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Medical - global

The medical working group seeks to address issues affecting delivery of medical care to those in need.


Dr Ojia Adamolekun Gina Angiola

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Direct Relief - Medical Aid Shipment to Sierra Leone

Direct Relief - August 18, 2017

Direct Relief is sending 10,000 lbs of medical aid to Sierra Leone in response to the recent floods and mudslides.  Items including antibiotics, wound care and rehydration supplies left Direct Relief's warehouse today. Water purification supplies and oral rehydration salts will also be sent to help communities that have lost access to clean water.



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Haiti Receives 82 Tons of Urgently Needed Medical Aid


Direct Relief staff stage hundreds of pallets bound for Haiti in the organization’s Santa Barbara warehouse on Dec. 20, 2016. The shipment, valued at $39.9 million, is the largest in the organization’s 69-year history.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Dec. 28, 2016 – Direct Relief today airlifted 82 tons of medical aid to Haiti to help treat cholera and other diseases that have spread widely since Hurricane Matthew struck in October, incapacitating the country’s already overstretched health care system.

Direct Relief’s warehouse staff worked through the holidays to prepare 258 pallets of essential medications and supplies with a wholesale value of $39.9 million. The shipment – the largest by value in Direct Relief’s 69-year history – traveled by a chartered cargo jet from Los Angeles to Port-au-Prince.

Dozens of health care companies that support Direct Relief’s humanitarian health efforts contributed the supplies, augmented by funds contributed by donors to Direct Relief specifically for Hurricane Matthew assistance.



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Scientists breach brain barrier to treat sick patient

The blood-brain barrier protects the brain against toxins.

Image: The blood-brain barrier protects the brain against toxins. - November 10th, 2015

For the first time, doctors have breached the human brain's protective layer to deliver cancer-fighting drugs.

The Canadian team used tiny gas-filled bubbles, injected into the bloodstream of a patient, to punch temporary holes in the blood-brain barrier.

A beam of focused ultrasound waves applied to the skull made the bubbles vibrate and push their way through, along with chemotherapy drugs.


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Yemen: MSF Hospital Destroyed by Airstrikes


A young boy takes a photo of houses damaged in Saudi-led airstrikes. A hospital run by Doctors Without Borders was also hit in the attack. Associated Press - October 27, 2015

Airstrikes carried out late last night by the Saudi-led coalition in northern Yemen destroyed a hospital supported by the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), MSF announced today. 

The small hospital, in the Haydan district in Saada Province, was hit by several airstrikes beginning at 22:30 last night. Hospital staff and two patients managed to escape before subsequent airstrikes occurred over a two hour period.  One staff member was slightly injured while escaping. With the hospital destroyed, at least 200,000 people now have no access to lifesaving medical care.



CLICK HERE - Huffington Post - Doctors Without Borders Hospital In Yemen Hit By Airstrikes

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Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien Remarks to the Press, Juba, South Sudan, 25 July 2015

                                                               - UN OCHA - REMARKS TO THE PRESS - [as delivered]

Juba, South Sudan, 25 July 2015

Today I conclude my four-day visit to South Sudan where I had the opportunity to see for myself the impact of the devastating crisis. This is my first visit to South Sudan since I began my role as the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator that was almost two months ago. But I have been here few times before. My last visit to South Sudan was in April 2012 to assess the humanitarian situation then, in my capacity as an Under-Secretary of State for International Development in the United Kingdom.


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Experimental Ebola drug shelved; study explores virus clearance


Tekmira Pharmaceuticals  announced that it has suspended development of TKM-Ebola, a drug cocktail that showed disappointing human trial results in West Africa, as a convalescent plasma trial at a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) facility in Guinea proceeded with no ill effects in patients so far...

In suspending TKM-Ebola development, the company said that a joint reevaluation of its contract with the US Department of Defense is under way.

In another development, MSF said a convalescent serum trial at its facility in Nongo, Guinea, has enrolled 101 people over the last few months, with no ill effects reported so far, according to a Jul 17 update on the outbreak. Patients at the Nongo treatment unit have the option to receive plasma donated by Ebola survivors....

Meanwhile, detailed testing at a Swiss hospital on a 43-year-old doctor infected with Ebola in Sierra Leone found that viral decay occurred in two phases, once starting 72 hours after symptom onset before any antiviral interventions, with acceleration in viral load decay after ZMAb infusion and oral favipiravir treatments began..

Read complete article.

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Ebola outbreak help extends from space

Telemedicine and innovative devices could help reduce unnecessary exposures to virus

(Two items, scroll down.)

CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORP.                                                                                 July 19, 2015

Space technology such as satellite images and telemedicine could play a bigger role in helping to control the Ebola outbreak that's killed more than 11,250 people, a Canadian doctor says.

Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield holds the Microflow experiment to test how the instrument counts blood cells in orbit. Such space spinoffs have the potential to be applied to outbreaks of infectious diseases on Earth. (NASA)

This week's issue of the medical journal Lancet Infectious Disease includes a commentary titled "Help from Above — outer space and the fight against Ebola."

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'The Worst Atrocity You’ve Never Heard Of'

The ethnic cleansing unfolding in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan doesn’t get much coverage. But once you’ve witnessed it, says Nicholas Kristof, it will haunt you. By Adam B. Ellick on Publish Date July 13, 2015. Photo by Nicholas Kristof/The New York Times. - By ADAM B. ELLICK and NICHOLAS KRISTOF - July 13, 2015

You’ve heard of Darfur, and you know about the slaughter underway in Syria. But the worst ethnic cleansing you’ve never heard of is unfolding in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan, where the government is bombing villages, schools and hospitals and trying to keep out food and medicine.

It doesn’t get much coverage, partly because it’s difficult to get access to. But when you’ve seen these atrocities, they haunt you. So we slipped into the Nuba Mountains through rebel lines to try to document the killings. This video is the result.


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Scientists to share real-time genetic data on deadly MERS, Ebola

REUTERS by Kate Kelland                     April 21, 2015

LONDON, April 21 - Genetic sequence data on two of the deadliest yet most poorly understood viruses are to be made available to researchers worldwide in real time as scientists seek to speed up understanding of Ebola and MERS infections.

The project, led by British scientists with West African and Saudi Arabian collaboration, hopes to encourage laboratories around the world to use the live data -- updated as new cases emerge -- to find new ways to diagnose and treat the killer diseases, and ideally, ultimately, prevent them.

"The collective expertise of the world's infectious disease experts is more powerful than any single lab, and the best way of tapping into to make data freely available as soon as possible," said Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity which is funding the work.

The gene sequences, already available for MERS cases and soon to come in the case of Ebola, will be posted on the website for anyone to see, access and use.

Read complete story.

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Genes Influence How Mice React to Ebola, Study Says In ‘Significant Advance’

NEW YORK TIMES                        Oct. 30, 2014

By Gina Kolata

Some people exposed to the Ebola virus quickly sicken and die. Others become gravely ill but recover, while still others only react mildly or are thought to be resistant to the virus. Now researchers working with mice have found that these laboratory animals, too, can have a range of responses to Ebola, and that in mice, the responses are determined by differences in genes.

Researchers at the University of Washington have been studying the Ebola virus in mice, and have found that the effects of the virus may be determined by genes.Video and photo by University of Washington.

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