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Strengthening Data Sharing for Public Health

This project aims to develop guidelines on how to create the right environment for public health data sharing and achieve good practice. The project will take these recommendations to key stakeholders within global health to provide support for pushing the established norms for data sharing towards a model where data are shared as openly as is possible and appropriate.


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Mining Ebola tweets yields valuable outbreak information

MEDICAL NEWS TODAY                                                    June 2, 2015
(Scroll down for study.)
Last year, in the 3 days before the outbreak was officially announced, over 60 million people received tweets about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, say the authors of a new study published in the American Journal of Infection Control that investigates the useful role that Twitter can play in outbreak monitoring and control.

In the 3 days prior to Nigeria's official announcement about Ebola, Twitter users had already shared around 1,500 tweets about the outbreak....

Social media allow users to play active roles in spreading news. Users can share insights, opinions, fears and ideas, outside the contexts of conventional public health channels.

For their study, two researchers from Columbia University School of Nursing in New York, analyzed Ebola-related tweets posted over a week in the early stages of the West African outbreak - from July 24th to August 1st 2014....

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Nurses with Tablets and Bikers with Smartphones Join Ebola Fight - by Joseph D'Urso

. . . For a two week trial, researchers employed locals to scoot around the province on small motorbikes known as okadas, collecting household, health and population data from villages on simple smartphones.

They travelled in pairs, one riding the motorbike and one using a GPS-enabled smartphone running an Android operating system, preloaded with a specially designed, simple programme for storing the necessary information.

When they arrived in a village they interviewed a village leader or representative to gather as much information as possible, and log GPS coordinates, essential in a region where village names are often duplicated or spelt differently.

Nic Lochlainn said it takes a long time to learn to use the sophisticated satellite devices usually used for mapping but users could master this software in hours and the data let experts assign Ebola cases to specific villages more accurately.

The scheme covered 950 villages in two weeks, and the cost was "very modest" compared with sending foreign aid workers into the field or commissioning detailed satellite imagery, she said.


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Phone and Web Companies Race to Reconnect Quake-Hit Nepal


"Beach ball" mobile antenna being inflated in Chautara, Nepal, image provided by the World Food Programme, 12 May 2015. - - by Joseph D'Urso - May 12, 2015

LONDON, May 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Buildings wrecked by Tuesday's earthquake in Nepal, already weakened by last month's huge quake which killed over 8,000, will take years to rebuild. But another type of infrastructure will bounce back much sooner: communication networks.

Enabling aid workers and civilians to access the internet, make a phone call or send a text is now seen as a vital part of any humanitarian response. The World Food Programme (WFP) has deployed some innovative kit to make this possible in Nepal.




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WHO Director-General Addresses High-Level Meeting on Ebola R&D


From crisis to sustainable development: lessons from the Ebola outbreak - May 10, 2015

. . . three changes will do the most to improve the world’s collective defence against the infectious disease threat.

First, invest in building resilient communities and well-performing health systems that integrate public health and primary health care. Ideally, health systems should aim for universal health coverage, so the poor are not left behind. This requires new thinking and a new approach to health development.

Second, develop the systems, capacities, and financing mechanisms needed to build surge capacity for responding to outbreaks and humanitarian emergencies.

Third, create incentives for R&D for new medical products for diseases that primarily affect the poor. A fair and just world should not let people die for what boils down to market failure and poverty.

These three things also fit well with the coming agenda for sustainable development that seeks to distribute the benefits of economic growth more evenly and respects our planet’s fragile resources.

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Virtual Volunteers Use Twitter And Facebook To Make Maps Of Nepal

Kathmandu Living Labs' earthquake site collects data about conditions and needs. Each blue dot represents the number of reports of help wanted — medical, food, water or shelter — near Kathmandu. Kathmandu Living Labs

Image: Kathmandu Living Labs' earthquake site collects data about conditions and needs. Each blue dot represents the number of reports of help wanted — medical, food, water or shelter — near Kathmandu. Kathmandu Living Labs - May 5th 2015 - David Lagesse

These pleas for help in the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake have popped up on ever changing maps of the disaster zone, compiled and posted by hundreds of digital volunteers around the globe. They've not been to Nepal and very likely haven't met each other, instead working together through online forums and chat rooms and posting their work to Web documents and maps.


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Liberia: Radio Plays 93 Percent in Fight Against Ebola - MOH & Unicef Study Reveals

ALL AFRICA  THE NEW REPUBLIC Liberia by Reuben Sei Waylaun May 6, 2015
MONROVIA -- A study conducted by the Social Mobilization and Behavior Change Communication at the Ministry of Health in collaboration with UNICEF has shown that radio played significant roles in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in the country.

The head of the Social Mobilization and Behavior Change Communication, Rev. John Sumo said radio played a critical role in the awareness figuring to 93% out of the study conducted on 1100 households in the five worst hit counties in December 2014.

He said, "during the study, 93% of the respondents said they first learnt about Ebola from the radio. They acknowledged that radio messages were complimented in collaboration with information from their closest neighbors and the print media...."

Read complete story.

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How the Media Struggled in Nepal’s Earthquake Rescue

Drone footage shot by ABC cameraman Brant Cumming in the Gorkha district shows buildings reduced to rubble by the April 25 earthquake. This video highlights the remoteness of the affected areas in Nepal and the difficulties faced by rescue personnel struggling to reach them.

submitted by George Hurlburt - by Gerard Fitzgerald, Apil Gurung, and Bharat Raj Poudel - May 5, 2015

The media in Nepal has been instrumental in keeping people connected and updated about the recent magnitude 7.8 earthquake that hit the country on Saturday April 25.

However, initially the quake did not create a major reaction, as small scale tremors are not uncommon in the country. The Nepalese people were also unclear about the extent of the disaster as local media struggled to react to the earthquake.

The reality of the scale of the disaster began to sink in when heartbreaking pictures of the damage started emerging. Live footage and pictures from the international media gave some insight into the extent of the devastation in the earthquake ravaged nation.

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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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Resources - Energy - Communication - Water - Sanitation

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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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