused on the impact of the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which is responsible for at least 1,200 deaths in the country…” (9/9).

Xinhua/GlobalPost: U.N. appoints deputy U.N. coordinator to fight Ebola
“The U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday announced the appointment of veteran U.N. official Anthony Banbury as the deputy U.N. coordinator for Ebola and operation crisis manager…” (9/9).

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Ebola Death Toll Rises To Nearly 2,300, WHO Says

News outlets report on WHO’s announcement Tuesday that Ebola has claimed nearly 2,300 lives.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola kills 2,300, nearly half of deaths in past 21 days: WHO
“The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has claimed nearly 2,300 lives, the World Health Organization said Tuesday, stressing that nearly half had died in less than a month…” (9/9).

Associated Press: With surge in Liberia, Ebola case toll above 4,200
“A surge in Ebola infections in Liberia is driving a spiraling outbreak in West Africa that is increasingly putting health workers at risk as they struggle to treat an overwhelming number of patients…” (DiLorenzo/Cheng, 9/9).

Reuters: Ebola death toll rises to at least 2,296: WHO
“The death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in history has risen to at least 2,296 out of 4,293 cases in five West African countries, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday…” (9/9).

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Ebola Threatens Liberia's National Existence, Country's Defense Minister Warns

News outlets report on the worsening Ebola outbreak and Liberia’s national defense minister’s comments that the outbreak is threatening the nation’s existence.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola threatening Liberia’s existence, minister warns
“Ebola is threatening the very existence of Liberia as the killer virus spreads like ‘wild fire,’ the defense minister warned, following a grim World Health Organization assessment that the worst is yet to come…” (Dosso, 9/10).

Reuters: Ebola seriously threatens Liberia’s national existence: minister
“Liberia’s national existence is ‘seriously threatened’ by the deadly Ebola virus that is ‘spreading like wild fire and devouring everything in its path,’ the country’s national defense minister told the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday…” (Nichols, 9/10).

Reuters: Liberia president urges more international help fighting Ebola
“Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said on Tuesday she expects the Ebola crisis gripping her country to worsen in the coming weeks as health workers struggle with inadequate supplies, a lack of outside support, and a population in fear…” (Valdmanis, 9/9).

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Volunteer Health Workers Needed In Ebola-Affected West African Nations

CQ Roll Call: Containing Ebola May Hinge on Volunteers, Not Money
“Congress appears ready to commit tens of millions of dollars to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but containing the deadly virus will hinge more on finding enough private sector volunteers and government scientists to disinfect corpses, monitor individuals likely to come into contact with infected patients and test the blood of tens of thousands of people suspected to having the disease in four affected nations…” (Adams/Reichard, 9/9).

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Ebola Vaccine Research Progressing Quickly

Science: Ebola vaccines racing forward at record pace
“On 2 September, a 39-year-old woman in Bethesda, Maryland, received a novel Ebola vaccine never given to humans before. In as little as two months, this same vaccine may go into the arms of thousands of health care workers and other first-line responders to the Ebola epidemic now wreaking havoc in West Africa. No experimental vaccine has ever been on a faster track toward widespread use…” (Cohen, 9/9).

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Science Interviews Bruce Aylward, WHO Official Running Ebola Operations

ScienceInsider: Ebola: ‘Wow, that is really tough’
“…An assistant director-general at the World Health Organization (WHO) in charge of polio and emergencies, [Bruce Aylward] leads the massive global effort to eradicate the poliovirus. … Margaret Chan, who heads WHO, asked Aylward to help with the response in August; since then, he has been running operations and helped draw up WHO’s Ebola Response Roadmap, released on 28 August. He spoke with Science on 4 September…” (Roberts, 9/10).

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PBS's 'FRONTLINE' Reports On Ebola Outbreak

PBS: FRONTLINE: Ebola Outbreak
PBS’s “FRONTLINE” reports from Sierra Leone on the largest-ever Ebola outbreak. The website also presents several other features, including an interactive map on the disease’s spread, an interview with Estrella Lasry, a tropical medicine adviser at MSF, and an interview with FRONTLINE producer and director Wael Dabbous (9/9).

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Puerto Rico Partners With U.S. On HIV Vaccine Project

Associated Press: Puerto Rico partners on U.S. HIV vaccine project
“Puerto Rico’s governor says the island’s largest public university is partnering with federal agencies to oversee a U.S.-funded project aimed at trying to develop a prophylactic vaccine for the HIV virus that causes AIDS…” (9/9).

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South African Study Reveals Encouraging Results On HIV Treatment

VOA News: S. Africa Study Hails AIDS Treatment Success Rates
“A new medical study out of South Africa has found heartening news in the nation with the world’s highest burden of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Their findings reveal that South Africans with HIV can live as long as HIV patients in the United States — provided they begin antiretroviral therapy early enough…” (Powell, 9/9).

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Iraqi Kurdistan's FGM Practice Can End Within A Generation, U.N. Expert Says

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Iraqi Kurdistan could end FGM in a generation — expert
“Female genital mutilation could be eradicated in Iraqi Kurdistan within a generation, a U.N. expert said this week as a survey revealed high support for ending what she called an ‘abominable crime.’ The study, released by U.N. children’s agency UNICEF, indicated that fewer families than before were having their daughters cut, but also revealed widespread ignorance of the dangers of FGM, which can be fatal and can cause life-long health problems…” (Batha, 9/9).

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LGBT Advocacy Groups Work Against Stigma In Africa

Inter Press Service: LGBT Visibility in Africa Also Brings Backlash
“…In the past 10 years in South Africa, 31 lesbians have been reported killed as the result of [so-called] corrective rape, [Shehnilla Mohamed, Africa director for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGHLRC),] said. … Transgender, gay or effeminate men are also the subject of corrective rape, but they are less likely to be murdered and are less likely to report it. If this is happening in South Africa, the only mainland African country to allow legal same-sex marriage, what is it like to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) elsewhere on the continent?…” (Jaeger, 9/9).

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HRW Report Accuses Some A.U. Soldiers In Somalia Of Sexual Exploitation; A.U. Rejects Report's Findings

News outlets discuss a report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday that accuses some soldiers with the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) of raping and sexually assaulting women who had sought assistance.

International Business Times: African Union Soldiers In Somalia Accused Of Rape, Sexual Abuse In Human Rights Watch Report
“African Union soldiers in Somalia raped and sexually assaulted women and girls — some of them as young as 12 — who came to their bases seeking medical aid, the United States-based Human Rights Watch, or HRW, said, in a report published Monday…” (Pandey, 9/9).

New Vision: A.U. rejects report on AMISOM sexual abuse allegations
“The African Union strongly rejects the conclusions contained in the report of the Human Rights Watch on allegations on sexual exploitation and abuse by AMISOM…” (9/9).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Peacekeepers in Somalia use aid to rape women and buy sex for $5: HRW
“African Union (A.U.) peacekeepers in Somalia rape women seeking medicine on their bases and routinely pay teenage girls for sex, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Monday. HRW documented 10 incidents of rape and sexual assault, including the rape of a 12-year-old girl, by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops in 2013 and 2014…” (Migiro, 9/8).

VOA News: HRW: Some A.U. Soldiers Raping, Exploiting Women
“Human Rights Watch is accusing some soldiers with the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) of abusing their power to rape and exploit women and girls on their bases in Mogadishu. The organization has documented 21 cases, but the group notes the number most likely is higher, as many women did not want to share their experiences…” (Yusuf, 9/8).

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ABC Radio Interviews GAVI Vaccine Expert Helen Evans

ABC Radio: Why vaccinating the world’s children can end poverty
“Australian public health expert Helen Evans has spent the last nine years in Geneva working with GAVI, and before that the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria…” An audio file of correspondent Natasha Mitchell’s interview with Evans is available online (9/8).

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Harvard School Of Public Health Receives $350M Donation

Boston Globe: Harvard School of Public Health gets $350m donation
“Harvard University is receiving the biggest gift in its history — $350 million to the School of Public Health to help fight global health threats, university officials plan to announce Monday. The donation comes from the Morningside Foundation, the family charity of Hong Kong billionaire Gerald Chan. It will substantially bolster the endowment of one of the university’s lesser-funded schools…” (Freyer, 9/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Pieces Discuss Ebola Outbreak Response

The following editorial and opinion pieces discuss issues surrounding the Ebola outbreak response in West Africa.

Washington Post: The global complacency on Ebola must end
Editorial Board

“The Ebola epidemic now sweeping West Africa is a public health catastrophe, yet the world’s response has been to treat it like a faraway monsoon or volcano, perhaps frightening but not something that much can be done about. This complacency is wrong-headed and dangerous. The catastrophe is worsening by the day because of the actions and inactions of people, those on the ground and those far away. … The current effort needs to be scaled up three- or four-fold. The states of West Africa cannot do it alone. … This is a dire emergency. The paltry response is unacceptable” (9/9).

Seattle Times: Ebola just one of many infectious diseases ravaging the world
John Aitchison, scientific director and principal investigator at Seattle BioMed

“…Even as the battle to combat Ebola in West Africa and prevent its spread continues, the public cannot lose sight of the much larger struggle against infectious disease being waged today. … The current Ebola outbreak has captured the attention of the world. But as I, and others in my field know too well, this is just one small battle in the war against a deadly foe. Greater awareness of the horrific impact these diseases wage on communities, families, parents, and children every day would help ensure that the public is able to sustain the commitment and resources needed to eradicate infectious diseases from the world once and for all” (9/9).

Devex: Civil society engagement can help win the fight against Ebola
Prince Kreplah, chair of Liberia’s CSO WASH Network

“…After the government becomes open to civil society, the next step is to set up appropriate mechanisms for civil society to be included in the national strategies to fight Ebola. To be empowered, one must be a part of the plan. We need the ability to be able to move freely around the country, with government-allocated resources to combat this and other infectious diseases. … We can’t lose this battle. We need to scale up the response immediately to ensure that people do not continue to die of preventable diseases and neglect…” (9/9).

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Ending Mother-To-Child HIV Transmission Is Possible

Huffington Post: The Difference a Decade Makes in Preventing Newborn HIV/AIDS
Patricia Nkansah-Asamoah, former director of the Prevention of Mother-to-Child (PMTCT) Clinic at Tema Hospital in Ghana

“…[Antiretroviral] medication, which keeps people living with HIV alive and healthy, can also enable HIV-positive pregnant women to deliver HIV-negative babies. As a doctor focused in this field, there is nothing better than seeing an end to this needless cycle of illness. Babies born without HIV are living proof that with focus, we really can deliver an AIDS-Free Generation in the next few years. But it’s not easy, and it’s not a guarantee. … As the 2015 goal of ending mother-to-child transmission fast approaches, this is time for everyone — governments, business and people — to rally around the AIDS fight. We need to cross the line, and only together will we succeed in delivering an AIDS-Free Generation” (9/9).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

U.S. To Support A.U.'s Mobilization Of HCWs In Ebola Outbreak Response

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: U.S. Will Help Mobilize Additional African Health Workers To Combat the Ebola Outbreak
“The United States announced [Tuesday] that it will support the African Union’s (A.U.) urgent deployment of trained and equipped medical workers to West Africa — the single largest injection of critical personnel to the region — to help combat the Ebola outbreak…” (9/9).

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Information Dissemination Critical In Ebola Response

IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: In West Africa’s Ebola Crisis, a Mobile Phone-Based Hero for Health Workers
Amanda Puckett, a program manager with IntraHealth International, discusses the importance of information dissemination among health workers in Liberia’s Ebola outbreak response, and she highlights “mHERO (Health Worker Electronic Response and Outreach), a free mobile phone-based communication system that allows Ministry of Health staff to quickly send key text messages to frontline health workers, even in remote areas…” (9/8).

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TB Studies Highlight Treatment Needs, Opportunities

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: TB trials highlight needs, opportunities
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses results from two tuberculosis studies that “could change approaches to treatment delivery and development, but only if funding allows the realization of the opportunities they highlight” (9/9).

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PLOS Updates Maternal Health Collection

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: Further Integration: The latest update to the MHTF & PLOS Maternal Health Collection
Jennifer Horsley, editorial project coordinator of the PLOS Collections, discusses updates to the Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) PLOS collection, “including original 11 research articles and a policy forum, all recently published in PLOS…” (9/10).

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