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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.N., U.S., African Development Bank Assist Nations Hit By Ebola

News outlets report on international efforts to assist West African nations affected by Ebola.

Agence France-Presse: U.N. Ebola czar heads to West Africa
“The U.N.’s new pointman on Ebola said Tuesday he will travel to West Africa this week to shore up health services in the four countries hit by the worst-ever outbreak of the virus. British physician and public health expert David Nabarro also told reporters that he will be holding talks with the U.N. mission in Liberia on ways peacekeepers could help deal with the impact of the disease…” (8/19).

Agence France-Presse: African Development Bank pledges $60 mn to fight Ebola
“The African Development Bank on Tuesday pledged $60 million (45 million euros) to help fight the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola which is raging across west Africa. The aid will help authorities in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria to strengthen their surveillance and response systems to halt the spread of the deadly disease, President Donald Kaberuka said…” (8/19).

Devex: How USAID is responding to Ebola in West Africa
“…USAID’s Ebola DART team is responsible for assessing emergency needs and managing a coordinated U.S. interagency response, and they are laying the groundwork for a possible scaling up of the response effort…” (Igoe, 8/19).

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MSF Officials Say International Community Must Do More To Address Ebola Outbreak

News outlets report on statements from Médecins Sans Frontières officials encouraging a more robust international response to the West African Ebola outbreak.

The Guardian: World leaders ‘failing to help’ over Ebola outbreak in Africa
“The international community has made ‘almost zero’ response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with western leaders more interested in protecting their own countries than helping contain the crisis that has now claimed more than 1,200 lives, a senior international aid worker said on Tuesday. Brice de la Vigne, the operations director of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), said politicians in industrialized countries urgently needed to take action, or risk the outbreak spreading much further…” (O’Carroll, 8/19).

New York Times: Relief Official Urges Groups to Step Up Ebola Efforts
“The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is ‘a complete disaster,’ and health agencies do not yet grasp its scope, the president of the relief group Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday. … [Joanne Liu] said agencies like the World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other aid groups should become more involved in prevention and surveillance, including tracing the contacts of people who are sick…” (McNeil/Fink, 8/19).

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West African Nations Take Measures To Stem Spread Of, Treat Patients With Ebola

News outlets report on West African nations’ efforts to stem the spread of Ebola and treat patients.

Agence France-Presse: Sierra Leone cool on Ebola drugs as it pleads for aid
“Sierra Leone on Monday urged caution over the use of experimental drugs to combat Ebola as the United Nations launched an $18 million appeal to help the country cope with the epidemic…” (8/18).

Reuters: Liberian police fire tear gas to disperse protest over Ebola quarantine
“Police in the Liberian capital Monrovia fired tear gas on Wednesday to disperse a stone-throwing crowd agitating to leave a neighborhood placed under quarantine because of the Ebola virus, witnesses said…” (MacDougall, 8/20).

Reuters: Cameroon says closes borders with Nigeria in bid to halt Ebola
“Cameroon has closed all its borders with Nigeria in a bid to halt the spread of the Ebola virus, state radio said on Tuesday…” (8/18).

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WHO Says Encouraging Signs Of Ebola Control In Nigeria, Guinea But Warns About Liberia

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: U.N. health agency reports encouraging signs in Nigeria, Guinea
“While the trends of the outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria and Guinea, where the virus made its first appearance in West Africa last December, have shown encouraging signs, the United Nations health agency today expressed concern about the situation in the Liberian capital of Monrovia….” (8/19).

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Ebola Outbreak Will Affect African Economy, Politics For Years, Experts Say

Foreign Policy: Ebola Wreaking Havoc on African Economy
“The death toll in the worst Ebola outbreak in history topped more than 1,200 as of Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization. The good news is that, for now, new cases appear to be limited to Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria. The bad news is that even if the outbreak doesn’t spread beyond West Africa, the economic and political fallout in this fragile part of the world will likely last years, experts said…” (Francis, 8/19).

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2013 Was Worst Year For Aid Workers, World Humanitarian Day Report Shows

News outlets report on World Humanitarian Day and discuss a report (.pdf) showing more aid workers died in 2013 than any other year.

Devex: 2013 worst year ever for aid workers
“2013 was the most dangerous year for aid workers since the international development community started gathering in 1997 official statistics about the security of humanitarians around the world, data released Monday shows…” (Valerio, 8/19).

IRIN: World Humanitarian Day: Staying Safe
“World Humanitarian Day this year brought grim news: More aid workers died in 2013 than any year since records began. In total, 155 were killed, while another 305 and were either seriously wounded or kidnapped, according to newly released data from the Aid Worker Security Database…” (8/19).

U.N. News Centre: World Humanitarian Day: U.N. honors sacrifices, celebrates spirit of aid workers
“The United Nations [marked] World Humanitarian Day [Tuesday] by paying tribute to aid workers who carry out life-saving activities around the world, often in dangerous and difficult circumstances, while celebrating the spirit of humanitarian work worldwide…” (8/19).

U.N. News Centre: Briefing Security Council, U.N. deputy chief urges protection for frontline ‘humanitarian heroes’
“United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson had one main message — ‘we must protect humanitarian workers’ — as he marked World Humanitarian Day with a special briefing to the Security Council, addressing a subject critical to people caught in conflict…” (8/19).

VOA News: WHO: Protect Health Workers
“The World Health Organization warns of a growing trend of targeting health workers and hospitals during conflicts and humanitarian crises. The U.N. agency issued the warning to mark World Humanitarian Day, August 19th…” (DeCapua, 8/19).

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USAID, Rockefeller Foundation Launch $100M Fund For Disaster Resiliency In Asia, Africa

News outlets report on a new partnership between USAID and the Rockefeller Foundation to help Asia and Africa better cope with disasters and crises.

Thomson Reuters Foundation: USAID, Rockefeller launch $100 million climate resilience fund for Asia, Africa
“A $100 million fund launched by two U.S. organizations on Tuesday aims to make people in disaster-prone regions of Asia and Africa better able to cope with natural disasters and crises, so that they can get their lives and economies back on track more quickly and effectively…” (Win, 8/19).

VOA News: U.S. Foundation, Government Agency Take Aim at Poverty in Asia and Africa
“…The project is called the Global Resilience Partnership. Its co-founders hope that the initial financial commitment to it will soon double to $200,000,000 with help from governments, companies, and other stakeholders. …” (Herman, 8/19).

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Ugandan President Signs Law Criminalizing HIV Transmission

BuzzFeed: Ugandan President Signs Law Criminalizing HIV Transmission
“Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has signed a bill into law to criminalize HIV transmission and impose other measures public health activists say will make it even harder to get Uganda’s severe epidemic under control…” (Feder, 8/19).

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George W. Bush To Return To Washington To Participate In AIDS Event

Washington Post: George W. Bush plans return to Washington in September for AIDS event
“Since leaving office in 2009, former President George W. Bush hasn’t seemed too nostalgic for his days in the White House. But next month, Bush 43 will return to Washington to participate in an event focused on one issue he has carried on post-presidency: The HIV/AIDS fight. Billed as a ‘conversation,’ Bush will be the main event at the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) annual Research and Hope Awards ceremony on Sept. 10, according to the PhRMA invitation…” (Itkowitz, 8/19).

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Nearly 3,000 Sexual Violence Survivors In 2 Conflict-Stricken DRC Provinces, Group Says

Agence France-Presse: 3,000 victims of sexual violence in two DRC provinces
“A medical group working in the restive east of the Democratic Republic of Congo reported Monday that there were nearly 3,000 victims of sexual violence in the region during the first half of this year. … Heal Africa’s Dr. Jonathan Kasereka Muhindo Lusi, who took part in a recent summit in London that sought to draw attention to the problem of sexual violence around the world, called for more to be done to bring those responsible to justice…” (8/18).

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Drought, Poor Access To Water, Sanitation Contribute To Recurrent Cholera Outbreak In Cameroon

Inter Press Service: Recurrent Cholera Outbreak in Far North Cameroon Highlights Development Gaps
“…According Cameroon’s Minister of Public Health Andre Mama Fouda, ‘poor sanitation and limited access to good drinking water are the main causes of recurrent outbreak in the Far North. A majority of those infected with the disease are children under the age of five and women’…” (Nfor, 8/19).

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Malaria Consortium Works To Prevent Dengue's Spread In Asia

The Guardian: Q&A: over two billion people at risk from dengue
“…Malaria Consortium has been carrying out a number of projects in Asia to help reduce the burden of dengue. We spoke to Jeffrey Hii, the senior vector control specialist for Malaria Consortium in Asia, to find out more…” (8/20).

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Researchers Return To Nature In Search Of New Antibiotics, Reuters Reports

Reuters: Extreme medicine: The search for new antibiotics
“…[Researchers are] turning back to nature in the hope that places as extreme as insects’ insides, the depths of the oceans, or the driest of deserts may throw up chemical novelties and lead to new drugs…” (Kelland/Hirschler, 8/18).

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Charity:Water Kicks Off Campaign, Shows Water Issue Is Women's Issue

Huffington Post: Proof That The Clean Water Crisis Is A Women’s Issue
“To kick off its campaign for change, nonprofit group Charity:Water has released a new short film on the dearth of clean water in the Sahel — ‘one of the harshest places to live in the world’ — and the toll it takes on the African region’s impoverished women and children…” (Thomas, 8/20).

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Editorials and Opinions

Strengthening Health Systems Important For Effective Ebola, Future Disease Response, Opinion Pieces Say

The following opinion pieces address issues surrounding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, including strengthening the health systems in affected countries.

SciDev.Net: Ebola response: The real measure of success
Anita Makri, opinion and special features editor at SciDev.Net

“…Médecins Sans Frontières has warned that the current outbreak will last at least six more months. Our measure of success in responding to it shouldn’t be just about stopping its spread or about discussing the fine points of the WHO’s response, which was one of the main subjects of debate during coverage of the 2009 flu pandemic. It should also be about heeding the warning sign by doing more to make sure developing countries are better resourced to deal with any infectious disease, emerging or not. With SARS, swine flu, and Ebola having struck within a matter of years, we as a global community have been warned enough” (8/19).

Project Syndicate: Health in a Time of Ebola
Prabhjot Singh, professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University, director of systems design at the Earth Institute, and chair of the One Million Community Health Worker Campaign in Sub-Saharan Africa

“…[B]uttressed by the organizations behind the One Million CHWs campaign, [affected] countries are already working to scale up CHWs. But they need more support, and international agencies and development banks remain too focused on containing the Ebola epidemic to offer the needed backing. International organizations must recognize that they do not have to choose between supporting traditional health care investments and emergency response efforts. Long-term investment in credible health care systems is the only way to head off future epidemics. Otherwise, sub-Saharan Africa’s people will forever struggle to overcome avoidable health crises” (8/18).

Huffington Post: In Africa: Ebola Epidemic Exposes Underlying Cracks in the Health System
Jeffrey Sturchio, president and CEO of Rabin Martin

“…The Ebola emergency has shone a bright light on underlying problems of the African health system, opening a Pandora’s box of neglected issues that need priority attention. The outbreak demonstrates the critical need to strengthen health systems overall and dramatically increase the number of health workers, particularly in poor and rural areas where diseases can thrive undetected. … [M]ore must be done to sustain [Africa's] gains in both health and economic development. Ensuring the success of African countries is crucial for overall global economic growth, and safeguarding the health of its people is critical to achieving that goal…” (8/19).

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USAID Working To Accelerate MDG Progress For Women, Children

Huffington Post: 500 Days Until the MDG Deadline: Accelerating Progress for Women and Children
Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator for global health at USAID

“…USAID is working in support of Every Woman Every Child to end preventable child and maternal deaths by 2035. We have sought to accelerate progress toward the MDGs through this work. Thus, even as we lay the foundation for a future development agenda, we continue to focus on achieving or even exceeding the current goals. … These interventions won’t make a difference unless they get to those in need. That’s why at USAID we are also focusing on all parts of our service delivery to ensure that commodities and programs are reaching those in need … With less than 500 days until the MDG target date, we must all work together to strengthen our efforts, track our progress, and keep a laser-like focus on our goal. Now is the time to support country governments in their efforts to achieve the MDGs and beyond” (8/19).

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Investing In Women Key To MDG Success

Devex: How investing in women drives MDG success
Leith Greenslade, vice chair of the Office of the U.N. Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and co-chair of Child Health at the MDG Health Alliance

“The great lesson of the Millennium Development Goals is that women hold the key to development, and the countries that have delivered the greatest gains in education for girls, jobs for women, and health care for pregnant women and new mothers are the star performers of the MDG era. … [B]ut we also need to stay vigilant against some dark clouds on the horizon that threaten continued advances in women’s and children’s health. Three forces — rapid population growth, urbanization, and continued conflict — could combine to threaten progress and derail gains among the populations of women and children who need them most…” (8/19).

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Blocking Malaria Transmission From Human To Mosquito With Vaccine Could Help Eliminate Disease

The Guardian: Humans give malaria to mosquitoes — we need a vaccine to stop this
Ashley Birkett, director of the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative

“On Wednesday, the world marks World Mosquito Day to commemorate the 1897 discovery by British doctor Sir Ronald Ross that malaria in people is transmitted to and from mosquitoes. But on this day, let’s focus on approaching malaria in a surprising new way: a vaccine to stop humans from giving malaria to mosquitoes. … There are potential transmission-blocking vaccines in early development. The nonprofit PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) is working with partners to research vaccine approaches. … Should a transmission-blocking vaccine become a reality, it would be another critical tool that paves the way for eliminating and eradicating malaria” (8/20).

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Recent Releases

USDA Food For Progress Program To Reach 1.6M People In 2014

USDA: More than 1.6 Million Worldwide to Benefit from USDA International Assistance Program
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service today announced funding for seven international projects through the 2014 Food for Progress Program. In total, more than 1.6 million people will directly benefit from the program this year…” (8/19).

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'We Must Support Humanitarians Every Day,' State Department Official Says

State Department’s “DipNote”: World Humanitarian Day 2014: Risking Their Lives for Others
Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard discusses her experience meeting humanitarian aid and health workers during her travels, writing, “…We must support humanitarians every day of the year. On World Humanitarian Day, we salute them and pledge to assist them in the year ahead” (8/19).

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Worms Contribute To Malnutrition, PLOS Article Shows

Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases’ “End The Neglect”: The Role of Worms in Malnutrition
Deborah Elson, communications officer for the Global Network and the Sabin Vaccine Institute, discusses an article published in PLOS NTDs that shows how worms are linked to neglected tropical disease burden and malnutrition (8/18).

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