You are here

Disaster Risk Reduction

The End of Ebola? Lessons at the Epidemic's One Year Anniversary

Columbia University                                            March 30, 2015

One year ago, the current Ebola epidemic was announced to the world. Since then, we have learned and accomplished an enormous amount....

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Laboratory support during and after the Ebola virus endgame: towards a sustained laboratory infrastructure

EUROSURVEILLANCE by I. Goodfellow, C. Reusken, and M. Koopmans  

  March 26, 2015                                                              

The Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa is on the brink of entering a second phase in which the (inter)national efforts to slow down virus transmission will be engaged to end the epidemic. The response community must consider the longevity of their current laboratory support, as it is essential that diagnostic capacity in the affected countries be supported beyond the end of the epidemic.

The emergency laboratory response should be used to support building structural diagnostic and outbreak surveillance capacity.

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Strengthening the Detection of and Early Response to Public Health Emergencies: Lessons learned from, the Ebola outbreake

PLOS MEDICINE by Mark J. Siedner, Lawrence O. Gostin, Hilarie H. Cranmer,and John D. Kraemer                        March 24, 2015

In-depth paper on lessons learned from the West Africa Ebola outbreak

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

How to Fight the Next Epidemic

The Ebola Crisis Was Terrible. But Next Time Could Be Much Worse.


NEW YORK TIMES OPINION PAGE by Bill Gates                                                           March 18, 2015

(Scroll down for fuller Bill Gates article in the New England Journal of Medicine)

SEATTLE — The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed more than 10,000 people. If anything good can come from this continuing tragedy, it is that Ebola can awaken the world to a sobering fact: We are simply not prepared to deal with a global epidemic.

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Botswana: Ministry of Health Develops Ebola Preparedness Response

ALL AFRICA DAILY NEWS by Bopa                                                               March 16, 2015

GABORONE,  Botswana — The Minister of Labour of Home Affairs, Mr Edwin Batshu, says following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Ministry of Health reactivated its national multi-sectoral epidemic preparedness response committee and developed a comprehensive Ebola epidemic preparedness and response plan.

Answering a question in Parliament, on behalf of the Minister of Health, he said four technical working groups were established to facilitate implementation of the plan at the national and district level....

Furthermore, he said taking into consideration the rapid spread of the disease and the absence of personnel trained in Ebola, priority was given to training frontline staff that would be directly involved with potential cases.

He said these include nurses, doctors, counsellors, general duty assistants, immigration and police officer and district health management team drivers.

Read complete story.

Country / Region Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

The World's Most Deadly Volcanoes

When Bardarbunga blew its top (Credit: Arctic Images/Alamy)

Image: When Bardarbunga blew its top (Credit: Arctic Images/Alamy) - February 27th 2015 - Jane Palmer

Last August, in southern Iceland, the flanks of the volcano Bardarbunga ripped open and fountains of lava spouted skyward. Molten rock oozed downhill making its way toward the sea. The eruption has now come to an end but the volcano continues to pump gases into the atmosphere.


Country / Region Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Please Don't Let An Earthquake Hit When I'm In The Shower

A bicyclist passes a home damaged in a 2011 earthquake at Bhaktapur, some 7 miles southeast of Kathmandu. Prakash Mathema /AFP/Getty Images

Image: A bicyclist passes a home damaged in a 2011 earthquake at Bhaktapur, some 7 miles southeast of Kathmandu.
Prakash Mathema /AFP/Getty Images - February 25th 2015 - Donatella Lorch

What would you do if you lived in a city where you faced the world's greatest risk of dying in a catastrophic earthquake?

I like to believe that I'm prepared. I have water, blankets, sleeping bags, a tent, dry food, a crow bar, shovel, charcoal and "go-bags" for each family member — hiking knapsacks filled with clothing, documents, rope and flashlights and stored in a one-room shed in my yard.


Country / Region Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

U.S. military ends Ebola mission in Liberia

REUTERS    by  James Harding Giahyue                                                          Feb. 26, 2015

MONROVIA -- The United States military officially ended a mission to build treatment facilities to combat an Ebola outbreak in Liberia on Thursday, months earlier than expected, in the latest indication that a year-long epidemic in West Africa is waning.

Washington launched the mission five months ago and the force peaked at over 2,800 troops at a time when Liberia was at the epicenter of the worst Ebola epidemic on record....

"While our large scale military mission is ending...the fight to get to zero cases will continue and the (Joint Force Command) has ensured capabilities were brought that will be sustained in the future," U.S. Army Major General Gary Volesky....

Speaking to lawmakers during a visit to Washington on Thursday, Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked the United States for its support during the crisis.

Read complete story.

Country / Region Tags: 
Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Ebola spending: will lack of a positive legacy turn dollars to dolour?

Millions were invested in west Africa to tackle the Ebola crisis, but some experts doubt there will be any lasting benefits for public health systems


LONDON -- While it is still too early to call time on the Ebola outbreak, a sense that the worst may have passed is tentatively taking root in west Africa, alongside an acute realisation of the need to ensure a positive long-term legacy for battered healthcare systems.

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 

Lessons From Africa's Hard-Won Victory Over Ebola

BLOOMBERG  Commentary      by Charles Kenney                                              Feb. 3, 2015
...Without good surveillance, disease threats can fester undetected until they are considerably harder to contain. At the moment, countries simply declare they have the capacity to meet global standards and the WHO takes their word for it. There should be a system of independent review, backed up with international assistance and support to ensure that all countries really do have the capacity to track infectious disease outbreaks and control their spread across borders.

....the global health research system is primarily driven by market pressures. The cost of bringing a drug through the regulatory processes to market averages around $1 billion. That's a big reason why pharmaceutical companies would rather spend money on treatments for the diseases of the rich than for conditions that largely affect people in countries like Liberia...

There are two approaches to deal with that problem: lower the cost of drug development and increase the market for the products that emerge. ...

To increase demand, governments can club together to create an "advanced market commitment": If a drug developer produces a vaccine or therapy that meets certain standards, donors precommit to buy it in bulk....

Problem, Solution, SitRep, or ?: 


Subscribe to Disaster Risk Reduction
howdy folks