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What to expect from the World Bank spring meetings

The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund spring meetings kick off on Tuesday, once again filling the bank’s Washington, D.C., headquarters with development professionals, policymakers, economists, advocates and a slew of other influential leaders seeking to shape the future of global development.

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Senegal battle ready for Ebola with new treatment centres

After being declared Ebola-free months ago, Senegal is still relentless in controlling any possible outbreak of the Ebola virus in its country.

With a dozen tents and twelve beds surrounded by a double fence, an Ebola emergency treatment centre has been built in the Fann Hospital in Dakar to contain the virus in case it penetrates the country’s porous borders,RFI reports.

The centre, a partnership between the government, Red Cross and the Japanese cooperation, will also be used for outbreaks associated with other infectious diseases.

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Choosing modern medicine over traditional healers in Ebola-affected Guinea

In many African societies, traditional healers are solicited for many reasons. They are called healers or witch doctors for their talents in hunting evil spells and for their mastery of medicinal plants. They are listened to and respected by communities who have full confidence and trust in their skills. It is how these men and women earn a living.

During the Ebola epidemic response, traditional healers were quickly identified as key actors to help raise awareness about the disease in communities, particularly in remote areas where they maintain close relationships with the people they serve.

Doumbouya Idrissa is a traditional healer and President of the Traditional Healers Network of the Lower Guinea region in Guinea. Known as Simbo, which means “strong man” in Sussu, one of the local languages, he played a key role in the mobilization of traditional healers and their commitment to help end the outbreak through the sharing of knowledge on symptoms and preventive measures.

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Regaining the People’s Trust in the Health System: What Will It Take?

 

Community engagement helped turn the tide of Ebola, and will be critical in combatting this latest outbreak.

This is no secret. Getting trusted community members, religious leaders, and local media on board increased adoption of difficult, often alien preventive behaviors like safe burials, which ultimately helped stop the spread of the disease.

But there’s a broader lesson here. If we are to prevent future epidemics, communities need to remain actively engaged in efforts to strengthen the health sector.

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Study: Life-saving health care in poor nations would cost $5 per person

SUNDAY, April 10, 2016 -- The cost of health care that could save the lives of millions of children and their mothers every year would be less than $5 per person, researchers report. 

The money would expand basic health services -- such as birth control, nutritional supplements and medication to treat serious illnesses such as pneumonia and malaria -- in 74 low- and middle-income countries. Those countries account for more than 95 percent of mother and child deaths each year, according to the study published April 9 in The Lancet.

The researchers reported that, worldwide, in 2015 nearly 6 million children under age 5 died, as did more than 300,000 women from pregnancy-related causes.

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Brazilian scientists find new Zika-linked brain disorder in adults

Scientists in Brazil have uncovered a new brain disorder associated with Zika infections in adults: an autoimmune syndrome called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, or ADEM, that attacks the brain and spinal cord.

 

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What Is Zika? Five Questions About the Virus Pitting the White House Against Congress

Where did Zika virus come from?

Zika was first noticed in Africa, in Uganda's Ziika forest (yes it's spelled with two i's) in 1947. It spread slowly at first, and seemed to be a pretty harmless virus, causing hardly any symptoms at all in most people. But it picked up speed in around 2007 when it started spreading in the South Pacific and it showed up inBrazil in 2013, according to the latest research. Because hardly anyone in the Americas has immunity to Zika, it's spread explosively since then.

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How would Indiana respond to global smallpox outbreak?

Ebola. Pandemic flu. And now the Zika virus. These emergencies all test the mettle of the world’s public health officials.

Those who would face such a challenge must have some sense of what to do.

“We need to be prepared, and quite frankly, the country is underprepared,” said U.S. Rep Susan Brooks, who Wednesday convened a group of about 40 public health workers and other would-be first responders to run through a training exercise at the Fishers Public Library.

Dr. W. Craig Vanderwagen, former assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, led the thought experiment into how to handle a blossoming smallpox outbreak that starts in Europe and rapidly spreads overseas.

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Fighting Zika Mosquitos With Tires

With 33 countries in the Americas now identified as carrying the Zika virus, the need for a solution to the epidemic is great. But with limited funds in the regions where it’s spreading the fastest, the need for a cost-effective one is even greater.

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Health needs from humanitarian emergencies at an all-time high

 WHO and partners need US$ 2.2 billion to provide lifesaving health services to more than 79 million people in more than 30 countries facing protracted emergencies this year, according to WHO’s Humanitarian Response Plans 2016 launched today.

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