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After Ebola, a Look at How Africa Can Respond to Future Health Emergencies

                 

undp.org - theglobalobservatory.org - by Michael R. Snyder - May 14, 2015

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Nurses with Tablets and Bikers with Smartphones Join Ebola Fight

reuters.com - by Joseph D'Urso

. . . For a two week trial, researchers employed locals to scoot around the province on small motorbikes known as okadas, collecting household, health and population data from villages on simple smartphones.

They travelled in pairs, one riding the motorbike and one using a GPS-enabled smartphone running an Android operating system, preloaded with a specially designed, simple programme for storing the necessary information.

When they arrived in a village they interviewed a village leader or representative to gather as much information as possible, and log GPS coordinates, essential in a region where village names are often duplicated or spelt differently.

Nic Lochlainn said it takes a long time to learn to use the sophisticated satellite devices usually used for mapping but users could master this software in hours and the data let experts assign Ebola cases to specific villages more accurately.

The scheme covered 950 villages in two weeks, and the cost was "very modest" compared with sending foreign aid workers into the field or commissioning detailed satellite imagery, she said.

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The Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN)

fecofun.org.np

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Phone and Web Companies Race to Reconnect Quake-Hit Nepal

          

"Beach ball" mobile antenna being inflated in Chautara, Nepal, image provided by the World Food Programme, 12 May 2015.

trust.org - in.reuters.com - by Joseph D'Urso - May 12, 2015

LONDON, May 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Buildings wrecked by Tuesday's earthquake in Nepal, already weakened by last month's huge quake which killed over 8,000, will take years to rebuild. But another type of infrastructure will bounce back much sooner: communication networks.

Enabling aid workers and civilians to access the internet, make a phone call or send a text is now seen as a vital part of any humanitarian response. The World Food Programme (WFP) has deployed some innovative kit to make this possible in Nepal.

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(ALSO SEE SAME ARTICLE HERE)

 

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WHO Director-General Addresses High-Level Meeting on Ebola R&D

                                                           

From crisis to sustainable development: lessons from the Ebola outbreak

who.int - May 10, 2015

. . . three changes will do the most to improve the world’s collective defence against the infectious disease threat.

First, invest in building resilient communities and well-performing health systems that integrate public health and primary health care. Ideally, health systems should aim for universal health coverage, so the poor are not left behind. This requires new thinking and a new approach to health development.

Second, develop the systems, capacities, and financing mechanisms needed to build surge capacity for responding to outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies.

Third, create incentives for R&D for new medical products for diseases that primarily affect the poor. A fair and just world should not let people die for what boils down to market failure and poverty.

These three things also fit well with the coming agenda for sustainable development that seeks to distribute the benefits of economic growth more evenly and respects our planet’s fragile resources.

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Ebola-Free, but Not Resilient

nytimes.com - by Judith Rodin and Bernice Dahn - May 10, 2015

. . . A resilient health system combines active surveillance mechanisms, robust health care delivery system and a vigorous response to disease. When the first signs of contagion appear, a system should be able to act quickly to stop it in its tracks — all without compromising its core functions. . . .

. . . Resilient systems share several characteristics. One is awareness, which in the case of health systems means, first and foremost, strong disease surveillance. A second characteristic is the ability to adapt to changing conditions. . . . 

. . . A third characteristic is diversity: the ability to address a broad range of challenges. . . .

. . . resilient systems are integrated: information is shared across different levels of government. . . .

. . . When a resilient system is in place, cities and countries alike are prepared to yield what we call a “resilience dividend” — benefits that are independent of crises. Building trust with the public, enhancing access to quality care, and investing in public health are all wise investments at any time, helping to increase productivity and growth. . . .

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DHS Successfully Transitions Search and Rescue Tool That Pinpoints Buried Victims

dhs.gov - May 7, 2015

Washington, D.C.– The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, announced today the transition of the final prototype of the Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) technology to the commercial market.  FINDER is a radar technology designed to detect heartbeats of victims trapped in wreckage. Two commercial partners have been licensed to manufacture the device: R4 Inc. of Eatontown, N.J. and SpecOps Group Inc. of Sarasota, Fla.

Earlier today, S&T and NASA demonstrated its newest capabilities at the Virginia Task Force One  (VA-TF1) Training Facility in Lorton, Va., finding “survivors” in a simulated disaster. This is thanks to the new locator feature, which can help pinpoint the location of the victim to within about five feet – depending on the type of rubble. This key change saves rescuers time, increasing chances for locating survivors.

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How Israeli Life-Saving Tech Is Leading Rescue Efforts In Nepal

      

Bringing new life into the world in Kathmandu

nocamels.com - by Maya Yarowsky - April 30, 2015

Five days after one of history’s most devastating earthquakes hit Nepal, countries near and far are pouring in funds and personnel to address the state of emergency. Leading the pack in terms of medical and rescue personnel on the ground is Israel, with an aid convoy of 260 personnel, including about forty doctors. . . . the Israeli team is using innovative and ingenious technology to rescue more people from the areas of destruction and to provide first-class medical care to those who need it most.

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Block By Block, Health Workers Lead Liberia To Victory Over Ebola

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO by Jason Beaubein                                              May 9, 2015

MONROVIA -They were the ones who went door to door to stop the spread of Ebola. They were accused of passing on the virus and had water hurled at them. They were the community health workers — the unsung heroes of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia.

Caroline Williams is a community organizer in New Kru Town, a suburb of Monrovia. Here's how she got her message through to Liberians about preventing Ebola: "We talk to them, talk to them, talk to them. At last they started listening to us. All the methods that we been giving them, by God's will, they accepted."Jason Beaubien/NPR

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Building and Maintaining Resilience to Address Global Health Challenges

      

msh.org - globalhealth.org                        (CLICK HERE - EVENT RSVP)

This panel discussion will focus on how key local stakeholders are working to build systems capable of addressing long-term global health issues like NCDs while maintaining resilience to outbreaks like Ebola. In light of the need to develop domestic financing mechanisms to pay for long term health solutions, stakeholders are moving beyond public-private partnerships to a model of country stakeholder engagement that includes and leverages the strengths of all actors. 

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