Tourists abandon Ghana despite its successes against Ebola

HUMANOSPHERE  by Tom Murphy                                                                          May 1, 2015

ELMINA, Ghana – Each evening the fishermen set out in their hand-carved wooden boats. By nightfall, the horizon is dotted by a long row of small lights, their own constellation. Fish are caught, the haul is sold in markets and life continues. But one group is noticeably absent from Elmina and other towns along Ghana’s coast – tourists.

The near-empty Elmina Bay Resort. (Credit: Tom Murphy)

Thousands of college students embark on a trip to see the world and do a bit of learning through the Semester at Sea program. The West African countries of Senegal and Ghana are usually on the itinerary, bringing a steady flow of tourism to the two countries. But the countries are not destinations for three consecutive semesters due to concerns about Ebola.

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APAN - Nepal HADR - Community for Nepal HADR Shared Situational Awareness

The All Partners Access Network (APAN) is the Unclassified Information Sharing Service (UISS) for the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD).

In response to the devastating earthquake on 25 APR 2015, APAN has created the Nepal HADR Community. Join this public community now to collaborate and share information with other members supporting the response effort, including members of the U.S. Department of Defense, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), other government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.




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CFE-DMHA - 2015 Nepal Earthquake Crisis Site

submitted by Santosh Dahal

The CFE-DMHA Disaster Information Report provides a daily analysis of various information sources reporting on the 2015 Nepal Earthquake effort.   

CFE's Disaster Management Reference Handbooks provide a baseline of information regarding countries most prone to disasters. A standardized assessment methodology with an operational perspective provides readers a general understanding of a nation's disaster management capability and vulnerability.

CLICK HERE - Disaster Information Reports and Reference Handbooks - Additional Information

For more information on the response effort, go to the Nepal Earthquake HADR Community on APAN

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Logistics - Kathmandu Airport - Nepal

Olivier Brandner, left, loads supplies into MSF's mobile storage unit at the airport's Humanitarian Forwarding Area.
Photo: Obi Anyadike/IRIN - by Obinna Anyadike
May 1, 2015
Regarding the logistics hub at Kathmandu's airport, the procedure for requesting storage space is online and simple, and even easier if you are an agency or NGO registered with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, a discreet vetting.
Input the details of your cargo, tonnage, and whether transport is required (WFP can provide inland delivery) - and then submit the form. Once WFP confirms it can accept the consignment, it takes over.
There is no concern of supplies stacking up in the forwarding area, uncollected. “This is an emergency, people want to get it out as soon as possible,” Beaumont said.
Inside the logistics hub at Kathmandu's airport
Nepal - Logistics Cluster
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Three in every four extremely hot days linked to climate change

Three out of four hot days could be due to climate change (Image: Guy Corbishley/Getty)Image: Three out of four hot days could be due to climate change (Image: Guy Corbishley/Getty) - April 28th 2015 - Aviva Rutkin

If climate change was a game, we'd have racked up quite a score. A fresh study suggests that humans are responsible for a hefty number of today's extreme hot days and rainstorms.

Weather extremes, such as a Russian heatwave in 2010 and a drought in Texas in 2011, have been blamed on climate change before – but the attribution of individual events to it is still hotly debated.


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Resources - Energy - Communication - Water - Sanitation

Here we present a list of ideas and resources that might be beneficial for use in disaster response, or for use in areas with inadequate infrastructure . . .



A Box Full of Light Saves Lives

Voltaic Systems - Solar Chargers

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Host of Ailments Plague African Ebola Survivors

WALL STREET JOURNAL BY Betsy McKay                     May 1, 2015

MONROVIA, Liberia—Dorbor Sirleaf thought his ordeal with Ebola was over in October, when he walked out of a treatment unit, having overcome the ruinous disease.


Instead, the 29-year-old father of four is suffering from symptoms he says he never had before he had Ebola. His legs and other parts of his body ache. Worse, he has trouble seeing, particularly distances. His eyes itch, hurt and often water up. “Sometimes my tears can be rolling,” he said.

More than 15,000 people have survived Ebola in West Africa, and more than 10,800 died, in the largest epidemic of the disease by far in history—one that has yet to be extinguished. But many have emerged with an assortment of mysterious physical ailments, including joint pain, fatigue and a particularly worrisome and common complaint: vision loss. Some, like Mr. Sirleaf, say their eyes hurt. Others report blurred vision or say they can’t see at all.

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Report: Liberian woman likely got Ebola through sex with man who had illness 5 months earlier

ASSOCIATED PRESS by Mike Stobbe                                                                    May1, 2015

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Health officials now think Ebola survivors can spread the disease through unprotected sex nearly twice as long as previously believed.

Scientists thought the Ebola virus could remain in semen for about three months. But a recent case in West Africa suggests infection through sex can happen more than five months later.

Based on the case, officials are now telling male Ebola survivors to avoid unprotected sex indefinitely. They had previously advised using condoms for at least three months.

A CDC report released Friday detailed the case of a 44-year-old Liberian woman whose infection likely came from a 46-year-old man who had Ebola symptoms last September. She fell ill in March, a week after sex with him, and died. Another woman he had sex with around the same time tested negative.

Read complete story.

Possible Sexual Transmission of Ebola Virus — Liberia, 2015

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Vaccination teams defeat 'Ebola effect' in Guinea

IRIN  by By Jennifer Lazuta                            April 29, 2015
GUECKEDOU,Guinea  - The odds were stacked against Guinea's vaccination teams. The initial side effects of the measles vaccine can easily be mistaken for the first symptoms of hemorraghic fever and a false rumour had spread blaming the distribution of deworming pills in late 2013 for bringing Ebola into the country.

A child receives a shot of measles vaccine Photo: Jennifer Lazuta/IRIN

But thanks to an exhaustive door-to-door effort, promoting the benefits of the vaccine and dispelling myths about Ebola, nearly 100,000 children between the ages of six months and 10 years in Guinea’s southeastern Gueckedou region are now protected against the highly contagious measles virus.

Local communities were understandably suspicious of health workers and Western medicine, but many of them were open to persuasion, so health teams went around from village to village, talking to families and trying to ease their concerns.

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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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The Ebola Outbreak of 2013–2014: An Assessment of U.S. Actions


Executive Summary

 This report presents the observations, findings, and recommendations of a task force formed to examine the global response and the response of the U.S. government (USG) to the 2013–2014 Ebola outbreak and global transmission. Specifically, the task force sought to derive lessons learned and insights from the USG response to the Ebola outbreak both internationally and domestically with the goal of crafting recommendations to improve the government’s ability to respond to natural disasters, acts of bioterrorism, and various public health crises related to significant outbreaks, epidemics, and pandemics....

The report’s major recommendations include:

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Experts call for vigilance, sustained measures against Ebola

STARAFRICA.COM                                                                                 April 30, 2015

ABUJA, Nigeria  --Governments in West Africa should improve health governance by scaling up investments in health infrastructure and human capital to ensure proactive responses against pandemics such as Ebola, a panel of discussants on Ebola has recommended.

A statement by the ECOWAS Commission on Thursday in Abuja said that the panelists at the debate on “Ebola; one year after,” organized by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in Abuja on Tuesday, explained that such investments would engender effective preventive and preparedness initiatives and also address the weak health systems of countries in the region, which suffered the heaviest burden of the latest Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak...

In particular, they recommended that public education and sensitization as well as community mobilization, participation and vigilance must be sustained until the disease is totally eliminated. There should also be effective psycho-social support and reintegration programmes for survivors and children orphaned by the disease....

Read complete story.

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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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