KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Government Spending Bill Will Contain New Ebola Funds, House Appropriations Committee Chair Says

Reuters: U.S. government spending bill to contain new funds to fight Ebola
“Legislation to extend U.S. government funding into the new fiscal year will contain additional funds to fight the Ebola epidemic in Africa, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers said on Monday…” (Lawder, 9/8).

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Pentagon To Send U.S. Military Field Hospital To Liberia

News outlets report on the announcement of U.S. military involvement in efforts to treat Ebola patients in Liberia.

Foreign Policy: U.S. Military Involvement in Ebola Fight Is Minimal
“On Sunday President Barack Obama raised expectations that the U.S. military will help fight the deadly Ebola outbreak ravaging West Africa. But on Monday the Pentagon said it is merely filling a request for one field-deployable, 25-bed hospital — a drop in the bucket toward stemming the epidemic, according to experts…” (Brannen, 9/8).

The Hill: Pentagon joins fight against Ebola outbreak
“…The move represents the U.S. military’s first major foray into Ebola relief in West Africa, where the virus has killed more than 2,000 people in five countries…” (Viebeck, 9/8).

Reuters: U.S. military to set up field hospital in Ebola-stricken Liberia
“…The Pentagon said the $22 million hospital was being provided at the request of the U.S. Agency for International Development, which is coordinating the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak first identified in Guinea in March…” (Alexander, 9/9).

USA TODAY: Pentagon enlisted in Ebola fight
“…The hospital, contained in a series of tents, will be set up and stocked by U.S. personnel. They will most likely be a mix of uniformed and civilian medical experts, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. The hospital will be given to the government of Liberia and operated by aid organizations and local medical personnel, Warren said…” (Vanden Brook, 9/8).

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Britain To Send Military, Humanitarian Assistance To Sierra Leone To Assist In Ebola Efforts

Reuters: Britain sends military to fight Ebola as firms urge more action
“Britain said on Monday it would send military and humanitarian experts to Sierra Leone to set up a treatment center for Ebola victims, as 11 major companies urged the international community to step up the fight against the worst outbreak of the disease…” (Fofana, 9/8).

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'Exponentially' Increasing Number Of Ebola Cases Overwhelming Health Facilities In Liberia, WHO Warns

News outlets report on a WHO situation report stating the number of Ebola cases in Liberia is increasing exponentially and calling for non-conventional interventions.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola infections set to soar in Liberia: WHO
“The World Health Organization warned Monday that Liberia is set to see a huge spike in infections from the Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa, with thousands of new cases imminent…” (Dosso, 9/8).

Associated Press: WHO: Liberia will see thousands of new Ebola cases
“…An ‘exponential increase’ in new cases is expected in the hardest-hit countries in coming weeks, the U.N. health agency warned…” (Paye-Layleh/DiLorenzo, 9/8).

NBC News: Ebola Spreading ‘Exponentially’ as Patients Seek Beds in Liberia
“…WHO and other groups have been warning that the situation in Liberia and Sierra Leone and Guinea is dire. It’s especially bad in Liberia, WHO said Monday…” (Fox, 9/8).

New York Times: Ebola Cases Reported Up Sharply in Liberia
“The World Health Organization issued a dire Ebola warning on Monday concerning Liberia, saying that the number of afflicted patients was increasing exponentially, that nearly all the country has confirmed cases and that all new treatment facilities were overwhelmed, ‘pointing to a large but previously invisible caseload’…” (Gladstone, 9/8).

Reuters: Ebola spreads exponentially in Liberia, many more cases soon: WHO
“…Fourteen of Liberia’s 15 counties have reported confirmed cases. As soon as a new Ebola treatment center is opened, it immediately overflows with patients…” (Nebehay/Fofana, 9/8).

Washington Post: In Liberia, Ebola strengthens its hold
“…The WHO’s description of the situation in Liberia echoed the warnings of aid groups such as Doctors Without Borders: that the outbreak is accelerating rapidly and slipping further out of control by the day. In Liberia, thousands of new cases are expected in coming weeks, the agency said…” (Dennis, 9/8).

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Ebola's Resurgence In Guinean Border Region Thought Cleared Of Disease Shows Instability In Prevention Efforts

Associated Press: Ebola is surging in places it had been beaten back
“…The resurgence of the disease in [Guinea’s Macenta region] a place where doctors thought they had it beat shows how history’s largest Ebola outbreak has spun out of control. It began with people leaving homes in Liberia to seek better care or reunite with families back in Guinea, a pattern repeating itself all over…” (Diallo et al., 9/8).

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Experts Attempt To Trace, Predict Ebola Cases In West Africa

News outlets report on epidemiological efforts to trace and predict Ebola cases.

Reuters: Ebola map shows people in more African regions risk infection from animals
“Scientists have created a new map of places most at risk of an Ebola outbreak and say regions likely to be home to animals harboring the virus are more widespread than previously feared, particularly in West Africa…” (Kelland, 9/8).

ScienceInsider: How deadly is Ebola? Statistical challenges may be inflating survival rate
“…The apparent low proportion of [Ebola] deaths probably depends more on the way health officials are calculating the number than on the deadliness of the virus — or the quality of care patients are receiving. Indeed, the dramatic increase in cases in recent weeks is one of the main reasons the reported death rate appears to be artificially low…” (Vogel, 9/8).

Washington Post: 20,000 cases or 100,000? How researchers predict Ebola’s spread.
“…Alessandro Vespignani has looked at the outbreak and studied the response on the ground. The Northeastern University physicist has worked on a model to estimate the growth of the disease, and by the end of the month, he says, the epidemic could get much worse — as in, ‘thousands and thousands of cases’ worse. Vespignani and his colleagues project between 6,000 and 10,000 Ebola cases by late September…” (Larimer, 9/8).

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WHO's Funding Impacts Agency's Ability To Respond To Ebola

Mother Jones: Why the World Health Organization Doesn’t Have Enough Funds to Fight Ebola
“With the Ebola virus continuing its spread throughout West Africa — and landing this week in a fifth country, Senegal — the custodians of global health are becoming more adamant that the world is not doing enough to stop the deadly pathogen. That is, the rich nations of the world are not providing sufficient resources for the fight against Ebola…” (Park, 9/8).

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Emergency Ebola Research Funding Call Closes To Applications

SciDev.Net: Emergency Ebola research funding edges closer
“A funding call for research to inform the management of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which has killed more than 2,000 people, closed to applications [Monday]. The emergency research funding call was announced last month (21 August), giving expert teams from around the world three weeks to submit proposals. The aim is to produce robust evidence to contribute to the outbreak response, and draw lessons for future outbreaks…” (Hazelton, 9/8).

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Third Ebola Patient To Be Treated At Emory University Hospital

News outlets report on a fourth Ebola patient who will be brought from West Africa to the U.S. for treatment. Emory University Hospital in Atlanta will receive the patient, after successfully treating two other American Ebola patients.

ABC News: Another Ebola Patient Headed to Emory Isolation Unit
“Another American Ebola patient is headed to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta for treatment, according to a statement from the hospital. The patient is expected to arrive Tuesday morning…” (Lupkin, 9/8).

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Emory hospital to get third Ebola patient
“A third person with the Ebola virus will be admitted to Emory University Hospital tomorrow, the university said in a statement released late Monday afternoon…” (Bentley, 9/8).

Los Angeles Times: A third Ebola patient will go to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta
“…The patient is expected to arrive Tuesday morning and will be treated at the same facility where two American missionaries were treated this summer, the hospital said. Dr. Kent Brantly, 33, and Nancy Writebol, 59, were discharged last month after medical officials determined that they had recovered and were not contagious anymore…” (Raab, 9/8).

Reuters: Fourth Ebola patient coming to U.S. hospital for treatment
“…The hospital did not provide any information on the new patient, citing confidentiality rules…” (Stein/Flynn, 9/8).

Washington Post: The fourth Ebola patient flown to the U.S. will be treated at Emory University
“…Another American doctor was flown from West Africa to a treatment facility at Nebraska Medical Center on Friday…” (Phillip, 9/8).

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WHO Doctor Contracts Ebola In Sierra Leone

Los Angeles Times: WHO doctor contracts Ebola while deployed in Sierra Leone
“A World Health Organization doctor working at an Ebola care facility in Sierra Leone has tested positive for the virus, the second international health worker deployed by the agency to become infected while responding to the worst outbreak of the disease on record…” (Zavis, 9/8).

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Former World Leaders Call For Decriminalization Of Drugs, Drug Use

News outlets report on recommendations from the Global Commission on Drug Policy to decriminalize drugs and drug use.

New York Times: Coalition Urges Nations to Decriminalize Drugs and Drug Use
“A coalition of political figures from around the world, including Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general, and several former European and Latin American presidents, is urging governments to decriminalize a variety of illegal drugs and set up regulated drug markets within their own countries…” (Sengupta, 9/8).

Washington Post: Former world leaders call for nations to decriminalize drug use and experiment with legalization
“…The recommendations from the Global Commission on Drug Policy reflect the views of the former leaders of some of the countries hardest hit by the illegal drug trade. In the report, they strongly argue that a costly global war on drugs has not only failed but threatens public health, fosters discrimination, and fuels the very crime and violence it seeks to prevent…” (Chokshi/Ingraham, 9/8).

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Pakistan's Polio Case Numbers Rise As Taliban Enforces Vaccination Ban

Bloomberg News: Polio Cases Jump in Pakistan Amid Taliban Vaccination Ban
“Pakistan reported 11 new cases of polio on a single day last week, bringing this year’s official count to 138, a four-fold increase from last year, as the crippling disease spreads amid Islamist militancy and suspicion…” (Anis/Gokhale, 9/8).

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Mosquito-Borne Viruses Reach Japan, U.S.

New York Times: Mosquito-Borne Viruses Hit Japan and the U.S.
“Mosquito-borne viruses are showing up unexpectedly in affluent countries where they have been largely unknown. Yoyogi Park, a popular oasis in downtown Tokyo, was closed last week after authorities realized it was the center of Japan’s first outbreak of dengue in 70 years. … In the United States, more than 750 cases of another painful disease, chikungunya, have been reported this year…” (McNeil, 9/8).

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Women's Rights Activist Tells U.N. General Assembly Child Marriage Is Crime Similar To Rape

Thomson Reuters Foundation: Activist calls child marriage as much a crime as rape
“Child marriage is no less a crime than rape and sexual abuse, a women’s rights activist told the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Friday…” (Caspani, 9/5).

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Ritual Circumcision In Kenyan Spotlight After Botched Surgery

NPR: A Botched Circumcision Calls Attention To Kenyan Ritual
“On Aug. 6, Kenya’s The Star newspaper reported: ‘Boy, 13, loses penis in Bukusu circumcision rite gone bad.’ Local officials say the circumciser wasn’t properly trained and botched the surgery. … The transition away from ritual circumcision reflects a changing Africa. But even some of those who would not subject a son to traditional cutting still respect the cultural significance of ritual circumcision as an initiation into manhood…” (Walker, 9/6).

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Gambian Lawmakers Pass Bill Imposing Life Imprisonment For Some Homosexual Acts

Associated Press: Gambia lawmakers pass bill to jail gays for life
“Gambia’s National Assembly has passed a bill imposing life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, officials said Monday, potentially worsening the climate for sexual minorities in a country with one of Africa’s most vocal anti-gay leaders…” (Corey-Boulet, 9/8).

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Editorials and Opinions

Long-Term Investments Needed To Survive Ebola, Other Outbreaks

Nature Medicine: Ebola: a call to action
Editorial Board

“The size, speed, and potential reach of the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa presents a wake-up call to the research and pharmaceutical communities — and to federal governments — of the continuing need to invest resources in the study and cure of emerging infectious diseases. … Encouragingly, on 21 August the Wellcome Trust announced two initiatives: rapid funding for research proposals targeting the current and future Ebola outbreaks and a five-year £40 million commitment to fund research focusing on health challenges facing Africa, including emerging and endemic infections. The latter initiative, which takes a more long-term view, is a step in the right direction. The ability to survive the next outbreak requires continued investment by all nations in detection, prevention, containment, treatment, and education. Anything less would be unethical” (9/4).

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From the Global Health Policy Community

Devex Google+ Hangout Discusses Hepatitis C Virus

Devex: Time for governments to stop ignoring the ‘silent pandemic’
In a Google+ Hangout, Devex Associate Editor Carlos Santamaria speaks with Gaston Picchio, global hepatitis area leader at Janssen, about a recent report by the the Economist Intelligence Unit warning about an expected increase in new hepatitis C cases between 2020-2025 and the global community’s response to HCV in the future (9/4).

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Mapping Plays Critical Role In HIV Response

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: Why maps matter: Delivering the right HIV services in the right place at the right time
In a guest post, Anita Datar of the Health Policy Project discusses the role of geographical information systems, or mapping, in strengthening the HIV response (9/8).

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Research Can Help Improve Water, Food Security

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists”: How Research Can Banish Water and Food Scarcity
Frank Rijsberman, CEO of the CGIAR Consortium, discusses the consortium’s “research into water scarcity, livelihoods, and food security” (9/5).

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Health Affairs' September Issue Focuses On Global Health

Health Affairs Blog: Think and Act Globally: Health Affairs’ September Issue
“The September issue of Health Affairs emphasizes lessons learned from developing and industrialized nations collectively seeking the elusive goals of better care, with lower costs and higher quality. A number of studies analyze key global trends including patient engagement and integrated care, while others examine U.S.-based policy changes and their applicability overseas…,” Chris Fleming, social media manager at Health Affairs, writes (9/8).

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New Issue Of 'Global Fund News Flash' Available Online

Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: Global Fund News Flash
Issue 49 of the Global Fund News Flash discusses the Fund’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the need to strengthen health systems, and treatment and prevention efforts to reduce HIV infections (9/8).

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