New United Nations study finds digital payments to Ebola response workers saved lives

 

E money Transaction

By using digital payments to pay Ebola response workers, Sierra Leone massively cut payment times, avoiding large-scale strikes and ensuring a stable workforce to defeat Ebola. Sierra Leone’s experience shows the critical importance of preparing early for digital payments before crises hit.

 

 

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Company calls on FDA to issue permit for genetically modified mosquitoes

 

  A company with a swarm of genetically modified mosquitoes wants   the Food and Drug Administrationto grant emergency approval for   the controversial insects' use in the fight against the Zika virus.

 Oxitec changed the DNA of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that    spread the virus so their offspring die before adulthood, Hadyn  Parry, the British company's CEO, told the House of    Representatives' Committee on Science, Space, and Technology in Washington on Wednesday. The company deploys only male mosquitoes, which cannot bite, to halt transmission of the disease, he added.

"I don’t think time is on our side with Zika," Parry said.

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African Monkeys Caught Eating Bats For the First Time

Researchers working in Africa are the first to observe monkeys preying on bats. The unusual behavior, which may have something to do with loss of habitat, could explain how dangerous diseases such as Ebola spread among species—and eventually to humans.

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Resilient Health Systems Can Prevent and Contain Pandemics

Resilience is one of those buzzwords that every so often captures the hearts and minds of development practitioners. The importance of this particular term, though, becomes all too clear as the world faces an increasing number of humanitarian crises, including outbreaks that can turn into pandemics.

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Dirty and Dangerous: Strike Exposes Haiti's Crumbling Hospitals

           

Two months into a strike, Haiti's five public hospitals stand near-deserted, unable to provide emergency services (AFP Photo/Hector Retamal)

AFP - yahoo.com - by Amalie Baron - May 18, 2016

When a pregnant woman died outside one of Haiti's major public hospitals in Port-au-Prince last week, her family and neighbors lashed out in despair and anger.

The expectant mother was an indirect casualty of a two-month strike by doctors no longer willing to tolerate a chronic lack of basic supplies and unsafe work conditions which they say endanger their patients' lives.

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World Health Organisation’s Dr Margaret Chan warns ‘world is not prepared to cope’ with surge in pandemics

WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan last night addressed the World Health Assembly, a gathering of the world’s leading health practitioners and policy makers.

Her message was blunt.

“Let me give you a stern warning. What we are seeing now looks more and more like a dramatic resurgence of the threat from emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. The world is not prepared to cope.

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Inside the World Bank's Pandemic Emergency Facility

On Saturday, the World Bank Group officially launched its much anticipated Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility — a financing mechanism designed to quickly mobilize funds to tackle global disease outbreaks and create a new insurance market for pandemic risk. Questions linger about how effective the new mechanism will be, how much money it can leverage, and whether it can stand the test of time against pandemics that are growing more frequent and more costly.

The international community struggled to effectively mobilize funds to bring an end to the Ebola virus outbreak that ravaged West Africa in 2014, killing thousands. The latest global health emergency to grip the world’s attention — the Zika virus — is highlighting again just how ill-prepared the international community is to fund cross-border outbreak response. Three months after the U.S. White House requested $1.9 billion for Zika, the U.S. Congress is still arguing over the sum.

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New Global Education In Emergencies Fund To Be Launched At World Humanitarian Summit

The world's leading countries, companies and philanthropists will join forces to create a 'major breakthrough' to provide education for millions of children displaced by conflicts and natural disasters.The new 'Education Cannot Wait' fund will be launched next week at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.


A historic, global-first hailed a 'game changer,' the fund targets the needs of 75 million children and youth impacted by crisis, disaster and conflict.

 

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Zika Strain from Americas Outbreak Spreads in Africa for First Time: WHO

                                                  

CLICK HERE - WHO confirms Zika virus strain imported from the Americas to Cabo Verde

CLICK HERE - CDC - Zika Virus in Cape Verde

who.int - digitaljournal.com - by AGNÈS PEDRERO (AFP) - May 20, 2016

The Zika virus strain linked to surging cases of neurological disorders and birth defects in Latin America has now been found in Africa, health officials said Friday, as the first fatality on French territory was reported on the Caribbean island of Martinique.

The World Health Organization announced that the strain of Zika circulating in Cape Verde had been shown to be the same as the one behind an explosion of cases in the Americas.

"This is the first time that strain of Zika which has been showed to cause neurological disorders and microcephaly... has been detected in Africa," Matshidiso Moeti, WHO's Africa regional chief, told reporters in Geneva.

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World Bank Launches $500 Million Insurance Fund to Fight Pandemics

           

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim speaks during a panel discussion at the Anti-Corruption Summit in London, Thursday, May 12, 2016.  REUTERS/FRANK AUGSTEIN/POOL

reuters.com - by David Lawder - May 20, 2016

The World Bank on Saturday said it was launching a $500 million, fast-disbursing insurance fund to combat deadly pandemics in poor countries, creating the world's first insurance market for pandemic risk. . . . 

. . . In the event of a pandemic outbreak, the facility will release funds quickly to affected poor countries and qualified international first-responder agencies. . . . 

. . . The so-called Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility will initially provide up to $500 million that can be disbursed quickly to fight a pandemic, with funds released once parametric triggers are met, based on the size, severity and spread of an outbreak.

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Beyond Contact Tracing: Community-Based Early Detection for Ebola Response

Introduction: The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa raised many questions about the control of infectious disease in an increasingly connected global society. Limited availability of contact information made contact tracing diffcult or impractical in combating the outbreak. 

Methods: We consider the development of multi-scale public health strategies that act on individual and community levels. We simulate policies for community-level response aimed at early screening all members of a community, as well as travel restrictions to prevent inter-community transmission. 

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One more time; keep the City Clean

Freetown after Independence in 1961 up to the early seventies was a reasonably clean city. Local dump sites for garbage were strategically located all over the city and were regularly cleared out by either the City Council or the Ministry of Health. The City Council was then a vibrant entity focused on providing municipal services to the City. Drains were cleaned out regularly by Council or through the services of Contractors such as the late Ajibu Jalloh and others. Markets were washed through an arrangement with the Fire Force. 

 

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Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) holds discussion on water crisis

The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) yesterday organized a round table engagement in their conference room on the acute shortage of water supply in Freetown and other parts of the country.

 

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Late Ebola Virus Relapse Causing Meningoencephalitis: a Case Report

thelancet.com - May 18, 2016 - DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(16)30386-5

Interpretation

Our report shows that previously unanticipated, late, severe relapses of Ebola virus can occur, in this case in the CNS. This finding fundamentally redefines what is known about the natural history of Ebola virus infection. Vigilance should be maintained in the thousands of Ebola survivors for cases of relapsed infection. The potential for these cases to initiate new transmission chains is a serious public health concern.

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A Chemical Reaction Revolutionized Farming 100 Years Ago. Now It Needs to Go

Anhydrous ammonia plant, ca. 1954. ROBERT W. KELLEY/TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES

Image: Anhydrous ammonia plant, ca. 1954. ROBERT W. KELLEY/TIME & LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES

wired.com - Sarah Zhang - May 16th 2016

Of all the elements that make up Earth’s atmosphere, nitrogen is by far the most abundant. It is also one of the most inert. Nothing happens when you breathe it in, swallow it, or let it suffuse your skin.

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