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WHO's post-Ebola reforms substantive or window dressing?

WHO's post-Ebola reforms substantive or window dressing? | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
West Africa is slowly recovering from history's deadliest Ebola outbreak, which to date has claimed more than 10,000 lives. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has received sharp criticism for its slow and inept response. Critics deride the agency's weak leadership, "arcane" organisational structure, and drifting strategic focus.
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Ebola Virus: Film reveals scenes of horror in Liberia - BBC News

There have now been more than 4800 reported deaths from Ebola, with Liberia the worst affected country. Around 50 new cases are being reported every day in ...
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Nigerian virologist delivers scathing analysis of Africa's response to Ebola - Science Now

Nigerian virologist delivers scathing analysis of Africa's response to Ebola - Science Now | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
Oyewale Tomori, president of the Nigerian Academy of Science, blames corruption and bad leadership
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Nigeria sets an example in the fight against Ebola

Nigeria sets an example in the fight against Ebola | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
LAGOS — When Liberian development consultant Patrick Sawyer collapsed in the arrivals hall of Lagos airport with the symptoms of Ebola in July, the initial reaction, both inside and outside Nigeria, was close to panic.
The fear was that Nigeria’s rickety, overstretched health service would be unable to contain the deadly virus. In a sign of the strains the system was under, Nigerian doctors were on strike for higher pay when Sawyer entered the country.
Against the odds, however, public health officials say one of the world’s more chaotic nations has provided an object lesson in how to deal with Ebola. It is a lesson that could prove salutary for Western governments scrambling to come up with their own response.
For public-health experts, the idea of Ebola gaining a grip in Nigeria — Africa’s most populous nation and largest economy — is a nightmare scenario. There are 170 million Nigerians, eight times the combined population of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the disease is raging. The country’s peripatetic elites and prolific traders have connections across the globe.
Yet Nigeria has quashed its outbreak — and is now just a week short of being clear of a live case for 42 days, the period required by the World Health Organisation before it can be officially declared Ebola free.
“President (Bill) Clinton, when he came here 14 years ago, said that from what he could see there is no problem Nigerians can’t fix if they get together,” says Dr Benjamin Ohiaeri, director at the First Consultants clinic where Sawyer was taken on July 20 and later died.
Like the current case in Texas, Nigeria’s outbreak was the result of a lone traveller entering from Liberia. Dr Ohiaeri’s clinic bore the brunt of the tragedy that subsequently unfolded and it was partly thanks to the courage of his staff in preventing Sawyer from leaving the premises that the disease did not spread further.
Eleven of his staff and their family members contracted Ebola, many in the 48 hours between Sawyer’s admission and the positive result of the laboratory tests. Four of them later died. But Nigeria got its act together quickly after that.
An emergency presidential decree enabled officials to access mobile phone records and empowered them to lean on law-enforcement agencies where necessary to track down people at risk. Thereafter, a strict system to monitor potential cases was put in place by the Lagos state government.
“They were very organised. They put resources into tracking down every contact. In the US, the wife (of the first Ebola victim in Texas) was left for five days with contaminated material. Here they disinfected houses immediately,” says Dr Eilish Cleary, a public health expert on contract to WHO who has been debriefing the Nigerian survivors.
Senegal, which borders Guinea, where the current outbreak of Ebola took root, has been even more successful in containing an initial scare to just one case.
In total 20 Nigerians became infected, of whom eight died. Teams of state officials and volunteers tracked down more than 800 people who had primary or secondary contact with the Sawyer case.
These included the congregations of two churches in the city of Port Harcourt where an infected man had worshipped, according to Dr Tochi Okwor, who runs the public awareness campaign in Lagos state.
In addition, hundreds of private clinics have been trained in identifying Ebola patients and keeping them away from the community until they are evacuated to isolation wards. A social media campaign set up in the wake of the first case by volunteer technology experts, manning twitter handles, web sites and helplines, complemented these efforts.
In the process, according to Dr Cleary and other top World Health Organization officials, Nigeria has shown the importance of logistics and public information awareness on top of medical care in containing the disease.
Nigeria was fortunate that Sawyer entered the country through the airport, into the commercial capital and straight to a top private clinic. The country could be far more vulnerable, according to global specialist in emerging pathogens Simon Mardel, if another case arrives by land, and ends up in a remote public hospital.
But if Ebola strikes again, the country will be better prepared.
“People are determined that they don’t want Ebola in Nigeria. We could have had much higher casualty figures. But within weeks, we would still have got it right,” says Dr Okwor.
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Video: Inside the Ebola Ward - New York Times

Video: Inside the Ebola Ward - New York Times | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
The daily challenges faced by doctors, nurses and other workers at the Ebola treatment center run by the International Medical Corps in Bong County, Liberia.
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Calls To Quarantine Travelers And Ban Travel Follow NY Ebola Case

"Doctors returning from treating Ebola patients in West Africa should be quarantined for at least three weeks, Representative Jason Chaffetz said today as Congress held a second hearing on...
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Ebola is 'most severe, acute health emergency'

Ebola is 'most severe, acute health emergency' | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
The current Ebola outbreak, which started in West Africa in March, is the most deadly since the virus was first discovered in 1976
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It has been made worse by a number of missteps along the way and fear.

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Malaria Lifecycle Animation

We produced this animation to provide a quick introduction to the complex lifecycle of the malaria parasite. The narration is by Dr. Joe Cohen, co-inventor o...
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Local Organization and Parents Work to Lower Infant Mortality Rate

Local organizations are teaming up with parents to try to lower Michigan's infant mortality rate by making parents aware of current sleep safety recommendati...
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World Health Organization mulls reforms after bungling Ebola; experts say ... - U.S. News & World Report

World Health Organization mulls reforms after bungling Ebola; experts say ... - U.S. News & World Report | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
GENEVA (AP) — The World Health Organization is debating how to reform itself after botching the response to the Ebola outbreak, a sluggish performance that experts say cost thousands of lives.
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Falling Ebola cases show 'turning point' - BBC News

Falling Ebola cases show 'turning point' - BBC News | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
There has been a "turning point" in the Ebola crisis with cases falling in all three affected countries, World Health Organization officials say.
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Ebola Crisis Offers Lessons, Warnings on Epidemics, Bill Gates Says - Wall Street Journal

Ebola Crisis Offers Lessons, Warnings on Epidemics, Bill Gates Says - Wall Street Journal | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
The billionaire philanthropist says there are many lessons to be learned from the Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa. The biggest, he says, is that the world has far to go before it is prepared to combat an even-larger disease threat.
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Singapore steps up measures to contain any Ebola outbreak

Singapore steps up measures to contain any Ebola outbreak | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
SINGAPORE — With healthcare workers at greater risk of catching Ebola than the rest of the population here, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) have stepped up training and protective measures for this group.
They also outlined steps taken to contain any possible outbreak: All healthcare institutions here — including hospitals, polyclinics and primary care clinics — have been advised on how to identify and isolate suspected cases.
These cases are to be promptly referred to TTSH — the hospital designated for Ebola cases — where they will be tested.
Patients will be transferred in special ambulances, while a portable medical isolation facility will be activated for transporting patients who show signs of severe illness, such as persistent vomiting.
The MOH, which last week enhanced screening measures for Ebola at Changi Airport, has also put on standby the People’s Association’s Pasir Ris chalets as possible quarantine housing in the event of a confirmed case, and will trace and quarantine all close contacts.
Speaking at a media briefing on these measures yesterday, MOH director of medical services Benjamin Ong said the spread of Ebola can be contained with early identification and isolation of patients, as well as quarantine. For example, Nigeria and Senegal have successfully prevented an imminent outbreak after they each saw one imported case of the virus, he noted.
Dr Derrick Heng, the MOH’s group director of public health, added: “This shows that containment is possible with education on good practices … In a developed country where patients get sent to hospitals early on in the course of their illness, I think the danger to the public will not be high.”
The measures come as the latest case of a New York City doctor contracting the virus — after returning from treating Ebola patients in Guinea — raised fresh fears of the spread of the disease. The case was one of several in the United States involving medical staff who cared for Ebola patients.
Compared with healthcare workers, the public has a lower risk of contracting Ebola. Said Professor Ong: “The current understanding is that Ebola requires more contact with secretions ... the very severely ill patients have lots of secretions, so caring for them as healthcare workers raises particular problems.”
In comparison, the severe acute respiratory syndrome virus — which killed 33 people here in 2003 — is mainly airborne, so the gap between risk levels for healthcare workers and the general population is smaller.
Director of the Institute of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology at TTSH, Prof Leo Yee Sin, said a trained SWAT team had been set up to handle Ebola cases and drills had been conducted, on top of acquiring about 10,000 sets of enhanced protective gear. The team includes infectious disease experts, intensive care unit workers, nurses, housekeeping and transport staff. They have been trained and assessed to be competent in donning and removing the protective gear and have undergone drills wearing them.
The enhanced personal protective equipment — which is made of fluid-resistant material and designed to cover a person from head to toe — involves two layers of gowns and 12-inch gloves. Each worker must be checked by a colleague to ensure that the gear is in order before entering the isolation area. Full-length mirrors and step-by-step instructions have also been installed so staff can check themselves.
TTSH has also set aside two wards at its Communicable Disease Centre for isolating suspect cases. These wards comprise 13 negative-pressure isolation rooms — where air can flow into the room but not out of it — for housing suspected and confirmed cases. The hospital has also plotted a route for moving patients from the emergency department to the isolation facility quickly and with minimal contact.
To date, there has been one suspected Ebola case in Singapore, who tested negative.
The MOH said two National University Hospital staff — Dr Dale Fisher and Ms Sharon Salmon — had volunteered in Liberia, but that their work did not involve exposure to Ebola patients. “It has been more than 21 days since they returned to Singapore. They took their temperature twice a day and monitored themselves closely for symptoms … (Returning) healthcare workers with protected contact with Ebola patients — which Dr Fisher and Ms Salmon did not have — will be put under phone surveillance for 21 days,” said a ministry spokesperson.
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Mali Reports First Death From Ebola - New York Times

Mali Reports First Death From Ebola - New York Times | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
A 2-year-old girl, who traveled across two countries while showing symptoms, is the first recorded Ebola death in Mali.
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U.S. nurse quarantined over Ebola calls treatment 'frenzy of disorganization' - abouthub.info

U.S. nurse quarantined over Ebola calls treatment 'frenzy of disorganization' - abouthub.info | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Illinois joined New York and New Jersey in imposing mandatory quarantines for people arriving with a risk of having contracted Ebola in West Africa, but the first person isolated ...
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Malaria, Gelbfieber, Dengue, Chagas und die Schlafkrankheit (1 von 2)

Aus der BR-alpha-Reihe „Schatten des Todes - Die Geschichte der Seuchen" berichtet diese Dokumentation über Infektionskrankheiten, die durch Insekten übertra...
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Shame on Us Intolerable Inequality in US Infant Mortality - All Global ...

Shame on Us Intolerable Inequality in US Infant Mortality - All Global ... | Health and Diseases | Scoop.it
Last year, the infant mortality rate in the United States was an estimated 6.06 deaths per 1000 live births, just ahead of Croatia, but lagging behind all of industrialized Europe and Asia. For African Americans, the rate is worse.
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