One Year Later, Where Does the U.S. Response to Ebola Stand?
The Ebola outbreak of 2014 was a global wake-up call regarding the ongoing threat of emerging infectious diseases. The U.S. government’s response included dispatching the military and Congress appropriating $5.4 billion in emergency funding, the majority of which was for international activities. Still, Ebola cases continue to occur in the region, with seven cases in Guinea in the last several weeks alone as well as new cases in Liberia. So where does the U.S. effort stand and how is funding being used? What plans are in place to ensure sustainable efforts to defeat Ebola and transition beyond the initial emergency phase? What have been successes and challenges in the U.S. response to Ebola, and what is the road ahead?
On Nov. 23 at 9:30 a.m. ET, the Kaiser Family Foundation held a policy briefing to take stock of the U.S. response with a panel that includes representatives from the U.S. government, highly affected countries in West Africa, and non-governmental organizations working in the region. In addition, the Foundation released a new analysis of U.S. government funding for Ebola.
Panelists included Denise Rollins, Senior Coordinator for the Africa Ebola Unit at USAID; Barbara Marston, Director, Ebola Affected Countries Office, Division of Global Health Protection at the CDC; Tolbert Nyenswah, Deputy Minister Health for Disease Surveillance and Epidemic Control at Liberia’s Ministry of Health; and Rabih Torbay, Senior Vice President of International Operations at International Medical Corps. Jen Kates, Kaiser Family Foundation Vice President and Director of Global Health and HIV Policy, offered opening remarks and provided an overview, and Josh Michaud, Associate Director of Global Health Policy, moderated the panel discussion.