KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

$600M Needed For Ebola Response As Death Toll Increases To More Than 1,900, U.N. Says

News outlets report on the U.N.’s call for $600 million to address the West African Ebola outbreak, as WHO cites an updated death toll of more than 1,900.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola death toll jumps to more than 1,900: WHO
“More than 1,900 people have now died of Ebola in West Africa, the World Health Organization said Wednesday, warning the world’s worst-ever outbreak of the virus is still gathering pace…” (9/3).

The Hill: WHO declares Ebola epidemic a ‘global threat’
“The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) called Ebola a ‘global threat’ and warned that it can only be stopped by a significant international response. Margaret Chan, the director general of WHO, did not mince words in describing the growing epidemic in West Africa on Wednesday…” (Viebeck, 9/3).

National Geographic: As Ebola’s Spread Continues, Warnings of an Inadequate Global Response
“…At a news conference Wednesday, the head of the World Health Organization and a United Nations senior system coordinator for Ebola disease renewed pleas for more support from the world’s nations, while praising current efforts by the United States, the United Kingdom, Uganda, South Africa, and some others…” (Weintraub, 9/3).

Reuters: West Africa Ebola death toll accelerates to more than 1,900: WHO
“More than 1,900 people have died in the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, the head of the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, marking a major acceleration in fatalities from just over 1,500 last week…” (Felix/Clarke, 9/3).

Reuters: Getting help to Ebola-stricken countries to cost $600 million: U.N.
“The cost of getting supplies needed to West African countries to get the Ebola crisis under control will be at least $600 million, Dr. David Nabarro, the senior United Nations Coordinator for Ebola Disease, told reporters on Wednesday…” (Begley, 9/3).

VOA News: WHO Calls for Coordinated Response to Fight Ebola
“…The health organization has introduced a plan it calls a ‘roadmap’ for stopping the spread of Ebola. Chan said the proposed roadmap has wide support from countries and institutions throughout Africa, and that many developed countries have responded as well…” (9/3).

Xinhua News: Ebola outbreak ‘largest and most severe,’ but can be controlled: U.N.
“With the ‘largest and most severe’ Ebola virus outbreak advancing in West Africa, the battle against it is losing ground but ‘this outbreak can and will be controlled,’ U.N. officials said Tuesday…” (Reilly, 9/2).

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WHO Budget Cuts Stymie Ebola Response; Chan Discusses Agency's Role

The New York Times features two articles examining the WHO’s role in responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

New York Times: Cuts at WHO Hurt Response to Ebola Crisis
“…The WHO … has been badly weakened by budget cuts in recent years, hobbling its ability to respond in parts of the world that need it most. Its outbreak and emergency response units have been slashed, veterans who led previous fights against Ebola and other diseases have left, and scores of positions have been eliminated — precisely the kind of people and efforts that might have helped blunt the outbreak in West Africa before it ballooned into the worst Ebola epidemic ever recorded…” (Fink, 9/3).

New York Times: WHO Leader Describes the Agency’s Ebola Operations
“Dr. Margaret Chan, director general of the World Health Organization, based in Geneva, flew to New York on Monday for several days of meetings in the United States focused on the international fight against the Ebola outbreak. Before walking to her first meeting … she sat down for an interview about Ebola…” (Fink, 9/4).

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African Union Plans Emergency Meeting On Ebola

Agence France-Presse: African Union to hold emergency meeting on Ebola
“The African Union announced Wednesday it will hold an emergency meeting next week aimed at hammering out a continent-wide strategy to deal with the Ebola epidemic. The A.U.’s Executive Council said next Monday’s meeting, to be held at the body’s headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, would also ‘deliberate on the suspension of flights, and maritime and border closures, as well as stigmatization of the affected countries and their nationals’…” (9/3).

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CDC Director Focuses On Appeals To International Community For Ebola Assistance

CQ HealthBeat: CDC Chief Sidesteps Direct Appeal to Congress for Ebola Money
“While he appeals for money, supplies, and an influx of health care workers from around the world to counter the worsening Ebola outbreak in West Africa, America’s top public health official is carefully avoiding direct appeals to Congress for more resources to fight the virus. … [CDC Director Tom] Frieden is instead aiming his message at the worldwide health community…” (Reichard, 9/2).

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WHO Expresses Concern Over Ebola In Nigeria As Number Of Cases Rises To 18

News outlets report on a growing cluster of Ebola cases in Nigeria’s major oil-trading port.

New York Times: WHO Concerned About Another Ebola Cluster in Nigeria
“The World Health Organization expressed worry on Wednesday about a second cluster of Ebola virus patients in Nigeria — in the center of its oil industry — because one of the three confirmed victims was a doctor who had treated patients and socialized after he became contagious…” (Gladstone, 9/3).

Reuters: Nigerian Ebola cases rise to 18, deaths up to 7
“Nigeria now has 18 Ebola cases, after a fourth case surfaced in Port Harcourt, home to Africa’s biggest oil and gas industry, the health minister said on Wednesday…” (9/3).

ScienceInsider: Nigeria’s Ebola outbreak spreads
“The hopes that Nigeria’s Ebola outbreak could be quickly stamped out have evaporated. The World Health Organization (WHO) [Wednesday] issued its first detailed report of the spread of the virus in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil hub. Last week, authorities announced that a doctor there had died of the disease, after secretly treating a diplomat who had been infected in Lagos by a traveler from Liberia…” (Vogel, 9/3).

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Fear, Transport Shutdowns In West African Ebola Outbreak Contribute To Difficulties Recruiting HCWs, Delivering Supplies

News outlets report on challenges in recruiting and transporting health care personnel to work in West Africa during the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

Associated Press: Ebola survivors: Hospital staff exposed in Africa
“The hospital in Liberia where three American aid workers got sick with Ebola has been overwhelmed by a surge in patients and doesn’t have enough hazard suits and other supplies to keep doctors and nurses safe, a missionary couple told the Associated Press on Wednesday…” (Weiss, 9/3).

The Hill: Who will volunteer to help fight Ebola?
“Increasingly desperate health officials are asking for volunteers to help fight the Ebola epidemic that threatens to overwhelm several countries in West Africa. Leaders with the United Nations and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are urging countries and non-governmental organizations to send medical teams as soon as possible to help contain the outbreak…” (Viebeck, 9/3).

Reuters: Fear hampers recruitment of volunteers in Ebola battle: WHO
“Fear of contracting the deadly Ebola virus is hampering efforts to recruit international health workers and slowing the delivery of protective garments and other vital materials to stricken areas in West Africa, World Health Organization officials said on Wednesday…” (Clarke/Begley, 9/4).

Reuters: U.S. missionary with Ebola identified, as survivor shares story
“A third U.S. missionary infected with the Ebola virus in Liberia was identified on Wednesday, even as a fellow aid worker with the same Christian organization publicly shared her battle with the deadly virus for the first time…” (Lorenz, 9/3).

Roll Call: Near-Complete Aviation Cutoff Making It Even Harder to Control Ebola Outbreak
“World Health Organization officials said Wednesday that Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, the three countries hit hardest by the Ebola virus outbreak, are almost entirely cut off from international aviation and their near-isolation is making it difficult for outside agencies to help contain the outbreak. … The countries face shortages of medical supplies, doctors, food, and fuel…” (Curry, 9/3).

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NIH Experimental Ebola Vaccine Trial Begins; Other Vaccines, Treatments Under Development

News outlets report on various aspects of Ebola vaccine and treatment development and delivery.

ABC News: Two Women Receive Experimental Ebola Vaccine in Fast-Tracked Trial
“The first two doses of an experimental Ebola vaccine have been injected into human subjects in the National Institutes of Health’s fast-tracked clinical trial…” (Lupkin, 9/3).

Associated Press: Could the blood of Ebola survivors help patients?
“As West Africa struggles to contain the biggest ever outbreak of Ebola, some experts say an unusual but simple treatment might help: the blood of survivors. The evidence is mixed for using infection-fighting antibodies from survivors’ blood for Ebola, but without any licensed drugs or vaccines for the deadly disease, some say it’s worth a shot…” (Cheng, 9/4).

Reuters: J&J Ebola vaccine to start clinical trials in early 2015
“Scientists will fast-track tests on another Ebola vaccine, this time from Johnson & Johnson, in another sign that the world’s worst outbreak of the virus is mobilizing research into the deadly disease…” (Hirschler, 9/4).

Reuters: Canada Ebola vaccine shipment to Africa stymied by logistics
“Canada’s experimental Ebola vaccine was stuck in the government lab that developed it as officials puzzled over how to safely transport it, three weeks after it was offered to Africa to fight the deadly epidemic…” (Nickel, 9/3).

Wall Street Journal: Johnson & Johnson to Quicken Development of Ebola Virus Vaccine
“Johnson & Johnson said Thursday it is accelerating the development of a vaccine regimen against Ebola, in an effort to help curb the virus that has overwhelmed West Africa…” (McCarthy, 9/4).

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Gates Foundation Awards $25M For HIV Vaccine Research

Reuters: Gates Foundation awards $25 million to HIV vaccine research
“Oregon researchers developing a vaccine that has shown promise in preventing HIV infection in primates said on Wednesday they have been awarded a $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation…” (Sherwood, 9/3).

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U.N. Supports Cholera Vaccination Campaign In Haiti

Prensa Latina: U.N. Supports Anti-Cholera Vaccination Campaign in Haiti
“The United Nations is supporting with funds a vaccination against cholera campaign, implemented by the government in Haiti, the organization reported [Wednesday]…” (9/3).

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India Faces HIV/AIDS Drug Shortages As Drug Makers Halt Supplies

Reuters: India battles HIV/AIDS drug shortage as some firms halt supply
“India is facing a shortage of HIV/AIDS drugs provided under the government’s free medicine program after some drug makers halted supplies due to delayed payments, leaving thousands of patients without treatment, activists said…” (Siddiqui, 9/4).

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Ugandan MPs Preparing To Reintroduce Anti-Gay Legislation

Agence France-Presse: Ugandan MPs working to reintroduce tough anti-gay law: report
“Ugandan MPs have begun work on reintroducing tough anti-gay legislation, a month after the East African nation’s constitutional court declared a previous law ‘null and void,’ a report said Wednesday…” (9/3).

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Bangladesh Sees Success In Sanitation Efforts; India Still Struggles

Thomson Reuters Foundation: How to stop open defecation? Even if you build a toilet, they may not come
“Bangladesh and India have long tried to stop people from defecating in outdoor public places — a practice that spreads fatal diseases — but Bangladesh has had much more success than the economic giant next door in getting people to use toilets. The percentage of Bangladeshis defecating in the open dropped from 19 percent in 2000 to just three percent in 2012, while nearly half the India’s 1.2 billion people still resort to streets and fields as their toilet of choice…” (Mis, 9/3).

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Girls In Niger Fight For Rights Against Child Marriage

Deutsche Welle: Fighting against child marriage in Niger
“While Niger has made some gains, like reducing child mortality, it’s still a pretty bad place for women and girls. Three out of four girls under 18 are married, which means they were forced to marry as minors, and can’t complete their school education. But some girls are fighting for their rights, like a young woman DW’s Naomi Conrad met in Southern Niger…” (Conrad, 9/3).

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Nearly 3B Risk Ill Health From Household Air Pollution

Agence France-Presse: 2.8 bln risk ill health from home air pollution
“Nearly three billion people risk ill health and early death merely from breathing the air in their homes that is polluted by fires made for cooking and heating, researchers said…”(9/3).

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Editorials and Opinions

Achieving Medical Goals Of Sexual Health Requires Promoting Comprehensive Agenda

The Guardian: Sexual health isn’t just about health – it’s about sex too
Pauline Oosterhoff, research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies

“Should tax money be spent for research on pornography in Bangladesh? How about on sex worker organizations’ efforts to legalize sex work? Do humanitarians have a right to a sexual life? While there is widespread global support for some aspects of sexual health, such as HIV prevention or ending sexual violence against women and girls in war zones, many other sexual health issues are far more controversial. The theme of this year’s World Sexual Health Day on Thursday is exploring what sexual health actually is, and what it means to all of us. … The medical goals of sexual health may be politically non-controversial, but achieving those goals will require us to also deal with the controversial aspects of sexual life” (9/4).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

CSIS Roundtable Discusses Future Of Global Health

Center for Strategic & International Studies: What Will Drive the Future of Global Health?
In recognition of the publication of Harvard Professor Lawrence Gostin’s new work, “Global Health Law,” CSIS held a roundtable featuring Gostin, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci, and Senior Director for the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice at the World Bank Tim Evans, and moderated by CSIS Senior Vice President J. Stephen Morrison. A video of the discussion is available (9/2).

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'Principle Of Trust' Necessary To End Polio, Ebola

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: The Power of Belief: What Polio and Ebola have in common
In a guest post, Heidi Larson of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Department of Global Health at the University of Washington discusses how “[m]isinformation, strong traditional beliefs, and distrust of health workers” have contributed to the persistence of poliovirus and the current spread of Ebola virus, and how “a strong principle of trust” is necessary to end both diseases (9/3).

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CDC Blog Post Highlights Central American Partnership To Improve Public Health

CDC’s “Our Global Voices”: An Important Partnership in Central America
CDC Central American Regional Office Director Nelson Arboleda discusses the work and impact of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America’s (COMISCA), which has “emerged as an important — and effective — mechanism for improving public health across the region” (9/2).

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Vaccinating Pregnant Women Can Help Newborns Develop Immunities

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: A Mother’s Gift: Vaccinating Mom Can Protect Baby Too
Keith Klugman, director for pneumonia at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, discusses new research showing the immunity pregnant women receive from vaccinations can be passed on to their infants (9/3).

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WHO Releases First Global Report On Suicide

WHO: First WHO report on suicide prevention
“More than 800,000 people die by suicide every year — around one person every 40 seconds, according to WHO’s first global report on suicide prevention, published today. Some 75 percent of suicides occur in low- and middle-income countries…” (9/4).

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Blog Post Discusses Abuse In Maternal Health, HIV Programs

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: ‘Abuse runs deep’ in maternal health and HIV programs, says advocates
Rabita Aziz, policy research coordinator for the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses how “disrespect and abuse towards women in the maternal and reproductive health care world contributes to the HIV/AIDS epidemic” (9/3).

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