Budget, Staff Cuts Weakened Global Responses To Ebola, Media Outlets Report

News outlets report on international responses to the Ebola epidemic, including how budget and staff cuts are hindering efficiencies.

Bloomberg Businessweek: Ebola Flew to Dallas as Budgets to Fight Disease Waned
“The loss of tens of thousands of public health jobs and smaller research budgets for infectious disease is leaving the U.S. susceptible to an emerging tide of deadly and dangerous pathogens. That’s the message from public health advocates pointing to the Ebola case reported in Dallas last month, even as other threats have arisen…” (Lauerman, 10/4).

Boston Globe: Ebola outbreak a wake-up call to the world
“…Illnesses abroad no longer seem so far away. A sick person anywhere in the world can get on an airplane and arrive in Paris, London, or Boston in a matter of hours. And our success providing affordable AIDS medications to ravaged regions of the world has shown that the problems are not as hopeless as they once seemed. Today, with the outbreak of Ebola raging in West Africa, there is unprecedented recognition that global public health, long the redoubt of do-gooders, is now everyone’s concern…” (Weintraub, 10/6).

Reuters: Aid workers ask where was WHO in Ebola outbreak?
“…Some aid workers and U.N. officials blame a lack of WHO leadership in the emergency response, particularly in the early stages when it would have been easier to contain. On several occasions, WHO officials played down the outbreak, they say. MSF International President Joanne Liu, who warned that her organization could not cope with the rising number of Ebola victims, has accused the WHO of failing its mandate to help member states cope with health emergencies…” (Flynn/Nebehay, 10/5).

Washington Post: Out of control: How the world’s health organizations failed to stop the Ebola disaster
“…The virus easily outran the plodding response. The WHO, an arm of the United Nations, is responsible for coordinating international action in a crisis like this, but it has suffered budget cuts, has lost many of its brightest minds, and was slow to sound a global alarm on Ebola. Not until Aug. 8, 4 1/2 months into the epidemic, did the organization declare a global emergency. Its Africa office, which oversees the region, initially did not welcome a robust role by the CDC in the response to the outbreak…” (Sun et al., 10/4).

The KFF Daily Global Health Policy Report summarized news and information on global health policy from hundreds of sources, from May 2009 through December 2020. All summaries are archived and available via search.

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