Most remarkable, within a month the controversy surrounding the threat of Ebola to Americans had mushroomed into a political emergency for the Obama presidency itself, only a few tense weeks before the November 4 elections. Calls escalated for the appointment of an Ebola czar and a travel ban on persons originating in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, the root sources of the Ebola emergency. A special measure of criticism was reserved for the Obama administration’s lead face in the U.S. response, Dr. Thomas Frieden, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the words of one observer, this week became full of “recriminations, political showboating… and panicked overreactions.”
For several days, news helicopters have flown in great arcs around the East Dallas neighborhood known as Vickery Meadow, which includes the hospital complex as well as a dense, highly diverse neighborhood of Mexican and Central American immigrants, resettled refugees from Southeast Asia and West Africa, and others. The Ebola patient, identified as Liberian national, Thomas Eric Duncan, had reportedly been staying at the Ivy Apartments located there. Just this past September, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awarded one of its prestigious “genius grants” to Texas artist Rick Lowe, who has overseen high-profile projects to install art galleries and public art in Dallas’s “Own United Nations,” as Vickery Meadow has been called. If that news hadn’t already catapulted the neighborhood to national fame, the recent coverage of Duncan’s background and activities in Dallas by CNN, The New York Times and other international media certainly has.
Ebola has overwhelmed the containment and treatment measures attempted thus far, and is seriously threatening nearby and neighboring states. Research and development of treatments and vaccines has accelerated, but the speed with which the Ebola virus is mutating has complicated the quest to identify new tools quickly.
The myriad of challenges contributing to the persisting spread of Ebola in West Africa – the biggest Ebola outbreak since the viral haemorrhagic fever was discovered in 1976 – echo some of the biggest obstacles which continue to challenge the global efforts to eradicate polio.
Health is a foundational component to overall wellbeing, with economic development and education outcomes closely linked to health results. Yet the Global Youth Wellbeing Index, released in April, shows that large global disparities remain in both mental and physical health situations among youth.
A study published in the July 31 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) has made it increasingly clear that the world faces the threat of losing one of its most important tools in the global fight against malaria.
The International AIDS 2014 Conference, held in Melbourne, Australia from July 20-25, left very mixed impressions. The tragedy of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 cast a shadow over the event, and profoundly shaped the atmosphere and discourse.
On behalf of the Global Health Policy Center, I extend my sincere condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues of Joep Lange, Jacqueline van Tongeren, and the others who lost their lives on Malaysia Airlines flight 17 as they traveled to the International AIDS Conference in Melbourne, Australia.
In early January 2013, a dozen deans from America's premier public health schools wrote President Obama a letter protesting the CIA's use of a faked vaccination campaign in the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
As the World Health Organization (WHO) ramps up concern about polio as a global public health emergency, India is taking nothing for granted. WHO officially certified the country as polio free in March this year, but the achievement was hard fought and health officials remain vigilant.
The international outrage over Boko Haram’s abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls has escalated since the story first hit the news; mothers in Nigeria took action and celebrities from Angelina Jolie all the way to First Lady Michelle Obama have made their voices heard on the issue.
The worst could be yet to come. Last week, the World Health Organization called AMR a threat “so serious that it threatens the achievements of modern medicine,” requiring action across all sectors of government and society.