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How Ebola Destroyed Maternal Health Gains in Sierra Leone

May. 2, 2016

When she went into labor last November, 18-year-old Kema James climbed onto the back of a motorbike taxi in her village in eastern Sierra Leone and rode half an hour to the main government hospital in the nearby city of Kenema.

When her baby was delivered, he was sickly yellow and stricken with sepsis, an ailment caused by bacteria in the blood, and he hung limply in the hands of the hospital staff. He died five days later before he could be named.

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Researchers look to repurpose approved drugs to treat Zika virus

published by 

6:47 p.m. EDT May 2, 2016

ATLANTA — The need for drugs to prevent and treat Zika infections grows with every new patient diagnosed. The virus causes devastating birth defects and is strongly linked to a type of paralysis called Guillain-Barre syndrome.

There are currently no approved drugs against Zika; developing a new medication for any disease can take 10 to 20 years.

"The sense of urgency is enormous," said Mauro Martins Teixeira, who heads the immunopharmacology laboratory at the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil. "In an emergency, everyone wants quick answers."

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National View: Climate change affects migration of infectious disease

By William B. Miller Jr., M.D.

Posted Apr. 19, 2016 at 2:01 AM 

Zika is all over the news. Zika is surely dangerous, but it has its limitations and is likely to be well contained. However, its greater significance extends beyond any current spread. Instead, it exemplifies the crucial emerging trend of a novel infectious agent that has swiftly become a global threat.

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Ministry of Fisheries Surprises Critics, Scoops Le40 Billion


The Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Mr. Charles Rogers, has disclosed that despite the devastating effect of the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on the national economy for sixteen (16) months, the Ministry managed to raise a maximum different from the normal years.

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Clinical trial for experimental Ebola drug publishes results

April 19, 2016

Results of the Wellcome Trust funded trial of the experimental anti-Ebola drug TKM-130803 have been published today (April 19) in PLOS Medicine. Using a novel approach designed to get rapid indications of a drug's effectiveness, the trial showed that at the dose given the drug did not improve survival compared to historic controls.

TKM-130803 interferes with the production of two essential Ebola virus proteins and has been shown to improve survival when given to monkeys experimentally infected with Ebola virus. Scientists from the University of Oxford and Sierra Leone worked with the humanitarian organisation GOAL Global, the World Health Organisation, and collaborators from a number of other institutions to test whether TKM-130803 could improve survival in adults with Ebola infection.

The researchers used a new approach to generate early evidence of effectiveness or ineffectiveness. This method can be used as a tool to screen potential therapies and determine the need for further studies (including randomised controlled trials) during an epidemic. The approach meant that the study was quickly able to reach a pre-defined point to stop the trial.

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Dr. Campbell: Zika virus much worse than initially feared

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a Zika emergency. From 2007 to 2016 there are cases in 62 countries and the numbers are only increasing.

Published: April 18, 2016, 5:00 am

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Looking, hopefully, towards an Ebola-free future

Ebola vaccine trial team follows-up with a vaccine trial participant, Katongourou, Guinea
WHO/S. Hawkey -April 15, 2016


WHO, partners and affected countries are stepping up planning for how to use an Ebola vaccine in response to an outbreak.

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The struggle for Water Is Sickening!

By Beny Sam
Thursday April 14, 2016

With all the efforts made by our ministry of water resources, the bulk of our compatriots are still thirsting for water. In Africa, many communities go without electricity for ages, but they cannot afford to go without water. If the United Nations perhaps knew March month is the driest month in most West African countries, may be they would have shifted the World Water commemoration from a day in March.  Why I see the date disturbing is that when our Ministry each year mobilizes resources to mark the World Water Day, I see it as a biting irony since that is the time Sierra Leoneans forage all over the place to have a drop of water to utilize for various purposes.

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