Category : Guinea

(BBC) Ebola outbreak: Liberia has no new cases for a week

Liberia has gone a week without reporting any new cases of Ebola, the first time such a milestone has been reached since May 2014, the World Health Organization says.

But officials say there have been 132 new cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone in the week to 1 March.

They have warned that populations are so mobile in the area that there could easily be fresh outbreaks in Liberia.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Pastoral Theology, Sierra Leone, Theology

(NYT) Ebola Doctors Are Divided on IV Therapy in Africa

Medical experts seeking to stem the Ebola epidemic are sharply divided over whether most patients in West Africa should, or can, be given intravenous hydration, a therapy that is standard in developed countries. Some argue that more aggressive treatment with IV fluids is medically possible and a moral obligation. But others counsel caution, saying that pushing too hard would put overworked doctors and nurses in danger and that the treatment, if given carelessly, could even kill patients.

The debate comes at a crucial time in the outbreak. New infections are flattening out in most places, better-equipped field hospitals are opening, and more trained professionals are arriving, opening up the possibility of saving many lives in Africa, rather than a few patients flown to intensive care units thousands of miles away.

The World Health Organization sees intravenous rehydration, along with constant measuring of blood chemistry, as the main reason that almost all Ebola patients treated in American and European hospitals have survived, while about 70 percent of those treated in West Africa have died.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Science & Technology, Sierra Leone

(GR) Five glimpses of faith in Time's story on 'The Ebola Fighters' as 2014 Person of the Year

Is there a religion angle on this story? Of course. Kudos to Time for making that abundantly clear.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Media, Religion & Culture, Sierra Leone

(BBC) Ebola outbreak: West Africa death toll nears 7,000

The number of people killed by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has risen to 6,928, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

The toll has increased by over 1,000 since the WHO’s last report on Wednesday, but it includes unreported deaths from earlier in the outbreak.

Experts say the infection rate is more significant that the death toll, as it reflects how the virus is spreading.

Infection rates are decreasing in Liberia, but are high in Sierra Leone.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

(NYT) Researchers Seek Crucial Tool: A Fast, Finger-Prick Ebola Test

Searching for a new way to attack Ebola, companies and academic researchers are now racing to develop faster and easier tests for determining whether someone has the disease.

Such tests might require only a few drops of blood rather than a test tube of it, and provide the answer on the spot, without having to send the sample to a laboratory.

The tests could be essential in West Africa, where it can take days for a sample to travel to one of the relatively few testing laboratories, leaving those suspected of having the disease in dangerous limbo.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Education, Ethics / Moral Theology, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Science & Technology, Sierra Leone, Theology

(Post-Gazette) Ebola outbreak fails to generate donations for emergency aid

After a devastating earthquake rocked the island nation of Haiti in January 2010, unsolicited checks immediately poured into Brother’s Brother Foundation ”” a North Side nonprofit that collects and ships medical supplies to hospitals and clinics worldwide and focuses on places in need of emergency aid.

But in the months since the Ebola virus crisis has dominated news reports, Brothers’ Brother has received, on average, one $25 check per day for Ebola relief efforts.

“It’s just not [generating] the same volume compared to other international disasters,” said Karen Dempsey, vice president of development and administration for the nonprofit, which last week loaded a 40-foot container headed to Sierra Leone in West Africa with face masks, protective gowns, gloves and medical supplies donated by hospitals.

While the earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane Sandy, the Indian Ocean tsunami and other tragedies raised millions of dollars for victims within days after they occurred and inspired celebrities to organize benefit concerts broadcast during prime time, nonprofits that provide assistance for the Ebola outbreak relief say the public has been slow to step up and donate.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Sierra Leone

(VOA) US Envoy Samantha powers: 'Staggering' Need in Ebola Response

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations called attention to the need for a greater response to the Ebola outbreak that has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa.

Samantha Power posted on Twitter early Monday, after spending a day in Guinea, that the “scale of need is staggering” and that the “most basic resources will help save lives.”

She is on a multistop tour this week of the worst-hit countries, including Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Power also highlighted the efforts of those already working in Guinea to treat patients, build treatment facilities and educate people, including Doctors Without Borders and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

(BBC) Ebola crisis: Archbishop of York urges worship in 'small groups'

People of faith in countries struggling to combat the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola should not meet in large numbers, the UK’s Archbishop of York has said.

Dr John Sentamu, a senior Anglican cleric, urged people in countries such as Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia to practice their faith alone or in small groups, to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Read it all (video also available).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Archbishop of York John Sentamu, Ethics / Moral Theology, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Mali, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sierra Leone, Theology

(Bloomberg) Ebola-Stricken Doctor Passionate for Helping Africa Care

The first Ebola patient diagnosed in New York City is a young emergency medicine doctor at Columbia University Medical Center with a passion for improving health care in Africa and other countries.

Craig Spencer, 33, was rushed from his apartment at 546 West 147th Street to Bellevue Hospital at about noon on Thursday, after reporting a fever and stomach pain. About nine hours later, officials confirmed he was infected. In a Sept. 18 Facebook posting, Spencer wrote that he was headed to Guinea, a country where the Ebola virus is raging, to work with the international aid group Doctors Without Borders.

He most recently posted on Facebook from a hotel in Brussels in mid-October, when a friend wished him a safe trip home. A marathon runner and banjo player, the young doctor used his page on Facebook to urge his friends to support his fight against Ebola

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Guinea, Health & Medicine

(BBC) Ebola serum for Africa patients within weeks, says WHO

Serum made from the blood of recovered Ebola patients could be available within weeks in Liberia, one of the countries worst hit by the virus, says the World Health Organization.

Speaking in Geneva, Dr Marie Paule Kieny said work was also advancing quickly to get drugs and a vaccine ready for January 2015.

The Ebola outbreak has already killed more than 4,500 people.

Most of the deaths have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Corporations/Corporate Life, Drugs/Drug Addiction, Economy, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Science & Technology, Sierra Leone

Keep Perspective and Learn the Ebola Facts–17 cases treated outside of W Africa

At least 17 Ebola cases have been treated outside of West Africa in the current outbreak, including two Dallas hospital workers who have tested positive for Ebola. Most of these involve health and aid workers who contracted Ebola in West Africa and were transported back to their home country for treatment. Four cases were diagnosed outside of West Africa: A Liberian man who began showing symptoms four days after arriving in Dallas, a Spanish nurse who became ill after treating a missionary in a Madrid hospital and the two Dallas hospital workers who were involved in the treatment of the Liberian man. These cases are compiled from reports by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders and other official agencies.

Read it all and examine the map.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Defense, National Security, Military, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Media, Pastoral Theology, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

(BBC) Ebola epidemic 'could lead to failed states', warns WHO

The Ebola epidemic threatens the “very survival” of societies and could lead to failed states, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

The outbreak, which has killed some 4,000 people in West Africa, has led to a “crisis for international peace and security”, WHO head Margaret Chan said.

She also warned of the cost of panic “spreading faster than the virus”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, History, Liberia, Nigeria, Psychology, Sierra Leone, Theology

CDC: Ebola could infect 1.4 million in Liberia and Sierra Leone by end of January

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa, already ghastly, could get worse by orders of magnitude, killing hundreds of thousands of people and embedding itself in the human population for years to come, according to two worst-case scenarios from scientists studying the historic outbreak.

The virus could potentially infect 1.4 million people in Liberia and Sierra Leone by the end of January, according to a statistical forecast by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Tuesday. That number came just hours after a report in the New England Journal of Medicine warned that the epidemic might never be fully controlled and that the virus could become endemic, crippling civic life in the affected countries and presenting an ongoing threat of spreading elsewhere.

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Update: The elves also recommend the latest post on Ebola at Lent & Beyond, with a graph showing the cumulative number of cases of Ebola in West Africa. There are also suggested prayer points, and links to donate to several charities on the frontlines in the Ebola struggle.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Nigeria, Politics in General, Sierra Leone, Theology

(Post-Gazette) Ebola, the scorecard The virus is winning as the world plays catch up

It’s nine months into the biggest Ebola outbreak in history, and the situation is going from bad to worse. The outbreak simmered slowly in West Africa from December, when the first case was retrospectively documented, through March, when it was first recognized by international authorities. Now, terms like “exponential spread” are being thrown around.

Already, the number of cases (about 5,800 as of Sept. 22) and deaths (2,800) has dwarfed the numbers from every reported Ebola outbreak in history. And the case count is doubling every three weeks. Here’s where we stand….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

SIM Calls for a Week of Prayer for Ebola Crisis (Sept 29 – Oct 5) and launches #PraytoendEbola

[color=red]This post is sticky look for new entries below[/color]

For more info: PraytoendEbola website and #PraytoendEbola and Pray to End Ebola on Facebook. Lent & Beyond is posting daily Ebola Crisis Prayers.

SIM, a Christian mission organization which has been on the frontlines of the fight against Ebola in West Africa has called for a special week of intercessory prayer, urging Christians around the world to join together in prayer against the Ebola outbreak that is ravaging West Africa. Here is an excerpt from their exhortation to prayer:

[blockquote]The fight against Ebola in West Africa has been going on since the beginning of 2014. As the final quarter of the year approaches, the spread of this deadly disease is escalating out of control. The infection rate and death toll continue to rise; hundreds of health workers serving on the front lines to fight the disease have been taken by it; and the resources brought to bear still pale in comparison to the desperate needs. What seems to us to be a desperate situation is not impossible for God. May our prayers be heard and used by God to accomplish the impossible.

Therefore, as brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, let us join together around the world for a full week of focused prayer beginning September 29 through October 5. Our desire is for prayers to be raised continually on behalf of those infected and affected by the Ebola virus, for the sick and dying, for the courageous health workers, for grieving families, for pastors trying to serve their churches and communities, for government officials and decision makers who formulate policies and responses, for protection for those working in educating communities, and for all those waking up each day to the devastation of Ebola.

Though we are troubled, we do not despair. Though we grieve, we are not without great hope. For two millennia, the Church has prioritized the sick and marginalized. We are called to do no less today.[/blockquote]
[blockquote]May the God who answers prayer, the God to whom we pray, the God who walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death so that we may fear no evil, may this God turn His face towards us and by His power and wisdom guiding all those involved, bring an end to the spread of Ebola. May He bring many who live without the knowledge of Jesus into relationship with Him. Updated prayer requests and other resources can be found at www.praytoendEbola.org . [/blockquote]

Please read the full details at the PraytoendEbola website. Please note if you scroll down to the bottom of the home page of the Pray to End Ebola website, there is a place to sign up for regular prayer updates via email. There will also be updates on Twitter: #PraytoendEbola. Lent & Beyond is posting daily Ebola prayers using the Ebola Crisis Prayers tag.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Spirituality/Prayer

(Bloomberg) Ebola Worst-Case Scenario Has More Than 500,000 Cases

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa could spread to hundreds of thousands more people by the end of January, according to an estimate under development by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that puts one worst-case scenario at 550,000 or more infections.

The report, scheduled to be released next week, was described by two people familiar with its contents who asked to remain anonymous because it isn’t yet public.

The projection, which vastly outstrips previous estimates, is under review by researchers and may change. It assumes no additional aid or intervention by governments and relief agencies, which are mobilizing to contain the Ebola outbreak before it spirals further out of control in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

A look at the rise in Ebola cases since June 2014

A T19 reader did some number crunching and kindly sent us the following chart showing the cumulative number of Ebola cases in each affected country since June 4, 2014. Data is compiled from the WHO disease outbreak reports. – the elves

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

[Economist] Ebola: Fever Rising

[i]Given the discussion about Ebola in the current open thread, this article from the Economist may be of interest. The graphs comparing Ebola with other diseases in West Africa, and per capita health spending in various countries are worth looking at. – the elves.[/i]

Ebola is now exposing how hard it is to contain an outbreak, particularly in poor countries. Stopping Ebola should, in theory, be straightforward. There is no cure, but there are ways to treat victims that will maximise their chance of survival and help prevent transmission. Patients should be isolated and kept hydrated, their blood pressure monitored and secondary infections treated. Those who have come into contact with the infected should be watched to see if symptoms develop. If none emerge within 21 days, the person can be deemed virus-free.

But all this is labour-intensive. “You still have to have a cadre of people who at the end of the day are able to go out there,” explains Ian Lipkin of Columbia University. That depends on strong health systems or substantial international help. In this case, there was neither.

The outbreak began in three of the world’s poorest countries. Guinea spends $62 per person on health each year, compared with $3,364 in Britain. Sierra Leone has two doctors per 100,000 people, compared with 245 in America (see chart). Such health workers as are available in the countries affected by Ebola are under severe strain. About 150 have been infected and 80 have died, the WHO said on August 8th. Médecins Sans Frontières, a non-profit organisation that has 680 health workers in the region, now says that its staff “simply cannot do more”.

Read it all.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone

(BBC) Summit to discuss Ebola emergency starts

Global health experts at the World Health Organization are meeting to discuss new measures to tackle the Ebola outbreak.

The meeting – being held in Geneva, Switzerland – is expected to last two days and will decide whether to declare a global health emergency.

That could involve imposing travel restrictions on affected areas.

The outbreak began last February and has since spread to four African countries, claiming nearly 900 lives.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Anthropology, Ethics / Moral Theology, Europe, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Nigeria, Pastoral Theology, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, Theology

(HS Today) Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History Could Spread to US

Now recognized as the largest Ebola outbreak in history, the most recent eruption of the disease in three countries in West Africa — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — has claimed more than 670 victims, spurring international concern that the disease is only a plane ride away from spreading to other countries, including the United States.

“Our government has declared this now as a humanitarian crisis that is above the control of the national government,” Tolbert Nyenswah, Liberia’s assistant minister of health, told CBS News, adding that, “This virus, if it is not taken care of, will be a global pandemic.” Nyenswah is calling for more international aid to stop the spreading of the disease.

With no cure and a mortality rate as high as 90 percent, the Ebola epidemic serves as a grim reminder that even with the advent of modern medicine, the spread of deadly infectious diseases is not relegated to history.

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Update: In the span of four days, the Ebola epidemic in West Africa claimed 57 more lives and has resulted in 122 new cases says the WSJ–read it all also.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Ethics / Moral Theology, Globalization, Guinea, Health & Medicine, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Theology

(AFP) Guinea scrambles to contain deadly Ebola outbreak

Aid workers and medics battled Monday to contain west Africa’s first outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus as tests on suspected cases in Conakry allayed fears that it had spread to the capital.

More than 60 people have died in an outbreak of the virulent virus raging through Guinea’s southern forests but tests on three haemorrhagic fever cases — two of them fatal — in Conakry were negative, the government said.

“The Pasteur Institute in Dakar worked urgently all last night on samples taken from suspected cases here in Conakry which were all negative,” said Sakoba Keita, the health ministry’s chief disease prevention officer.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Africa, Guinea, Health & Medicine