KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

USAID Pledges Additional $75M To Assist West African Nations Affected By Ebola

News outlets report on a USAID pledge to provide an additional $75 million to assist West African nations in containing Ebola.

Associated Press: U.S. to provide $75M to expand Ebola care centers
“The American aid agency announced Thursday it would donate $75 million to fund 1,000 more beds in Ebola treatment centers in Liberia and buy 130,000 more protective suits for health care workers…” (Paye-Layleh/DiLorenzo, 9/4).

BBC News: Ebola outbreak: USAID pledges additional $75m
“The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced [Thursday] that it is making up to $75 million in additional funding available to fight Ebola — bringing the total up to $100 million so far. … USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah told the BBC’s Katty Kay that the agency will work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other international groups to step up the global response to the crisis” (9/4).

Wall Street Journal: U.S. Agency Pledges Nearly $100 Million in Ebola Aid
“…The new money adds to roughly $21.3 million USAID has committed to date in shipments of medical personal protective gear, chlorine bleach, body bags, food aid, and other resources to combat the outbreak in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea…” (McKay, 9/4).

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Group Of House Democrats Requests Hearing On Ebola

The Hill: House Dems request hearing on Ebola
“A group of House Democrats is asking for a hearing on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as global health officials issue increasingly desperate cries for help. House Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and two other key members of the panel, Reps. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), urged GOP leaders to schedule the event soon…” (Viebeck, 9/4).

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Additional Ebola Funding Questionable In Congressional Stopgap Spending Measure

Roll Call: Waiting for Ebola Response Funding
“…The continuing resolution might include additional money to support the international medical response to Ebola, but CQ Roll Call’s Tamar Hallerman reported today that congressional Republican leaders are seeking to avoid too many new spending provisions in a stopgap bill, which would extend current spending levels and policy directives through Dec. 11 or 12…” (Jenks, 9/4).

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U.S. Can Do More In Ebola Outbreak, Experts Say

The Hill: Five steps the U.S. could take on Ebola
“…U.S. health agencies have also accelerated work on Ebola treatments and vaccines, and USAID announced $75 million for clinics, medical gear and doctor recruitment on Thursday. Further efforts, particularly in West Africa, would come with come with political, financial, or logistical challenges of their own, but experts surveyed by The Hill said there is more that agencies could do, particularly if the crisis gets worse … [including] use the Pentagon; reassure volunteers; send food; intensify diplomacy; [and] earmark funds…” (Viebeck, 9/5).

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Europe Provides Funding, Personnel To Help Halt West African Ebola Outbreak

News outlets report on European efforts to provide funding and personnel to West Africa to assist in the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

Reuters: E.U. pledges 140 mln euros to fight Ebola in West Africa
“The European Union promised 140 million euros ($181 million) in assistance on Friday to bolster the overstretched health sectors of four West African nations struggling to halt the worst ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus. The funding will be used to strengthen health systems, train health workers, and pay for mobile testing laboratories in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, and Guinea, where over 1,900 people have died since the outbreak was identified in March…” (9/5).

Reuters: France sends experts to West Africa help fight Ebola spread
“France said on Thursday it would send about 20 specialists in biological disasters to West Africa to help stop the spread of Ebola after international health organizations lamented the lack of aid from the West to tackle the epidemic…” (Irish, 9/4).

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WHO's 'Empty War Chest' Needs To Be Filled, Chan Says In NPR Interview

NPR on Thursday featured two pieces on Ebola, including an interview with senior U.N. officials.

NPR: Ebola Fight Requires Massive War Chest
“[NPR host] David Greene talks to World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan and David Nabarro, head of the U.N.’s effort against Ebola, about the current outbreak in West Africa…” (9/4).

NPR: How Do We Stop Ebola? WHO Declares War On The Virus
“… ‘If we are going to go to war with Ebola, we do need resources,’ Chan told NPR’s David Greene during an interview Thursday on Morning Edition. ‘An empty war chest is not going to do it.’ The organization is hoping to raise $600 million from donor countries to fight the outbreak in West Africa, where the number of Ebola cases has already surpassed 3,500 and the death toll is inching toward 2,000…” (9/4).

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WHO Convenes Meeting To Discuss Ebola Treatments

News outlets report on the WHO’s two-day meeting in Geneva to review possible drug treatments for Ebola.

Agence France-Presse: World experts race to deploy experimental Ebola drugs
“World health experts will meet in Geneva on Friday for the second day of urgent talks on fast-tracking experimental Ebola drugs as doctors in the worst-hit countries pleaded to be given the serums…” (Larson, 9/4).

Reuters: WHO urges drug companies, regulators to speed Ebola work
“The World Health Organization (WHO) called on Thursday for pharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies to work together to accelerate development of safe and efficient drugs and vaccines against Ebola…” (Nebehay, 9/4).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. health agency convenes meeting to weigh Ebola therapies, vaccines
“The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) began a two-day meeting in Geneva to discuss potential Ebola therapies and vaccines in response to ‘intense public interest in, and demand for, anything that offers hope of definitive treatment’…” (9/4).

VOA News: Ebola Experts Discuss Possible Cures, Vaccines
“Nearly 200 experts on Ebola are meeting in Switzerland to discuss possible cures and vaccines for the deadly disease, as the number of cases in West Africa continues to rise. The World Health Organization says the two-day conference in Geneva is to review recent developments in possible treatments for Ebola and identify the most important actions that need to be taken…” (9/4).

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Third American Infected With Ebola Transported To Nebraska For Treatment

News outlets report that the third American to be infected with Ebola was flown to a Nebraska hospital for treatment.

ABC News: Latest American Ebola Patient Headed to Nebraska Hospital for Treatment
“The latest American doctor to be infected with Ebola in West Africa is on his way to the United States for treatment at Nebraska Medical Center. Dr. Rick Sacra, 51, was treating pregnant women in the ELWA Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, when he became infected with the deadly virus, according to SIM, an international, interdenominational Christian organization based in Charlotte, North Carolina…” (Lupkin, 9/4).

Politico: Missionary infected with Ebola heading to Nebraska
“A U.S. missionary physician who contracted Ebola in Liberia is being flown to Nebraska for treatment…” (Kenen, 9/4).

Reuters: U.S. missionary with Ebola en route to Nebraska for treatment
“A third U.S. health missionary infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia left the West African country’s capital on Thursday in a plane headed for the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, the Christian organization SIM USA said…” (9/4).

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Nigeria Monitoring Hundreds Of Potential Ebola Patients In Second Cluster Of Cases

News outlets report on the developing situation in Nigeria, where Ebola cases continue to be detected.

ABC News: Diplomat Who Fled Quarantine at Center of Second Ebola Cluster in Nigeria
“…The first cluster [of Ebola] emerged in July, when an infected Liberian-American man named Patrick Sawyer flew into Lagos. Sawyer died within days of arriving and Nigerian officials tried to prevent an outbreak by quarantining his close contacts. But Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health has confirmed that a diplomat with the Economic Community of West African States ignored that quarantine and traveled from Lagos to Port Harcourt after developing symptoms of the deadly disease…” (Mohney, 9/4).

Reuters: Nigeria monitoring 400 contacts of doctor who died of Ebola
“Nigerian authorities are monitoring nearly 400 people for signs of Ebola after they came in contact with a Port Harcourt doctor who died of the disease but hid the fact that he had been exposed, a senior Nigerian health official said on Thursday…” (Nebehay, 9/4).

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Researchers Use Social Media To Monitor Spread Of Ebola

Foreign Policy: Can Social Media Help Contain Ebola?
“As Ebola spreads, some epidemiologists are beginning to analyze those traces to guess where outbreaks might occur. They’re not only gathering data from diseased neighborhoods and hospitals. They’re also using sources like flight data, Twitter mentions, and cellphone location services to track the disease from afar. Researchers, in short, are sifting through the detritus of mobile lives to map the spread of an unprecedented outbreak…” (Engler, 9/4).

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UNICEF Releases Report Detailing Violence Against Children

News outlets discuss findings from UNICEF’s recently released report on violence against children.

Agence France-Presse: One in 10 girls sexually abused worldwide: U.N.
“Around 120 million girls around the world, close to one in 10, have been raped or sexually assaulted by the time they turn 20, a new U.N. report has found. Drawing on data from 190 countries, the global report by child welfare agency UNICEF is billed as the largest-ever study of violence against children…” (Wools, 9/5).

New York Times: UNICEF Report Details Endemic Violence Against Children
“One in 10 girls worldwide have been forced into a sexual act, and six in 10 children ages two to 14 are regularly beaten by parents and caregivers, according to a report issued Thursday by the United Nations’ children’s agency, UNICEF…” (Sengupta, 9/4).

U.N. News Centre: Evidence on rampant violence against children ‘compels us to act’ — UNICEF report
“Violence against children is universal — so prevalent and deeply ingrained in societies it is often unseen and accepted as the norm — according to new, unprecedented data presented by the United Nations today…” (9/4).

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WHO Calls For Action To Improve Suicide Prevention Efforts Worldwide

News outlets report on the WHO’s first-ever report (.pdf) on suicide, released on Thursday.

Agence France-Presse: One person commits suicide every 40 seconds: WHO
“One person commits suicide every 40 seconds — more than all the yearly victims of wars and natural disaster — with the highest toll among the elderly, the United Nations said Thursday. In its first report on suicide, the U.N.’s World Health Organization blamed intense media coverage when celebrities kill themselves for fueling the problem…” (Fowler, 9/4).

Reuters: WHO calls for action to reduce global suicide rate of 800,000 a year
“…In its first global report on suicide prevention, the United Nations health agency said some 75 percent of suicides are among people from poor or middle-income countries and called for more to be done to reduce access to common means of suicide…” (Kelland, 9/4).

U.N. News Centre: ‘Now is the time to act,’ U.N. urges on release of first global report on suicide prevention
“…The report also notes that the most common methods of suicide globally are pesticide poisoning, hanging, and firearms. Evidence from Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the United States, and a number of European countries reveals that limiting access to these means can help prevent people dying by suicide. Another key to reducing deaths by suicide is a commitment by national governments to the establishment and implementation of a coordinated plan of action, WHO said in a news release. Currently, only 28 countries are known to have national suicide prevention strategies…” (9/4).

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USAID To Invest $6.3M In Public-Private Partnerships To Boost Impact Investing

Thomson Reuters Foundation: U.S. boosts public-private partnerships to grow impact investing
“The United States on Thursday announced three public-private partnerships to boost private investment in early-stage enterprises in developing countries as part of its strategy to make impact investing and private sector partnerships a backbone of its development policy. The U.S. Global Development Lab (Lab), part of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), will invest $6.3 million in partnerships with Village Capital, Shell Foundation, and Unitus Seed Fund, which, combined, are expected to create total benefits of almost $40 million…” (Zweynert, 9/4).

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Global Health Experts Suggest Rethinking Of Health Emergency Funding

Devex: Should we rethink health emergency funding?
“The Ebola outbreak has revealed serious resource mobilization problems at the world’s ‘go-to’ response agency, according to some global health experts. Tackling the disease in West Africa — where ill-equipped national health systems and lack of infrastructure has spurred the rampant spread of the deadly virus — has been a tall challenge for the World Health Organization, and made all the more difficult by the U.N. agency’s funding structure…” (Tyson, 9/4).

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Human Rights, Gender Equality Must Be Strengthened In Post-2015 Agenda, Development Groups Say

Inter Press Service: Human Rights and Gender Equality Vague in Post-2015 Agenda
“With the United Nations’ post-2015 development agenda currently under discussion, civil society actors in Europe are calling for a firmer stance on human rights and gender equality, including control of assets by women…” (Karlsson, 9/4).

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South Africa's Mortality Rate Dropped In 2012; TB Remained Leading Cause Of Death

Bloomberg News: South African Death Rate Fell in 2012 as TB Stays Top Killer
“South Africa’s mortality rate dropped six percent in 2012 as antiretroviral therapy programs helped cut deaths of HIV-infected patients. Tuberculosis remained the leading killer. The number of deaths in the continent’s second-largest economy dropped to 480,476 from 512,310 a year earlier, Pretoria-based Statistics South Africa said in a report on its website [Thursday]…” (Khanyile/Kew, 9/4).

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Brazil Leads In Maternal Milk Bank Development

Associated Press: Brazil’s maternal milk banks model for globe
“Thirty years ago, poor Brazilian women were paid for their breast milk, leaving their children at risk of malnourishment. Equipment at the few milk collection centers was so costly it limited the country’s ability to expand the program’s reach. That has changed dramatically, thanks in part to Joao Arigio Guerrade Almeida, a chemist who has turned the Brazilian Milk Bank Network into a model studied by other countries and credited with helping slash infant mortality by two thirds…” (Barchfield, 9/4).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces Address Issues Surrounding Ebola Outbreak

The following opinion pieces address issues surrounding the Ebola outbreak.

Foreign Policy: If You Live in Illinois, Do Not Panic About Ebola
Kim Yi Dionne, assistant professor of government at Smith College

“…Instead of aggressively supporting or even partnering with those fighting the outbreak on the front lines, many governments and other international actors are acting defensively, treating Ebola as a disease they can protect themselves against by limiting their interaction with affected countries and suspecting anyone with ties to West Africa of being a possible vector. But restricting travel and subjecting university students to temperature checks suggests foreigners are ignorant about how Ebola works — just as the media have (at times condescendingly) described so many West Africans as being…” (9/4).

Washington Post: The Ebola crisis demands that America act
Michael Gerson, Washington Post columnist

“…The Ebola outbreak in West Africa demands directness: We are about to witness a human catastrophe that could destroy large portions of a continent and pose a global threat. And the response of the world, including the United States, is feeble, irresponsible, and disrespectful of nature’s lethal perils. … It is hard to imagine a coordinated effort on a sufficient scale that is not organized by the United States. … If the Obama administration does not act quickly, it will lose its best chance at securing resources until December. But, so far, there is no ambitious plan. … Easy or hard, it is time for the United States to blaze a path out of this valley of death” (9/4).

The Lancet: Ebola: towards an International Health Systems Fund
Lawrence Gostin, director of the WHO Collaborating Center for Public Health Law and Human Rights

“…A dedicated International Health Systems Fund would build national capacities not only to respond rapidly to public health emergencies, but also to enable low-income and some middle-income countries to deliver comprehensive health services. … The West African Ebola epidemic could spark a badly needed global course correction that would favor strong health infrastructure. Sustainable funding scalable to needs for enduring health systems is a wise and affordable investment. It is in all states’ interests to contain health hazards that may eventually travel to their shores. But beyond self-interest are the imperatives of health and social justice — a humanitarian response that would work, now and for the future” (9/5).

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Food Aid Can Fuel International Conflict

Huffington Post Canada: Why Food Aid Fuels International Conflict
Patricia Adams, executive director of Probe International, and Brady Yauch, an economist with Probe International

“…A 10 percent increase in food aid delivered to a country will, on average, increase the incidence of conflict by four percent. Food aid also increases the duration of civil conflicts. … Most often, rebel groups will set up road blocks and “tax” the aid agencies wishing to deliver the aid. In effect, the aid agencies directly support rebel groups by feeding them or providing them with goods that can be traded for arms or other services. … Aid can be commandeered, not only by rebel groups, but by ruling governments — often despotic ones too. … The reality −- that civilians are held hostage while murderous governments and rebels extort foreign aid and financing to wage their wars — casts doubt on the effectiveness of humanitarian efforts and on the credibility of the organizations that claim to be helping vulnerable populations…” (9/4).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Blog Post Discusses U.S. Role In Countering South African HIV/AIDS Epidemic

Council on Foreign Relations’ “Africa In Transition”: HIV/AIDS, South Africa, and the United States
John Campbell, Ralph Bunche senior fellow for Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, discusses HIV/AIDS in South Africa and the U.S. role in countering the epidemic (9/4).

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Blog Post Highlights Roundtable Discussion On Global Health

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Ebola as the ‘Katrina moment’ that highlights global health inequity
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses Georgetown University Professor Lawrence Gostin’s new book, “Global Health Law,” and his comments at a recent roundtable discussion sponsored by the Center for Strategic & International Studies (9/4).

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PLOS Blog Discusses Funding Approaches For Global Health R&D

PLOS “Speaking of Medicine”: Who Should Contribute to Funding of Global Health R&D and How Much?
Mari Grepstad, an adviser at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Suerie Moon, research director and co-chair of the Forum on Global Governance for Health at the Harvard Global Health Institute, and John-Arne Røttingen, director of the Division of Infectious Disease Control at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, discuss how the international community might fund a WHO mandate “to advance global health R&D by creating a pooled international fund for a first set of four demonstration projects…” (9/5).

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Policy Brief Series Highlights Need For Europe To Invest More In Global Health

DSW Blog: Why invest in R&D for HIV, TB and malaria? Because it’s good for global health, and good for Europe
Eoghan Walsh, communications officer at Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung (DSW), introduces “a series of policy briefs on the issue of global health research and development, outlining why we need to increase financial and political support (in Europe) for efforts aimed at creating new ways to tackle diseases such as HIV and AIDS, TB, and malaria…” (9/4).

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USAID Publishes New Issue Of 'FrontLines'

USAID’s “FrontLines”: Open Development/Development & Defense
The September/October issue of USAID’s “FrontLines” focuses on USAID’s efforts to create an inclusive development community to address economic, health, and development challenges (September/October 2014).

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