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Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report

In The News

U.S. Military's Ebola Aid Delivery Begins; Liberia President Thanks U.S., Calls On Other Leaders To Help

News outlets report on the rollout of U.S. assistance to Liberia to help curb the Ebola outbreak and Liberia President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s public appreciation of the aid and call for other leaders to follow suit.

Reuters: U.S. to begin Ebola hospital equipment lift to Liberia
“The first planeload of hospital equipment in the U.S. military’s battle against West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak will arrive in Liberia on Friday, a senior administration official said on Wednesday. … The plane is the first of 13 air shipments headed for Monrovia, carrying equipment for a 25-bed hospital to be built in Liberia’s capital…” (Morgan, 9/17).

Wall Street Journal: Ebola Poses a New Challenge for U.S. Military
“…The American military has experience responding to humanitarian crises abroad, including the 2010 earthquake and cholera outbreak in Haiti and the 1994 East African refugee crisis created by the Rwandan genocide. … But the Ebola crisis in West Africa presents a unique set of challenges, according to J. Stephen Morrison, head of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies…” (McKay et al., 9/17).

Agence France-Presse: Liberia hopes U.S. aid can turn tide on Ebola
“Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Wednesday hailed the U.S. pledge of military help to fight West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, saying she hoped the global community would follow suit…” (9/17).

Reuters: Liberia hopes U.S. Ebola pledge will spur others to act
“… ‘On behalf of the Liberian people and in my own name, I want thank President Obama and the American people for scaling up the American response,’ Johnson Sirleaf said in an address to Liberians. ‘We remain in touch with the leaders of other governments to take similar steps and join us in partnership to end this disease,’ she said…” (Flynn, 9/17).

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House Passes Stopgap Spending Measure, Including $88M For U.S. Ebola Efforts

The Hill reports on the House’s passage of a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through December 11.

The Hill: House approves $1T spending bill
“The House on Wednesday approved a $1 trillion stopgap-spending bill to keep the government funded through December 11. … The $88 million included to fight the Ebola virus includes funding to accelerate the Department of Health and Human Services’ research on treatment and funding for the Centers for Disease Control’s response to the outbreak in Africa…” (Shabad, 9/17).

The Hill: White House backs stopgap spending bill
“The White House said Wednesday it supports House passage of a stopgap spending bill that would keep the government funded through Dec. 11. … For the U.S. push to respond to the Ebola epidemic, the CR would provide $88 million in additional funding, which is the amount the White House had requested from Congress…” (Shabad, 9/17).

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Pentagon Seeks To Shift Up To $1B To Ebola Response; Senator Calls For U.S. Ebola Point Person

CQ reports on efforts by the Pentagon to shift funding for the Ebola response and a call from a Senator for a U.S. Ebola point person.

CQ HealthBeat: Pentagon Now Seeking to Shift Much as $1 Billion to Ebola Response
“The Defense Department wants Congress to let it shift from its approved budget as much as $1 billion largely for its response to the Ebola outbreak, doubling its initial request, an Obama administration official said. … It’s unclear precisely how much of the $1 billion in reprogrammed funds will end being spent on efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak, the administration official said. … The White House is taking the unusual step of making public the DOD’s reprogramming request in connection with Ebola…” (Young, 9/17).

CQ News: Mikulski Calls for More Unified Effort to Counter Ebola
“The top Senate appropriator said Tuesday that there should be a point person for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, citing the size and scope of the issue and the involvement of multiple government agencies. Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara A. Mikulski used the annual funding bills as an example for the need, noting that the Foreign Operations, Defense, and Labor-HHS-Education spending measures will all be involved in countering the outbreak…” (Attias, 9/16).

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Ban Says U.N. Will Take Leading Role In Ebola Response

News outlets report on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s statement ahead of high-level meetings that the U.N. will take a stronger leadership role in efforts to contain Ebola.

New York Times: U.N. Leader Plans Stronger Presence in Ebola Zone
“The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said on Wednesday that he planned to establish a new on-the-ground mission in West Africa to coordinate the struggle against Ebola, a move that signaled his concern with the response so far and the limitations of the World Health Organization’s abilities. … Mr. Ban is scheduled to address a Security Council meeting devoted to Ebola on Thursday afternoon and said he was hoping to convene a special General Assembly session on Friday…” (Sengupta et al., 9/17).

U.N. News Centre: Ban welcomes U.S. support in Ebola response ahead of Security Council emergency session on outbreak
“Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, together with the head of the United Nations health agency, will outline the international action plan to contain Ebola [Thursday] when the Security Council convenes an emergency meeting on the outbreak…” (9/17).

VOA News: Ban: U.N. ‘Taking Lead’ on Ebola Response
“U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations is ‘taking the lead’ in efforts to combat the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa. … The [U.N. Security Council] is due to vote [Thursday] on a U.S.-drafted resolution calling on member states to quickly send aid, field hospitals, and health workers to affected countries and lift travel restrictions to those areas…” (9/17).

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Analysts Draw Comparisons, Point Out Differences Between HIV, Ebola Responses

The Hill: Ebola responders look to lessons from HIV
“As the Ebola crisis deepens in West Africa, health leaders are taking cues from the international response to another deadly virus that has ravaged the continent — HIV. Chinua Akukwe, the lead African analyst with the National Academy of Public Administration, told lawmakers Wednesday that the U.S. should look at its response to HIV/AIDS over the last decade when mapping out its plan to fight Ebola. … ‘It’s sort of an inevitable comparison,’ said Jen Kates, the vice president and director of global health and HIV policy for the Kaiser Family Foundation. … But Kates … said there are also key differences. … She said if the international community devotes the resources that it’s promised to control the outbreak, it can prevent the type of decades-long campaign that’s been needed to combat HIV…” (Ferris, 9/17).

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West Africa Risks 'Economic Catastrophe' If Ebola Not Contained, World Bank Analysis Says

News outlets report on findings from a World Bank analysis released Wednesday that warns if the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is not contained the region’s economy could be severely impacted.

Agence France-Presse: Ebola ‘fear factor’ risks economic disaster, World Bank warns
“The World Bank warned Wednesday that fear of the deadly Ebola virus is choking off economic activity in West Africa with potentially ‘catastrophic’ results…” (9/17).

Devex: Jim Kim: World Bank may divert more long-term funds to fight Ebola
“Just a day after mobilizing a $105 million grant for immediate response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the World Bank insists it will do everything in its power to prevent the disease from causing ‘potentially catastrophic’ short- and medium-term damage to the economies of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone…” (Ravelo, 9/18).

Reuters: Ebola could drain billions of dollars from African economies: World Bank
“The largest-ever outbreak of Ebola could drain billions of dollars from economies in West Africa by the end of next year if the epidemic is not contained, the World Bank said in an analysis on Wednesday…” (Yukhananov, 9/17).

Wall Street Journal: West Africa Risks Economic Disaster from Ebola, World Bank Chief Says
“West African nations hit by the Ebola epidemic face an economic catastrophe unless global authorities move faster to marshal resources to contain the outbreak, World Bank President Jim Kim said Wednesday…” (Talley, 9/17).

Washington Post: World Bank warns Ebola’s economic impact could be catastrophic if virus is unchecked
“If the Ebola epidemic continues to surge in the three worst-affected countries — Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone — its economic impact could grow eight fold next year, dealing a potentially catastrophic blow to the already fragile states, according to a World Bank analysis released Wednesday…” (Sun/Bernstein, 9/17).

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IMF Announces $127M Pledge For West African Nations Affected By Ebola

News outlets report the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in addition to the World Bank, has pledged funds to help West Africa during the Ebola outbreak.

Financial Times: IMF and World Bank pledge $300m for Ebola campaign
“The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have pledged $300m in emergency aid for the three most affected countries in West Africa by the rapidly spreading Ebola virus. … The IMF said it would provide the three countries $127m to ‘cover a sizeable share of the total financing gap of some $300 million estimated over the next six to nine months.’ In addition, the IMF said it would discuss more support in October…” (Blas/Badkar, 9/17).

Reuters: IMF proposes $127 mln for three Ebola-hit countries in W. Africa
“Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone could receive an additional $127 million from the International Monetary Fund to help them deal with the worst-ever outbreak of the Ebola virus, the IMF said on Wednesday. The funds, which must still be approved by the IMF’s executive board, would help cover an estimated $300 million financing gap in the West African countries over the next six to nine months, when the IMF expects the impact of the outbreak to be most acute…” (Yukhananov, 9/18).

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E.U. Finalizing Ebola Aid Worker Evacuation Plan, As Infected French MSF Volunteer Flown Back To France

News outlets report that as the European Union finalizes plans for a central evacuation system for aid workers in West Africa, a French nurse volunteering with Médecins Sans Frontières and infected with Ebola is being evacuated to France.

Devex: E.U. member states to coordinate evacuation of aid workers from West Africa
“A new joint system to coordinate the evacuation of aid workers affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa is currently being finalized by the European Union and could be rolled out ‘in a matter of weeks,’ Devex has learned. The initiative follows a French proposal supported by the European Commission and ministers from among the 28 E.U. member states at a high-level meeting in Brussels on Monday…” (Kramers, 9/17).

Agence France-Presse: First French Ebola victim to be flown home from Liberia
“The first French Ebola patient was set to be flown home Thursday, as the World Bank warned the spiraling epidemic is threatening economic catastrophe in West Africa…” (9/17).

Reuters: French nurse for medical charity MSF contracts Ebola in Liberia
“A French volunteer working for Médecins Sans Frontières in Liberia has contracted Ebola, the medical charity said on Wednesday, adding that seven local staff members have already fallen ill from the deadly virus. The volunteer, the first French national and MSF’s first international staff member to catch the disease in the outbreak, was put in quarantine on Tuesday when early symptoms of the illness appeared, according to an MSF statement…” (Irish/Giahyue, 9/17).

Wall Street Journal: France to Fly Back Humanitarian Worker With Ebola from Liberia
“French authorities said Thursday that they will fly back a French humanitarian worker who was treating Ebola patients in Liberia and has contracted the deadly disease. ‘She will be repatriated in France under maximum safety conditions in a special medical plane,’ the French Foreign and Health Ministers Laurent Fabius and Marisol Touraine said in a joint statement. All precautions will be taken to avoid the contamination of anyone else, the statement said…” (Landauro, 9/18).

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U.S. Lawmakers Urge Health Officials To Speed Up Ebola Research; Experts To Devise Ways To Ration Drugs

News outlets report on issues surrounding the development and distribution of Ebola drugs.

The Hill: Ebola fuels debate over speeding up trials for experimental drugs
“One day after the U.S. announced a military-led approach to combating Ebola, lawmakers on Wednesday urged federal health officials to speed up its clinical response to the crisis. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) demanded to know why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was not allowing clinical trials of certain experimental drugs, such as TKM-Ebola…” (Ferris, 9/17).

Los Angeles Times: A looming problem: How to ration Ebola vaccines and medicines
“For doctors and public health officials trying to contain the Ebola epidemic, the dearth of drugs and vaccines is only part of the problem. Once these medicines become available, there certainly won’t be enough of them to go around. So experts are devising ways to ration the precious products — and that forces them to ask some difficult questions…” (Morin, 9/17).

Science Magazine: A virologist in the hot zone
“Virologist Heinz Feldmann has spent most of his career studying the deadly Ebola virus at research institutes in Germany, Canada, and the United States. … Feldmann has co-developed one of the vaccine candidates that is scheduled to be tested soon and has helped contain several Ebola outbreaks in the past. On 8 September, he returned from three weeks in Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, where he ran a diagnostic lab for a treatment center operated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF)…” (Kupferschmidt, 9/17).

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First British Volunteer Receives Experimental Ebola Vaccine

News outlets report on the announcement that the first British volunteer was injected this week with an experimental Ebola vaccine, made by GlaxoSmithKline and the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Associated Press: 1st U.K. volunteer gets experimental Ebola vaccine
“British scientists say a former nurse has become the first person in the country to receive an experimental Ebola vaccine in an early trial to test its safety…” (9/17).

The Guardian: First British volunteer injected with trial Ebola vaccine in Oxford
“A woman in Oxford has become the first British volunteer to be injected with an experimental Ebola vaccine, which, if it works, will be fast-tracked for use in West Africa…” (Boseley, 9/17).

Financial Times: Oxford volunteer given experimental vaccine against Ebola
“…Ruth Atkins, 48, was injected with the candidate Ebola vaccine on Wednesday after a clinical assessment. She was the first of 60 volunteers to participate in the trial…” (Cookson, 9/17).

Huffington Post: First Volunteer Receives Potential Ebola Vaccine In Safety Trial
“A 48-year-old communications and engagement manager in the U.K.’s National Health Service became the first volunteer to receive a candidate Ebola vaccine today in a safety trial. The vaccine is currently being developed by GlaxoSmithKline and the U.S. National Institutes of Health…” (Chan, 9/17).

Reuters: First U.K. volunteer gets experimental GSK Ebola shot in trial
“The first volunteer in a fast-tracked British safety trial of an experimental Ebola vaccine made by GlaxoSmithKline received the injection on Wednesday, trial organizers said…” (Kelland, 9/17).

Washington Post: British volunteer receives Ebola vaccine in second human trial
“…In a statement, Atkins said that she felt ‘absolutely fine’ after receiving what is currently known as the NIAID/GSK vaccine, after the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline…” (Phillip, 9/17).

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With Open Society Foundations Funding, PIH To Open Ebola Treatment Facility In Liberia

Forbes: Does Paul Farmer Have the Ebola Solution? George Soros Is Spending $4 Million to Find Out
“…In the next few weeks, the [Partners In Health Co-Founder Paul Farmer and the group] will open a top-notch treatment facility in one of Liberia’s most rural provinces, along with strategies designed to maximize its effectiveness. … George Soros’ Open Society Foundations quickly provided $4 million to fund this project…” (Lane, 9/16).

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Sierra Leone Prepares For Nationwide Lockdown To Contain Ebola, Spurring Ethical Debate

News outlets report on Sierra Leone’s decision to implement a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of Ebola.

Global Post: Want to fight Ebola? Don’t do it like Sierra Leone
“Desperate to stop the unchecked spread of Ebola, the Sierra Leone government has an aggressive plan: lock down its citizens. All of them. … This has been the typical response to a disease universally feared and little understood: quarantine and isolate. But with the number of cases skyrocketing, and President Barack Obama warning this week that the crisis is ‘spiraling out of control,’ there is growing debate about the ethical considerations of these measures…” (Conway-Smith, 9/17).

Agence France-Presse/Straits Times: Sierra Leone readies for controversial three-day nationwide Ebola curfew
“Sierra Leone prepared Thursday for an unprecedented three-day nationwide lockdown to contain the deadly spread of the Ebola virus in a controversial move which experts claimed could worsen the epidemic…” (9/18).

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Some Nations Taking Steps To Prevent Ebola, Prepare For Possible Cases

News outlets report on how some nations are attempting to prevent Ebola cases and preparing for possible cases within their borders.

Associated Press: Caricom urges preparation for possible Ebola cases
“A Caribbean trade bloc is urging governments to establish isolation facilities and take other preventive measures in case the Ebola virus reaches the region. Caricom’s secretariat said in a statement Wednesday that the recommendation was backed at a meeting of government officials and the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency…” (9/17).

Reuters: West African powerhouse Ivory Coast battles to keep out Ebola
“…As Ivory Coast campaigns to fend off an Ebola outbreak ravaging neighboring West African states, such grim reminders of the catastrophe unfolding across its western border are everywhere. … Ivory Coast is taking the kind of aggressive anti-infection measures that its poorer, smaller western neighbors were slow to adopt. Hand washing stations have appeared at the entrances of government buildings and office towers in Abidjan, the bustling economic capital. People have abandoned the traditional three-kiss greeting…” (Bavier, 9/18).

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U.N. Special Envoy Chambers Interviews U.N. Ebola Coordinator Nabarro

Huffington Post: In Conversation: David Nabarro, the Man on the Front Line of the Ebola Crisis
Ray Chambers, U.N. special envoy for health financing and for malaria, interviews David Nabarro, senior U.N. system coordinator for Ebola virus disease, about the challenges of addressing Ebola and the outlook for funding the response (9/16).

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Aid Workers, Groups Say Growing Number Of Humanitarian Crises Overwhelming Resources

Bloomberg News: Aid Workers Battle Ebola and Bullets as Crises Multiply
“…As President Barack Obama [Tuesday] said the U.S. will send 3,000 troops to fight the Ebola outbreak, humanitarians say they’re juggling a record onslaught of crises from Africa to Syria that have stretched their resources and their ability to help those on the ground…” (Kitamura, 9/17).

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WHO To Investigate Vaccine Mix-Up That Killed At Least 15 Children In Syria

News outlets report on the death of at least 15 Syrian children after they were administered a contaminated measles vaccine.

Associated Press: 15 Syrian children die after getting vaccinations
“At least 15 children died after receiving vaccinations in rebel-held parts of northwestern Syria, while the death toll from two days of government airstrikes on a central city climbed to nearly 50, a heavy toll even by the vicious standards of the country’s civil war, activists said…” (Hadid, 9/17).

The Guardian: Measles vaccination mix-up leaves 15 infants dead in northern Syria
“Medics carrying out a measles vaccination in northern Syria instead administered an anesthetic to up to 75 infants, killing 15, a preliminary investigation into their deaths has found. … The error is believed to have occurred because the packaging of the anesthetic drug was similar to that of the solution used to mix the measles vaccination…” (Chulov/Beals, 9/17).

New York Times: Bad Vaccine Kills Dozens of Children Inside Syria
“An improperly mixed or possibly sabotaged measles vaccine has killed as many as 50 children in insurgent-held areas of northwestern Syria, volunteer medical organizations and physicians reported Wednesday, forcing the suspension of a large-scale United Nations vaccination campaign intended to stop the spread of measles, rubella, and polio…” (Gladstone/Saad, 9/17).

Reuters: Measles vaccination campaign halted in northern Syria after 15 children die
“Fifteen children died after being vaccinated against measles in northern Syria, resulting in the program being halted, aid workers said on Wednesday, a tragedy likely to damage trust in health services in opposition-held areas…” (Afanasieva, 9/17).

UNICEF: Joint WHO-UNICEF statement regarding deaths of children in Idlib, northern Syria
“UNICEF and WHO have been shocked and saddened to learn of the deaths of at least 15 young children in Idlib, Syria. The deaths of the children occurred in areas where a measles immunization campaign had been under way. Establishing the precise cause of the children’s deaths is vital. To that end, the WHO has deployed a team of experts to provide assistance to those carrying out the investigation in Idlib who will report back as soon as possible. WHO is also providing advice and protocols for the investigation of adverse events following immunization…” (9/17).

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India's Poor Quality Drugs Being Sent To Africa, Research Shows

Bloomberg News: India’s Poor Quality Drugs End Up in Africa, Study Finds
“Generic drugs that some Indian companies send to African countries are lower quality than the same medicines the companies sell at home and outside Africa, according to tests of 1,470 samples, researchers said. Two widely used antibiotics and two TB treatments, purportedly made in India, are more likely not to have enough of their key active ingredient when sold in Africa, compared with the same pills sold in countries such as Russia and China, according to a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research…” (Edney, 9/17).

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Maternal Mortality Improves In Afghanistan Despite Poor Public Health System

Inter Press Service: Against All the Odds: Maternity and Mortality in Afghanistan
“…Many women have no other option than to rely on public services, and the result speaks volumes about Afghanistan’s commitment to maternal health: some 460 deaths per 100,000 live births give the country one of the four worst maternal mortality ratios (MMR) in the world outside of sub-Saharan Africa. While this represents a significant decline from a peak of 1,600 deaths per 100,000 births in 2002, far too many women are still dying during pregnancy and childbirth, according to the United Nations…” (Zurutuza, 9/16).

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Editorials and Opinions

Opinion Pieces, Letters To Editor Discuss Issues Surrounding Ebola Outbreak

The following opinion pieces and letters to the editor address issues surrounding the ongoing Ebola outbreak.

Wall Street Journal: Ebola’s Warning for an Unprepared America
Scott Gottlieb, an American Enterprise Institute resident fellow, and Tevi Troy, president of the American Health Policy Institute

“…President Obama has put the Pentagon in charge of a robust, 3,000-person U.S. relief effort in the stricken areas. This is a positive step, but the world is still dangerously ill-prepared for the fight against pandemic outbreaks. … While Ebola may still be contained, other potentially calamitous threats are out there. … We need to rethink our preparedness and adopt a more modern approach for dealing with these and other looming outbreaks. The failure thus far to confront and fight Ebola comes from shortfalls in three areas: gauging the true scope of the outbreak, deploying therapeutics to effectively combat the virus, and delivering medical equipment and personnel. Fixing these limitations should be the priority in dealing with this epidemic and the next one…” (9/16).

New England Journal of Medicine: Ebola in a Stew of Fear
Gregg Mitman of the University of Wisconsin-Madison

“…Unless aid workers and the media understand local fears, we may fail to stem the crisis, which is devastating the economy, health, and well-being of a nation with deep historical ties to the United States. Modern medicine owes a debt to West Africans for past sacrifices made in the advancement of global health. This week’s announcement by President Barack Obama of a U.S. commitment to build 17 Ebola treatment centers in Liberia, train medical workers, provide testing kits, and offer logistic support is a welcome and needed response. It should be the start of a long-term, concerted effort to strengthen the public health infrastructure, which is critical to the region’s future stability” (9/17).

National Review: The Fear and Science of Ebola
Marc Siegel, professor of medicine and medical director of Doctor Radio at NYU Langone Medical Center

“…Don’t get me wrong. With over 4,000 cases of Ebola now in West Africa and no end to the current outbreak in sight, we certainly need all the public health resources and money we can get to squash the current outbreak. But fear and hype are not the best way to contain contagions. … The U.S.’s new military initiative, sending 3,000 troops to West Africa to help control Ebola while adding U.S. Public Health Service personnel and building 17 new facilities to handle 100 patients, is a positive step, provided that it introduces a calm order to things rather than more fear to a chaotic region…” (9/18).

New York Times: Getting Help to Ebola’s Victims
The newspaper published several letters to the editor regarding Ebola, including letters from Alison Harrill, assistant professor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences; Barry Levy, former CDC medical epidemiologist; Priya Lal, assistant professor of African history at Boston College; and Michael Myers, a managing director at the Rockefeller Foundation, among others (9/17).

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'All Countries Stand To Benefit From Climate Action'

Inter Press Service: A Climate Summit to Spark Action
Ban Ki-moon, U.N. secretary general

“On Sep. 23, I have invited world leaders from government, business, finance, and civil society to a Climate Summit in New York so they can show the world how they will advance action on climate change and move towards a meaningful universal new agreement next year at the December climate negotiations in Paris. … All countries stand to benefit from climate action — cleaner, healthier air; more productive, climate-resilient agriculture; well-managed forests for water and energy security; and better designed, more livable urban areas. Instead of asking if we can afford to act, we should be asking what is stopping us, who is stopping us, and why? Let us join forces to push back against skeptics and entrenched interests. Let us support the scientists, economists, entrepreneurs and investors who can persuade government leaders and policymakers that now is the time for climate action. Change is in the air…” (9/17).

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Sexual, Reproductive Health Rights Must Be 'At The Heart Of' Development Framework

Huffington Post: An Unfinished Agenda: Sexual and Reproductive Rights in the 21st Century
Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique, and Tarja Halonen, former president of Finland, and both co-chairs of the ICPD High-Level Task Force

“World leaders will descend on United Nations Headquarters in New York on 22 September to commemorate 20 years since the adoption of a landmark agreement known as the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD). The ICPD transformed the world’s thinking about sustainable development, shifting the concern from population growth and numbers to placing human rights at the center of policymaking — in particular the fundamental rights and freedoms of women and girls to have control over their sexual and reproductive lives. … We must turn the forward-looking ICPD agenda into reality. And now as the international community defines the next global framework to replace the Millennium Development Goals, decision-makers must also seize this historic moment to ensure that all human rights, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, are at the heart of it” (9/17).

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Health System Improvements Necessary To Achieve Universal Health Coverage

Huffington Post: Achieving Universal Health Coverage Requires Investing in Health Systems
John Lange, senior fellow for global health diplomacy at the United Nations Foundation and co-chair of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Investing in Health Systems in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

“…In discussions at the United Nations in New York, there is now a growing consensus that the next set of global, sustainable development goals to cover the years from 2015 to 2030 need to include the achievement of universal health coverage. … The Institute of Medicine has just released a report, ‘Investing in Global Health Systems: Sustaining Gains, Transforming Lives,’ recommending that more health assistance be directed to building health systems in response to the social, economic, and epidemiological changes taking place in developing countries. … The Ebola outbreak has exposed the weaknesses of health systems in fragile, post-conflict countries such as Liberia. Developing countries and their development partners will need to make major, long-term investments to improve their health systems in order to achieve universal health coverage. Now is the time to increase those investments…”

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Recent Releases

Blog Post Discusses Expanded U.S. Response To Ebola, USAID's Role

USAID’s “IMPACT blog”: An Unprecedented Response to the Ebola Crisis
Nancy Lindborg, assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID, discusses the U.S. response to Ebola, including the announcement by President Obama of “a clear, comprehensive, and global strategy to stop the outbreak,” and USAID’s role. Lindborg concludes, “We know tough months lie ahead. It will require a coordinated effort by the entire global community to help stem this terrible public health crisis. But every outbreak of Ebola in the last 40 years has been stopped, and this one will be, as well” (9/17).

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Former Sen. Frist Examines U.S. Ebola Response, Reflects On Global HIV Efforts

ONE blog: Bill Frist: A hard look at the Ebola epidemic and barriers to containment
In a guest post, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) examines the current U.S. government response to Ebola, including the role of the military, and draws comparisons to the U.S. response to global HIV/AIDS and the creation of PEPFAR. Frist concludes, “Without containment, this epidemic will become a pandemic. The world community including the U.S. needs to help. However, help needs to be culturally sensitive and build lasting solutions. We cannot fish for them, we must teach them to fish” (9/17).

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'Science Speaks' Discusses New CDC Global HIV/AIDS Head

Center for Global Health Policy’s “Science Speaks”: CDC names new Global AIDS Division director
Antigone Barton, writer and editor of “Science Speaks” and senior communications officer at the Center for Global Health Policy, discusses the background of Shannon Hader, the newly appointed director of the CDC Division of Global HIV/AIDS in the Center for Global Health (9/17).

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New Report Shows Number Of Displaced People Doubled Since 1970s, Majority Due To Natural Disasters

Norwegian Refugee Council: 22 million people displaced by disasters in 2013
The new “Global Estimates” report from the Norwegian Refugee Council’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre released Wednesday says, “Four decades of data show that twice as many people are being displaced today than in the 1970s. … [T]his is largely due to the growth and concentration of urban populations, particularly in vulnerable countries. … Displacement caused by disasters is a global phenomenon that is growing in scale, frequency and complexity…” (9/17).

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