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Why The World Isn't Close To Eradicating Guinea Worm

Art of a dog infested with a Guinea worm by Sally Deng for NPR

Image: Art of a dog infested with a Guinea worm by Sally Deng for NPR

npr.org - August 9th, 2016 - Michaeleen Doucleff

For the past few years, the world has been on the edge of one of the biggest medical triumphs of modern history: Wiping out a horrific parasite from the face of the Earth.

In the early '80s, there were 3.2 million cases of Guinea worm — a two-feet long worm that emerges slowly — and excruciatingly — from a blister on the skin.

A massive campaign, led by President Jimmy Carter, has eradicated the worm from all but four countries.

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Sierra Leone May Be Ebola-Free But The Virus Still Casts A Shadow

Health workers in Sierra Leone check travelers entering the country from Liberia. Zoom Dosso/AFP/Getty Images

Image: Health workers in Sierra Leone check travelers entering the country from Liberia. Zoom Dosso/AFP/Getty Images

npr.org - November 7th, 2015 - Nahid Bhadelia

Today marks the 42nd day that Sierra Leone has had no new cases of Ebola. That potentially signals the end of the epidemic in that country.

I spent almost three months in Sierra Leone over the last year, both as a clinician in Ebola treatment units and as an infection control educator.

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A Vaccinated Man Has Been Emitting Virulent Polio for 28 Years

Children after an India polio-vaccination event, 2012. Courtesy CDC.gov

Image: Children after an India polio-vaccination event, 2012. Courtesy CDC.gov

phenomena.nationalgeographic.com - September 2nd, 2015 - Maryn McKenna

At the end of the decades-long global battle to eradicate polio from the planet, there is what looks like a simple goal: Render every person immune, by vaccination, for long enough that the disease can find no host in which to breed, and thus dies out. That was the strategy behind the eradication of smallpox, and since polio like smallpox affects only humans, it is supposed to work for that disease too.

Of course, it’s a little more complicated, and a paper published last week reveals one of the most challenging complications.

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Humanity from Space

pbs.org - July 21, 2015

From the global perspective of space, this 2-hour special reveals the breathtaking extent of our influence, revealing how we’ve transformed our planet and produced an interconnected world of extraordinary complexity.

A journey through 12,000 years, Humanity from Space shows how seemingly small flashes of innovation have changed the course of civilization; innovations that touch all of us today in ways unimaginable to our ancestors. And we’ll gaze into the future at the new challenges we’ll face in order to survive as our global population soars because of our success.

CLICK HERE - PBS - Humanity from Space

CLICK HERE - YouTube - Humanity from Space

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3 pitfalls Ebola recovery must avoid

DEVEX   by Molly Anders                                                                                         Feb. 19, 2015

...While the Ebola crisis is far from over, officials in government and the international development community have begun to think more the medium and long term. What can they learn from past post-crisis recovery initiatives?

 Health worker Alivin Davis poses next to the a board featuring handprints of Ebola survivors in Liberia. Photo by: Neil Brandvold / USAID / CC BY-NC

Devex asked aid officials and government officials from the region how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls that can plague — haunt, even — recovery and reconstruction efforts. Here are three of them.

1. Quality over quantity.

....By not paying closer attention to the economic effects of foreign aid on the local market, humanitarian groups hurt livelihoods and slowed reconstruction in the country.

2. Prioritize local ownership....

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The truth about smart cities: ‘In the end, they will destroy democracy'

Songdo in South Korea: a ‘smart city’ whose roads and water, waste and electricity systems are dense with electronic sensors. Photograph: Hotaik Sung/Alamy

Image: Songdo in South Korea: a ‘smart city’ whose roads and water, waste and electricity systems are dense with electronic sensors. Photograph: Hotaik Sung/Alamy

theguardian.com - December 17th, 2014 - Steven Poole

A woman drives to the outskirts of the city and steps directly on to a train; her electric car then drives itself off to park and recharge. A man has a heart attack in the street; the emergency services send a drone equipped with a defibrillator to arrive crucial minutes before an ambulance can. A family of flying maintenance robots lives atop an apartment block – able to autonomously repair cracks or leaks and clear leaves from the gutters.

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Ebola’s lessons, painfully learned at great cost in dollars and human lives

In-Depth report on lessons to be learned from the Ebola crisis

THE WASHINGTON POST by By Lena H. Sun, Brady Dennis and Joel Achenbach                            Dec. 29, 2014

A year after it began, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa continues to be unpredictable, forcing governments and aid groups to improvise strategies as they chase a virus that is unencumbered by borders or bureaucracy.

The people fighting Ebola are coming up with lists of lessons learned — not only for the current battle, which has killed more than 7,500 people and is far from over, but also for future outbreaks of deadly contagions.

Alice Jallabah, head of a bushmeat seller group, holds dried bushmeat in Monrovia. (Zoom Dosso/AFP/Getty Images)

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C.D.C. Head Says Fight on Ebola Will Be Long

NEW YORK TIMES by Denise Grady                             Dec. 23, 2014
There are reasons for both hope and continued worry about the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Monday.

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Ebola: UN forum urges debt relief for hard-hit countries, as search for faster diagnostics gets underway

UNITED NATONS NEWS CENTRE                                                                                      Dec. 15, 2014
The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) today recommended that creditors should seriously consider debt cancellation for the countries worst-hit by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, and also projected that even if those most affected were to register zero economic growth, the impact on Africa as a continent would be minimal.

With the cost of transport and goods going up and sales going down since the Ebola outbreak, vendors in Waterside Market, Monrovia, Liberia, are making no profit to support their families. Photo: UNDP/Morgana Wingard

“Educational systems, rising social stigma, unemployment, and decreased food security are some of the big issues that Ebola-affected countries must deal with,” according to study on the Socio-Economic Impacts of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) on Africa released today by the Addis-Ababa based UN regional forum.

In other news, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) announced that nine companies have made 19 submissions of proposed diagnostic tests for Ebola.

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Ebola outbreak: weaknesses in health-care systems in Liberia, Sierra Leone revealed

CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORP                                                                                               Dec. 11, 2014

GENEVA --Ebola in West Africa has made it almost impossible for people to get treatment for other ailments, health ministers from the three worst affected countries say.

The health systems in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea were barely functional before the Ebola outbreak struck.

Liberia's Chief Medical Officer, Bernice Dahn, said the country's Ebola outbreak needs to be contained and routine health-care services need to be revived.

Liberia's Chief Medical Officer, Bernice Dahn, said the country's Ebola outbreak needs to be contained and routine health-care services need to be revived. (Martial Trezzini/Keystone/Associated Press)

"We want to expand the health workforce because it's crucial for providing quality health care," Dr. Bernice Dahn, Liberia’s chief medical officer, told World Health Organization in Geneva today....

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