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Global health leaders ask G7 for post-Ebola rapid response unit

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REUTERS by Kate Kelland                                                           June 5, 2015
LONDON -- Global health leaders will ask G7 leaders this weekend to back the creation of a specialist rapid response unit to tackle outbreaks of infectious killer diseases.

The corpse of a patient who passed away is given back to the family for funerals after being decontaminated by the MSF teams. It was washed with chlorine solution and put it in a hermetic bag also disinfected to leave the high risk area.

The move reflects how the World Health Organization in particular was caught unprepared last year by Ebola, which spread through three West African countries, has killed 11,000 people, and will not be stamped out before the end of this year.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity, said the unit should come under the WHO, but be free of bureaucracy and able to act independently "in days" when a potentially fatal epidemic begins...

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Rebuilding Nepal to Survive the Next Quake


Minister for Industry has handed 60 temporary shelters to sixty families affected by the recent earthquake at Ananta Lingeshwor VDC of Bhaktapur. - by Thakur Amgai - May 26, 2015

The powerful earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 razed Anantaling, a small, ancient hill settlement 15 miles southeast of the capital, Kathmandu. Each of the 60-odd houses in Anantaling collapsed into rubble, and throughout the Bhaktapur district, 120,000 people were displaced. . . .

. . . Manabiya Astha Nepal, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) constructs temporary shelters for villagers by arching corrugated tin sheets into tunnel-like structures. . . .

. . . The design has a long history of success. . . .

. . . The cost for one of these shelters is only about $100, and the whole thing takes just two or three hours for two people to build. In addition, the materials are reusable. . . .

. . . "It is the only way to meet the needs of the masses before the monsoon arrives."


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Don't Fall Behind as More Climate Legislation Rules the World


London School of Economics - by Michael Mathres - June 4, 2015

CLICK HERE - REPORT - 2015 Global Climate legislation Study

A lot of times businesses look to or blame,  governments for a lack of a national strategic economical direction for tackling climate change. This often leads to climate inertia where each party looks to the other for leadership and action.

However, according to a new report from the London School of Economics, this is no longer the case, and business have plenty of climate laws and policies from which to be inspired or adapt.

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Zoloft Could Be a Treatment for Ebola Virus

Researchers have identified two FDA-approved drugs that may be effective against the Ebola virus. This could shorten the time for developing new treatments.

HEALTHLINE NEWS  by  Shawn Radcliffe                                                         June 3, 2015

With a fast-moving epidemic like Ebola, doctors need to make use of every tool at their disposal. This includes giving a second life to already-approved drugs....

One research team is hoping to ease the epidemic by shortening the lengthy drug development process.

Their approach? Sifting through hundreds of existing drugs and other compounds for ones that might work against the Ebola virus....

Additional screening narrowed the list down to two potential drug candidates: Bepridil, a calcium channel blocker used to treat heart disease, and sertraline, an antidepressant more commonly known as Zoloft.

Both drugs are already approved by the FDA, although not for use against the Ebola virus.

Read complete story.

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Scientists Release Ebola Sequencing Data to Global Research Community Online

BUSINESS WIRE                                                                       June 3, 2015
CARLSBAD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A team of scientists that is part of an international, multi-organizational effort to curb further spread of deadly Ebola in Sierra Leone has released their first dataset of the virus’ genetic structure online.

The genetic analysis is now on virological.organd available for the global scientific community to monitor the pathogen’s evolution in real-time and conduct research that can lead to more effective strategies against further outbreaks.

The team of British scientists, funded by the Wellcome Trust, is using semi-conductor next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to generate data in a lab facilitated by Public Health England and International Medical Corps.

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New Thinking on Countering Outbreaks


If Ebola has taught us anything, it is that there is room for innovation in the way we respond to outbreaks. - by Paul G. Allen - April 30, 2015

It has been more than a year since we began tackling this latest epidemic and, while significant progress has been made, there are still challenges to be overcome and gaps to be filled. . . .

. . . Just last week, I partnered with Skoll Global Threats Fund and USAID to host the Ebola Innovation Summit — an interactive event, designed to bring new tools, people, ways of thinking and ultimately innovations to the forefront.

The event drew a diverse group of people from around the world — from the tech and private sectors to nonprofits, government and academia. The collective commitment of this group is a great example for how we should collaborate to tackle global problems like Ebola.

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Shaking Up the Status Quo in Nepal



Hand image - Status Quo Nepal, NYT

“Ke garne?” an old lady said to us, tears pouring down her cheeks, as we visited her earthquake-battered village in the Dhading district of Nepal last month: “What to do?” With a history of repeated crises — political, economic and natural — it has become the Nepali way to shrug one’s shoulders and hope for the best.

Sadly, people have been hoping for a long time: even before the earthquakes, Nepal was one of the poorest, most corrupt and least equal countries in the world. 

 (Read Complete Article)

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Nepal’s Aid System Is Broken. So These Lifesavers Hacked It

Nepal Tents via Wired

The village of Dandagaun is hard to reach on a good day. The access road starts at the Bhote Koshi River, a Class V waterway that drains Himalayan glaciers, then heads more or less straight up for 5,000 feet, past tiny villages and mountain streams. After 10 long miles it curves into a bowl that opens to the northeast. Here sit terraced fields of rice and corn cut into the hillside. Technically speaking, the village, in Nepal’s Sindhupalchowk district, lies in the Himalayan foothills. But these are foothills in the way that the sun is a medium-size star. The ridgeline above the village rises sharply for a quarter mile. Looking at it requires straining your neck directly up.

(Read complete article)

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7 Ways Design’s Future Is Actually Rooted in the Past

Sustainable Design Is Local Design: Angkor Wat is one of the earliest and most impressive examples of sustainable architecture. During Siem Reap's heyday, the two reservoirs regulated water, so that the temple could be used in the dry season. The pools also helped to distribute cool air throughout the temple.

Image: Sustainable Design Is Local Design: Angkor Wat is one of the earliest and most impressive examples of sustainable architecture. During Siem Reap's heyday, the two reservoirs regulated water, so that the temple could be used in the dry season. The pools also helped to distribute cool air throughout the temple. - May 19, 2015 - Liz Stinson

When the Khmer built Angkor Wat in the 12th century, they probably didn’t use the word “sustainable” to describe their creation. At the time, the temple and its unique design was nothing more than a result of Cambodia’s climate, which oscillates between extreme wet and dry. The temple ran on a hydraulic engine comprised of eastern and western manmade pools of water called barays.

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

          - - by Michael R. Snyder - May 14, 2015

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