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Ebola: Moving from emergency to recovery

DEVEX   by Richard Jones                                                         March 17, 2015

(scroll down for link to EU statement.)

As the death toll from Ebola now tops 10,000 in West Africa, donors and aid implementers are figuring out how to best transition from the emergency to the recovery phase of the crisis.

Top EU and U.N. officials, leaders of Ebola-affected nations and representatives from the African Union, nongovernmental organizations, the private sector and the scientific community met in Brussels, Belgium, earlier this month to make progress on this goal. They agreed to embark on the design of a road map to help the economies of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia get back on track, starting with the priority task of rebuilding health systems.

But that, of course, will be no easy feat.

“We are at a really crucial stage of the real fight against Ebola, because this is a turning point when the emergency stage or the emergency response or medical response to Ebola containment is now turning into coordinating and structuring the long-term recovery program,” European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said in an exclusive interview with Devex at the Palais d’Egmont in Brussels.

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Ebola: Getting to Zero

For communities, for children, for the future

UNICEF                                                                                                             March 16, 2015

As slight hints of recovery begin to surface in West Africa, UNICEF is looking at the impact of Ebola on children and the response and work of the affected communities in the report, Ebola: Getting to zero – for communities, for children for the future.

 The document traces some of the outbreak’s history along with the stories of survivors, health care workers and those working to make things better on the ground. The report also helps map out the actions that urgently must continue to help build resiliency and resuscitate basic services and systems decimated by Ebola.

Read the report

Also see additional information in the links below:

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Redesign Of Ebola Treatment Units Draws 1500 Innovations, Including Locally

INTELLECTUAL PROPRERTY WATCH  by Hillary Muheebwa                                                    March 16, 2015

KAMPALA, UGANDA – In light of the persistence of the Ebola outbreak and the demands it has placed on global infection containment resources and processes, the United States government disaster response community recognised an opportunity to use open innovation to make significant strides in advancing the ability to combat Ebola. The results include a local success story.


“The United States Agency for International Development [USAID], in partnership with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Department of Defense, created a Grand Challenge for Development to target Ebola because we faced the largest epidemic of this disease in history,” said Caroline Pepek, spokeswoman, USAID US Global Development Laboratory....

One of the chosen ideas is the next generation ergonomic tent design submitted by ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) and Makerere University, in Kampala, Uganda.

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Ebola vaccine trial to combine GSK, Emergent Bio shots

REUTERS                                                                                                          March 16, 2015

LONDON  - Scientists are to test a new two-shot Ebola vaccine using an experimental shot from Britain's GlaxoSmithKline, which is already in clinical trials in Africa, and a new kind of booster from Emergent BioSolutions.

A health worker, left, injects a man in his arm with an Ebola vaccine in Conakry, Guinea, March 7, 2015. The World Health Organization is starting large-scale testing of an experimental Ebola vaccine in Guinea  to see how effective it might be in preventing future outbreaks of the deadly virus.  (AP Photo/ Youssouf Bah)

The Maryland-based biotech company said on Monday its modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) Ebola Zaire vaccine would be used in an initial Phase I clinical study to be conducted by researchers at the University of Oxford.

Although Ebola case numbers have fallen to a low level, drug companies are still pushing ahead with efforts to develop an effective vaccine, which may help fight the next outbreak, even if it does not come in time for the current epidemic.

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A Life-Saving Comic: Educating Children in West Africa about Ebola

BIOSECTOR PRESS  by Chris Shilling                    March 9, 2015

As efforts intensify at all levels by international health organisations and on the ground by community health workers in providing treatment, supplies and preventive measures,  young people and children – perhaps the ones most affected – need to have access to good health education resources to help them better understand both the medical and health aspects of Ebola.

To address this issue, Afrelib is working in partnership with Medikidz, ( the world’s first medical information company aimed at children, to produce learning material in an interactive, comic book format. With this health education comic, it should be possible to provide easy-to-understand and engaging information so that it not only helps in disseminating good preventive measures as recommended by public health organisations but also helps them in dealing with the cultural and social issues surrounding this epidemic.

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This smart ‘band-aid’ could help the world beat Ebola

MASHABLE  by  Lance Ulanoff                                                                   March 14, 2015

AUSTIN — The international fight against Ebola is far from over. Just this week, new patients arrived in U.S. hospitals for treatment. But back in Africa where healthcare workers have battled hundreds of cases at a time, officials are struggling to find smart solutions that can help ensure the safety of caregivers, offer more comprehensive and speedy care and add 21st century solutions to their disease-fighting arsenal.

Wearable technology is very close to joining the fight....

Wendy Taylor, Direct of the USAID Center for Accelerating Innovation holds a MultiSense Memory patch prototype

On Saturday at SXSW, The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) unveiled both a new biomedical suit and the MultiSense Memory wearable sensor:

Even with a new biomedical suit in the wings, doctors in the field still face significant challenges. “Tools are hard to use in an Ebola setting — you can’t use a stethoscope,” said Taylor.

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Watch closely and explain frequently: Liberia's Ebola lessons

REUTERS   By James Harding Giahyue and Emma Farge                                                   March 13, 2015

MONROVIA/DAKAR - Seven months after Ebola paralysed Liberia's capital, Friday marked 21 days since the country registered a case of the virus - offering lessons to its neighbors on the importance of surveillance and education in beating the deadly epidemic....

 A massive influx of international aid, including crucial U.S. military assistance, helped Liberia to turn the tide of the outbreak.

But, notes Tariq Riebl, Oxfam's Ebola response manager in Liberia, "What got us to the endgame is that communities took things into their own hands...."

Read complete story.;_ylt=AwrBJR6EmAVV3D0AbnTQtDMD

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Exclusive: take a first look at the next generation ebola-protection suit

QUARTZ  by Grace Dobush                                         March 13, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas—Perhaps the most surprising and important product debuting at SXSW Interactive this year is a personal protective equipment (PPE) prototype for health care workers dealing with Ebola, a tangible result of the U.S. government adapting the culture of innovation and design thinking so key in the startup world.

A team from the U.S. Agency for International Development demonstrated the traditional Ebola suit and the new suit in a preview for Quartz....

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Heat pumps extract warmth from ice cold water

Drammen's ice cold fjord is not an obvious source of heat for the city's inhabitants and businesses

Image: Drammen's ice cold fjord is not an obvious source of heat for the city's inhabitants and businesses - March 9th 2015 - Richard Anderson

The residents of Drammen have rather an unusual way of keeping warm.

The county capital, 40 miles west of Oslo in Norway, extracts most of the heat needed to insulate its houses, offices and factories against the biting Nordic cold from the local fjord, or more precisely from the water held within it.

Averaging 8C throughout the year - it's literally cold enough to take your breath away.


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Liberian Leader Concedes Errors in Response to Ebola

NEW YORK TIMES  by Rick Gladstone                                                                   March 12, 2015 

The president of Liberia acknowledged on Wednesday that she had erred in ordering a tough security crackdown at the height of the Ebola crisis last year, describing the deadly virus as an “unknown enemy” that had frightened her.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf during a video address last Deceber to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

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