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Video - UN - Meeting on Response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak - September 25, 2014 - September 25, 2014

High-level meeting on Response to the Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak.


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Global Response to Ebola Is Too Slow, Obama Warns - by MARK LANDLER and SOMINI SENGUPTA - September 25, 2014

UNITED NATIONS — Seeking to speed the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, President Obama delivered a blunt warning on Thursday at a high-level United Nations meeting devoted to the health crisis: The world was doing too little and moving too slowly.

Mr. Obama cited his announcements last week that the Pentagon would build a field hospital and treatment units in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone — along with the establishment of a United Nations emergency mission to respond to the Ebola outbreak — as positive steps.

“But I want us to be clear: We are not moving fast enough. We are not doing enough,” the president said. “There is still a significant gap between where we are and where we need to be.”


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Food Security

submitted by Gary Vroegindewey - September 24, 2014
WFP has increased food availability
Global Food Security Index will provide baseline Sierra Leone as an example.
Famine Early Warning System Network (FEWS)
tracks marketing prices and other indicators of food insecurity Sierra Leone as an example

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Fresh Graves Point to Undercount of Ebola Toll

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London Group Plans to Start First Clinical Tests of Ebola Drugs in West Africa

Washington Post

by Abby Ohlheiser September 23 at 11:45 AM

London based scientists, working with international aid groups, are planning to start the first clinical trials in West Africa for drugs to treat Eboa. The trials could begin in a matter of months.

Wellcome Trust's $5 million initiative will include drugs from Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Sarepta and Tekmira, according to Reuters. Mapp makes zMapp, the experimental cocktail administered to two Americans who contracted the disease in Liberia. Tekmira recently gained the approval of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use its TKM-Ebola treatment on confirmed or suspected cases of the disease.

Both drugs are still in the experimental phase; researchers have not yet determined the safety or effectiveness of the treatments.

Text of full story:

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LOS ANGLES TIMES     September 22, 10:25 PM

by Monte Morin

In a grim assessment of the Ebola epidemic, researchers say the deadly virus threatens to become endemic to West Africa instead of eventually disappearing from humans.

"The current epidemiologic outlook is bleak," wrote a panel of more than 60 World Health Organization experts in a study published Tuesday by the New England Journal of Medicine.

"We must therefore face the possibility that Ebola virus disease will become endemic among the human population of West Africa, a prospect that has never previously been contemplated."

In the absence of new control measures, the authors estimated that the total case load would exceed 20,000 by Nov 2.

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Link to New England Journal of Medicine study

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World wakes up to Ebola as cases set to top 1 million

By Debora MacKenzie - 23 Sep 2014 -

This article appeared in print under the headline "World wakes up to true threat of Ebola"

Only decisive action can stop the virus becoming entrenched in Africa and spreading elsewhere, say epidemiologists.

The world has finally got serious about Ebola. In a first for a public health threat, the United Nations has launched the kind of response it normally reserves for war zones. Meanwhile, the US, UK and France are sending troops to build treatment units, train health workers and keep order.

It's not a moment too soon: the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that without a massive effort to slow the epidemic, a million people in West Africa could have Ebola by January. Some will carry it elsewhere, and the virus may circulate non-stop in Africa for the foreseeable future.

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Washington Post  September 23, 014
by Lenny Bernstein and Lena H. Sun

MONROVIA, LIBERIA  -The Liberian government, the World Health Organization and their nonprofit partners here are launching an ambitious but controversial program to move infected people out of their homes and into ad hoc centers that will provide rudimentary care, officials said Monday.

The community centers would supplement hospitals.

However Doctors Without Borders Director of operations says "this is not going to work," saying the infected countries do not have the needed infrastructure.

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Get Smarter on Agriculture and Climate

David Cleary Director of Agriculture Nature ConservancyBy David Cleary - Sep 22, 2014 -

In a somber scene-setter for the upcoming climate summit in New York, the UN’s meteorological office, The World Meteorological Organization, released a report showing that world carbon emissions in 2013 reached a record high, and atmospheric carbon is increasing at the fastest rate seen in over thirty years. Some hard questions are facing the international order, which has spent much of that period in an interminable round of meetings meant to combat climate change. Against this backdrop, the pertinent question the UN report raises is: why bother? If we appear to be losing the battle, what difference does yet another meeting and round of press conferences make, other than to traffic conditions in lower Manhattan?

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Ban Ki-moon: 'World living in an era of unprecedented level of crises'

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon with actor Leonardo DiCaprio during his designation ceremony as the UN Messenger of Peace. Photograph: EPA

United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon with actor Leonardo DiCaprio during his designation ceremony as the UN Messenger of Peace. Photograph: EPA

Julian Borger - New York The Guardian
21 Sep 2014 16.55 BST

More than 140 heads of state and government fly in to New York this week for the United Nations general assembly amid apprehension that international order is unraveling at an accelerating pace, while the world's leaders seem ever less willing or able to deal with the proliferating threats.

The UN's humanitarian agencies are in danger of being completely overwhelmed by the multiple crises. Ebola is spreading rapidly across West Africa, swamping rickety national health systems and a thus-far underfunded UN effort to stop its advance. The spread of Islamic State (Isis) extremists in the Middle East, feeding on the destruction of the Syrian civil war and exposing the weakness of the Iraqi state, has similarly outpaced patchy international efforts at containment.

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