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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.N.'s Ban Says Progress Made Against Ebola But Coordinated Efforts Must Continue

News outlets report on the outcomes of a U.N. meeting involving Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and heads of U.N. agencies.

The Hill: U.N. hopes to contain Ebola by mid-2015
“The leader of the United Nations is hopeful the Ebola outbreak could be contained by ‘the middle of next year,’ as the spread of the disease continues to slow. ‘Overall, we see that we are now able to see that our efforts are making differences,’ U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a press conference Friday after meeting with dozens of top agency officials…” (Ferris, 11/21).

Reuters: International Ebola fight helping but more work needed: U.N. chief
“…Ban said more trained medical teams are needed, especially in remote districts of countries in West Africa where more than 5,400 people have been killed by the virus. Ban said the coordinated efforts of country leaders and safer burial practices, combined with international support, are helping…” (Clarke, 11/21).

U.N. News Centre: Ebola: Ban hopeful of outbreak’s end by mid-2015; U.N. to set up response office in Mali
“…At a press conference at World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C., after what he said were ‘in-depth’ discussions with the U.N. System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) on the joint U.N. response to counter the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Secretary-General said he had also asked the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) to set up an office in Mali, where ‘the new chain of transmission … is a cause of deep concern’…” (11/21).

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U.S. Aims To Bolster Disease Detection, Response In High-Risk Nations

Associated Press: U.S. looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak
“…Even before the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is brought under control, public health officials are girding for the next health disaster. ‘It’s really urgent that we address the weak links and blind spots around the world,’ Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the Associated Press. ‘Ebola is a powerful reminder that a health threat anywhere can affect us.’ … Now the Obama administration has requested $600 million for the CDC to implement what it calls the Global Health Security Agenda, working with an international coalition to shore up disease detection in high-risk countries and guard against the next contagion…” (Neergaard, 11/23).

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Mali Confirms New Ebola Case

Reuters: Mali records new Ebola case, linked to dead nurse
“Mali has recorded a new case of Ebola in the capital Bamako after the friend of a nurse who died of the hemorrhagic fever earlier this month tested positive for the disease, health and medical officials said on Saturday. … Of the six previously known cases of the disease in Mali, all have died, the WHO said on Friday” (11/22).

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Ebola Epidemic Negatively Affecting Access To HIV Treatment In Liberia

IRIN: Ebola hampers HIV/AIDS care in Liberia
“…There are an estimated 30,000 people living with HIV in Liberia, according to UNAIDS. Before the Ebola outbreak, more than 70 percent of them had access to treatment via 144 HIV/AIDS care centers scattered across the country. But now, due to a shortage of health workers and fear about Ebola transmission, more than 60 percent of these facilities have shut their doors, according to the National AIDS Control Program (NACP)…” (11/21).

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WHO Declares Separate Ebola Outbreak Over In DRC

Reuters: WHO declares end of separate Ebola outbreak in Congo
“…The outbreak, the seventh in the former Zaire since the virus was identified there in 1976, was separate from the one spreading in West Africa, where more than 5,400 people have died. There were 49 deaths out of 66 people infected in the remote northwestern Equateur province during the three-month outbreak, Congolese authorities said last week…” (Nebehay, 11/21).

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Global Alliance For Clean Cookstoves Partners Announce Funding Pledges At Conference

Media sources report on pledges made during the Cookstoves Future Summit that took place in New York last week.

Devex: Partners pledge $413M for clean cookstoves
“…[T]he Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves seeks to deliver clean cookstoves to 100 million people by 2020, and at the recent Cookstoves for Future Summit in New York the organization received $413 million in global pledges to help it achieve that goal…” (Sampathkumar, 11/24).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. agency unveils push to make cooking safe for 10 million people by 2020
“…The first-ever Cookstoves Future Summit, ‘Fueling Markets, Catalyzing Action, Changing Lives,’ is intending through the financial and political commitments of [U.N.] Member States to improve the health of women living in poverty, who are disproportionately burdened with poor health and unpaid care work in the absence of goods and services such as clean cookstoves…” (11/21).

World Food Programme: U.N. World Food Programme To Provide SAFE Energy And Cooking To 10 Million People By 2020
“…Through the SAFE initiative (Safe Access to Fuel and Energy), WFP is supporting women with fuel-efficient stoves and livelihood opportunities. … To date, WFP has reached approximately 2.8 million people with SAFE activities in Burundi, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Sudan, and Uganda…” (11/21).

U.S. Department of State: The United States Announces Significant Support for the Clean Cooking Sector and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
“Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy [Friday] announced up to $200 million in expected renewed and enhanced support by the United States for the clean cooking sector and the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (Alliance)…” (11/21).

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U.S. Pledges Additional $135M In Aid To Syrians To Help Offset U.N. Funding Shortfall

Reuters: U.S. pledges $135 million in additional Syria aid after U.N. warnings
“The United States pledged an additional $135 million in aid for the victims of the Syrian war on Saturday, much of it to help the United Nations with a funding shortfall it had warned could force it to scale back food distribution…” (Afanasieva, 11/22).

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U.N. General Assembly Committee Passes Resolution To End Child, Forced Marriages

Reuters: United Nations members resolve to end child marriage
“…The committee of the 193-nation General Assembly that deals with human rights adopted by consensus a resolution urging all states to take steps to end ‘child, early, and forced marriage.’ There are now more than 700 million women who were married before their 18th birthday, many in conditions of poverty and insecurity, according to U.N. statistics…” (Donath, 11/21).

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Plague Outbreak Kills 40 In Madagascar; WHO Warns Of Potential For Rapid Disease Spread In Capital

News outlets report on a plague outbreak in Madagascar, which has killed 40 people out of 119 cases.

BBC News: Madagascar plague outbreak kills 40, says WHO
“An outbreak of plague in Madagascar has killed 40 people and infected almost 80 others, the World Health Organization has said. The WHO warned of the danger of a ‘rapid spread’ of the disease in the capital, Antananarivo…” (11/21).

Deutsche Welle: WHO: Plague outbreak kills 40 in Madagascar
“… ‘There is now a risk of a rapid spread of the disease due to the city’s high population density and the weakness of the health care system,’ the World Health Organization (WHO) said in a statement released on Friday…” (11/22).

Reuters: Plague in Madagascar has killed 40 people out of 119 cases — WHO
“… ‘The situation is further complicated by the high level of resistance to deltamethrin (an insecticide used to control fleas) that has been observed in the country,’ [the WHO statement] added…” (Nebehay, 11/21).

VOA News: Deadly Plague Surfaces in Madagascar
“…The WHO said government and health partners including the Red Cross are implementing measures to contain the outbreak. Personal protective equipment, insecticides, and antibiotics have been made available in the affected areas, it said…” (11/21).

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Global Nutrition Report Shows Obesity, Under-Nutrition Coexist In Same Nations

Inter Press Service: The Double Burden of Malnutrition
“…The first-ever Global Nutrition Report, a peer-reviewed publication released this month, and figures from the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) highlight a multifaceted and complex phenomenon behind malnutrition. ‘The double burden of malnutrition [is] a situation where overweight and obesity exist side by side with under-nutrition in the same country,’ according to Anna Lartey, FAO’s nutrition director…” (Schiavi, 11/23).

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Global Health Corps Co-Founder Barbara Bush Speaks About How Private Sector Can Help Nonprofit Health Groups

Fortune: Barbara Bush: How Corporate America can mold global health leaders
In an interview, “[t]he Global Health Corps co-founder argues that the nonprofit health care world needs workers with expertise in business, engineering, and communications…” (Tseng, 11/21).

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USAID Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg To Become U.S. Institute Of Peace President

Devex: USAID’s Nancy Lindborg to take the reins at USIP
“Nancy Lindborg, the U.S. Agency for International Development assistant administrator for democracy, conflict, and humanitarian assistance who has been in the nation’s emergency response spotlight of late, will be the next president of the United States Institute of Peace…” (Igoe, 11/21).

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Editorials and Opinions

Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Obama's Emergency Ebola Funding Request

Houston Chronicle: Too Ebola-focused
Editorial Board

“…According to Dr. Peter Hotez, founding dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, [Chagas and] other tropical diseases afflict some 12 million people in the United States. Hotez told the Chronicle last week that the Obama administration’s $6-billion-plus emergency funding request is ‘too Ebola-focused’ and that Washington also should be directing efforts to eradicate the more mundane diseases. … It only makes sense to invest in efforts to stop Ebola at its source, in the impoverished African nations where it continues to spread. But as Hotez points out, we also need to be investing in efforts to develop drugs and vaccines to combat tropical diseases that don’t get the attention Ebola commands…” (11/21).

The Hill: Fund the emergency response for Ebola
Koma Gandy Fischbein, a fellow with the Truman National Security Project

“…The United States has the opportunity to lead the way at the intersection of foreign policy and global health, and support the effort to contain and stop the ugly march of Ebola at its source. President Obama requested an additional $6.18B in emergency funding to support domestic preparedness and international efforts to combat this crisis and leave in place the training and infrastructure to be better prepared to fight the next. This request has been bogged down and is still awaiting action. … Congress must set aside partisan politics to expeditiously move this request forward, or risk being on the wrong side of history” (11/22).

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'Dramatic Progress' On HIV/AIDS Driven By U.S. Leadership Will Help End Epidemic

The Hill: The imperative of U.S. leadership: Fast-tracking the end of AIDS
Michel Sidibé, UNAIDS executive director and U.N. under secretary general

“…Thanks to the dramatic progress of the past decade, driven significantly by American investment, we can now say with confidence that it is possible to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. If we act with speed, focus, and determination we can avert 28 million new HIV infections and 21 million AIDS-related deaths by 2030. This moment demands further generous support from all nations…” (11/21).

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U.N. Needs Fewer, Smarter Development Targets

Washington Post: The United Nations needs a shorter, stronger game plan for humanity
Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center

“… In 2000, the United Nations set targets for the world to meet by 2015. … These targets worked because they were few and sharp — just 374 words that changed the world. This time, the United Nations has sought to make the process more inclusive, asking for input from stakeholders around the world. … As a result, in its latest iteration the United Nations has proposed 169 targets, running to 4,369 words. … With [U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s] term ending in late 2016, creating a list of a few, effective targets could become his most significant legacy. To find the smartest targets, my think tank, Copenhagen Consensus Center, asked 62 teams of top economists, including several Nobel laureates, to determine which targets would do the most good for each dollar spent. Our research shows what should be kept and what could be jettisoned. … Focusing on what is smartest, rather than what feels best, could be the single best thing we can do these next 15 years” (11/21).

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Obama Should Address Policy Limiting Abortion Funding For U.S. Programs Overseas

The Hill: Death-dealing double standard of U.S. policies toward women overseas
Liz Maguire, president and CEO of Ipas, and Purnima Mane, president and CEO of Pathfinder International

“…Women and girls who live in countries that have restrictive abortion laws are far less likely than their American sisters to obtain safe abortion care. … Under a little known legal restriction on U.S. foreign aid — led by the conservative Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) in 1973 — funds cannot be used to ‘pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning…’ The language allows exceptions for rape, incest, and life endangerment — but this is not how the policy is implemented. For over 40 years, the Helms Amendment has been applied as a complete ban on abortion care in U.S.-funded global health programs — with no exceptions. This means that Pathfinder and other U.S. government-funded agencies are unable to provide critical abortion care services to those at risk even under circumstances upheld by U.S. law and clearly allowable under the Helms Amendment. … With the stroke of a pen, President Obama can change the outcome for many of these women and start to reverse more than four decades of neglect of their basic human rights and harm to their health. … It is time for President Obama to take action” (11/21).

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Market-Shaping Techniques Can Help Reach Global Health Goals

Devex: The promise of collective action in shaping global health markets
Joe Wilson, market access adviser in the Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact at USAID

“…In a recent report, ‘Healthy Markets for Global Health: A Market-Shaping Primer,’ USAID’s Center for Accelerating Innovation and Impact draws on experiences across health care products and markets to catalog and assess the commonalities among interventions to present the state of the practice in the emerging field of market shaping. … Recognizing the inherent link between the health of the marketplace — our ability to manufacture, purchase, distribute, and ultimately utilize products — and the global health community’s overarching goal of saving lives, market-shaping interventions are designed to disrupt or transform existing market structures in order to remove bottlenecks and create efficiencies that lead to improved access to these all-important products and better health outcomes for the poor” (11/21).

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Recent Releases

U.S.-Built Ebola Treatment Center In Liberia Represents 'Continuing Momentum' Against Epidemic

U.S. Department of State’s “DipNote”: The Monrovia Medical Unit is Aiding Health Care Workers in the Fight Against Ebola
U.S. Ambassador to Liberia Deborah Malac discusses U.S. efforts to contain Ebola in Liberia and notes the opening of the Monrovia Medical Unit on November 5. “Constructed by the Department of Defense and staffed by the men and women of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, the Monrovia Medical Unit is a true representation of the continuing momentum in the fight against the Ebola virus,” she writes (11/22).

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CSIS Discussion Focused On Economic Impacts Of Ebola Epidemic In West Africa

Center for Strategic & International Studies’ “Smart Global Health”: Economic Impacts of Ebola
CSIS presents an event summary for a November 19 CSIS Global Health Policy Center-hosted discussion “focused on the economic impacts of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Panelists included David Evans, senior economist at the World Bank Africa Region, and Abebe Aemro Selassie, deputy director of the International Monetary Fund African Department.” Director of the CSIS Global Health Policy Center J. Stephen Morrison moderated the event (11/21).

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House One Step Closer To Solidifying U.S. Commitment To Global Food Security

Oxfam America’s “Politics of Poverty”: What is the future of “Feed the Future”?
Eric Muňoz, senior policy adviser for agriculture at Oxfam America, discusses the House Foreign Affairs committee’s passage of the Global Food Security Act, bipartisan legislation “that essentially codifies Feed the Future in law.” The bill is set to be voted on by the full House (11/21).

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Index Ranks Countries On Commitments To End Hunger, Malnutrition

Humanosphere: U.S. lacks commitment to end hunger and undernutrition
Humanosphere reporter Tom Murphy discusses the findings of the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Donor Index (HANCI), recently released by the Institute of Development Studies. He writes, “The U.S. performs poorly, relative to other donor countries, according to the index” (11/21).

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