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A message to the Content Management working group

We want to thank you all once again for the wonderful contributions you are making to the Resilience Systems.

We are going to take this opportunity to share a few posting highlights, and let you know that in the near future we intend to establish a link to our instruction sets within the Content Management group.

Here are a few posting highlights:

When posting older time-sensitive articles, please remember to adjust the publication date under “Authoring information” / “Authored on”. Doing so will ensure that our material is posted in chronological order according to the article publication dates. Of course if the article is not time-sensitive and is important or just as applicable today as it was on the date of publication, please feel free to use a current publication date. Ideally we would like to have current information towards the top of the Home page.

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Crowdsourced Mapping Could Help Prevent the Next Big Ebola Outbreak

TAKEPART.COM by Jessica Dollin                                                                     April 14, 2015

Ebola dominated headlines this past year, but the epicenter of the outbreak wasn’t on a map until after the virus had infected and killed thousands. Without geographical resources, aid workers were tasked with the challenge of navigating remote areas to locate people in need of assistance.

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Liberia succeeds in fighting Ebola with local, sector response

WHO                                                                                                          April 14, 2015
The story of how Liberia’s most populous county, Montserrado, turned around an exponentially-growing Ebola outbreak is intriguing. WHO’s team and national officials, aided by veterans from WHO’s polio eradication group in India, decentralized the response, using quality management principles that empowered local teams and held them accountable for results.

                                                                                                           WHO /Aphaluck Bhatiasevi

These local sector teams involved more than 4,000 community members, using business best practices and an incident management system to vastly improve surveillance, case finding, contact tracing, and overall management of key response activities.
Read full account.

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Public Knowledge, Perception and Source of Information on Ebola Virus Disease – Lagos, Nigeria; September, 2014

PLOS CURRENT OUTBREAKS  by Saheed Gidado and others                                                    April 8, 2015
The first ever outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Nigeria was declared in July, 2014. Level of public knowledge, perception and adequacy of information on EVD were unknown. We assessed the public preparedness level to adopt disease preventive behavior which is premised on appropriate knowledge, perception and adequate information.

Methods: We enrolled 5,322 respondents in a community-based cross-sectional study. We used interviewer-administered questionnaire to collect data on socio-demographic characteristics, EVD–related knowledge, perception and source of information...

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Conference Summary: Using Lessons Learned from Previous Ebola Outbreaks to Inform Current Risk Management

CENTER FOR DISEASES CONTROL by Dickmann P, Kitua A, Kaczmarek P, Lutwama J, Masumu J, Karimuribo E, et al             April 8,2015 

Summary of conference on lessons learned from Ebola crisis

"...A major conclusion was that infectious disease management will work only when it is established with and within the community and not directed against it. This lesson requires community engagement in formulating infection control measures, as well as implementation, dissemination, and promotion of these measures. Infection control procedures are generally perceived as intrusive and, as such, often interfere with local social, cultural, and religious practices.... Building on this process of finding the right, appropriate containment measures, communication and health promotion work best when they involve community and religious leaders, traditional healers, and other advocates.

National and cross-border Ebola outbreaks are a new development, and engagement with various communities has presented a particular challenge throughout the current outbreak. A key aspect of this engagement is to devise and elaborate solutions for infection control that are consistent with local realities and practices. International health and aid organizations must strive to work in concert with communities to find adequate infection-control solutions....

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Ebola: media ‘overlooked Africa's role in combating crisis’

THE GUARDIAN by Sam Jones                                                              April 7, 2015

Africa’s efforts to tackle the Ebola crisis have been largely overlooked even though Africans have taken the lead in providing frontline staff and shown themselves “better placed to fight infectious diseases in their continent than outsiders”, according to the African Union (AU).

A Liberian health worker checks the temperature of students to curb the spread of Ebola in Caldwell, outside the capital Monrovia. Photograph: Ahmed Jallanzo/EPA

Dr Olawale Maiyegun, director of social affairs at the AU commission, said that despite the fact that Africans had proved both willing and able to deal with Ebola, the focus had been on the work of international agencies and those with the greatest media clout.

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Ebola diaries: Regaining the people’s trust

WHO                                                                                                          March 31, 2015
Cristiana Salvi, a risk communications specialist from WHO’s European regional office was deployed to Guinea at the end of April – early May 2014 to provide social mobilization support to the Ebola response. Social mobilization involves working with communities to gain their acceptance of the need for early identification of people with illness, early treatment and identification and follow up of all people who have been in contact with people confirmed to have Ebola virus disease.

 Cristiana was among the first from WHO offices other than Headquarters and the African office to provide support to the field response, many others followed from the “wider WHO”. She travelled to Gueckedou where communities had begun to hide people who were sick, fearing treatment centres, believing rumours Ebola response teams were there for sinister purposes. This is what she found.


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Combatting Rumors About Ebola: SMS Done Right

When misinformation is a case of life or death, aid workers and communities need an ear to the ground

INTERNEWS   by  Anahi Ayala Iacucci                                                March 26, 2015

 What is now clear to healthcare organizations working on the ground in West Africa is that the Ebola epidemic has been driven as much by misinformation and rumors as by weaknesses in the health system. It is common sense that information is a critical element in combatting disease, particularly when contagion from common social practices, such as bathing the corpses of the deceased, were central to so much of the early spread of the disease. But in the context of a massive disease outbreak, when hundreds of international organizations and billions of dollars flood into a region whose fragile infrastructure has been damaged by years of civil war, information dissemination becomes a powerful challenge.

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The State of Vaccine Confidence

The Vaccine Confidence Project    2015

Lead Authors:  Heidi Larson, PhD and Will Schulz, MPH
Why this report:
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How Did Ebola Volunteers Know Where To Go In Liberia? Crowdsourcing!

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO  by Poncie Rutsch                                                      March 25, 2015
From more than 900 miles away, Kpetermeni Siakor helped get volunteers to the right neighborhoods in his native Liberia during the height of the Ebola epidemic.

Kpetermeni Siakor (left), a Liberian who is studying in Ghana, used crowdsourcing software to help out during the Ebola epidemic. Courtesy of Ashesi University College

He did it with Ushahidi, crowdsourcing software that was developed in Kenya in 2008, when the country experienced a wave of post-election violence. The word Ushahidi means testimony in Swahili.

"The government had shut down internet connections and radio stations, so Ushahidi was born out of the need to let people know what is happening," says Siakor, 26. He's a computer science student at Ashesi University College in Accra, Ghana, and receives financial support from the MasterCard Foundation Scholars Program.

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