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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Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh Launches National Open Data Portal

 

By John Baimba Sesay -Freetown

Deputising His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma, Vice President Victor Bockarie Foh on Friday,15th May, launched the National Open Data Portal at the Credentials Hall,State House, Freetown.

Speaking,at the event,Vice President Foh said,the launch of the Open Data Portal today, was a milestone continuation of government’s zeal for openness and transparency.

“In our modern world, communications through electronic media is becoming a major way of ensuring transparency; more information could be transmitted via electronic means, and this Portal will utilize this new means of communication to reach out to many more people”,Vice President Foh said.

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Ambulance Driver Sentenced 12 Months To Male Correctional Centre

Port Loko, April 8, 016 (MOHS) – Magistrate Sahr Kekura of the Masiaka Magistrate Court on Friday 8th April, 2016 sentenced Josie Lappia an ambulance driver attached to the Endemic Disease Unit of the Bo Government Hospital to 12 months imprisonment at the Male Correctional Centre or pay a fine of One Million Leones.

It could be recalled that Josie Lappia was caught on the 9th March 2016 with passengers and goods on board the vehicle at the Masiaka/Bo highway charged on one count for misusing government vehicle other than its intended purpose.

Defence Counsel for the accused, Lawyer Sidikie Tommy knowing the integrity of the offence and the mitigation pleaded for the accused and asked that the Magistrate temper justice with mercy as that was his first offence.

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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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President Koroma Opens West Africa’s Biggest Palm Oil Refinery In Pujehun

The President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma  has official opened the largest palm oil refinery  in the country and in West Africa at Sahn-Malen Chiefdom, Pujehun District.

SOCFIN Company has invested over $US 130 million to reach this stage, planting 12,319Ha of hybrid oil palm trees and building a mill currently with a 30t/hr of Fruit Bunch(FFB) capacity and able to increased to 60t/hr
President Koroma says Sierra Leone is now for business.

 

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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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A marked point in the fight against Zika

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Zika Virus

In 1947, a study of yellow fever yielded the first isolation of a new virus, from the blood of a sentinel rhesus macaque that had been placed in the Zika Forest of Uganda.1 Zika virus remained in relative obscurity for nearly 70 years; then, within the span of just 1 year, Zika virus was introduced into Brazil from the Pacific Islands and spread rapidly throughout the Americas.2 It became the first major infectious disease linked to human birth defects to be discovered in more than half a century and created such global alarm that the World Health Organization (WHO) would declare a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.3 This review describes the current understanding of the epidemiology, transmission, clinical characteristics, and diagnosis of Zika virus infection, as well as the future outlook with regard to this disease.

EPIDEMIOLOGY

 

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Zika Virus Infection with Prolonged Maternal Viremia and Fetal Brain Abnormalities

The current outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) infection has been associated with an apparent increased risk of congenital microcephaly. We describe a case of a pregnant woman and her fetus infected with ZIKV during the 11th gestational week. The fetal head circumference decreased from the 47th percentile to the 24th percentile between 16 and 20 weeks of gestation. ZIKV RNA was identified in maternal serum at 16 and 21 weeks of gestation. At 19 and 20 weeks of gestation, substantial brain abnormalities were detected on ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) without the presence of microcephaly or intracranial calcifications. On postmortem analysis of the fetal brain, diffuse cerebral cortical thinning, high ZIKV RNA loads, and viral particles were detected, and ZIKV was subsequently isolated.

read more at: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1601824

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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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White House to transfer Ebola funds to combat Zika virus

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is to announce Wednesday it will transfer leftover money from the largely successful fight against Ebola to combat the growing threat of the Zika virus, congressional officials say.

Roughly 75 percent of the $600 million or so would be devoted to the Centers for Disease Control, which is focused on research and development of anti-Zika vaccines, treating those infected with the virus and combating the mosquitoes that spread it. The rest would go to foreign aid accounts to fight the virus overseas.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter before the White House announcement.

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