KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Military Arrives In Liberia To Assist With Ebola Response

News outlets report on the U.S. military’s response to the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.

Associated Press: U.S. Ebola labs, parts for clinic arrive in Liberia
“U.S. mobile Ebola labs should be up and running in Liberia this week, and American troops have broken ground for a field hospital, as the international community races to increase the ability to care for the spiraling number of people infected with the dreaded disease…” (Paye-Layleh, 9/30).

DoD News: Operation United Assistance Helps in Liberian Ebola Fight
“The Defense Department’s contribution to the fight against Ebola in Liberia is taking shape as more service members and building supplies arrive in Monrovia, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said [in Washington on Monday]…” (Pellerin, 9/29).

Reuters: U.S. military to quickly ramp up Ebola mission in Liberia
“The United States plans to quickly increase its presence in Liberia, where military personnel are deploying to help the West African nation halt the advance of the worst Ebola epidemic on record, the general in charge of the mission said on Monday…” (Giahyue, 9/29).

VOA News: U.S. Troops Take First Steps to Help Liberia Combat Ebola
“Over the past two weeks, one world leader after the other has called for immediate action in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. The United States has made the largest contribution and is sending 3,000 troops to Liberia to assist with health care logistics. It is the biggest military operation for America in Africa since withdrawing forces from Somalia in 1993…” (Muchler, 9/29).

Washington Post: The U.S. military’s new enemy: Ebola. Operation United Assistance is now underway.
“…[U.S. Africa Command’s Maj. Gen. Darryl Williams] said Monday that the U.S. military is planning to build and supply 17 treatment units across the Ebola-ravaged country, according to Reuters. But, he added, the war on Ebola will be led by Liberia…” (du Lac, 9/30).

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U.N. Mission For Ebola Emergency Response Opens Headquarters In Ghana

News outlets report on the opening of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) headquarters in Accra, Ghana.

Associated Press: U.N. mission to combat Ebola opens HQ in Ghana
“The U.N. mission to combat Ebola opened its headquarters on Monday in Ghana, where it will coordinate international aid to assist West Africa to combat the accelerating crisis…” (DiLorenzo, 9/29).

U.N. News Centre: Head of new U.N. Ebola emergency response mission arrives in Ghana
“The head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) today joined an advance team deployed in Accra, Ghana, to ensure the rapid, effective, and coherent action necessary to stop the outbreak, treat the infected, ensure essential services, preserve stability, and prevent the spread of the deadly virus…” (9/29).

VOA News: U.N. Opens Mission to Combat Ebola
“The United Nations has opened the headquarters of its new mission to combat Ebola, assembling a team in Ghana to coordinate the international response…” (9/29).

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Ebola Epidemic Causing Economic, Social Crises In Liberia

News outlets report on Ebola-stricken Liberia’s collapsed health care system and failing economy.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola-hit Liberia staring into the abyss, experts warn
“With its collapsed health service, sick and poorly equipped security forces, and broken economy, Ebola-hit Liberia finds itself on the brink of complete societal breakdown, experts warn…” (Bastian, 9/30).

Washington Post: Ebola-stricken Liberia is descending into economic hell
“Liberia, the West African nation hardest hit by Ebola, has begun a frightening descent into economic hell. … The basic necessities of survival in Liberia — food, transportation, work, money, help from the government — are rapidly being depleted, according to recent reports by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank…” (Barbash, 9/30).

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Bill Gates Addresses Global Response To Ebola

News outlets report on remarks by Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, on international efforts to address Ebola.

CQ HealthBeat News: Gates Predicts Ebola Epidemic Will Be Controlled
“Given a shot at criticizing U.S. leadership as being slow in countering the worsening Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Microsoft founder Bill Gates passed up the opportunity during a public appearance Monday, instead praising U.S. efforts and predicting the epidemic will be brought under control…” (Reichard, 9/29).

National Journal: Bill Gates: ‘Impressed’ With Global Ebola Response
“Bill Gates has a rare optimistic view of the global response to the Ebola outbreak currently ravaging West Africa. ‘I think it is quite impressive what’s being pulled together,’ Gates said of international efforts to fight the epidemic. ‘I do think we can get it under control’…” (Novack, 9/29).

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Bill Gates warns Ebola could spread beyond West Africa
“It is impossible to guess whether world leaders have done enough to bring the Ebola epidemic under control, given the risks that it will spread to countries beyond West Africa, the technology billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates said on Monday…” (Dawson, 9/29).

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News Outlets Report On Various Aspects Of Ebola Epidemic, Including Aid Delivery, Vaccine Testing

News outlets report on various aspects of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa.

Agence France-Presse: Air France flies to Ebola-hit Guinea out of ‘solidarity’: Hollande (9/29).
Agence France-Presse: Ebola screening for ships’ crews in West Africa’s biggest port (9/29).
Devex: How the private sector can pitch in to help combat Ebola (Tyson, 9/29).
Reuters: Rains complicate delivery of Ebola supplies in West Africa (Dawson, 9/29).
ScienceInsider: Ebola vaccine tests needlessly delayed, researchers claim (Kupferschmidt, 9/29).
Scientific American: No Airlifts for Sickened African Ebola Docs (St. Fleur, 9/29).

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GlobalPost Special Report Examines Role Of PPPs In Global Health

GlobalPost: Branding Health: The Rise of Public-Private Partnerships in Global Health
“They are some of the world’s biggest brands: Coca-Cola. Walmart. Chevron. Starbucks. McDonald’s. So what do they have to do with global health? These megabrands all partner with USAID to tackle some of the world’s toughest health issues. As partnerships between the public and private sectors gain prominence, government leaders laud private aid partners, citing their expertise and vast resources. Though there’s reason to believe many public-private partnerships (PPPs) have been effective, quantifying their impact is difficult because comprehensive, transparent metrics do not yet exist. What do these partnerships look like on the ground, and how are they working? The GroundTruth Project investigates in this GlobalPost Special Report” (9/29).

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U.N. Official Warns International Community Of Overlooking African Humanitarian Crises

U.N. News Centre: U.N. refugee chief warns against overlooking humanitarian crises in Africa
“The United Nations refugee chief [on Monday] warned the international community about the risks of overlooking the humanitarian crises in Africa, calling for a renewed commitment to preventing conflict and ending protracted displacement…” (9/29).

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Iceland Announces Male-Only U.N. Conference On Women, Gender Equality

Associated Press: Iceland announces men-only U.N. meeting on women
“Iceland is announcing a U.N. conference on women and gender equality — and only men and boys are invited. The country’s foreign affairs minister told the U.N. General Assembly of world leaders on Monday that the January ‘barbershop’ conference will be unique, ‘as it will be the first time at the United Nations that we bring together only men leaders to discuss gender equality’…” (Anna, 9/29).

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MSF Urges Indian PM To Resist U.S. Pressure To Change Patent Law Allowing Generic Drug Production

Thomson Reuters Foundation: India’s Modi must resist U.S. pressure on drug patents: MSF
“Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi must not give in to U.S. pressure to change intellectual property laws which allow India to produce generic medicines poor people can afford, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said…” (Bhalla, 9/30).

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Austria Reports First MERS Case In Saudi National, According To Media Report

Reuters: Austria reports first MERS case in Saudi national: media
“Austria has reported its first case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus in a woman from Saudi Arabia who had recently traveled to the Alpine country, ORF Oe 1 radio reported on Tuesday, citing the health ministry…” (Nasralla, 9/30).

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Pakistan Struggles To Eradicate Polio

News outlets report on Pakistan’s struggle to eradicate polio.

IRIN: Polio cases surge in Pakistan
“Pakistan is heading for one of its worst years for polio in recent times. According to figures from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), 166 cases of polio have been verified this year, compared to 28 at the same time last year…” (9/29).

Newsweek Pakistan: So Close, Yet So Far Away
“Polio would have been a problem of the past had it not been for Pakistan. That’s the takeaway from the World Health Organization’s recent statement on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly. ‘Let me state the obvious. Pakistan is the single most important stumbling block along the road to ending polio, once and for all,’ said Dr. Margaret Chan, director-general of the health organization…” (Mohydin, 9/27).

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Children In Middle East Suffer Detrimental Effects Of War, Experts Say

News outlets report on the negative effects of war and violence on children in the Middle East.

U.N. News Centre: Not a single child untouched by recent Gaza conflict, says U.N. rights expert
“There is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bedwetting, difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behavior at school, an independent United Nations human rights expert said [Monday]…” (9/29).

Washington Post: Lebanon ill-equipped to handle mental health issues of Syrian refugee children
“…[A] devastating mental health crisis … is taking hold among Syria’s refugee children, many of whom fled destruction at home into neighboring Lebanon, only to suffer the trauma of displacement — as well as exploitation, communal tensions, and domestic violence. The stress has left many with mental illnesses that include anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and developmental problems…” (Shaheen, 9/27).

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Bloomberg To Fund Road Safety Programs In Low-, Middle-Income Countries

News outlets report on Michael Bloomberg’s announcement that he will fund road safety initiatives in low- and middle-income countries.

Detroit News: Bloomberg donates $125 million for road safety
“Billionaire Michael Bloomberg said Monday he will donate $125 million over the next five years to help reduce the rising number of road deaths worldwide — especially in large cities in poorer nations around the world…” (Shepardson, 9/29).

Wall Street Journal: Bloomberg Funds Road Safety in World Cities
“Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has a new message for the developing world’s metropolises: make your roads safer. Mr. Bloomberg is expected to announce Monday that his philanthropic organization will spend $125 million during the next five years on programs to reduce traffic deaths and injuries in 10 cities in low- and middle-income countries…” (McKay, 9/28).

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African, Caribbean Nations Focus On Climate Change Talks; Studies Show Australian Heat Wave Linked To Human Activity

News outlets report on recent and upcoming talks on climate change, including new studies linking Australia’s 2013 heat wave to human activity.

Inter Press Service: Outgunned by Rich Polluters, Africa to Bring United Front to Climate Talks
“As climate change interest groups raise their voices across Africa to call for action at the COP20 climate meeting in December and the crucial COP21 in Paris in 2015, many worry that the continent may never have fair representation at the talks…” (Nfor, 9/29).

New York Times: Scientists Trace Extreme Heat in Australia to Climate Change
“The savage heat waves that struck Australia last year were almost certainly a direct consequence of greenhouse gases released by human activity, researchers said Monday. It is perhaps the most definitive statement climate scientists have made tying a specific weather event to global warming…” (Gillis, 9/29).

Science: Australia’s 2013 heat waves linked to human-caused climate change, studies conclude
“Australia has suffered through two back-to-back sweltering summers, with a record-setting heat wave sweeping across the country at the end of 2013 and into 2014. Now, five separate studies published today conclude that the blazing summer was linked to human-caused climate change…” (Gramling, 9/29).

U.N. News Centre: Caribbean Island leaders in U.N. Assembly warn of ‘real, ruinous’ impacts of climate change
“Spotlighting the ‘gathering and intensifying threat of global climate change’ leaders from Caribbean Islands today warned the United Nations General Assembly that indifference, narrow interests, and electoral cowardice threaten to squander ‘our only real chance to save the planet’…” (9/29).

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Commitments To CGI Total $103B For Health, Other Development Issues

Huffington Post: Clinton Global Initiative Brings In $103 Billion For Education, HIV Treatment, Other Pressing Issues
“After wrapping up its 10th annual meeting on Wednesday, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) saw its commitments to helping the underserved across the globe climb to $103 billion. World leaders, tireless activists and nonprofit executives descended upon New York City during U.N. Week to address some of the world’s most pressing crises. At CGI, those advocates tackled a plethora of concerns, including ramping up Ebola aid and making HIV treatments more affordable…” (Goldberg, 9/29).

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Editorials and Opinions

AFRICOM's Involvement In Ebola Response Could Change Future Aid For Human Security Threats

Washington Post: Will AFRICOM’s Ebola response be watershed moment for international action on human security?
Maryam Zarnegar Deloffre, assistant professor in the Department of Historical and Political Studies at Arcadia University

“…The AFRICOM and UNMEER missions are not your typical militarized humanitarian intervention. Defining the Ebola crisis as a human security issue is a game changer. There is no conflict in the West African countries most heavily affected by Ebola (at least not yet), thus the security threat highlighted by the [U.N. Security Council] is a threat to people and their humanity — the right to life with dignity. … Mobilized by a human security threat, the coordinated activities of AFRICOM, UNMEER, NGOs, and local governments hold promise for addressing human security threats…” (9/29).

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Ebola Not Spreading As Fast As Other Epidemics

Washington Post: Some good news about Ebola: It won’t spread nearly as fast as other epidemics
Gerardo Chowell-Puente, mathematical epidemiologist at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University

“As a mathematical epidemiologist, I can tell you there is some good news in the Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa. This Ebola is not spreading nearly as fast as some scourges of the past. … Math and history show us that decisive efforts to isolate those who are infected with Ebola and to follow up quickly with the potential contacts of the infected can help control an epidemic. We’re lucky that we have such capacities in the United States; if Ebola were introduced here, it could not get much of a foothold. But our world is interconnected in ways it never was before, and diseases that require substantial contact to spread aren’t the only things circulating. If a virus such as Ebola can quickly flare out of control, consider the impacts of a novel strain of influenza” (9/29).

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Private Sector, NGOs Must Collaborate To Reduce Chronic Disease Burden

Devex: 5 smart ways for the private sector and NGOs to tackle chronic diseases together
Jeff Sturchio, president & CEO of Rabin Martin

“…The greatest contribution of health care companies to public health is and always will be the research and development of medicines and technologies to diagnose, prevent, treat, and manage disease. But here are some other ways that the private sector and their partners can and are working to reduce the burden of NCDs: Strengthening the health workforce. … Making workplaces smoke-free. … Creating healthier product offerings. … Reaching underserved populations. … Building healthy cities. … While companies can be and are engaged in a multitude of ways, it’s important to keep in mind that private sector partnerships are not a panacea for all the problems posed by chronic illness. But as a global community, we can work together to do more with less…” (9/29).

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Obama Administration's Efforts To Prevent Antibiotic Overuse, Resistance Welcome

New York Times: A New Attack on Antibiotic Resistance
Editorial Board

“…The Obama administration announced some good measures this month that should help reduce the overuse of antibiotics in humans and much, though perhaps not all, of the overuse in animal husbandry that together are fueling the emergence of drug-resistant germs. … The administration hopes to increase the development of new antibiotics with new incentives, yet to be determined, that might include federal financial support to manufacturers or longer market exclusivity. And it seeks to preserve existing antibiotics by requiring hospitals to track and control indiscriminate use….” (9/29).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

USAID's Lindborg Visiting Ebola-Hit Liberia With USG Delegation

USAID: USAID Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg Travels to Liberia
“The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg will be in Liberia September 30 through October 2 as a part of a U.S. government delegation led by Department of Defense Assistant Secretary for Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict Michael Lumpkin. The delegation is meeting with local officials, aid organizations, and staff coordinating the U.S. government’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa…” (9/29).

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U.S. Pledges Nearly $83M In Additional Emergency Aid For S. Sudan Refugees, IDPs

U.S. State Department: U.S. Pledges $83 million Additional Emergency Assistance for the People of South Sudan
On Monday, the U.S. “announced nearly $83 million in additional emergency assistance for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Sudan and South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda. … With this announcement, the total U.S. emergency assistance for the South Sudan crisis in fiscal year 2014 is more than $720 million…” (9/29).

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U.S. Works With U.N. To Support LGBT Rights

U.S. State Department’s “DipNote”: Free and Equal: Working With the United Nations To Support LGBT Rights
Wesley Reisser, foreign affairs officer in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, discusses how the U.S. played a “role in supporting efforts to highlight LGBT rights” at the U.N. General Assembly in New York and the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva last week (9/26).

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Luxembourg's Increased Contribution To Global Fund Will Unlock U.S., U.K. Commitments

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Luxembourg Raises Contribution to the Global Fund
“Luxembourg is increasing its financial commitment to the Global Fund for 2014, thereby unlocking additional contributions from the United States and the United Kingdom…” (9/29).

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Roche Global Access Program For HIV Viral Load Tests To Save $150M Over 5 Years

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Landmark HIV Diagnostic Access Program Will Save $150m
“Roche has announced a major Global Access Program to sharply lower the price of HIV viral load tests in low- and middle-income countries. This new initiative creates a ceiling price of US$9.40 per test, and will reduce Roche’s average price by more than 40 percent in low- and middle-income countries. When fully implemented, the Global Access Program is projected to save more than US$150 million in costs over the next five years…” (9/26).

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Blog Post Examines UNAIDS' 'Fast Track' Strategy Aimed At Ending AIDS By 2030

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: UNAIDS plan to “Fast Track” end of AIDS means prioritizing men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, sex workers, transgender people, women and girls
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses UNAIDS’ “Fast Track” strategy aimed at ending AIDS by 2030 (9/29).

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PLOS Blog Post Discusses NTDs As Global Health Threats

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: Global Health Security and the NTDs
“Peter Hotez, co-editor in chief of PLOS NTDs, comments on President Obama’s call for global action to prepare for future disease outbreaks and to treat biological threats as issues of national and global security…” (9/29).

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New Report Examines Lessons For NTD Control From Latin American, Caribbean Projects

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End The Neglect”: New Report: The Neglected Tropical Disease Initiative in Latin America on the Effectiveness of Integrated NTD Programs
Alex Gordon, communications associate for the Global Network and the Sabin Vaccine Institute, discusses “a recently published report, titled ‘It Can be Done: An Integrated Approach for Controlling and Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases,’ [in which] the [Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)] draws upon four NTD demonstration projects to provide lessons learned in integrated NTD control projects…” (9/29).

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