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IAEA to provide nuclear detection technology to help diagnose Ebola in West Africa

HOMELAND SECURITY TODAY                                Oct. 17, 2014

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it would provide specialized diagnostic equipment to help Sierra Leone in its efforts to combat the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak. Later, the support is planned to be extended to Liberia and Guinea. The support is in line with a UN Security Council appeal and responds to a request from Sierra Leone. The IAEA assistance will supplement the country’s ability to diagnose EVD quickly using a diagnostic technology known as Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). RT-PCR is a nuclear-derived technology which allows EVD to be detected within a few hours, while other methods require growing on a cell culture for several days before a diagnosis is determined.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it would provide specialized diagnostic equipment to help Sierra Leone in its efforts to combat the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak, IAEA director General Yukiya Amano announced Tuesday. Later, the support is planned to be extended to Liberia and Guinea.

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The Problem With Ebola In The Media

MEDIA AND SOCIAL MEDIA      THREE PERSPECTIVES

FORBES                                       Oc. 11, 2014

By Alic G. Walton

The Ebola situation in West Africa is clearly not good. The death toll is rising, and people continue to become infected.....

But the reality is that for people in America and other places outside of West Africa, the risk is still quite low. Caution is important, obviously, and airports and hospitals are taking measures to screen people and protect the public.

 The real issue is a different one: Our fear of Ebola has become many times worse than the problem.

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http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/10/11/the-problem-with-ebo...

Mobile Phones, Social Media Aiding Ebola Fight

 U.S. NEWS AND WORLD REPORT         Oct. 20, 2014

By Tim Risen

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CDC Develops Ebola Modeling Tool While WHO Trains Health Workers

HOMELAND SECURITY TODAY               Oct. 9, 2014

 By Kylie Bull, Managing Editor

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has developed a dynamic modeling tool called Ebola Response that allows for estimations of projected cases over time in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

 The Ebola Response modeling tool can construct scenarios to illustrate how control and prevention interventions can slow and eventually stop the Ebola epidemic. Importantly, it can help public health and other planners make more informed decisions about emergency response resources to help bring the outbreak under control. The new tool allows input of data reflective of the current situation on the ground in affected countries and communities.

 The Ebola Response modeling tool is intended to help local governments and international responders generate short-term estimates of the Ebola situations in countries, districts and villages. The tool, in the form of a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, is to be made freely available online.

Meanwhile, in Liberia, the World Health Organization (WHO) has established a new training program for health workers on Ebola care.

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Mobile Technology Key to Containing Ebola in West Africa

VOICE OF AMERICA 

BY Kim Lewis                                                               October 09, 2014

Description of the use of contract tracing and a mobile data collection and messaging software tool that expedites vital information to people in Africa and other regions of the world, in crisis situations.

 

   Workers inside a call center, where people can phone to state their concerns about the Ebola virus, in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014

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http://www.voanews.com/content/ebola-mobile-technology-contacts-tracing-...

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Cell-Phone Data Might Help Predict Ebola’s Spread

On the move: This model of West African regional transportation patterns was built using, among other sources, mobile-phone data for Senegal, released by the mobile carrier Orange.

Mobility data from an African mobile-phone carrier could help researchers recommend where to focus health-care efforts.

By David Talbot on August 22, 2014

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WHO grants ethics approval for use of experimental Ebola drug - Zmapp

The World Health Organization declared Tuesday that it's ethical to use unproven Ebola drugs and vaccines in the outbreak in West Africa provided the right conditions are met.

"In the particular circumstances of this outbreak and provided certain conditions are met, the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention," the agency said in a statement.

The panel said "more detailed analysis and discussion" are needed to decide how to achieve fair distribution in communities and among countries, since there is an extremely limited supply of the experimental drugs and vaccines.

The statement from the UN health agency came amid a worldwide debate over the medical ethics surrounding the Ebola outbreak. However the agency sidestepped the key questions of who should get the limited drugs and how that should be decided.

WHO says 1,013 people have died so far in the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and authorities have recorded 1,848 suspected or confirmed cases.

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Technology: using power for good

Social media and increasingly accessible smartphones help groups mobilise around the world. Photograph: Prasit Chansareekorn/Flickr Vision

Image: Social media and increasingly accessible smartphones help groups mobilise around the world. Photograph: Prasit Chansareekorn/Flickr Vision

theguardian.org - March 13th, 2014 - Hansdeep Singh, Jaspreet Singh and Linda Raftree

Technology has huge potential to be used for social good. Mobiles and mapping software can be used to gather data, and visualise patterns and trends; predictive analytics can be used to help translate 'big data' into useful statistics; unmanned aerial vehicles can monitor real-time crises; and social media helps mobilise groups around the world.

These technologies are getting more accessible to diverse groups by the day.

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Strawberry Trees Offer Free Public Solar Charging for Gadgets

submittted by Margery Schab   

      

Strawberry Energy

treehugger.com - by Derek Markham - March 14, 2014

In a bid to bring more renewable energy choices to the public, while educating people on the benefits of solar power, one Serbian startup is building public solar charging stations that will energize mobile gadgets and serve as a social hub.

The vision of Strawberry Energy is to make renewable energy sources more accessible for all people, and to show that solar power and other clean energy solutions aren't just abstract concepts, but are instead practical and desirable. The way they're helping to get that message across is through their public solar charging stations, dubbed Strawberry Trees, which offer free charging for mobile devices, and in some cases, free WiFi.

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Humanitarians in the Sky

 submitted by Luis Kun

     

Lawmakers need to ensure their new regulations do not run counter to the humanitarian imperative.
Photograph: CorePhil/DSI

Drones are already a game-changer for disaster response

theguardian.com - by Patrick Meier - June 6, 2014

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) capture images faster, cheaper, and at a far higher resolution than satellite imagery. And as John DeRiggi speculates in "Drones for Development?" these attributes will likely lead to a host of applications in development work. In the humanitarian field that future is already upon us — so we need to take a rights-based approach to advance the discussion, improve coordination of UAV flights, and to promote regulation that will ensure safety while supporting innovation.

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New Field Guide Explores Open Data Innovations in Disaster Risk and Resilience

Citizen mapping can help pinpoint damage and locate risks, such as hillside instability that could threaten communities.  GFDRR

worldbank.org - March 19, 2014

  • The new World Bank Group field guide provides practical guidance for governments and organizations as they build their own open data programs for addressing disaster risk and resilience.
  • It shows how participatory mapping projects can fill in government data gaps and keep existing data relevant as cities rapidly expand.
  • Among the guide’s success stories are projects that quickly mapped disaster damage in the Philippines after Typhoon Yolanda and helped improve urban planning in Kathmandu.

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CLICK HERE -  Open Data for Resilience Initiative: Field Guide (134 page .PDF file)

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