KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report
In The News
- CDC Director Warns Ebola Outbreak 'Spiraling Out Of Control,' Urges Major Global Effort To Curb Infections
News outlets report on CDC Director Thomas Frieden’s public remarks after returning from a week-long trip to West African nations hit by Ebola.
CNN: Officials, aid groups rip world’s response to ‘spiraling’ Ebola outbreak
“The Ebola outbreak is much worse than official figures show and is ‘spiraling out of control,’ a leading U.S. official said Tuesday — due in part, he said, to some countries that inadvertently have made it harder to corral the deadly disease…” (Castillo/Botelho, 9/2).
CQ News: CDC Chief Urges Stronger Response to Ebola Outbreak
“Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Thomas Frieden on Tuesday called for specialized medical experts to volunteer to travel to Africa to help contain the Ebola epidemic and promoted the World Health Organization’s call for $490 million in funding to fight the disease’s spread over the next nine months…” (Adams, 9/2).
The Hill: Ebola epidemic ‘spiraling out of control,’ CDC director says
“…Frieden recently returned from a trip to countries in West Africa affected by Ebola. He described it as a ‘horrific’ situation but said treatment centers are increasing survival rates…” (Shabad, 9/2).
PBS NewsHour: Why Ebola is proving so hard to contain
“Jeffrey Brown joins director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, who just returned from surveying the situation in West Africa, to discuss the impediments to containing the disease, and the prospects of it spreading…” (Brown, 9/2).
Politico: CDC head urges ‘overwhelming’ response to Ebola
“The country’s top public health official is calling for a rapid escalation of the world’s response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa and says ‘the window is closing’ on the opportunity to bring the unprecedented outbreak under control…” (Norman, 9/3).
Reuters: CDC says Ebola threatens stability of stricken countries
“The world’s worst Ebola outbreak is threatening the stability of affected and neighboring countries in West Africa, and requires a ‘massive’ effort to bring it under control, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Tuesday…” (Steenhuysen, 9/2).
Scientific American: Ebola Now Poses a Threat to National Security in West Africa
“…Failure to tamp down Ebola’s spread is stressing the infrastructure of countries stricken with the disease that must still continue to provide basic health and security services and promote routine commercial activity. Fear of its spread is also hindering care for other maladies and may increasingly put the stability of neighboring nations at risk, said CDC Director Tom Frieden in a press conference [Tuesday]…” (Maron, 9/2).
- MSF International Head Calls For Global Support To End Ebola Outbreak, Including Military Biohazard Unit Deployment
News outlets report on Médecins Sans Frontières’ calls for the international community to do more to stop the West African Ebola outbreak.
Deutsche Welle: MSF: World is ‘losing the battle’ to contain Ebola
“Médecins Sans Frontières … told a U.N. briefing in New York on Tuesday that world leaders were failing to address the epidemic. ‘Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat,’ said Joanne Liu, MSF’s international president…” (9/2).
Financial Times: MSF urges U.N. members to intervene against Ebola in west Africa
“Médecins Sans Frontières has called on U.N. members to deploy their military and civilian biohazard units to West Africa, warning that this may be the only way to prevent the ongoing Ebola epidemic from spreading beyond control…” (Wallis, 9/2).
PBS NewsHour: The world is ‘losing the battle’ to contain Ebola, health official warns
“…[MSF International President Joanne Liu said,] ‘Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it.’ That stark warning today from the international head of Doctors Without Borders. At the United Nations, Joanne Liu charged that many of the efforts to curtail the outbreak have actually made it worse…” (Woodruff/Brown, 9/2).
Reuters: MSF calls for military medics to help tackle West Africa Ebola
“World leaders must immediately deploy civilian and military medical teams to fight the world’s biggest outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, the head of an international medical charity said in New York on Tuesday…” (Hussain, 9/2).
- International Leaders, Experts Call For Greater Measures To Address Ebola Outbreak
News outlets report on international efforts to curb the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including statements from U.N. Director-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. President Barack Obama.
Devex: A.U. mobilizing health workers for Ebola-hit West Africa
“Health personnel are critical to stemming the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but the region remains sorely lacking in qualified professionals, a deficit the African Union is trying to address by calling on member states to send medical practitioners to the worst-hit countries…” (Ravelo, 9/2).
Foreign Policy: Ban Says U.N. Troops Are Safe, Needed to Quash Ebola Unrest
“…In a sign of the seriousness of the [Ebola outbreak’s] threat, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the Security Council that he wants to delay the gradual drawdown of the U.N. Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), which was established in 2003 to help Liberia through a vexing transition from civil war to democracy…” (Lynch, 9/2).
The Hill: Obama to Africans: Don’t touch Ebola corpses
“President Obama urged West Africans in areas affected by the Ebola virus not to touch the corpses of loved ones who had succumbed to the deadly disease in a public service announcement released by the State Department on Tuesday. … In the video, Obama offers the prayers of the American people to ‘those of you who have lost loved ones during this terrible outbreak of Ebola.’ But he also pledges American assistance to West African governments grappling with the disease…” (Sink, 9/2).
New York Times: U.N. and Medical Group Make Appeals for Ebola Aid
“The United Nations and the medical aid group Doctors Without Borders each issued urgent appeals on Tuesday for international aid to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Senior United Nations officials urged diplomats to cable their capitals to send money, doctors and protective gear to the affected region. The doctors’ group called for countries to send civilian and military biohazard experts…” (Sengupta, 9/2).
Washington Post: Global health officials warn that window for bringing Ebola under control is closing fast
“Leading international health officials said Tuesday that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is accelerating and the window for getting it under control is closing…” (Sun/Dennis, 9/2).
- Public Trust Critical In Effective Ebola Outbreak Response, Officials Say
News outlets report on how public fear and mistrust of governments is fueling the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
IRIN: Mistrust of government spurs Ebola spread
“Decades of corruption, deep-rooted mistrust of government and weak public services in Liberia have hastened the spread of the Ebola virus, and much more needs to be done to bridge a communication gap between government and citizens, say civil society groups and analysts…” (Thomas, 9/3).
U.N. News Centre: Ebola response must be based on ‘scientific evidence, not on fear,’ urge top U.N. officials
“Misinformation about Ebola can only exacerbate an already fragile situation, said United Nations officials at the highest level [Tuesday], urging international action and solidarity to help West African countries deal with the myriad health and socioeconomic impacts of current outbreak of the deadly virus…” (9/2).
VOA News: Amid Ebola Crisis, Some Liberians Call for President’s Resignation
“Citing corruption and a lack of development, there are growing calls among Liberia’s diaspora for the resignation of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Some argue Liberia has become a failed state under her leadership. They say that after nine years in office, her government has failed to build a workable national health care system. Critics say this failure is responsible for the government’s poor handling of the Ebola outbreak…” (Butty, 9/2).
- HHS Announces $25M Contract For Ebola Drug Research; CDC Asks U.S. Colleges To Take Precautions
News outlets report on U.S. health agencies’ actions in light of the West African Ebola outbreak.
CQ HealthBeat: HHS Boosts Ebola Drug Development, but Not Fast Enough to Stop Outbreak
“Federal officials announced Tuesday a $25 million contract to accelerate development of the drug that has performed spectacularly to stop Ebola in limited animal testing. But an infectious diseases specialist warned that even if it works well in humans, the compound can’t be made quickly enough to alter the course of the current epidemic in West Africa…” (Reichard, 9/2).
New York Times: U.S. Health Agency Advises More Vigilance on Campuses
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised American colleges and universities, and any students or staff arriving from nations hit by the Ebola virus, to take precautions against spreading the disease that go beyond what most schools have done…” (Pérez-Peña, 9/2).
- Another U.S. Doctor Infected With Ebola; Infected British HCW Released From Hospital After Receiving ZMapp Drug
News outlets report on the health of two health care workers infected with Ebola and examine the impact the outbreak is having on medical personnel.
ABC News: Another American Doctor Tests Positive for Ebola in West Africa
“Another American doctor working for the missionary group SIM has tested positive for Ebola in Liberia. The doctor was treating pregnant women [at] ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, according to SIM. But he was not treating Ebola patients in the hospital’s separate Ebola isolation facility, the group said, adding that it was unclear how he contracted the virus…” (Lupkin, 9/2).
Reuters: U.S. missionary doctor in Liberia tests positive for Ebola
“…The U.S. doctor involved in the new Ebola case immediately isolated himself when symptoms began, according to a SIM USA news release. He was later transferred to the Ebola isolation unit on the group’s 136-acre (55-hectare) campus in Monrovia…” (Stein/Morgan, 9/2).
Reuters: British Ebola patient discharged from hospital after ZMapp treatment
“A British man who contracted Ebola in West Africa has been discharged after successful treatment with the experimental ZMapp drug, the Royal Free Hospital in London said on Wednesday…” (Addison, 9/3).
National Geographic: Doctors and Nurses Risk Everything to Fight Ebola in West Africa
“…In West Africa, where history’s worst-ever Ebola outbreak has sown terror in countries with virtually no health care infrastructure of their own — Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone — foreign health care workers … have been an essential part of the response since spring, when the disease began to spread rapidly…” (Weintraub, 8/29).
- 31 People Dead In DRC Ebola Outbreak Unrelated To West African Outbreak
News outlets report on an Ebola outbreak in Democratic Republic of Congo, where 31 people have died of infection with an Ebola strain unrelated to the one in West Africa.
Agence France-Presse: Ebola kills 31 people in DR Congo: WHO
“An outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 31 people and the epidemic remains contained in a remote northwestern region, the U.N. World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday…” (9/2).
Reuters: Death toll from Congo Ebola outbreak rises to 31
“The death toll from an outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Djera region of northern Democratic Republic of Congo has risen to 31, the government said on Tuesday, as the World Health Organization confirmed there was no link with an epidemic in West Africa…” (9/2).
ScienceInsider: Congo outbreak of Ebola unrelated to escalating West African epidemic
“A new Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is unrelated to the six-month-old epidemic in West Africa, a genetic analysis has confirmed…” (Kupferschmidt et al., 9/2).
- Large Clinical Trial Confirms Efficacy Of Sanofi's Dengue Vaccine
News outlets report on French drugmaker Sanofi’s announcement that its experimental dengue vaccine has reduced disease cases in a large clinical trial.
Bloomberg News: Sanofi Dengue Vaccine Works on All Four Types in Study
“Sanofi’s experimental vaccine against dengue protected children with all four types of the mosquito-borne illness in a clinical test, a stronger result than shown in a smaller study this year…” (Serafino, 9/3).
Reuters: Final trial confirms efficacy of Sanofi’s dengue vaccine
“French drugmaker Sanofi, developing the first vaccine against dengue fever, said its product reduced disease cases by 60.8 percent in a large final clinical trial. Sanofi has invested more than 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in the project, undertaking two decades of research on the world’s fastest-growing tropical disease…” (Huet, 9/3).
- World Water Week To Bring Water Efficiency Into Spotlight
The Guardian: ‘Water efficiency should be our goal,’ says head of World Water Week
“[Head of the Stockholm International Water Institute and World Water Week] Torgny Holmgren explains why the 2014 [World Water Week] theme is energy and water and what impact he hopes this year’s conference will have…” (Young, 8/29).
- More Than 2B Gained Access To Clean Water Since 1990, WHO Says
Christian Science Monitor: Since 1990, billions more have access to clean water
“Over the past couple of decades, easier access to clean water has become a reality for a huge portion of the world’s population. According to a publication released by the World Health Organization, … more than two billion people have gained access to an improved source of drinking water since 1990…” (Williams, 9/2).
- Air Pollution Threatens Food Security More Than Previously Thought, Research Says
The Guardian: Climate change threatens to put the fight against hunger back by decades
“We’ve all heard about the dangers of climate change on world food security, but by 2050 our ability to produce food may be lowered by up to 10 percent due to rising air pollution, according to new research published by Nature Climate Change…” (Seager, 9/2).
- Zimbabwe's Infant, Maternal Mortality Rates Improve, U.N. Says
News outlets discuss findings from a U.N. report showing Zimbabwe’s infant and maternal mortality rates have improved over the past five years.
The Herald: Zim’s social sector on recovery path
“Last Friday, the national statistics agency, ZIMSTAT, released preliminary results of the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) conducted between February and April this year. The MICS is an international household survey that was developed by UNICEF in 1990 to assist countries with data for monitoring human development in general and the situation of children and women in particular. … Given the difficulties Zimbabwe has been through, that the country has managed a turnaround on most of these indicators within five years is simply phenomenal…” (Hossain, 9/3).
VOA News: Zimbabwe’s Infant, Maternal Mortality Rates Drop
“The United Nations is reporting huge improvements in Zimbabwe’s prenatal, newborn, and maternal health care over the past five years. However, the U.N. Children’s Fund says the survey indicates that Zimbabwe must continue working to improve health standards…” (Mohfu, 8/29).
- Experts Warn Drug-Resistant Malaria On Thai-Cambodian Border Could Spread
IRIN: ‘Third wave’ of malaria resistance lurks on Thai-Cambodia border
“Public health experts and scientists warn history’s third major bout of drug-resistant malaria could spread across Asia to Africa unless ‘radical action’ is taken. Artemisinin-resistant strains on the Thailand-Cambodia border threaten the treatment’s efficacy and pose containment challenges…” (8/29).
- Afghan Hospital Treats Obstetric Fistula
Inter Press Service: Afghan ‘Torn’ Women Get Another Chance
“…Alongside the health center in Badakhshan — 290 km northeast of Kabul — Malalai Maternity Hospital is the only health center in Afghanistan with a section devoted to coping with a disease [obstetric fistula] that is seemingly endemic to the most disadvantaged members of the population: women, young, poor, and illiterate…” (Zurutuza, 9/2).
- Report Examines Journalistic Coverage Of HIV/AIDS Epidemic
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Is HIV still worth reporting?
“More than 30 years after the AIDS epidemic began, HIV is no longer a story that engages journalists or the public, and when it is covered, it is often sensationalized or based on information that is out of date. These are some of the findings of a report being presented to a parliamentary group on HIV and AIDS at the House of Commons in London today…” (Nguyen, 9/2).
Editorials and Opinions
- Opinion Pieces Address Issues Surrounding Ebola Outbreak
The following opinion pieces discuss issues surrounding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
The Conversation: Without better public health systems, Ebola will be difficult to contain
Isoken Tito Aighewi, associate professor of environmental science and health at Benedict College
“…[W]hat has prevented this [Ebola] outbreak from being easily contained is the lack of public health infrastructure in the region. … Public health is all about preventing diseases before they happen and in poorer countries, the need is even greater. Moving forward, individual African nations and in collaboration with the African Union, should formulate public health policies and statutes for training, research, and developing infrastructure in line with what obtains in more technologically advanced nations…” (9/2).
Project Syndicate: The Ethics of Ebola
Donna Dickenson, emeritus professor of medical ethics and humanities at the University of London
“As the Ebola virus grips an unprecedentedly wide swath of Africa, many are asking whether it is time to begin administering untested drugs and vaccines. Given that the disease can kill up to 90 percent of its victims — higher than the mortality rate from the bubonic plague — there seems to be little to lose from relaxing clinical norms. But the suggestion raises difficult ethical questions — and the urgency of the situation does not leave much time for deliberation. … It is important to note that even pragmatic arguments about rationing scarce medical resources can be highly controversial. … [U]sing social, rather than medical, criteria for rationing treatments is a slippery slope…” (9/3).
Afri-Dev Information Service/AllAfrica: Africa: Ebola: Can Global Health Be Sustainably Promoted Without A Framework Convention for Global Health?
Eric Friedman, Lawrence Gostin, Mayowa Joel, and Rotimi Sankore, steering committee members of the Platform for a Framework Convention for Global Health
“…The international community is now scrambling to deal with a crisis, having failed for so long to take sustainable proactive measures needed to respond to global health hazards and pandemics, including the current Ebola outbreak. Where was a governing framework for global health — the spark to ignite the right to health for all — that could have built national and regional capacities to effectively prevent and contain such an uncontrolled outbreak in the first place? … The Ebola outbreak demonstrates that economic growth and regional development can be brought to a shuddering halt if not based on sound investment in health and human and social development. … A global legal framework to ensure everyone the right to health would be a transformative step towards global justice…” (9/2).
New York Times: Lessons Learned from the Ebola Epidemic
Ken Isaacs, vice president of programs and government relations for Samaritan’s Purse.
“…I share these lessons because I am frustrated about the continued lack of respect for this disease among those who have the best resources to fight it. … Those of us who are still witnessing Ebola’s destructive path through West Africa are committed to continuing the fight. We are taking the lessons we have already learned and applying them to new strategies in areas such as ground logistics, the deployment of skilled personnel, the provision of fuel oil, payment of salaries, and the education and engagement of local populations. I admit there are times when the battle feels overwhelming. I pray the international community will immediately and exponentially increase its efforts. There are still lives that can be saved” (9/2).
From the Global Health Policy Community
- CGD Podcast, Blog Post Discuss WHO Ebola Maps, Economic Fallout Of Outbreak
Center for Global Development’s “Global Prosperity Wonkcast”: Unpacking WHO’s Shocking Ebola Maps — Mead Over
In an audio podcast, Lawrence MacDonald, CGD vice president of communications and policy outreach, speaks with CGD Senior Fellow Mead Over about “newly released maps from the World Health Organization (WHO) and measures for limiting the economic fallout from the epidemic,” as well as a post Over recently published in CGD’s “Global Health Policy Blog” (9/2).
- HCWs Need Additional Information On How To Manage Stress During Ebola Response
IntraHealth International’s “Vital”: For Health Workers on Ebola’s Front Lines, Stress Management is Crucial
John Liebhardt, a digital librarian with the HRH Global Resource Center at IntraHealth International, says more information must be disseminated on how health care workers responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa can manage the stress and pressure of their tasks (9/2).
- HIV Subtype Study Shows Need For Testing, Treatment Scale-Up
Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: HIV subtype study shows need for, benefit of test and treat scale-up
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses findings from a study on HIV-1 subtype progression (9/2).