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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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Global Health Security: The Next Five Years - Andrew C. Weber - Christine Parthemore

The next five years will see crucial changes in the global health security landscape, profoundly shaped by two key events in 2014:

The Ebola response in West Africa, and the successful first year of the Global Health Security Agenda, an initiative of dozens of countries and non-governmental organizations to make tangible commitments for preventing, rapidly detecting, and effectively responding to infectious disease threats.(1) 

Both events brought to light signs of measurable progress, and profound gaps that must be prioritized in the years ahead. Pressing needs include expanding emergency operations center capacity, better leveraging technological innovation, and closing the gap between the health and security communities.


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Botswana Doctor Is Named to Lead W.H.O. in Africa

NEW YORK TIMES  by Donald G. McNeil, Jr.                                                               Jan. 27, 2015

A defining moment in the life of Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization’s new regional director for Africa, came when she was 9 and her father realized that her little sister’s mathematics textbook was below even the level he had studied as a poor child on a South African farm.

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Weekly Ebola cases below 100, WHO says endgame begins

REUTERS  by Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay               Jan. 29, 2015

The number of new confirmed Ebola cases totaled 99 in the week to Jan. 25, the lowest tally since June 2014, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, signaling the tide might have turned against the epidemic.

"The response to the EVD (Ebola virus disease) epidemic has now moved to a second phase, as the focus shifts from slowing transmission to ending the epidemic," the WHO said.

"To achieve this goal as quickly as possible, efforts have moved from rapidly building infrastructure to ensuring that capacity for case finding, case management, safe burials, and community engagement is used as effectively as possible."

But Guinea reported 30 confirmed cases in the latest week, up from 20 in the previous week. The epidemic is also still spreading geographically there, with a first confirmed case in Guinea's Mali prefecture bordering Senegal, which reopened its border with Guinea on Monday.

Read complete story.

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Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn

Scientists tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea say the virus has mutated.

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have become more contagious.

They are tracking how the virus is changing and trying to establish whether it's able to jump more easily from person to person

"We know the virus is changing quite a lot," said human geneticist Dr Anavaj Sakuntabhai.

It's not unusual for viruses to change over a period time. Ebola is an RNA virus - like HIV and influenza - which have a high rate of mutation. That makes the virus more able to adapt and raises the potential for it to become more contagious.

Read complete story.

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There's an Ebola Vaccine in Africa. Now What?

A scanning electron micrograph of the Ebola virus. The first large-scale trials of an Ebola vaccine are underway in Africa.(NIAID / Flickr)

Unprecedented: In four months, the Ebola vaccine has gone from concept to field trial. Success is not assured.

 THE NATIONAL JOURNAL  by Brian Resnick                      Jan. 28, 2015

Detailed description of the problems issues and procedures for fieldingand testing Ebola vaccines in West Africa.


..."Without the (Ebola) virus circulating, there's no way to prove the vaccine is effective. At current infection rates, trial researchers would need to see 100 cases of Ebola over a four-month period to achieve statistical significance. That time frame may stretch, or fall apart altogether.

"It's a real dilemma," says Margaret Harris, an MD and spokeswoman for the World Health Organization. "It's extremely good news that the cases are coming down, but it does mean we may not have clear phase III data."

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An experimental Ebola vaccine looks promising in a human trial

Vaccine  was made by introducing an Ebola gene in a chimpanzee cold virus

THE VERGE    by Arielle Duhaime-Ross                                                             Jan. 28, 2015

An Ebola vaccine produced using a chimpanzee common cold virus appears to be safe to use on humans, according to a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. Three different doses of vaccine were tested on healthy humans in the UK, and it was well-tolerated; it triggered high levels of antibody formation without also triggering serious side effects. But until the vaccine is tested in an area where an Ebola risk actually exists, it’s efficacy against the disease will remain a mystery.

Read complete story.

A Monovalent Chimpanzee Adenovirus Ebola Vaccine — Preliminary Report

 New England Journal of Medicine

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WHO - Resolution - Executive Board Special Session on Ebola


CLICK HERE - WHO - Resolution - Ebola: Ending the current outbreak, strengthening global preparedness and ensuring WHO capacity to prepare for and respond to future large-scale outbreaks and emergencies with health consequences (11 page .PDF report)

CLICK HERE - Executive Board Special Session on Ebola - Additional supporting documentation - by Dr. Charles Clift - January 27, 2015

The executive board of the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed a comprehensive resolution on its response to the Ebola crisis in a special session on 25 January. After the WHO was widely criticized for its perceived inadequacies in dealing with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the resolution asks for a transformation in the way the organization works in health emergencies. The WHO admits there is substance in these criticisms – with Margaret Chan, WHO’s director-general (DG), acknowledging shortcomings in WHO’s ‘administrative, managerial and technical infrastructures’.


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Lessons from Ebola: Toward a Post-2015 Strategy for Pandemic Response

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

This event has concluded. View the replay above. - Date: January 27th 2015 - Location: Georgetown University & Online Time: 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET (21:00 - 22:00 GMT)

Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, will deliver Georgetown’s inaugural Global Futures lecture.

The lecture, “Lessons from Ebola: A post-2015 strategy for pandemic response,” will kick off a semester-long conversation about the “Global Future of Development” at Georgetown as part of the university’s new Global Futures Initiative.

His talk on Jan. 27 will connect ongoing efforts to stop the spread of infection in West Africa with longer-term efforts to improve public health systems that support economic and social development in countries vulnerable to future pandemics.

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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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