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Emergency Management

Hospitals Improvise Ebola Defenses, at a Cost

ASSOCIATED PRESS                                                                                         Nov. 18, 2014

By David Caruso

NEW YORK ---What does it take to Ebola-proof a hospital?

Over the past few months, U.S. medical centers have spent millions of dollars putting together a plan to treat patients with the scary, but extremely rare disease.

To a large extent, it has been an exercise in improvisation.

A medical worker stands outside a patient care room in a new custom-built bio-containment unit for potential Ebola cases at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York. The unit, built over two weeks, is completely separate from the main medical buildings and can house three patients simultaneously. (AP Photo/John Minchillo

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U.S. was ill-equipped to handle Ebola rescues, State Dept. contract reveals

      

For now, the world has to rely on a small, Georgia-based flight company for Ebola evacuations. (AP)

Life-saving gear needed to fly sick patients was in storage as epidemic grew

news.yahoo.com - by Jason Sickles - November 11, 2014

The air ambulance operation tasked with rescuing U.S. Ebola victims from West Africa was initially slowed by bureaucratic bungling and is now at risk of being overburdened as thousands of American troops deploy to fight the deadly disease.

Yahoo News has learned the U.S. government spent millions last decade to develop and build two of the world’s only isolation chambers for flying contagious patients — but as the epidemic raged in West Africa this summer and American aid workers there needed evacuating, the medical inventions were packed away in a small-town Georgia warehouse.

The troubling lack of preparedness by federal agencies forced the State Department to put up $4.9 million as part of a rushed contract to employ a commercial aviator to safely evacuate Ebola-infected Americans from West Africa.

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No Time for a Learning Curve: Nigeria’s Crucial Success against Ebola


AFRICA CENTER FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES, Washington D.C.                        Nov. 12, 2014

Summary of lessons learned from Nigeria and Uganda in containing outbreaks of Ebola

“If a country like Nigeria, hampered by serious security problems, can do this – that is, make significant progress towards interrupting polio transmission, eradicate guinea-worm disease and contain Ebola, all at the same time,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, “any country in the world experiencing an imported case can hold onward transmission to just a handful of cases....”

"Numerous African states have identified and refined the best ways of containing the disease."

Read complete report

http://africacenter.org/2014/11/no-time-for-a-learning-curve-nigerias-crucial-success-against-ebola/?utm_source=November+14++2014+EN&utm_campaign=11%2F14%2F2014&utm_medium=email

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Liberia to end Ebola state of emergency

Sirleaf said her country would not become complacent after the gains made in fight against Ebola [Getty Images]14 Nov 2014 07:54 aljazeera.com

President Sirleaf says while country has made progress against virus, more still needs to be done to end the epidemic.

Liberia's President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said that she would not seek an extension to a state of emergency imposed in August over Ebola.

Her announcement on Thursday is a sign of progress in the fight against the disease, which has killed more than 2,800 people in Liberia since breaking out in West Africa in March.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2014/11/liberia-end-ebola-state-emergency-201411145555126551.html

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7 Key Insights in Using ICT to Improve Ebola Response

Image: A billboard that reads 'Stop the Ebola Virus'

Image: A billboard that reads 'Stop the Ebola Virus'

ictworks.org - October 31st 2014 - Wayan Vota

Yesterday, we had the 85th Technology Salon in Washington, DC, this one focused on How Can ICTs Improve Our Ebola Response? Be sure to sign up to get invited to our next event.

In the lively morning-long discussion with 35 key thought leaders and decision makers from across the technology and development sectors, we came to several interesting conclusions.

(VIEW COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Here's How Nigeria Beat Ebola

 

  MOTHER JONES                       Oct. 10, 2014

—By

LAGOS -- Nigeria's success in stopping the outbreak could have implications for other countries, including the United States. That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dispatched a team to the country this week to learn what went right.

So how did local and international health authorities curb Ebola in Nigeria while infections have continued to rise dramatically in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea?

Read full article, with charts and posters

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/10/nigeria-ebola-cdc

An Ebola warning at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos

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The fight to save the last Ebola-free district in Sierra Leone

THE WASHINGTON POST                               OCT. 10, 2014

... The last region in Sierra Leone untouched by Ebola sits in the rugged, mountainous north, in a place called the Koinadugu district. It is a poor place, dependent on small farms and gold mines, the largest of the country’s 14 districts by land size and home to 265,000 residents. The district borders Guinea, where the current Ebola outbreak began and first spilled over into Sierra Leone. Koinadugu is surrounded by districts dealing with hundreds of Ebola cases.

But Koinadugu has kept the virus at bay.

Momoh Konte, shown at his office in Freetown,  returned to Sierra Leone from Washington to help his home district fight against Ebola. (Photo by Tanya Bindra for The Washington Post)

It is a remarkable feat, a source of pride for district residents, a source of hope for the entire struggling nation, and a curiosity to epidemiologists tracking the worst Ebola outbreak in history...

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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.

 Read full story

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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

See Full Story

http://www.voanews.com/content/ebola-mobile-technology-contacts-tracing-magpi/2477835.html

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Dallas Hospital Alters Account, Raising Questions on Ebola Case

NEW YORK TIMES          Oct. 3, 2014

DALLAS TEX.      

On Thursday, the hospital, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, released a statement essentially blaming a flaw in its electronic health records system for its decision to send the patient — Thomas E. Duncan, a Liberian national visiting his girlfriend and relatives in the United States — home the first time he visited its emergency room, Sept. 25. It said there were separate “workflows” for doctors and nurses in the records so the doctors did not receive the information that he had come from Africa.

But on Friday evening, the hospital effectively retracted that portion of its statement, saying that “there was no flaw” in its electronic health records system. The hospital said “the patient’s travel history was documented and available to the full care team in the electronic health record (E.H.R.), including within the physician’s workflow.”

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