KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.N. Security Council Declares Ebola Threatens International Security, Calls On Nations To Do More

News outlets report on the U.N. Security Council’s adoption of a historic resolution on Ebola.

Agence France-Presse: Security Council: Ebola threatens world peace
“The U.N. Security Council on Thursday declared the Ebola outbreak a threat to world peace and called on countries to provide urgent aid to West Africa, the epicenter of the growing crisis…” (Landry, 9/18).

Associated Press: U.N. calls Ebola a threat to international peace
“…A resolution adopted unanimously by the U.N.’s most powerful body at an emergency meeting with an unprecedented 130 countries as co-sponsors reflected the rising global concern at the swiftly spreading Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It marked only the second time that the Security Council has addressed a public health emergency, the first being the HIV/AIDS pandemic…” (Lederer, 9/18).

New York Times: Security Council Unanimously Passes Ebola Resolution
“The United Nations Security Council, in a highly unusual move, on Thursday declared the Ebola crisis in West Africa to be a threat to international peace and security, unanimously passing a resolution that calls on countries worldwide to urgently send medical personnel and supplies to contain the outbreak…” (Sengupta, 9/18).

ScienceInsider: U.N. Security Council passes historic resolution to confront Ebola
“…Several speakers stressed that the epidemic is especially tragic because the three countries have made significant progress in their development in the past few years. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power, who chaired [Thursday’s] meeting, noted that the resolution had 130 co-sponsors, more than any previous one in the history of the Security Council. Here are excerpts of speeches made by Power and others…” (Cohen, 9/18).

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U.N. SG Ban Announces Plans To Deploy Emergency Medical Mission To Ebola-Hit West Africa

News outlets report on a U.N. plan to deploy an emergency health mission to West Africa in response to the Ebola outbreak.

Reuters: United Nations to deploy Ebola mission in worst-affected states
“…U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he will appoint a special envoy to head the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), which will push a ‘rapid and massive mobilization’ of people, material, and financial resources…” (Nichols, 9/18).

TIME: U.N. Launches ‘Unprecedented’ Mission to Combat Ebola
“…The goal of the mission, called U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, is to stop the outbreak, treat the infected, ensure essential services are available, preserve stability, and prevent further outbreaks. Ban said he plans to have a team on the ground by the end of the month…” (Sifferlin, 9/18).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. announces mission to combat Ebola, declares outbreak ‘threat to peace and security’
“…The Secretary-General said the mission’s effectiveness will depend crucially on support from the international community…” (9/18).

USA TODAY: U.N. announces medical corps to fight Ebola
“…The world has been racing against an outbreak growing at an exponential rate, but always falling behind. To get ahead of the epidemic, the world will have to scale up its response by about 20-fold, Ban said. That will require about $1 billion…” (Szabo, 9/18).

VOA News: U.N. to Establish Health Mission to Contain Ebola
“…Ban made the announcement during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council that portrayed the growing crisis as the biggest peacetime challenge the U.N. has ever faced. … Ban said the crisis has become multi-dimensional, with significant political, social, economic, humanitarian, and security dimensions…” (Besheer, 9/18).

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Ebola Poses Test For U.N. SG Ban, New York Times Reports

New York Times: Ebola Presents Challenge, and an Opportunity, for U.N. Leader
“Ban Ki-moon, in his seventh year as the secretary general of the United Nations, has a full plate of unsolved problems, from a widening war in Syria to conflicts in the Central African Republic and South Sudan — to say nothing of climate change. Now comes Ebola. For Mr. Ban, it represents a crucial test of leadership — but also an opportunity. If he can be more effective in mobilizing world leaders to contain this calamity than he has in the others, it can serve as something akin to redemption. Or else it could leave a deep stain on his legacy…” (Sengupta, 9/18).

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Shah Urges Public-Private Partnerships To Foster Economic Growth Of Ebola-Affected Countries

Reuters: USAID chief Shah urges more focus on poor countries as Ebola spreads
“The Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa has exposed a need to help countries by applying public-private partnerships that will foster economic growth rather [than] leave them dependent on aid, the U.S. Agency for International Development chief said on Thursday…” (Wroughton, 9/18).

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White House Chief Information Officer Tasked With Coordinating U.S. Government Response To Ebola Outbreak

Politico: W.H.’s Steve VanRoekel to take tech to Ebola fight
“Steve VanRoekel, the chief information officer at the White House, is leaving his post to help coordinate the administration’s response to the Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa. The former Microsoft executive will be tasked with coordinating and ensuring the efficiency of the U.S. government’s efforts to fight the virus, an administration official said…” (Mershon, 9/19).

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Ebola Death Toll Reaches 2,630 Out Of 5,357 Cases, WHO Says

News outlets report on the WHO’s announcement that the number of Ebola cases is growing rapidly and the virus has killed roughly half of those infected.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola death toll climbs to 2,630 out of 5,357 cases: WHO
“The deadliest Ebola epidemic on record has now infected more than 5,000 people in West Africa and killed around half of them, the World Health Organization said Thursday…” (9/18).

Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Number of Ebola Cases Accelerating, Says World Health Organization
“The World Health Organization says more than 700 more Ebola cases emerged in West Africa in one week, a statistic that shows the outbreak is accelerating…” (9/18).

New York Times: Ebola Deaths Doubled in a Month, Health Group Says
“The number of people in West Africa who have contracted the Ebola virus and died from the hemorrhagic fever that it causes has doubled in the past month, the World Health Organization reported on Thursday…” (Cumming-Bruce, 9/18).

NPR: A Frightening Curve: How Fast Is The Ebola Outbreak Growing?
“If nothing changes in the next few weeks, we could see at least 60,000 cases by the end of 2014…” (Doucleff, 9/18).

Reuters: Death toll in West Africa Ebola epidemic reaches 2,630: WHO
“At least 2,630 people have died in the worst outbreak of Ebola virus in history, which has so far infected at least 5,357 people in West Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday…” (Kelland/Miles, 9/18).

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8 Members Of Ebola Awareness Team Murdered In Rural Guinea

News outlets report on the murders of eight Ebola workers who were attempting to educate citizens in Guinea.

New York Times: Fear of Ebola Drives Mob to Kill Officials in Guinea
“The bodies of eight officials and journalists who went to a remote village in Guinea to dispel rumors about the deadly Ebola outbreak gripping the region were discovered after a rock-hurling mob attacked the delegation, claiming that it had come to spread the illness, a government spokesman said Thursday…” (Callimichi, 9/18).

Reuters: Eight bodies found after attack on Guinea Ebola education team
“Eight bodies, including those of three journalists, were found after an attack on a team trying to educate locals on the risks of the Ebola virus in a remote area of southeastern Guinea, a government spokesman said on Thursday…” (Samb/Felix, 9/18).

Washington Post: Eight dead in attack on Ebola team in Guinea. ‘Killed in cold blood.’
“…Throughout this epidemic, public health officials have battled widespread fear and even doubts that the virus exists at all. The deadly attack illustrates the danger that health workers face as they try to spread information about the virus in an effort to control the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history…” (Philip, 9/18).

Washington Post: Why the brutal murder of several Ebola workers may hint at more violence to come
“…It was the most horrific act of Ebola-related violence to date in any of the affected countries. But it was far from the first display of local aggression. As the numbers of dead has surged, so has the violence: from an attack on a Guinea medical center in early April through the brandishing of knives in July to this week’s murders. The dangers under which health workers try to function appear to be heightening, as frightened locals continue to blame doctors for perpetuating the virus. And as Ebola spreads — 700 more cases were announced this week and the number of dead doubled this month — so may the acts of violence…” (McCoy, 9/19).

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France To Establish Military Hospital In West Africa To Treat Ebola Patients

Reuters: France to set up military hospital to fight Ebola in West Africa
“France will set up a military hospital in West Africa in the coming days as part of France’s contribution to the fight against the Ebola outbreak there, President Francois Hollande said on Thursday…” (9/18).

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French HCW Evacuated From Liberia After Contracting Ebola To Receive Experimental Drug

News outlets report on the evacuation and treatment of a French health care worker who contracted Ebola while volunteering in Liberia.

Agence France-Presse: France OKs ‘experimental treatments’ on Ebola-hit nurse
“France’s health minister on Friday authorized ‘experimental treatments’ for a French nurse who has contracted Ebola and is now being treated in a Paris hospital…” (9/19).

Reuters: MSF says French Ebola patient’s repatriation far too slow
“Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Thursday criticized the delay in repatriating a foreign health worker infected with Ebola in Africa after it took two days to fly out the infected French volunteer from Liberia…” (Irish, 9/18).

Wall Street Journal: France’s First Ebola Patient to Get Experimental Drug
“The French nurse who contracted the Ebola virus in Liberia will receive an experimental drug in France where she is being treated in a military hospital after being flown back late Thursday…” (Landauro, 9/19).

Wall Street Journal: Doctors’ Organization to Evacuate French Worker With Ebola
“A French aid organization Thursday called for speedier evacuation options for humanitarian workers who have contracted the deadly Ebola virus, saying efforts to transport a contaminated member of its group have been too slow…” (Landauro, 9/18).

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Sierra Leone Begins 3-Day Nationwide Lockdown Amid Hopes, Fears

News outlets report on the start of a three-day lockdown in Sierra Leone, as the nation attempts to educate residents about and contain the Ebola outbreak.

Agence France-Presse: Sierra Leone launches controversial Ebola shutdown
“Sierra Leone on Friday launched a controversial three-day shutdown to contain the deadly spread of the Ebola virus, as the U.N. Security Council declared the deadly outbreak a threat to world peace…” (MacJohnson, 9/19).

Associated Press: Sierra Leone to shut down for 3 days to slow Ebola
“In a desperate bid to slow West Africa’s accelerating Ebola outbreak, Sierra Leone ordered its six million people confined to their homes for three days starting Friday while volunteers conduct a house-to-house search for victims in hiding…” (Roy-Macaulay, 9/18).

NPR: In Sierra Leone, A Lockdown … Or A Time To Reflect?
“Starting just after midnight [Thursday], residents of Sierra Leone will be confined to their homes for a three-day lockdown. It’s the latest government plan meant to stem the tide of Ebola cases, which exceeded 1,500 last week in Sierra Leone. But the plan has not won the support of the international medical community — and is causing concern among Sierra Leoneans as well…” (Bichell, 9/18).

Reuters: Fear and hope as Sierra Leone braces for three-day Ebola lockdown
“…Sierra Leone’s government says extreme measures are needed to try to contain the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola on record but many fear it will bring more hardship to a nation that is already one of the poorest on earth. Critics also question whether it will even be effective…” (Fofana, 9/18).

UNICEF: Sierra Leone launches three-day, door-to-door Ebola prevention campaign
“An ambitious public information campaign aiming to reach every household in Sierra Leone with life-saving messages on Ebola will take place 19-21 September in a bid to reduce the spread of the disease with the help of community members. UNICEF has provided the government-led campaign with technical and financial support, including information materials…” (9/18).

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Ebola Impacting Local Economies In Sierra Leone, Liberia

News outlets report on Ebola’s economic impacts in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

IRIN: Ebola’s economic impact hits Sierra Leone citizens
“As the World Bank predicts billions of dollars could be drained from Ebola-affected countries by the end of next year, IRIN spoke to Freetown residents to gauge how the crisis was affecting their lives. All sectors of the economy have been affected, with agriculture worst off, say analysts…” (9/18).

Wall Street Journal: Ebola Drives Up Prices In Worst-Hit Areas of Liberian Capital, Early Data Show
“Prices for a bundle of basic goods in areas of the Liberian capital Monrovia hit by Ebola are about eight percent higher than in the unaffected areas, a set of early data collected from the ground show. The data was collected over the course of one week in September by workers for data tech company Premise Data Corp. It is the latest indication of how the outbreak is hitting consumers…” (Stevis, 9/18).

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Airborne Ebola Virus Unlikely But Possibility Exists, Experts Say

News outlets report on the possibility that Ebola could mutate into an airborne virus.

Reuters: Scientists see risk of mutant airborne Ebola as remote
“The Ebola virus raging through West Africa is mutating rapidly as it tears a deadly path through cities, towns, and villages, but the genetic changes are for now not giving it the ability to spread more easily. Concern that the virus could gain capability to transmit through the air … was fueled by a top infectious disease expert in the United States. … Yet many other virus and infectious disease specialists say that while the prospect of an airborne Ebola virus is not impossible, it is extremely remote…” (Kelland, 9/19).

Washington Post: What can we say about Ebola? (without starting a panic or making everyone mad)
“…[I]t’s hard to control the way [Michael] Osterholm’s message [warning about the possibility of airborne Ebola virus] is interpreted. His op-ed was discussed in Scientific American, Time magazine, the BBC, and this blog. What Osterholm wrote troubled some scientists, who feared that shifting the Ebola dialogue toward airborne transmission might distract people from the bigger picture — and might lead to distrust of the scientific community, too. But for Osterholm, risk management means talking about all sorts of situations, even the ones that seem unlikely now…” (Larimar, 9/17).

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Small Ebola Clinic Opens In Rural Liberian County With 183 Documented Cases

Washington Post: The tiny Ebola clinic that offers a ray of hope for rural Liberia
“…The Bong Ebola Treatment Unit is a modest collection of blue tents, connected by gravel paths, near the site of a former leper colony. But when the camp opened Monday, it provided the first 10 beds for Ebola victims in this rural county four hours from Monrovia, where 183 people are known to have been infected with the virus since July, and 81 have died. Most people believe there are many more victims…” (du Cille/Bernstein, 9/18).

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White House Calls For Task Force To Devise Strategy To Tackle Antibiotic Resistance

News outlets report on President Barack Obama’s executive order to set up a task force aimed at combating the threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, setting a deadline of February 15 for its members to submit a strategy.

CNN: President signs order to fight superbugs
“The rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria could lead to a future full of untreatable infections, experts have warned us for years. Now the Obama administration is stepping up its efforts to combat the rising problem of antibiotic resistance. The president signed an executive order Thursday establishing a new inter-agency task force charged with developing a national strategy to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria…” (Young, 9/18).

CQ News: White House Seeks New Ways to Slow Antibiotic Resistance
“The Obama administration Thursday announced an initiative to address the critical problem of antibiotic resistance, upping its efforts with a new task force and national strategy. President Barack Obama signed an executive order, directing the secretaries of Agriculture, Defense, and Health and Human Services to head up the Task Force for Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria and directing the task force to submit an action plan to the president by February 2015. The order also establishes a presidential advisory council made up of nongovernmental experts…” (Gustin, 9/18).

The Hill: Obama ratchets up fight against killer bacteria
“President Obama moved via executive action Thursday to quell the rise of deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria blamed for tens of thousands of deaths a year in the United States. Obama signed an order establishing a new interagency task force and directed its members to deliver a plan by Feb. 15 to combat the threat of so-called ‘super bugs,’ bacteria that have built up a resistance to antibiotics commonly prescribed to people and animals…” (Goad, 9/18).

New York Times: U.S. Aims to Curb Peril of Antibiotic Resistance
“The Obama administration on Thursday announced measures to tackle the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, outlining a national strategy that includes incentives for the development of new drugs, tighter stewardship of existing ones, and improvements in tracking the use of antibiotics and the microbes that are resistant to them…” (Tavernise, 9/18).

Reuters: White House calls for task force to tackle antibiotic-resistant bugs
“The U.S. government will set up a task force and presidential advisory council to tackle the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, setting a Feb. 15 deadline for it to outline specific steps, White House advisers said on Thursday…” (Huffstutter, 9/18).

ScienceInsider: Bad bugs inspire White House task force and $20 million prize
“In the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the U.S. government is dangling a new incentive: a $20 million prize for a quick diagnostic test to recognize highly resistant infections. The prize is just one in a slew of actions announced by the White House today to signal its greater attention to the threat of antibiotic-resistant microbes…” (Servick, 9/18).

Scientific American: White House Unveils Strategy to Combat Antibiotic Resistance
“Antibiotic resistance poses a dire threat in hospitals and communities. To help limit such risk, health care professionals should begin sequencing the DNA of offending bacteria, the White House’s council of science advisers said in a new report…” (Maron, 9/18).

White House: FACT SHEET: Obama Administration Takes Actions to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
“…Controlling the development and spread of antibiotic resistance is a top national security and public health priority for the Obama administration. Taken together, the Executive Order, National Strategy, and PCAST report will significantly help the Federal government curb the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, potentially saving thousands of lives…” (9/18).

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U.N. Climate Summit Next Week In New York; U.S. Surgeon General To Speak At Event Preview

News outlets report on what to expect at the upcoming United Nations Climate Summit, which will take place in New York City on Sept. 23.

Deutsche Welle: Figueres: “If we want to prevent conflicts, we have to address climate change now”
“U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited world leaders from government, business, and civil society to a Climate Summit in New York on 23 September. U.N.’s climate chief Christiana Figueres told DW what she expects…” (Quaile, 9/18).

The Hill: Surgeon general to speak before U.N. climate summit
“Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak will give a speech next week at an event to preview the United Nations Climate Summit in New York City. Lushniak will speak about the health problems that climate change causes and the benefits of mitigating it, according to the American College of Sports Medicine, one of the health organizations hosting the event…” (Cama, 9/18).

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U.S. National Intelligence Strategy Says Climate Change, Water Scarcity Will Be Sources Of Conflicts

Foreign Policy: Water Wars
“To the long list of the world’s woes, add another: the growing impact of climate change, which could heighten tensions among nations and even spark new wars. That’s the grim assessment of the government’s new National Intelligence Strategy, which lays out what America’s top spies think are the major challenges facing U.S. national security. … Water shortages, as well as fierce competition for food and energy, will continue to bedevil leaders in the United States and abroad, the document concludes…” (Harris, 9/18).

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Senate Approves Stopgap Spending Bill Before Adjourning

National Journal: Senate Approves Spending Bill and Syria Measure, Heads for Exits
“…Congress completed its last preelection task Thursday as the Senate voted to send President Obama a stopgap spending bill coupled with an authorization to arm and train Syrian rebels for combat against the Islamic State. And then senators joined the House in leaving town so lawmakers could campaign for their seats ahead of the November election. … The [continuing resolution (CR)], which was necessary because Congress failed to agree on any appropriations measures for fiscal 2015, keeps government running at its current $1.012 trillion annual funding level through Dec. 11…” (Catalini/Mimms, 9/18).

Additional information on the Continuing Appropriations Resolution for FY 2015, including global health-specific provisions, is available from the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Policy Tracker (9/19).

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Obama Announces New Aid To Ukraine, Including $7M For Humanitarian Assistance

The Hill: Obama to offer $53M in new aid to Ukraine
“President Obama will announce a new $53 million aid package on Thursday as he meets with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the Oval Office. The package includes $7 million for international relief organizations providing humanitarian aid to civilians impacted by the fighting between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists. Another $46 million will go to assist Ukrainian military and border guards…” (Sink, 9/18).

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Gaps In Donor Commitments Hold Back Progress In Reaching MDGs, U.N. Says

U.N. News Centre: Gaps in commitments by developed countries hamper progress on MDGs — U.N.
“Despite improvements in the lives of millions of people around the world, the United Nations today reported that persistent gaps between promises made and those delivered by developed countries are holding back greater progress on reaching the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the end of 2015…” (9/18).

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Maternal Health To Be Focus At UNGA Meeting; Shortage Of HCWs Disproportionately Affects Women

News outlets report on international efforts to improve maternal health.

The Guardian: U.N. chiefs urged to give up seats for civil society groups at maternal health talks
“A global network of maternal health advocates are calling on the heads of U.N. agencies to give up their seats to civil society leaders at next week’s high-level meetings in New York. The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood (WRA) wants what it calls the ‘usual suspects’ to offer up their places at often closed discussions during the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA), which would give civil society representatives a global platform to talk about the issues that directly affect their work and their countries…” (Ford, 9/19).

Huffington Post: Global Health Care Crisis Disproportionately Affects Women In Developing Countries And ‘Urban Poor’
“The disparity in the number of health care workers between the developed and developing world is having an unintended consequence on pregnant women…” The article provides links to two HuffPost Live discussions on the shortage of health care workers (Gebreyes, 9/18).

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During Travel To India, Bill And Melinda Gates Discuss Global Health Efforts

News outlets report on Bill and Melinda Gates’s visit this week to India.

Hindustan Times: Bill Gates shares Modi vision of affordable toilets
“Having stepped down as chairman and then turning to a ‘technology adviser’ for Microsoft’s new CEO Satya Nadella, he now spends his time trying to save people from preventable death. It’s not easy, but the impatient optimist and co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has a plan. Funding the fight against polio was a small part of it. Gates speaks to health editor Sanchita Sharma about the things that excite him, things that annoy him, and the optimism that keeps him going…” (Sharma, 9/18).

Zee News: New vaccines can change India’s health battles: Melinda Gates
“Introduction of four new vaccines in India’s national immunization program by the new government can bring immense change in the country’s major health battles and reduce the child mortality rate, Melinda Gates said Thursday…” (9/18).

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U.N. Warns Of Food Shortage For Syrians Due To Lack Of Funds

News outlets report on the U.N.’s warning on Thursday that it is running out of funds for food programs in Syria, potentially affecting nearly six million Syrians.

Associated Press: U.N. warns of food shortages for Syrians
“The United Nations on Thursday said that it is running out of money to pay for its food programs for almost six million Syrians who have been displaced by the country’s civil war and that aid will be cut…” (Daniel, 9/18).

The Guardian: U.N. to cut food aid to Syria
“…The World Food Programme said that while it still expects to reach almost six million Syrians inside the country and in neighboring states in October and November, there will be significant cuts to the amount of food delivered. The WFP said it had no money for programs in December…” (9/18).

U.N. News Centre: Life-saving food aid in jeopardy for millions of Syrians, warns U.N. agency
“…The agency says that it needs $352 million for its operations until the end of the year, including $95 million for its work inside Syria, and $257 million to support refugees in neighboring countries…” (9/18).

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Efforts To Protect Syrian Women, Girls From Sexual Exploitation Failing, IRC Report Says

The Guardian: Women and girls ‘failed’ by international response in Syria
“Commitments to protect Syrian women and girls from sexual abuse, exploitation, and early marriage have not been backed by practical action, which has had devastating consequences, according to a report published on Thursday. The report published by the International Rescue Committee (IRC) details chronic abuse and harassment experienced by women and girls over the past three years…” (Ford, 9/18).

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Drug Mix-Up Caused Deaths Of Syrian Children; Opposition Coalition To Issue Final Report

News outlets report on the vaccine mix-up in Syria that led to the death of at least 15 young children.

Forbes: Vaccine Mix-Up In Syria Not Uncommon In U.S., Canada
“…A preliminary investigation by the National Coalition revealed that instead of the measles vaccine, the infants received atracurium, a neuromuscular blocking agent used for intubation during surgical procedures. … Unfortunately, these sorts of medication errors are not uncommon and occur because due to any manner of lack of attention to detail, from drug names sounding alike to injection vial labels appearing similar in color, caps, or other markings…” (Kroll, 9/18).

New York Times: Syria: Opposition Investigates Vaccine
“…The opposition coalition, which considers itself the interim government in that part of the country, said on its website that the commission would submit a final report on Sept. 25. The announcement also said 30 children had died…” (Gladstone, 9/18).

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Editorials and Opinions

Donating Cash To Organizations Responding To Ebola Best Way To Help

Washington Post: Giving cash is the best way to combat Ebola
Juanita Rilling, director of the USAID Center for International Disaster Information

“Much has been reported on the Ebola outbreak, but little information has been provided on how the public can contribute to the relief effort. … The most effective way for the public to help is by giving money to reputable organizations working directly with disaster-affected people. Donating cash rather than unrequested material items enables relief organizations to respond quickly to changing needs. American donors have demonstrated that even small cash donations combine to bring great relief. American compassion will save lives in West Africa, too” (9/18).

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Three Areas For Greater Investment In Sexual, Reproductive Health

Huffington Post: Building Momentum for Sexual and Reproductive Health in the Post-2015 Dialogue
Ward Cates, president emeritus of FHI 360

“Sexual and reproductive health, which includes access to family planning and HIV prevention and treatment, is increasingly being linked to progress across all areas of development. … We are hopeful that the international community will translate this momentum into investments and improvements in three areas. First, we need to address demand for sexual and reproductive health through widespread community mobilization in support of accurate information about contraceptive methods and increased acceptance of family planning programs. Second, it is important to improve supply by providing greater access to more effective, longer-acting contraceptives, … and through higher-quality provision of rights-based services. Finally, more political buy-in is critical…” (9/18).

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South-South Cooperation Can Help Communities Eliminate NTDs

Devex: South-South cooperation: Protecting indigenous peoples from NTDs
Mirta Roses Periago, special envoy for the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases and former director of the Pan American Health Organization

“Last week, the international development community celebrated the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, an opportunity for stakeholders to examine how developing and emerging countries can share knowledge, exchange best practices and pursue joint projects to generate tangible solutions to development challenges. … A closer look at Brazil and Venezuela’s joint commitment to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases within the Yanomami community — a nomadic indigenous tribe of approximately 35,000 people — highlights the key role South-South cooperation has had in reaching populations that need key health interventions. Equally important, this successful model can be replicated within Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as across the globe…” (9/18).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Posts Discuss Impacts Of Ebola In West Africa

Several blog posts address the social and economic impacts of the Ebola outbreak on West Africa.

ONE blog: Ebola’s economic side effects may kill more people than the virus
Helene Gayle, president and CEO of CARE USA, writes, “We need to understand Ebola’s deadly economic and social side effects — and to craft a response that is just as broad. If we fail, Ebola will go on killing long after the virus itself is contained…” (9/18).

Baker Institute Blog: Stopping Ebola and other diseases of poverty: Reflections on U.S. efforts to control Ebola in West Africa
Jennifer Herricks, a postdoctoral fellow in disease and poverty at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, discusses the U.S. response to Ebola, concluding, “It is time that the U.S. and the world step up and do more, especially for those suffering from debilitating conditions, such as Ebola, Chagas disease, intestinal worm infections, lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), and many other conditions that have long been neglected” (9/18).

U.N. Dispatch: The Devastating Economic Impact of Ebola
In a guest post, Antionio Vigilante of the United Nations Development Programme, writes, “The resurgence of the Ebola crisis since July and its gradual escalation into a national emergency in Liberia has diverted the focus and resources available to the authorities to the containment of the virus. In this phase of the crisis, it is necessary to act on all fronts to meet the devastating health, social and economic challenges before Liberia and other affected countries see all their hard-won development gains dwindle to nothing” (Goldberg, 9/17).

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Collaboration Key For Strengthened Health Systems

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Collaboration is key for protecting U.S. investments in global health, say health leaders
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, summarizes comments made Wednesday by Mark Dybul, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other panelists at a congressional briefing hosted by Friends of the Global Fight and the American Enterprise Institute. Discussions focused on collaboration and strengthening procurement systems, among other topics (9/18).

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Petition Urges U.N. To Keep R&D Central To Post-2015 Development Agenda

Global Health Technologies Coalition’s “Breakthroughs”: Over 150 organizations and individuals urge U.N. to keep health R&D at the heart of the post-2015 agenda
Marissa Chmiola, communications officer at GHTC, discusses a petition signed by more than 150 organizations and individuals and sent “to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Member States urging the U.N. to keep the research, development, and delivery of new and improved health tools at the heart of the post-2015 development agenda…” (9/18).

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Study Shows 40% Of Pregnancies Worldwide Are Unintended

Guttmacher Institute: New Study Finds That 40% Of Pregnancies Worldwide Are Unintended
“Of the 213 million pregnancies that occurred worldwide in 2012, 40 percent — about 85 million — were unintended, about the same proportion as in 2008, when 42 percent of all pregnancies globally were unintended. The new study, ‘Intended and Unintended Pregnancies Worldwide in 2012 and Recent Trends,’ [conducted] by Gilda Sedgh et al. of the Guttmacher Institute [and published in the September issue of Studies in Family Planning], found that the proportion of pregnancies that are unintended varied considerably by region…” (9/17).

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Aidspan Publishes New Issue Of 'Global Fund Observer'

Aidspan: Global Fund Observer
Aidspan, an independent watchdog of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, has published Issue 251 of the “Global Fund Observer.” The newsletter includes several news articles and a commentary on Russia’s final grant proposal as a Global Fund recipient (9/5).

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The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.