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International Bandits in Guinea Steal Suspected Ebola Blood

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                    Nov. 21, 2014
By Boubacar Diallo

CONAKRY, Guinea — It was a highway robbery but the bandits got more than they bargained for when they stopped a taxi van in Guinea and made off with blood samples that are believed to be infected with the deadly Ebola virus.

Authorities publicly appealed on national radio Friday to the unidentified robbers to hand over the samples that were stolen from the minibus taxi during its 265-kilometer (165-mile) trek from central Kankan prefecture to a test site in southern Gueckedou.

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Six months after Ebola appeared, Sierra Leone still lacks beds for patients

WASHINGTON POST                                                                                                            Nov. 21, 2014
by Kevin Sieff
FREETOWN,Sierra Leone
...while bed space expanded in Liberia’s capital, it did not  here. Pledges were made to build new treatment centers, but many were delayed — sometimes because of logistical challenges. Some aid groups canceled their plans altogether, unable to deliver on their commitments. The closest treatment center with consistently available beds is eight hours from Freetown.

“We thought we would have all these beds coming on line, but it didn’t happen when we needed them,” said Winnie Romeril,
a spokeswoman for the World Health Organization. “Everyone knew the problem here was going to get bigger.”

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/six-months-after-ebola-appeared-sierra-leone-still-lacks-beds-for-patients/2014/11/19/6101aa7d-ee68-4370-b2e5-899afc09fb02_story.html

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Ebola becomes latest stock scam, U.S. SEC says

REUTERS                                                                                                 NOV. 20, 2014
By Sarah N. Lynch

U.S. regulators on Thursday suspended trading in four small over-the-counter stocks of companies that they said have been touting the development of products to prevent or treat the Ebola virus, and warned investors to beware of similar scams.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it had suspended trading in the shares of New York-based Bravo Enterprises Ltd, California-based Immunotech Laboratories Inc, Canada-based Myriad Interactive Media Inc and Wholehealth Products Inc, which is also located in California.

The SEC also issued a warning that "con artists" may be soliciting investors and claiming to be developing treatments or medicine to prevent the deadly virus.

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/11/20/us-sec-ebola-scams-idUSKCN0J41V820141120

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Ebola response in Liberia is hampered by infighting

NEW YORK TIMES                                                                                                      Nov. 20, 2014
By Donald G. McNeil Jr.

The global response to the Ebola virus in Liberia is being hampered by poor coordination and serious disagreements between Liberian officials and the donors and health agencies fighting the epidemic, according to minutes of top-level meetings and interviews with participants. Medical workers handling a blood sample of an Ebola victim as the girl, 9, lay in a shawl in Monrovia, Liberia. She later died. Credit Daniel Berehulak for The New York Times

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West African Mining Projects Take Hit From Ebola Crisis

Epidemic Delays Rollout of Jobs Meant for Residents of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone

WALL STREET JOURNAL                                                                                             Nov. 19, 2014
By Patrick McGroarty in Liberia, David Gauthier-Villars in Guinea
and Alex MacDonald in London

...a promising corner of the global economic frontier is pocked with stalled mining projects. The Ebola epidemic has scared off ships and planes; prompted expatriates to abandon their posts; and delayed the rollout of thousands of jobs meant for residents of the three poor West African countries hardest hit by the virus: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

A three-story steel shiploader at ArcelorMittal’s port in the Liberian city of Buchanan is part of a $1.7 billion expansion delayed by Ebola. Patrick McGroarty/The Wall Street Journal

“All the projects are at a standstill,” said Mr. Foulah, chief executive of the mining-explosives firm ECP Guinée.

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NGOs: Ebola doctors desperately needed

WASHINGTON --The pipeline of Ebola doctors and nurses in West Africa is still running dry even as money increasingly flows into the region, leaders of the nongovernmental effort warned Tuesday.

“We face a severe shortage of adequately trained health professionals, both national and international,” Rabih Torbay, a vice president of the nonprofit International Medical Corps, told a congressional panel.

International Medical Corps has about 900 workers in Liberia and Sierra Leone, about 90 percent of whom are African nationals. But Torbay said it has been extremely difficult to recruit volunteers to help stem the outbreak.

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Benin: Authorities Rule Out the Ebola Track After a Series of Deaths

      

Rue de Cotonou au Bénin - Getty Images/Raido Valjamaa

(ENGLISH TRANSLATION PROVIDED BELOW)

Bénin: les autorités écartent la piste Ebola après une série de décès

rfi.fr/afrique - November 18, 2014

Interrogation et inquiétude au Bénin après le décès de plusieurs personnes à l’hôpital de Tanguiéta situé dans le nord-ouest du pays. Ces décès, survenus en moins d’un mois, concernent le personnel de santé. Les tests Ebola sont négatifs et la ministre de la Santé a tenu, lundi, une conférence de presse pour rassurer la population.

C’est la semaine dernière que le ministère de la Santé a été informé du décès de trois agents de l’hôpital St Jean de Dieu de Tanguiéta. Parmi eux, il y aurait deux infirmières en néonatologie. Vendredi, c’est un pédiatre qui est mort à Porto-Novo où il avait été transféré.

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Africa’s Village Healers Complicate Ebola Fight

In Sierra Leone, Traditional Treatments and Death of a Woman Who Resisted Outside Help Fostered Outbreak

WALL STREET JOURNAL                                                                                                      Nov. 18, 2014
By Peter Wonacott
KAILAHUN, Sierra Leone—When a Red Cross volunteer visited this impoverished border district in mid-May to warn about the spread of Ebola, he faced a formidable adversary: the village healer.

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Fearing Ebola surge, Mali widens virus watch to 440 people

AFP                                                                                                         Nov.17,2014                                 

Fearful of a surge of Ebola cases, Mali has placed more than 440 people under surveillance..

Officials in Mali met to consider increasing security at its border following two confirmed cases of Ebola due to infection in neighboring Guinea.

 

Police officers stand in front of the quarantined Pasteur clinic in Bamako on November 12, 2014 ©Habibou Kouyate (AFP/File)

Mali has been scrambling to prevent a minor outbreak from turning into a major crisis after the deaths of a Guinean imam and the Malian nurse who treated him in the capital Bamako.

"The number of contacts followed by health services amounts to 442. They have all been placed under observation for health control," Samba Sow, of the Ebola emergency operations center, said in a statement late Sunday.

Teams of investigators have been tracking health workers and scouring Bamako and the imam's village of Kouremale, which straddles the Mali-Guinea border, for people who could have been exposed.

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Ambassador John Hoover: Ebola a challenge for U.S. diplomatic team in Sierra Leone

WASHINGTON POST                                                                                                Nov. 17, 2014

By Joel Achenbach

John Hoover, the U.S amabassador to Sierre Leone, .... noted that the response to the epidemic in Sierra Leone poses a management challenge, and he sees a need to “sharpen coordination.”

                                                           Ambassador John Hoover. (Courtesy of State Department)

“There are a great deal of players on the ground,” Hoover said in an interview from Freetown.  “Lots of people doing lots of things. It’s a question of sharpening that coordination so that we’re not missing gaps and not overlapping and tripping over one another.”

He sees progress in that battle in the eastern part of Sierra Leone, but the epidemic is flaring in the western part of the country. Sierra Leone is the country with the highest infection rate, according to the World Health Organization’s most recent update. About 70 employees of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have deployed to Sierra Leone to fight Ebola. The U.S. military has focused on neighboring Liberia; Britain has a leading role in Sierra Leone....

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