KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

White House Unveils More Robust U.S. Ebola Response

News outlets report on the U.S. government’s plans for a more robust Ebola response in West Africa.

CNN: U.S. ramping up Ebola effort as Obama heads to CDC
“President Barack Obama embarks on a two-day U.S. road trip Tuesday to assess and amplify his government’s response to two unconnected overseas emergencies — the Ebola outbreak in Africa and Islamic terrorists in Iraq and Syria…” (Liptak, 9/16).

CQ News: DOD Seeks to Shift $500 Million for Ebola Response
“The Defense Department has asked permission from Congress to shift $500 million for efforts to fight the Ebola outbreak in Africa, including plans related to the construction of 17 treatment centers for those infected by the deadly virus, Obama administration officials said…” (Young, 9/16).

Financial Times: U.S. forces to help combat spread of Ebola
“The U.S. is to announce a significant ramping up of its response to the deadly Ebola crisis hitting West Africa, with the deployment of up to 3,000 soldiers to build hospitals and provide support to the three most affected countries…” (Blas, 9/16).

New York Times: U.S. to Commit Up to 3,000 Troops to Fight Ebola in Africa
“…The president will go beyond the 25-bed portable hospital that Pentagon officials said they would establish in Liberia, one of the three West African countries ravaged by the disease, officials said. Mr. Obama will offer help to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in the construction of as many as 17 Ebola treatment centers in the region, with about 1,700 treatment beds…” (Cooper et al., 9/15).

Politico: Barack Obama to announce new push against Africa’s Ebola crisis
“…The goal now, one U.S. official said, is to gather military and civilian resources to ‘plug the gaps’ in the global response. Obama’s visit to the CDC will draw attention to the stepped up effort, as Congressional panels begin to hold hearings on the crisis…” (Wheaton, 9/16).

Reuters: Obama to send 3,000 troops to tackle Ebola
“…The U.S. plan also focuses on training. A site will be established where military medical personnel will teach some 500 health care workers per week for six months or more how to provide care to Ebola patients, officials said…” (Miles, 9/16).

ScienceInsider: U.S. government set to announce surge of help for Ebola epidemic
“…Nicole Lurie, assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), spoke with ScienceInsider on Friday and said she expected there would be ‘a substantial surge’ in the U.S. government’s assistance…” (Cohen, 9/15).

USA TODAY: Obama to announce expanded plan to fight Ebola
“The effort has been dubbed Operation United Assistance, in concert with governments in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. The Department of Defense will work with the United States Agency for International Development and the Centers for Disease Control…” (Jackson, 9/16).

Washington Post: U.S. to announce major increase in aid to fight Ebola
“…As the situation on the ground has worsened, health advocates and aid groups have criticized the adequacy of the U.S. response in the wake of Obama’s remarks a week ago. The administration’s decision to involve the military in providing equipment and other assistance for international health workers in Africa comes after mounting calls from some unlikely groups — most prominently the international medical organization Doctors Without Borders — pressed the urgency of the issue…” (Sun, 9/15).

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Senate To Hold Hearing On Ebola

The Hill: Week ahead: Congress puts Ebola under the microscope
“Lawmakers on Tuesday will hold their first hearing on Ebola, as Congress seeks assurances that health officials are doing all they can to stop the deadly outbreak of the disease. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health Spending will hold a joint hearing. Among those testifying are National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, as well as American doctor and Ebola survivor Kent Brantly…” (Ferris, 9/15).

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U.N. Security Council To Hold Emergency Ebola Meeting

U.N. News Centre: U.N. Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Ebola crisis
“The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Thursday to discuss the Ebola outbreak that has gripped West Africa, the president of the 15-member body announced [Monday]…” (9/15).

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International Community Responds To Ebola Only After Cases Increased Significantly

News outlets report on the international community’s increasing efforts to curb the Ebola outbreak as the number of detected cases accelerates.

Agence France-Presse: Countries scramble to make up ‘precious time’ lost in Ebola fight
“The European Union urged the international community Monday to boost aid to make up for ‘precious time’ lost in the response to West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak, as the U.N. Security Council announced an emergency meeting on the crisis…” (Boitard, 9/15).

Associated Press: Medical charity: Time running out to stop Ebola
“International efforts to stop the accelerating spread of Ebola in West Africa were ramping up Tuesday, but a medical charity warned that the response is still dangerously behind and time is running out to act…” (DiLorenzo, 9/16).

Wall Street Journal: Ebola Pledges Lagged in Crisis’s Early Months
“Months after the Ebola virus started spreading in West Africa, the world’s largest donors and organizations are pledging hundreds of millions of dollars to combat it. But most aid promises have materialized only in recent weeks, long after the epidemic began spiraling out of control…” (McKay/Forsyth, 9/15).

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Leaders, Experts Discuss Ebola Response In West Africa

News outlets discuss reactions by health experts and Ghana’s president to Ebola response efforts in West Africa.

NPR: What Obama Should Say And Do About Ebola
“…We offer two perspectives on what the president should say. One is from Sophie Delaunay, executive director of Doctors Without Borders, which has been on the ground in Africa since the first cases were identified this year. The other is from Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who studies how to prepare health care systems for pandemics…” (Silver, 9/15).

Reuters: End ‘panic’ measures undermining fight against Ebola: Ghana
“Ghana’s President John Dramani Mahama on Monday called for the easing of restrictions on West African nations fighting Ebola, saying ‘panic’ measures had led to isolation and undermined the battle against the disease…” (Giayhue, 9/15).

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China Increases Ebola Efforts, Number Of Medical Workers In Sierra Leone

News outlets report on China’s support and commitment to help improve laboratory testing capacity for Ebola in Sierra Leone.

Agence France-Presse: China ups its medics in Ebola-hit Sierra Leone to 174
“China will send more medics to Ebola-hit Sierra Leone to help boost laboratory testing for the virus, raising the total number of Chinese medical experts there to 174, the U.N. said Tuesday…” (9/16).

WHO: WHO welcomes Chinese contribution of mobile laboratory and health experts for Ebola response in West Africa
“WHO welcomes the commitment from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to dispatch a mobile laboratory team to Sierra Leone to enhance the laboratory testing capacity for Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the country…” (9/16).

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Ebola Hospital Workers In Sierra Leone Strike Over Compensation

Al Jazeera: Ebola hospital workers walk out over pay
“Local workers have gone on strike in an overcrowded Ebola ward at a major district hospital in Sierra Leone’s disease-stricken east over claims the government is failing to pay them. … The action comes after several other strikes at the same hospital by staff protesting poor working conditions, infection rates among colleagues, and rates of pay they say do not make up for the risks they take…” (Hamer, 9/13).

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Number Of Hungry Drops By 100M, But 1 In 9 Still Undernourished, U.N. Says

News outlets discuss a new U.N. report on world hunger and food security.

Agence France-Presse: 100 million people saved from hunger over last decade: U.N.
“The number of hungry people in the world has dropped by 100 million over the last 10 years, though one in nine are still undernourished, with Asia home to the majority of the underfed, the U.N. said Tuesday…” (9/16).

Reuters: Hunger easing globally but 1 in 9 people undernourished: report
“The number of hungry people in the world has fallen by more than 100 million in the past decade but 805 million people, or one in nine, still do not have enough to eat, three global food and agriculture agencies said on Tuesday…” (9/16).

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Scientists Launch Global Experiment To Eradicate Dengue

Wall Street Journal: A Scientist Launches Global Crusade Against Dengue Fever
“Scientists hoping to eliminate dengue fever, a debilitating disease of the tropics that has made its way to parts of the U.S., are launching an extensive eradication experiment in different regions of the world…” (Taylor, 9/15).

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MDGs Leave Poorest Behind, Report Says

EurActiv: Millennium Goals leave the most deprived behind
“A report by the NGO ATD Fourth World highlights the failures of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in the struggle against poverty, claiming some performance measures exclude the most disadvantaged. In a report entitled ‘Challenge 2015: Towards Sustainable Development that Leaves No One Behind,’ the ADT Fourth World movement presents its suggestions for improving development goals after 2015…” (Barbière, 9/15).

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Gilead To License HCV Drug In Bid To Improve Access In Lower-Income Countries

News outlets report on Gilead’s agreement with Indian generic drugmakers to allow production of its hepatitis C medication.

Financial Times: Gilead in deal with India labs to produce Sovaldi
“Gilead Sciences will allow seven large Indian generic drug producers to make and sell its blockbuster hepatitis C drug Sovaldi in more than 90 developing countries, in a move it says will ensure affordable access to the potentially life-saving treatment…” (Kazmin/Ward, 9/15).

New York Times: Maker of Costly Hepatitis C Drug Sovaldi Strikes Deal on Generics for Poor Countries
“…The company intends to provide greater access to the medicine, Sovaldi, for most of the nearly 180 million infected worldwide with hepatitis C who do not live in rich countries. Some 350,000 people die every year of hepatitis C infections, most of them in middle- and low-income nations…” (Harris, 9/15).

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Uganda Faces Food Shortage Threats Due To Floods

Wall Street Journal: Uganda Floods Destroy Crops
“Floods sweeping across eastern Uganda have destroyed thousands of hectares of crops, aid officials said Tuesday, warning that tens of thousands of people in the East African nation could face a severe food shortage in the coming months…” (Bariyo, 9/16).

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Dengue Cases In Japan Show International Travel Likely Spreads Virus

Bloomberg News: Dengue Fever in Japan Shows Global Spread Through Travel
“When Japan identified its first local case of dengue in 70 years last month, it became the latest in a string of countries to battle the tropical fever. The most likely importers of the disease: international travelers…” (Matsuyama, 9/15).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinions Discuss Issues Surrounding U.S., Global Response To Ebola

An editorial piece and several opinion pieces discuss issues surrounding the U.S. and global response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

USA TODAY: Ebola speeds up, world stands still: Our view
Editorial Board

“As the Ebola outbreak has picked up speed — sickening nearly 4,800 people and killing half — the world has talked a good game about how deeply it cares. On the ground in West Africa, however, the disease races on, largely unimpeded. … President Obama calls it a ‘national security priority,’ and he’s expected to ramp up the U.S. response today. It will include a massive military-led logistical effort, 17 100-bed treatment centers, hundreds of thousands of home-treatment kits, and training of 500 medical workers a week. Ideally, this will not only staunch the epidemic but also serve as a model for a permanent system capable of responding swiftly to new viruses that could prove even more infectious than Ebola…” (9/16).

New York Times: Goodbye, Organization Man
David Brooks, New York Times columnist

“…Now nobody wants to be an Organization Man. We like start-ups, disrupters, and rebels. Creativity is honored more than the administrative execution. Post-Internet, many people assume that big problems can be solved by swarms of small, loosely networked nonprofits and social entrepreneurs. Big hierarchical organizations are dinosaurs. The Ebola crisis is another example that shows that this is misguided. The big, stolid agencies — the health ministries, the infrastructure builders, the procurement agencies — are the bulwarks of the civil and global order. Public and nonprofit management, the stuff that gets derided as ‘overhead,’ really matters. It’s as important to attract talent to health ministries as it is to spend money on specific medicines. … When the boring tasks of governance are not performed, infrastructures don’t get built. Then, when epidemics strike, people die” (9/15).

Foreign Affairs: Obama’s Ebola Failure
Kim Yi Dionne, assistant professor of government at Smith College

“…Much of the American response — both in the media and by the U.S. government — has been about protecting Americans, signaling something about the way the United States values lives. Obama has called the response to Ebola a ‘national security priority,’ raising the alarm that if the United States doesn’t respond now in West Africa, the Ebola virus could mutate and become ‘a serious danger to the United States.’ But the disease is already a serious danger to the many West Africans who are exposed to it” (9/15).

Washington Post: Leading from behind the curve on Ebola
Michael Gerson, opinion writer

“…Whatever the intentions of the president’s plan, its success will be measured by a few things. Speed is essential — even days of delay would have large consequences given the upward curve of cases. Coordination is key — other governments, international institutions, and nongovernmental organizations need someone to be unequivocally in charge on the ground. And a massive education effort will be essential — the next stage of preventing transmission may require people who fear they are infected to stay in place, wait to see if they get sick and then be nursed by relatives with home-care kits (if an Ebola treatment facility is not readily available)…” (9/15).

The Guardian: Why are Western health workers with Ebola flown out, but locals left to die?
Joseph Harker, assistant comment editor at The Guardian

“…The WHO decision [to provide Ebola treatment for a local doctor in Sierra Leone rather than abroad] seems to be making a distinction between Western health workers in the region who are, rightly, given live-saving treatment — and those from the countries concerned who are taking equal risks, are equally courageous, and are equally important in the struggle, but condemned to take their chances in a poorly funded health care system that can barely cope. And the decision was hugely counterproductive too, because if Ebola is to be tackled, everything must be done to encourage those in the frontline to continue their work despite the huge risks they face…” (9/15).

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U.K. Must Incorporate Action Against Gender-Based Violence In Its Country Plans

The Guardian: Why global violence against women and girls must become new U.K. priority
Bethan Cansfield, policy manager for Womankind Worldwide

“…Violence against women and girls can be described as a global pandemic: 35 percent of women will experience one form of violence in their lifetime; 30 percent will experience violence from their current or former partner. It is these figures that make it so jarring that only 14 percent of the Department for International Development’s (DfID) country plans tackle violence against women and girls as a strategic priority. … According to the international development secretary, Justine Greening, preventing violence against women and girls is ‘a top priority for the coalition government, my ministerial team and me.’ … Now is the time to ensure that words turn into concrete action in country plans, and that our political leaders deliver for women and girls…” (9/15).

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More HCWs, Better Quality Care Needed To End Maternal Mortality

Huffington Post: Why We Should Judge the World on the Health of Women
Jim Campbell, executive director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance

“…Tackling maternal mortality may seem like a daunting challenge: a complex interplay of socio-economic, cultural, and health system factors conspire to determine life-threatening delays in seeking and accessing quality care. But we have now better evidence than ever before on how to fix these problems … The scale of the challenge is huge: health systems already face a shortfall of millions of health workers, which will rise if we consider the implications of the ‘0 targets’ of ending preventable newborn and child deaths that the international community is currently considering. Meeting these future requirements will entail matching massive new investments in the training and deployment of health workers with significant improvements in their productivity and quality…” (9/16).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts Discuss Various Aspects Of Ebola Outbreak

The following blog posts address issues surrounding the Ebola outbreak.

Center for Global Development “Global Health Policy Blog”: “We Are Running Out of Time” — A Letter from the Front Lines of Ebola
Amanda Glassman, senior fellow and director of global health policy at CGD, presents a letter written by Gyude Moore, who works in the Office of the President of Liberia, “that spells out the terrible tragedy being lived in Liberia, and the need for a faster, more decisive response” (9/15).

Faith Media & Culture: Their problems are our problems
Rev. Larry Hollon writes in his blog, “…Obviously, the immediate crisis [of Ebola] must be contained. But we cannot stop there. We must address poverty in a systematic, comprehensive way. Too many people are still dying of malaria, HIV/AIDS and other diseases of poverty. This will require a more effective, coordinated approach than we’ve mustered so far. Small one-off projects and uncoordinated development efforts will not get at the problem of poverty…” (9/15).

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GHIT Fund Announces $15.3M Investment To Tackle Malaria, Chagas, Dengue

Global Health Innovative Technology Fund: Seven New Grant Investments for $15.3 Million to Tackle Malaria, Chagas Disease and Dengue, which is Dramatically on the Rise
“The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), a new public health partnership that is bringing Japanese know-how and investment to the global fight against infectious diseases, today announced seven grant investments totaling US$15.3 million to speed the development of promising drugs and vaccines to battle three insect-borne diseases — malaria, dengue, and Chagas disease…” (9/16).

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Blog Post Examines Report, Forum On Global Drug Policy

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Calling for a war on drugs ceasefire: A talk about harm reduction policies, and policy harm reductions…
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses a recent report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy calling for a change in global drug policy, as well as a Center for Strategic and International Studies forum with two members of the commission, Michel Kazatchkine and Richard Branson (9/15).

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Al Jazeera's 'Lifelines' Highlights NTDs

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Disease’s “End The Neglect”: Al Jazeera’s Documentary Series Highlights Neglected Tropical Diseases
“…Lifelines, a global health television series produced by Al Jazeera with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, highlights the efforts of global health workers and professionals who are vigorously working to end neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)…” (Adesina, 9/15).

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