Text: H.Res.701 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/31/2014)


113th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. RES. 701


Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the current outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is an international health crisis and is the largest and most widespread outbreak of the disease ever recorded.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 31, 2014

Ms. Bass (for herself, Mrs. Davis of California, Mr. Cicilline, Mr. Crowley, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Honda, Ms. Jackson Lee, Ms. Lee of California, Mr. Levin, Ms. McCollum, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Rush, Mr. Wolf, Mr. Lewis, Mr. Price of North Carolina, Mr. Meeks, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Mr. Clyburn, Mr. Ellison, Ms. Norton, Ms. Brown of Florida, Mr. Danny K. Davis of Illinois, Mr. Fattah, Mr. Al Green of Texas, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Ms. Moore, Mr. Payne, Mr. Rangel, Mr. Richmond, Mr. David Scott of Georgia, Ms. Sewell of Alabama, Ms. Wilson of Florida, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mrs. Christensen, Mr. Thompson of Mississippi, Mr. Sires, Mr. Connolly, Mr. Deutch, Mr. Engel, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Keating, Mr. Lowenthal, Mr. Schneider, Mr. Vargas, Ms. Frankel of Florida, Mr. Marino, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, Mr. Chabot, Mr. Poe of Texas, Mr. Rohrabacher, Mr. Salmon, Ms. Roybal-Allard, Ms. Kuster, Ms. Brownley of California, Mrs. Negrete McLeod, and Mr. McDermott) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the current outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is an international health crisis and is the largest and most widespread outbreak of the disease ever recorded.

    Whereas Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia are currently facing the largest and most geographically widespread Ebola outbreak ever recorded;

    Whereas as of July 23, 2014, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are 1,201 suspect and confirmed cases of Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia resulting in 672 deaths;

    Whereas on average, Ebola kills up to 90 percent of the people who contract the disease and currently there is no specific approved treatment or vaccine available to prevent the disease;

    Whereas the current outbreak is the first major Ebola outbreak in West Africa and is present in both urban and rural areas, many of the region’s health workers did not have experience or training to care for patients with the disease or protect themselves from contraction;

    Whereas the current Ebola outbreak has already crossed international borders, such as the Liberian passenger who arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, with the disease in late July and died there;

    Whereas without containment of the disease and additional support from the international community, the outbreak could become a greater regional and global health threat;

    Whereas Ebola is contagious and transmitted to humans through close contact with bodily tissue, blood, secretions, organs, or other bodily fluids of infected persons or animals;

    Whereas treatment of Ebola requires immediate and prolonged isolation of patients and vigilant observation of infection control protocols to prevent further spread and contraction of the disease;

    Whereas the Ministry of Health of Guinea, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia are working with national and international partners to investigate and respond to the outbreak but need additional support to properly care for patients and control the outbreak;

    Whereas Doctors Without Borders is currently the main international aid organization treating people affected by the virus, and currently does not have the capacity to treat all patients requiring their care;

    Whereas United States support to foreign nations to prepare and respond to disease outbreaks through coordination of several United States Government agencies, including the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of State, and the Department of Defense;

    Whereas since March 2014, the CDC has deployed over 40 experts at a cost of $600,000 and currently has a 7-person team in Guinea, one staff person in Sierra Leone, and a team of 9 in Liberia assisting the respective Ministries of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) led international response to this Ebola outbreak, and recently activated CDC’s Emergency Operations Center to support the response;

    Whereas since the emergence of the current Ebola outbreak, USAID has provided $750,000 to the WHO Global Outbreak and Response Network (GOARN) for deployment of technical experts and $500,000 to WHO’s Africa Regional Office (AFRO) for operational and personnel support;

    Whereas despite the significant work from the Ministry of Health of Guinea, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia and international support from the United States Government, the WHO, Doctors Without Borders, and other international partners more must be done to increase capacity, knowledge, and experience to deal with the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa which has severely hampered the ability of affected countries to quickly detect and respond to the outbreak; and

    Whereas there is a drastic need for additional resources, including knowledgeable medical professionals and equipment to strengthen quality of care and surveillance for case finding and contact tracing: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives—

(1) asserts that the current outbreak of Ebola in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is an international health crisis and is the largest and most widespread outbreak of the disease ever recorded;

(2) acknowledges the lifesaving work already done by the Ministry of Health of Guinea, the Ministry of Health and Sanitation of Sierra Leone, and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Liberia, the United States Government, the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, and other international partners;

(3) calls on the international community and all nations to immediately provide additional resources and services to develop the capacity of affected nations to address current and future public health crises;

(4) requests that the United States work in a coordinated capacity to develop a unified global health security plan to adequately respond to disease outbreaks globally and prioritize global health security;

(5) calls upon the United States to work with international health authorities to assist endemic nations in the development and fielding of medical countermeasures (diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics) to treat victims and those at risk of Ebola; and

(6) urges the United States Government to prioritize the elimination of Ebola as a public health threat.