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African Union vows Ebola fund as Oxfam calls for 'Marshall Plan'

AFP                                                                                                             Jan. 28, 2015
Addis Ababa - The African Union plans to launch an Ebola fund and disease control centre, officials said Wednesday, as aid agency Oxfam warned leaders needed to keep their promises to boost healthcare systems on the continent.

 Oxfam called for a "massive post-Ebola Marshall Plan", referring to the United States aid package to rebuild Europe after World War II....

AU Commissioner for Social Affairs Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko on Wednesday said an African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention would be set up by mid-2015.

"It is a reality, it is going to happen," Kaloko said, with the first phase concentrating on setting up "an early warning system" for the detection of epidemics. "We should be ready the next time. We shouldn't be caught unprepared."

However, its exact location remains undecided.

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After Ebola, World Bank Chief Proposes Global Insurance Program For Future Outbreaks


World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim is proposing emerging nations, developed countries and global aid organizations participate in a kind of insurance system to help pay for health crises like West Africa's Ebola outbreak. “We need to prepare for future pandemics that could become far more deadly and infectious than we we have seen so far with Ebola,” Kim told an audience at Georgetown University on Tuesday. “We must learn the lessons from the Ebola outbreak because there is no doubt we will be faced with other pandemics in the years to come.”

 ...according to Kim, the recent outbreak could be just the beginning. And world leaders need a plan.  

He said World Bank officials informally discussed the possibility of a “pandemic response facility” with the World Health Organization, United Nations and other international actors last week at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“This could work like insurance policies that people understand, like fire insurance,” Kim said. “The more that you are prepared for a fire, such as having several smoke detectors in your home, the lower the premium you pay.”

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Post-Ebola plan needed to avert 'double disaster' in West Africa: Oxfam

REUTERS   by Magdalena Mis                                                                             Jan. 26, 2015

LONDON -- The three West African countries worst hit by Ebola risk a "double disaster" unless a multi-million dollar plan is put in place to help their economies recover, Oxfam said on Tuesday.

In Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone people were struggling to make ends meet having seen their incomes plummet, the aid agency said.

"The world was late in waking up to the Ebola crisis, there can be no excuses for not helping to put these economies and lives back together," Mark Goldring, Oxfam's chief executive, said during a visit to Liberia.

He said a post-Ebola "Marshall Plan" should address three areas of urgent need: cash for families affected by the crisis, investment in jobs and support for basic services.

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After Ebola: Why Rural Development Matters in a Time of Crisis

COMMENTARY:  HUFFINGTON POST  by President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)                                                                                                                                 Jan. 26, 2015

....Now we must begin to look at what happens to the affected communities after Ebola. A food crisis seems increasingly likely to follow in the wake of the epidemic, which has devastated small-scale farmers. Without investment in their long-term development, farming households - and West Africa's future food security - will remain at risk.

Even before the outbreak, the World Food Programme estimated that some 1.7 million people in the region faced food insecurity - defined as a lack of reliable access to sufficient quantities of affordable, nutritious food. As a direct result of Ebola, it is expected that an additional 750,000 to 1.4 million people will become food-insecure by March.

In fact, Ebola has already affected the food supply. Farmers have stayed away from their fields due to illness, fears of infection and quarantines ordered by the authorities - or simply because there is no one left to tend the land....

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Report by the Director-General to the Special Session of the Executive Board on Ebola


Statement by Dr. Margaret, Director-General of the World Health Organization to a Special Session of the Executive Board on Ebola

WHO PRESS OFFICE, Geneva                                                                                       Jan. 25, 2015


"The Ebola outbreak points to the need for urgent change in three main areas: to rebuild and strengthen national and international emergency preparedness and response, to address the way new medical products are brought to market, and to strengthen the way WHO operates during emergencies."

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WHO Board Agrees on Reforms to Fix Ebola Response Mistakes

GENEVA-- The World Health Organization’s board agreed to create a special fund to respond to such outbreaks as Ebola and to set up a global health emergency workforce after the organization acknowledged mis-steps in its response to the epidemic.

 The WHO’s executive board agreed “in principle” at a meeting in Geneva Sunday to a contingency fund, and asked Director General Margaret Chan to develop by May options on its size and sources. Chan should also take immediate steps to establish a public-health reserve workforce that can be promptly deployed in response to health emergencies, according to the resolution adopted by senior health officials from 34 countries.

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Meant to Keep Malaria Out, Mosquito Nets Are Used to Haul Fish In


Millions of mosquito nets are given out fight to malaria in Africa, yet many faced with hunger use them as fish nets, creating potential environmental problems. Video by Ben C. Solomon on Publish Date January 24, 2015. Photo by Uriel Sinai for The New York Times.

NEW YORK TIMES   by Jeffery Gettleman                           Jan. 25, 2015

BANGWEULU WETLANDS, Zambi --Across Africa, from the mud flats of Nigeria to the coral reefs off Mozambique, mosquito-net fishing is a growing problem, an unintended consequence of one of the biggest and most celebrated public health campaigns in recent years.

The nets have helped save millions of lives, but scientists worry about the collateral damage: Africa’s fish.

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As Ebola Outbreak Recedes, Global Health Care Leaders Focus On Prevention, Coordinated Action

THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES   by Amy Nordrum                                                                      Jan. 23, 2015

The recent Ebola outbreak, for which the number of new cases reported each week in the three most severely affected countries is finally beginning to fall, underscores the need to prepare for the next disease outbreak. Global health leaders are asking what it will take to prevent the next disease outbreak from spiraling out of control as the global population approaches 7.5 billion people and grows more connected.


     A research assistant works on a vaccine for Ebola at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England. Eddie Keogh/Reuters

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WHO says cash crunch, rains could thwart Ebola efforts

REUTERS             by Stehane Nebehy                                                                                    Jan. 23, 2015

GENEVA --Halting the spread of Ebola in West Africa will depend on mobilising funds and aid workers before the rainy season hits in April-May, otherwise it could up to take a year, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Friday.

But the WHO is set to run out of cash in mid-February, a key period as it tries to halt the deadly disease, a senior WHO official said.

"It is a programme that can stop transmission if we have the money and the people, and we don't have either," Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO assistant director-general in charge of the Ebola response, told a news briefing before a special session of WHO's Executive Board on Sunday.

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Ebola Fight Needs $1 Billion More as Outbreak Wanes

BLOOMBERG  By Simeon Bennett and Makiko Kitamura                                                       Jan. 21, 2015
(Two links. Scroll below.)

Ebola remains a global health emergency, the United Nations said today as it sought another $1 billion in donations to fight the deadly outbreak in West Africa.

More money is needed for the World Health Organization, Unicef and the World Food Programme, David Nabarro, the UN’s special envoy for Ebola, said at a briefing today at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

“We can’t let down our guard,” Tom Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said in a Bloomberg Television interview at Davos. “We have to get over the finish line and then learn from this experience to build better systems so that it doesn’t get out of control the next time” an infectious disease epidemic occurs.

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