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Liberia Burials Key in Ebola Fight

VOICE OF AMERICA by Joe DeCapua                                                   April 30, 2015

 The World Health Organization is set to declare Liberia Ebola free. It will make that declaration on May 9th if no new cases are reported. In a sign of how the situation has improved, the Liberian Red Cross has handed back responsibility for safe burials to the Ministry of Health.

A man is sprayed with disinfectant after he celebrated the memory of a loved one who died due to the Ebola virus at a newly built grave yard for Ebola virus victims in Monrovia, Liberia, Wednesday, March 11, 2015. Liberians held a church service Wednesday for families who lost members to Ebola to mark the country’s 99th celebration National Decoration Day, a holiday normally set aside for people to clean up and re-decorate the graves of their lost relatives. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh)

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US Shuts Down Ebola Treatment Center in Liberia

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                          April 30, 2014

MONROVIA -- American officials are shutting down a special treatment unit they set up in Liberia at the height of the Ebola crisis last year.

It's the latest sign that life is returning to normal in the West African country where more than 4,600 people have died from Ebola.

 Liberia has gone 32 days now without a new Ebola case. If it stays that way until May 9, the World Health Organization could declare the country Ebola-free.

The United States government last year deployed more than 2,000 troops to fight Ebola in Liberia, setting up about 15 treatment centers. Six of them are still being actively used by local health workers for various purposes.

Read complete story.

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Dire Prospects Seen When the Full Nepal Earthquake Death Toll is Tallied

NEW YORK TIMES OPINON PAGE by Andrew Revkin                                       April 29, 2015

Yesterday, I received word of a chillingly high projection of the eventual death count in the Nepal earthquake, made by a longtime and respected analyst of seismic hazards, Max Wyss, who was on the faculties of the Universities of Colorado and Alaska and is now affiliated with the International Center for Earth Simulationin Geneva, Switzerland.

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Education falls prey to Ebola in Sierra Leone

Amid lingering disease fears and economic fallout, most children have stayed away from recently reopened schools.

 AL JAZEERA  by Tommy Trenchard                                                                    April 30, 2015

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone -- 

...the most dramatic change since Ebola swept across the country last July - forcing the school system to shut down completely - was in the number of students.

Sixth-grade teacher Andrew Kabia writes Ebola prevention messages on a blackboard [Tommy Trenchard/Al Jazeera]

Out of a total of 150 pupils in class six, less than 20 actually turned up on a recent Tuesday. It is not unusual in Sierra Leone for the school year to start slowly, but this year's figures were extremely low. A week later, classrooms were still not even half full....

Between the restrictions on movement brought in to stem the spread of Ebola and the fear of markets and crowded spaces, small businesses everywhere have felt the pinch, leaving many families unable to continue supporting their children's education.

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New UN special envoy on Ebola response makes first visit to Sierra Leone

UNITED NATIONS NEWS CENTRE                                                                April 29, 2015
The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today said that surveillance and community engagement still require improvement in some areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone where new cases continued to surface, a day after the new Special Representative for UN Ebola Response, Peter Graff, was informed of a continued transmission epicentre on the border between those two countries.

Mr. Graff joined outgoing Special Representative Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Ebola, David Nabarro, on a visit to Freetown, Sierra Leone, during which they were briefed by the National Ebola response Centre (NERC) on efforts to achieve zero transmission.

“They were informed that Kambia District was still a transmission epicentre due in part to it neighbouring Forécariah in Guinea, which continues to record a high number of Ebola cases,” the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) reported.

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Ebola Situation Report - 29 April 2015

WHO                                                                                                   April 29, 2015

Weekly report

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Update of Earthquake in Nepal

                                  CLICK ON MAP IMAGE BELOW TO ENLARGE (1 page .PDF file)


Unbelievable devastating 7.9 rector scale earthquake hit in Nepal on 25
April 2015 and destroyed of property and loss of human
lives, infrastructures, cultural and religion heritages within a minute.
The death toll has reached 5,026. Over 10,227 people have been reported
injured. Rescue efforts are under way. Most of the people of affected areas
are staying outside of home because of fear.  People from the worst hit
districts of Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Gorkha and Dhading which are
surrounding districts of capital Kathmandu, have complained of delayed aid.

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Managing health crises after Ebola


SCI DEVELOPMENT NET                                                                                April 29, 2015
(includes links to five feature stories and editorials on communication issues and other subjects.)
The outbreak of Ebola that has affected West Africa since December 2013 is the largest to date, with enormous human and economic costs. It has also exposed weaknesses in the global response system, including the handling of communication and complex social responses. What can we learn from this to better manage future health emergencies?

This Spotlight presents an in-depth analysis including opinions, facts and figures, and key resources. It features commentary by Sylvie Briand of the WHO, Rosamund Southgate of Médecins Sans Frontières and Annie Wilkinson of the Institute of Development Studies. 

It includes first-hand accounts by researchers with experience in the field, and interviews with social science expert Melissa Leach and communications managers at Médecins Sans Frontières-UK and BBC Media Action.
Read complete articles.

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Nepal - Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHV)


The national Female Community Health Volunteer (FCHV) Program was introduced in 1988, under the Public Health Division of the Ministry of Health (MOH), Government of Nepal. By 1995, the program was established in all 75 districts.  FCHVs are currently assisting with primary health care activities and acting as a bridge between government health services and the community. They are local community women from various ethnic groups; 42 percent have never attended school.

Since inception of the program, FCHVs have served as frontline local health resource persons who provide community-based health education and services in rural areas, with a special focus on maternal and child health and family planning.

USAID - Nepal - Female Community Health Volunteers (4 page .PDF file)

USAID - Female Community Health Volunteers

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Google and Facebook Help Nepal Earthquake Survivors and Contacts Connect

NEW YORK  TIMES  by Karen Zraick                                                                   April 28, 2015

In decades past, after a large-scale natural disaster, the people affected and their friends and loved ones often struggled to reconnect. In New York City after the Sept. 11 attacks, for example, phone lines were disrupted and people resorted to pinning missing-persons posters around the city.

But now technology and social media are transforming the ways individuals and organizations regroup after disasters and allowing people quicker access to information.

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