Ebola News Digest - December 23

December 24, 2014

map.pngMoH data by County/District

 

               WHO Ebola Data

 

Countries with Widespread and Intense Transmission of Ebola

Country

Source

Total Cases

**New cases reported in past 21 days

Total Deaths

**New deaths reported in past 21 days

Liberia

WHO Data 12/22/14

7,830

+195

3,376

+231

Sierra Leone

WHO Data 12/22/14

9,004

+1,692

2,085

+502

Guinea

WHO Data 12/22/14

2,597

+433

1,607

+280

Total:

 

19,431

+2,320

7,565

+1,013

*These numbers are subject to change due to on-going reclassification. **Estimate based on numbers reported 21 days prior.


Countries with Localized Transmission of Ebola

Country

Source

Total Cases

New cases in the past 21 days

Total Deaths

New deaths

Nigeria

WHO Roadmap 12/10/14

20

0

8

0

Senegal

WHO Roadmap 12/10/14

1

0

0

0

Spain

WHO Roadmap 12/10/14

1

0

0

0

USA

WHO Roadmap 12/10/14

4

0

1

0

Mali

WHO Roadmap 12/10/14

8

0

6

0

Total:

 

34

 

15

 


FEATURED NEWS   

A health worker wearing protective gear attends to a newly admitted suspected Ebola patient in a quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in Koidu, Kono district in eastern Sierra Leone, Dec. 19, 2014.

A health worker wearing protective gear attends to a newly admitted suspected Ebola patient in a quarantine zone at a Red Cross facility in Koidu, Kono district in eastern Sierra Leone, Dec. 2014.

Remembering Sierra Leone's Dr. Olivet Buck



Sierra Leone’s small medical community has been hit hard by the loss of 12 doctors, all of whom contracted Ebola while caring for infected patients. Among them was Dr. Olivet Buck, who served at the Lumley Government Hospital and died after being denied the chance to travel abroad for treatment. Local authorities blamed the World Health Organization for holding up the process. Cinnatus Dumbaya spoke to Dr. Buck's son, Jenner, in Freetown. Full story here


Untested Ebola drug given to patients in Sierra Leone causes UK walkout

Guardian--Ebola patients at a treatment centre in Sierra Leone have been given a heart drug that is untested against the virus in animals and humans, a move that has been deemed reckless by one senior scientist and has prompted UK medical staff at the centre to leave.

Better Ebola Tests Expected Within Months

New diagnostic tests to more rapidly and simply detect Ebola could be available for use in the West Africa epidemic in the next few months, the World Health Organization and partner agencies say. It now takes between nine hours and four days to get confirmation of a suspected case of Ebola in West Africa. By any measure, this is too long because the virus spreads quickly and more infections can occur while awaiting test results. Health agencies agree there is an urgent need for innovative ways to provide rapid, sensitive, safe and simple testing.

   

Ebola Survivor To Deliver On-Air Christmas Message

time --William Pooley will appear on British television on Christmas Day

       

A year after the first case of Ebola and many lessons later, the virus plods on

A year after the first case of Ebola and many lessons later, the virus plods on In one of the deadliest outbreaks, since first discovered in 1976, the virus has claimed the lives of over 7,533 people and infected over 19,000 in the West African nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, in a year's time. While the grip of Ebola has ;...

   

Ebola epidemic continues to spread, requiring intensified effort

Ebola epidemic continues to spread, requiring intensified effort After more than a year of Ebola transmission in Guinea and more than 7 months of transmission in Liberia and Sierra Leone, there is still much to be done to stop the world's first Ebola epidemic, CDC director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H reported from his second ;...

       

Death toll from Ebola in West Africa rises to 7,518 - WHO

(Reuters) - The death toll from Ebola in the three West Africa countries hardest hit by the epidemic has risen to 7,518 out of 19,340 confirmed cases recorded there to date, the World Health Organization said on Monday.

   

Sierra Leone: The Battle Against Ebola 'Is Far From Over'

AllAfrica--In a bid to curb the spread of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone, the international humanitarian organization, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), has opened new treatment centers in the capital Freetown and Magburaka.

   

US Officials Warn Against Complacency in Fight Against Ebola

voa--U.S. officials are worried that progress in the global effort to curtail the spread of the deadly Ebola virus could lead to overconfidence and a reemergence of an outbreak that has already claimed more than 7,000 lives.  Both health officials and lawmakers are warning the fight against Ebola may be entering its most critical phase. On the outskirts of Freetown in Sierra Leone, children laugh and play, smiles on their faces, survivors of an epidemic that claimed the lives of their parents. In neighboring Liberia, some markets are bustling again ahead of the Christmas holiday U.S. Democratic Senator Chris Coons, speaking on a phone conference from Monrovia, says it is impossible not to take notice.    

   

Courage of Ebola health workers should inspire greater efforts by all, says Ban

un.org--Citing the memorable and moving example of a Sierra Leonean nurse who had contracted Ebola but became a caregiver as soon as she had recovered, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that kind of commitment should move us all to do more to end the outbreak in West Africa.

   

   

Liberia: Ebola Survivors Face Health Problems

all africa--The program chairperson for Ebola Survivor Network in Liberia, Patrick S. Faley, is warning that survivors from the deadly Ebola virus across the country risk losing their sights.

    Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 11.51.48 AM

5 Things to Know about the Ebola Response This Week


UN Ebola mission launches surge effort in Sierra Leone. The Western Area of Sierra Leone is the “hotspot” in this Ebola outbreak at the moment, with the highest transmission of any of the three most affected countries. The Government of Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization, and partners, are sending in a massive surge of staff and resources to this area to intensify efforts to curb the spread of Ebola disease


Ebola epidemic continues to spread, requiring intensified effort

CDC--After more than a year of Ebola transmission in Guinea and more than 7 months of transmission in Liberia and Sierra Leone, there is still much to be done to stop the world’s first Ebola epidemic, CDC director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H reported from his second visit to the three affected nations. Dr. Frieden yesterday returned from West Africa, where he spoke with patients and staff; met with many of CDC’s 170 staff working in each of the countries; and met with the presidents, health ministers, and Ebola leadership of each country. He described the situation as both inspiring and sobering.


INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE

MSF: how a humanitarian charity found itself leading the world’s response to Ebola

BMJ--Médecins Sans Frontières was there at the start of the current Ebola outbreak in west Africa and has played a pivotal role in the global response—building health centres, training care staff, and even advising the United Nations, writes Sophie Arie. The charity has decades of experience in bringing volunteer doctors to where they are needed in emergency situations and for longer term humanitarian projects. This is why The BMJ has chosen MSF for its winter charity appeal this year.


Can Ebola's Deadly Rampage in Africa Be Stopped in 2015?

It's a dramatic picture — rows of empty white tents, the Ebola treatment units built just as the epidemic was waning in the Liberian capital, Monrovia. It looks so hopeful — maybe the international response is finally beginning to make a difference in an epidemic that's sickened 19,000 people and killed at least 7,000 of them. It's an appealing thought.


In the fight against Ebola, the power of local voices

Oxfam--In Guinea-Bissau, rural villages near the border of Guinea are at high risk for an Ebola outbreak, but community outreach efforts may make all the difference in protecting families and halting the spread of the disease.


Austria contributes additional €1 million to Ebola prevention

EU--Austria will contribute €1 million to the EU's Ebola prevention and preparedness programme in West Africa, in addition to more than €1.7 million the country has already dedicated to the Ebola response. The funding will go to a treatment centre for Ebola patients in Burkina Faso and the training of 130 doctors, nurses and other medical personnel.


US Ambassador advocates private sector involvement in fighting EVD

Mr Gene A. Cretz, Ambassador of the United States to Ghana, has encouraged private sector involvement in the fight against the Ebola Viral Disease (EVD). He said as part of efforts in fighting the disease, a dedicated team from several United States (US) agencies are working with the Ghanaian Government to prepare and plan for possible introduction of Ebola.


The Disparities Between International Volunteers & Local Ebola Doctors Will Shock You

When Dr Sekou Kanneh goes to work at his Sierra Leonean Ebola clinic, he will probably be in the "red zone" for many hours, ignoring by necessity strict limits that govern foreign colleagues fighting the epidemic.


US Troops Near End of Ebola Work in Liberia

The United States military is almost finished building Ebola treatment units in Liberia, raising questions about how long the soldiers will stay in the West African nation once their work is complete. Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, the commander of the military's Ebola task force, told The Wall Street Journal the U.S. will make a decision by the middle of next month on whether or not to keep the troops in the region, or perhaps send them to Sierra Leone or Guinea, or ship them back to the U.S


What Happens When Ebola Treatment Centers Close Down?

After 42 days with no cases of Ebola reported, MSF’s treatment center in Lofa, Liberia, is closing down. But what does that mean for the local health workers employed there? Kolubah Akoi reports. Lofa county is Liberia’s Ebola success story. In northern Liberia, close to the border with Guinea, the county was one of the worst-hit regions during the early days of the outbreak. The virus spread to the rest of Liberia from Lofa, making its way south to the capital, Monrovia. But now 42 days have passed with no cases of Ebola reported in Lofa, and MSF’s treatment center – which was receiving 130 patients per day at the height of the outbreak – is set to close down on December 12. It has been employing more than 500 workers.


Robust Responses from the Asia-Pacific Region to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa

US Dept. of State--All across the world, diplomats, scientists, doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, logistics experts, soldiers, and countless other men and women are working to stop the spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.  The response in the Asia-Pacific region, where our partners have valuable experience and lessons to share from having addressed the challenges of infectious diseases such as SARS and H5N1, is no different.  In fact, over the past few months, the response from the Asia-Pacific region to one of the most brutal epidemics the world has seen has been robust and generous. So much so that I’d like to share some highlights.


Ebola Dragnet Has Lots of Holes

scientific american--False reports and a lack of health care complicate Sierra Leone’s attempt to round up Ebola-positive individuals -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

   

Over 70 nhs Heroes Fighting Ebola This Christmas

Over 70 nhs Heroes Fighting Ebola This Christmas British medics are being thanked for their work to defeat the disease in Sierra Leone. The government extends a special thanks to the doctors, nurses and health specialists from across the UK who will spend Christmas Day in Sierra Leone helping to treat ;...

   

Ban Ki-moon calls for accelerated recovery efforts in Ebola-hit countries

Ban Ki-moon calls for accelerated recovery efforts in Ebola-hit countries UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for accelerated recovery efforts in Ebola-hit countries of Africa where the virus has wreaked havoc and claimed thousands of lives. Speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters upon his return from the affected ;...

   

South Korea Gives Ghana US$423000 To Build Ebola Treatment Centre

South Korea is supporting Ghana with US$423,000 to build an Ebola treatment centre in Tamale, capital of Northern Region (Province). The centre is the second such facility to be established in the country and is ;...

   

Ethiopia calls African nations to be more engaged in Ebola fight

Ethiopia calls African nations to be more engaged in Ebola fight Addis Ababa (AFP) - African nations need to be more engaged in the fight against the Ebola virus and stop relying on aid from Western governments, Ethiopia's prime minister said Monday. Hailemariam Desalegn said the response to the epidemic in west ;...

   

Ghana, Korea sign MoU to construct Ebola centre

Korea sign MoU to construct Ebola centre The Government of Korea is supporting Ghana with USD 423, 000 to construct an Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Tamale, the second to be established in Ghana. The Centre, expected to be completed in 12 weeks, is to improve the Ebola emergency ;...

   

CDC chief sees promising signs, long road ahead for Ebola hit countries

CIDRAP--The CDC director said Ebola outbreak conditions have improved since his first visit, but tough challenges remain.Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Print & PDF

   

Gambia’s Ebola prevention plan gets $0.5m W/Bank boost

The World Bank has approved a $500,000 reallocation of existing development funds from on-going health and nutrition projects to support Gambia prepare a plan in case of a possible Ebola outbreak, the Washington-based lender said on Monday. â??The Ebola epidemic in neighboring countries has affected tourism in The Gambia as people are afraid to travel [...]   

   

Update on the CDC Response to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: December 22, 2014 cdc.gov--Media telebriefing will include a public health assessment of the current status of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

   

Sierra Leone: Chinese Join With WFP To Stop The Spread Of Ebola

Today the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation (CFPA) are launching a public fundraising campaign with Tencent, one of the world?s largest internet companies, to raise funds to fight Ebola. Funds raised from the campaign will go towards WFP?s emergency operations to meet the basic food and nutrition needs of affected families and communities in the three countries worst affected by Ebola ? Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Working together, WFP, CFPA, Tencent, Chinese celebrities and social media users ? also known as ?netizens? ? will attempt to set two new online fundraising records, recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records; one for the most individual donations on a single online platform within 24 hours, the second for the most individual donations on a single online platform in one week.    

   

AFL, JFC-UA Soldiers team up on ETU build

africom--Soldiers of 104th Engineer Company, 62nd Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade, joined the armed forces of Liberia to build an Ebola treatment unit in Gbediah Dec. 19 during an Operation United Assistance mission. By working together, they will erect an Ebola treatment unit and maybe even some friendships.


COUNTERMEASURES                   

Ebola raises profile of blood-based therapy

Nature--Convalescent plasma therapy is trialled to fight Ebola, but could also be used for new and emerging pathogens. With no drugs available to treat Ebola, eyes are turning to a therapy that had largely been relegated to the history books: transfusing patients with blood plasma donated by survivors, which contains antibodies against the virus.


Fight Against Ebola: DNA Vaccines Hold Promise

DNA Vaccines Hold Promise Two experimental DNA vaccines against Ebola and Marburg viruses have been found to be safe and equally effective following trials on a group of African adults. Reuters. Reuters. Both the vaccines were found to generate similar immune response in a group ;...

   

BioCryst's Ebola drug shows promise in animal study

(Reuters) - BioCryst Pharmaceuticals Inc said its experimental broad-spectrum antiviral drug showed promise against Ebola when tested in monkeys.

   

Trial confirms Ebola vaccine candidate safe and equally immunogenic in Africa

medicalxpress--Two experimental DNA vaccines to prevent Ebola virus and the closely related Marburg virus are safe, and generated a similar immune response in healthy Ugandan adults as reported in healthy US adults earlier this year. The findings, from the first trial of filovirus vaccines in Africa, are published in The Lancet.

   

Tekmira to Provide TKM-Ebola-Guinea Therapeutic Product for Clinical Studies ... -  

Tekmira to Provide TKM-Ebola-Guinea Therapeutic Product for Clinical Studies ... Tekmira Pharmaceuticals Corporation, a leading developer of RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutics, announced today that the Company has entered into a Manufacturing and Clinical Trial Agreement with the University of Oxford to provide the new ;...   

   

Ebola vaccine 'promising in Africa'

bbc--Early trials in Uganda reveal an experimental Ebola vaccine is as safe in African populations as it is in American populations.

   

Ebola survivor's blood used to search for cure to deadly disease

Ebola survivor's blood used to search for cure to deadly disease For months, Vanderbilt University researcher Dr. James Crowe has been desperately seeking access to the blood of U.S. Ebola survivors, hoping to extract the proteins that helped them overcome the deadly virus for use in new, potent drugs. His efforts finally ;...

   

REGIONAL SURVEILLANCE

Guinea

Debt and hunger at birthplace of Ebola in Guinea

When 2-year-old Emile Ouamouno caught a fever, started vomiting, passed blood in his stool and died two days later, nobody knew why. Nor did anyone really ask. Life is unforgiving in this part of the world, and people often lose their children to cholera, malaria, measles, typhoid, Lassa fever and a host of other illnesses that have no name.


Liberia

U.S. Senator is first to visit Liberia since Ebola outbreak, asks ‘How do we get to zero?’

Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.), the first U.S. senator to travel to Liberia since the Ebola virus started spreading there  this year, said in a telephone call with reporters Monday that he has seen first-hand how international and local teams there had worked "to change the trajectory of the epidemic" in the country.


CDC assessment cites rural gaps in Liberia's battle with Ebola

CIDRAP--Though the disease's spread in crowded urban settings has been a unique feature of West Africa's Ebola situation, rural areas feeling the outbreak's impact have faced their own challenges, such as investigation teams in Liberia walking up to 8 hours and crossing several rivers to probe new cases.


German Ebola treatment center officially opened in Liberia

Liberia has hailed the official opening of its first German Ebola treatment center. The ceremony took place one day after global health officials announced that the Ebola death toll had passed 7,500.


Grand Bassa County Celebrates the IOM-managed Ebola Treatment Unit in Buchanan, Liberia

It is not your average Monday morning at the IOM-managed Ebola treatment unit (ETU) in Buchanan. The atmosphere is highly charged with the loud clapping, singing and dancing of the staff from Liberia. ?We are singing ?bomo bomo a pozuo? and thanking God for sparing our lives to see this day?, Victoria Davis, one of the counsellors explains. Honourable Etweda Cooper, the Grand Bassa County Superintendent echoes this sentiment as she declares, ?today we are proud to say we practically have it all.? She explains, ?we started off with an isolation unit of three rooms and no one had any clinical experience, but today we have an ETU ready to serve us. I hope no one comes to the ETU but I know that my people will be taken care of and cured and cured very quickly.   

   

'Situation in Liberia Much Better', Visiting CDC Director Declares

all africa --President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has received a delegation of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headed by its Director, Tom Frieden. According to an Executive Mansion release, at a meeting held at her Foreign Ministry office on Friday, December 19, President Sirleaf briefed the CDC delegation about the current state of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease and expressed appreciation to Mr. Frieden for the role of the CDC has played in the fight.

   

Ebola in Liberia: 'Healthcare workers are dying because of unsafe working conditions' - video

the guardian--Health workers on the Ebola frontline in Liberia say they are poorly paid and struggle for resources to carry out their work. As part of its Safe workers save lives campaign, the trades union federation, Public Services International, is calling for health workers to be given the right tools to do their job Continue reading...

   

WASHing ebola away

A minimum of 150 litres of water is needed for every Ebola patient, per day. Jene-Wonde is a two and a half hour drive from the capital Monrovia, over tarmac and pot-holed filled dirt roads, most of which has been washed away by the rains or rivulets that run across the roads. The small village, surrounded by jungle, and close to the border with Sierra Leone, is hard hit by the Ebola epidemic. Twenty five new confirmed cases of Ebola have been recorded here since September this year. This is the very reason why the county health team together with UNICEF and partners put up the rapid response center in the village. The Rapid Response Center comprises holding facilities for patients who have the signs and symptoms of Ebola, in a bid to quickly isolate and treat patients, and stop the further transmission of Ebola.

   

US to Complete Ebola Treatment Units in Liberia by End of December

wsj--The U.S. will complete the last of its Ebola treatment units in Liberia by the end of December, setting the stage for the military to decide next month whether to send some service members home or send them to another West African country, ;...   

   

Liberia Ebola Daily Sitrep no. 217 for 18th December 2014

Source: Government of Liberia, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy, Movement for Democracy in Liberia and Political Parties Country: Liberia

       

Ebola Creeping Into Northwestern Nimba

Ebola Creeping Into Northwestern Nimba With the Christmas and New Year celebrations just a few days away, the deadly Ebola virus is said to be raging in several towns and villages in Guinea bordering Nimba, posing a serious threat to lives and normal activities in Nimba County. The Daily ;...

   

400 Community Volunteers Trained in Safe Burial of Ebola Bodies

400 Community Volunteers Trained in Safe Burial of Ebola Bodies More than 400 members of the General Community Health Volunteer (GCHV) program have been trained to educate community dwellers in Montserrado County about safe and dignified burial of Ebola corpses. According to the Communication Development ;...

   

Turnout Low in Liberia Senatorial Elections, Ebola Precautions

Low in Liberia Senatorial Elections, Ebola Precautions Tubmanburg ??? Liberians are voting in senatorial elections marred with a lot of controversy, low turnout and a few incidents forcing some voters to turn away from voting. At the main University of Liberia campus, polls opened at 8:30, thirty minutes later than ;...

   

Sierra Leone   

On the Front Lines of Ebola’s Most Pressing Mystery

Wired--Alex Moigboi was panicking. He was preparing to enter the Ebola ward wearing just a pair of gloves and a plastic gown over his scrubs. It was totally inadequate—like a firefighter entering a burning building wearing a pair of Ray-Bans—and Alex knew it. But he couldn’t find the rest of the protective gear he needed: goggles, a Tyvek waterproof suit.


How Ebola had tainted the culture of Sierra Leone

Globe and Mail--The smells were overwhelming yet familiar. As I parked my little motorbike across from the Kingtom Cemetery, the tropical West African breezes bore only chlorine, garbage and exhaust fumes. There was no sweetness in the air. Ebola, and its devastating consequences, had settled over the land and polluted the breezes.


Locally-run Sierra Leone clinic fights Ebola against the odds

In Sierra Leone, there is no let up in the fight against Ebola. The country now accounts for more than half of the known cases of the disease. At the country’s only locally run treatment centre on the outskirts of Freetown staff are working around the clock to contain the virus. At the Hastings Centre junior doctor Sekou Kanneh had dreamed of being a top surgeon before the outbreak. Now he is putting all his efforts into fighting Ebola.


Sierra Leone's guardian of the dead is at work again

To find Andrew Kondoh, walk through the gates of Kenema's largest cemetery, where teams bury more than 50 bodies in white plastic bags each day. Look for the man with the wispy goatee and big belly who is overseeing one of the world's most chaotic, dangerous graveyards as if he's done it all before.


Sierra Leone: Ebola’s game changer… The missing player

You have to drink a lot of fluids, because when it comes it is very violent and can empty your system quite quickly. This results in a shock, which can lead to coma. So you drink a lot of water to keep your electrolyte balance and give your system a fighting chance to take on the virus.”


47 Medical Beds arrive from Japan

Government of Japan has continued their support to the people and Government of Sierra Leone in the fight against the Ebola virus with an additional donation of some 47 Medical Beds which arrived recently. The Project for the distribution of Emergency Vehicles and Medical Equipment for Ebola Virus Disease,” which is worth USD 397,749.00 has also arrived in the country under the same project.


   

Sierra Leone: Ebola Crisis: Doing whatever it takes

reliefweb.int - Author Unknown

Source: Save the Children Country: Liberia, Sierra Leone The Ebola epidemic which has coursed through West Africa began almost exactly a year ago with a boy in the forests of Guinea. Helping to stop the spread of the disease is a challenge unlike anything Save the Children has ever faced before. But the choice we faced was clear: fear or act. And the need to act could not have been more stark. By now, the high death rates and horrific symptoms have pervaded public consciousness. But the impact of Ebola has gone far beyond the 18,603 reported cases and 6,915 reported deaths. At least 3,700 children have lost one or both parents to the disease. They now face uncertain futures, with fear of the disease sometimes overcoming the urge of their communities to care for vulnerable children. Health systems risk collapse Ebola has killed at least 349 health workers in countries where they are already far too scarce. Now, children and families are afraid to visit health clinics for fear of contacting the disease or...

       

Exhausted Sierra Leone medics battle Ebola in the 'red zone'

(Reuters) - When Dr Sekou Kanneh goes to work at his Sierra Leonean Ebola clinic, he will probably be in the "red zone" for many hours, ignoring by necessity strict limits that govern foreign colleagues fighting the epidemic.

   

Sierra Leone: Supporting Health Workers and Saving Lives on Ebola Front Lines

Training and protective supplies help health workers in Ebola treatment units AmeriCares team on the front line of West Africa?s Ebola outbreak continues efforts to protect health workers who are at greatest risk from the deadly virus and to provide them with the rigorous training and sufficient supplies necessary to stay safe, treat victims and contain the outbreak. While progress has been made in slowing the spread of Ebola in Liberia through the Ebola Treatment Units and community outreach, this international public health emergency has infected more than 620 health workers and killed 346, including doctors and nurses.

   

Ebola Virus Disease - Situation Report (Sit-Rep) 22 December, 2014

Source: Government of Sierra Leone Country: Sierra Leone   

   

Sierra Leone: Ebola Outbreak Updates - December 22, 2014

   

Sierra Leone: Christian leaders frown at Operation Surge

Christian leaders under the banner of the Body of Christ in Sierra Leone have demanded for a through explanation on the ongoing operation mounted by the government aimed at ridding the capital of the Ebola virus. Operation Western Area Surge was launched last week and part of the measures announced was a ban on outdoor [...]   

   

Ebola Slows in Sierra Leone As Community Records Zero Infection for Weeks

Slows in Sierra Leone As Community Records Zero Infection for Weeks The discharge of the last Ebola patient from Sierra Leone's Kailahun district, has further heightened hopes that the increase in incidence of the disease in the country is slowing down. The District Medical Officer of Kailahun, James Squire, on Monday ;...

   

Ethiopian soldiers could replace Sierra Leone troops in Somalia

(Reuters) Ethiopia is willing to deploy more troops to the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia rather than rotating in another group from Sierra Leone, given Ebola fears, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said on Monday.


Sierra Leone: Easing the distress of communities reeling from the Ebola outbreak

We were close. He was my staff. When they called us that he died, it was so painful. Since then, I’ve not been myself. I can?t sleep. I’m very uncomfortable. At the same time I said, okay, the glove I wore, was I well protected? Those are the types of thoughts going through my mind right now. I feel bad. Sister Anthonia is from southeast Nigeria but has been on mission in Pendembu, Kailahun district, Sierra Leone for more than two years. She is now grieving the death of a colleague, a young lab technician of 24 years of age, who passed away after coming into contact with a relative suffering from Ebola. Her grief is evident as we sit outside a small café in the mid-day heat in Kailahun, the epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in this country.    

   

Ottawa social worker providing psychosocial support in Ebola treatment centre

Social worker Lindsay Jones recently arrived at the Red Cross Ebola treatment centre in Kenema, Sierra Leone. The Ottawa resident is there to provide psychosocial support to patients being treated for the virus. She describes some of the heartwarming and heartbreaking moments she has experienced.

       

S/Leone Ebola: Military hospital releases first batch of Ebola survivors

Sierra Leone`s 34th Military Hospital has over the weekend released its first batch of Ebola survivors, the center said Monday.The center located at the Wilberforce Barracks, in the west end of the capital Freetown, has released 3 patients on Saturday and is set to release 10 more this week, it said. The survivors had undergone [...]The post S/Leone Ebola: Military hospital releases first batch of Ebola survivors appeared first on News - StarAfrica.com.

   

Untested Ebola drug given to patients in Sierra Leone causes UK walkout

the guardian--Use of amiodarone heart drug at Lakka centre in Freetown deemed reckless by scientist as 14 medical staff withdraw over safety fears. Ebola patients at a treatment centre in Sierra Leone have been given a heart drug that is untested against the virus in animals and humans, a move that has been deemed reckless by one senior scientist and has prompted UK medical staff at the centre to leave.A 14-strong team of British doctors, nurses and paramedics stopped working at the Lakka treatment centre in Freetown because of their concerns over what they considered the experimental and potentially dangerous use of the drug, and other safety issues.    

   

Taming Sierra Leone's Ebola Spread

Freetown -Sierra Leone is scrambling more health personnel and deploy more equipment to curb the rampant spread of Ebola in Western Area region which currently accounts for half the infections in the country.

   

Sierra Leone News: PIH working to eradicate Ebola in Salone

PIH working to eradicate Ebola in Salone nurse Partners in Health (PIH), a medical Non-Governmental Organization is currently working in the Ebola stricken countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. They are currently doing intensive work in Port Loko to eradicate Ebola from the country. Operations ;...

   


SITREPS

Sierra Leone: UN Ebola Intervention: A New Beginning For International Emergency Response

On December 19th, on his first tour of the Ebola-hit West African countries, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated that the ongoing U.N. mission to counter the spread of Ebola should be a short-term one. Earlier, on December 1st, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Liberia and Guinea ? two out of three Ebola-stricken countries ? met their targets for safe burials of Ebola victims. Two weeks prior, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Guinea had finally stabilized, leaving only Sierra Leone in the grip of the disease. Some observers have taken the success in Liberia and Guinea to mean that the international response to the epidemic is beginning to have impact.  

   

UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) External Situation Report 22 December 2014

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon concluded his visit of the region. UNDP has supported the payment of hazard entitlements to 16.000 workers in Sierra Leone through mobile cash transfers. Key Political and Economic Developments 1 . United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a three-day tour of the region on Friday and Saturday, visiting Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Mali and Ghana. He met with the leaders of those countries as well as with survivors of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), healthcare workers and UN staff. In Liberia, the SG participated in an Incident Management System (IMS) meeting with EVD response partners, where he discussed current trends and the next steps in the response. He warned against complacency at what remains a critical time.    


   

ECONOMIC, SECURITY, INFRASTRUCTURE IMPACT

UN warns Ebola-linked farm losses could threaten banking in W. Africa

Reuters--The Ebola epidemic threatens rural banking in three West African countries with the potential to disrupt agriculture next year as farmers won?t have access to credit to buy seeds and fertilizer, two UN officials warned on Monday.

       

UN warns Ebola-linked farm losses could threaten banking in W. Africa

The Ebola epidemic threatens rural banking in three West African countries with the potential to disrupt agriculture next year as farmers won't have access to credit to buy seeds and fertilizer, two UN officials warned on Monday. Read the full article on AlertNet.

   

IMF cuts blamed for Ebola spread

bbc--Spending cuts imposed by the International Monetary Fund may have contributed to the rapid spread of Ebola in West Africa, UK-based researchers say.

   


SOCIOLOGICAL AND ANTHROPOLOGICAL FACTORS

Easing the distress of communities reeling from the Ebola outbreak   

IFRC--    “We were close. He was my staff. When they called us that he died, it was so painful. Since then, I’ve not been myself. I can’t sleep. I’m very uncomfortable. At the same time I said, okay, the glove I wore, was I well protected? Those are the types of thoughts going through my mind right now. I feel bad.” Sister Anthonia is from southeast Nigeria but has been on mission in Pendembu, Kailahun district, Sierra Leone for more than two years. She is now grieving the death of a colleague, a young lab technician of 24 years of age, who passed away after coming into contact with a relative suffering from Ebola.


As Ebola Lingers, 1.4 Million Students' Hopes On Hold

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the country early this year has forced Liberian education to fall by the wayside.

   

West Africa: ISurvivedEbola Campaign Goes On-Air in Liberia, Expands to Sierra Leone

PCI Media Impact and Vulcan Productions announced on December 22, in collaboration with UNICEF, an expansion of radio and video programming of the West African multimedia project #ISurvivedEbola across Liberia and Sierra Leone.

   

Liberia: Filling the education gaps

UNICEF is developing alternative learning methods to fill part of the education gaps created by the Ebola outbreak. By Helene Sandbu Ryeng??Paynesville. Liberia. Seventeen year old Charlesefta Yeebahy is standing in the doorway, leaning on the frame, gazing at the familiar scenery outside her family?s home. ?I?m just at home, not doing much. Sometimes I help my mother in the small shop she?s running, but most of the time I?m here doing nothing? she says with a sigh. Due to the Ebola outbreak schools did not resume after the August break in Liberia. It has now been six months since she attended school. ?I?m in a real hurry to get back to school because I?m going to be a doctor someday?, says Charlesefta.


Ebola: limitations of correcting misinformation

Lancet--Communication and social mobilisation strategies to raise awareness about Ebola virus disease and the risk factors for its transmission are central elements in the response to the current Ebola outbreak in west Africa.1 A principle underpinning these efforts is to change risky “behaviour” related to “traditional” practices and “misinformation”. Populations at risk of contracting Ebola virus disease have been exhorted to “put aside, tradition, culture and whatever family rites they have and do the right thing”.2 Messages designed to correct perceived misunderstandings3 include: “Ebola is caused by a virus. Ebola is not caused by a curse or by withcraft”;4 “science and medicine are our only hope”;5 and “traditions kill”.5

PREPAREDNESS

National health systems Africa’s big public health challenge

afro.who--No region needs to scale up its health systems more than Africa. People get sick and die in many cases because the systems for disease prevention and control are not in place or ? if they are ? they do not function properly. This is not only the case in Ebola-affected countries in West Africa but also in non-affected countries throughout the African Region. By any measure of health system function ? immunization coverage, skilled birth attendance, malnutrition, and maternal and child mortality ? the Region is in poor shape, despite recent improvements. In spite of all the obstacles, a unique opportunity exists for governments to produce and implement bold strategies that can have large health and economic benefits.    


UPDATES ON RECOVERING HCW

Ebola-infected Italian doctor 'recovering'

Ebola-infected Italian doctor 'recovering' An Italian doctor who contracted Ebola in west Africa is recovering but is still in an isolation unit, the specialist clinic in Rome treating him said Monday. The Spallanzani institute said on Twitter that the 50-year-old medic -- who has not been named -- was in a ;...

   

REPORTS FROM THE FIELD

Ebola: James' story

BBC--An animated account of a survivor's experience of Ebola.


Medic tells of discovering ebola death

Medic tells of discovering ebola death A BRADFORD professor has spoken of his sadness following the first ebola death at the new hospital he is volunteering at in Sierra Leone. Professor John Wright travelled to West Africa last month and is heading up a team of NHS volunteers. A new hospital ;...   

   

An Ebola Fighter Named Moses Leads Orphans to Safety

Time Magazine just named "The Ebola Fighters" its 2014 Person of the Year. What motivates individuals to dive into the throes of a dangerous pandemic in order to save innocent people's lives? An Ebola worker named Moses recently shared his story with me. This Moses, a 46 year old Sierra Leonean man, may not walk on water, but he has walked the walk of a public servant for decades, working tirelessly to lead children and shunned individuals out of the red sea of blood and trauma in Sierra Leone and nearby Liberia. Moses was called to action early. After graduating with Honors in Linguistics in a Freetown college and working as a language arts school teacher, the Sierra Leone Civil War exploded on him and his country. Rebel troops abducted over twenty thousand children, drugging, molesting, and forcing them to serve as child soldiers. Moses formed the Defense for Children International SL and became a project supervisor at the International Rescue Committee for the psychological adjustment and social integra...   

   

Woman Who Saved Family From Ebola Will Attend Nursing School In U.S. (How To Help)

Fatu Kekula didn't have a hazmat suit or physician's expertise. She did, however, have trash bags, some nursing training and the determination to save lives amid the Ebola outbreak. And she succeeded. Now, with the support of one American university and a growing pool of inspired supporters, the 22-year-old Liberian woman is set to finish her nursing education in the U.S., possibly free-of-charge with the help of donors. Over a two-week period in August, Kekula personally cared for all of her immediate family members -- her 52-year-old father, 57-year-old mother and 28-year-old sister -- when they contracted Ebola. She used rubber boots, gloves and a mask (along with the trash bags) for protection, as CNN reported. They all survived. Although Kekula's 14-year-old cousin died of the disease in her care, Kekula's efforts produced a 25 percent mortality rate -- significantly lower than the 70 percent overall average founded by the World Health Organization. UNICEF Spokeswoman Sarah Crowe told CNN that K...

   

SCIENCE AND TECH

DoD Scientists Work Globally to Improve Disease Diagnostics

defense.gov--Defense Department scientists are working around the world to improve disease diagnostics with many supporting the U.S. Ebola response in West Africa.

   


PUBLISHED EBOLA RESEARCH

Physicians' Obligations to Patients Infected with Ebola: Echoes of AIDS.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - Minkoff H, Ecker J

Physicians' Obligations to Patients Infected with Ebola: Echoes of AIDS. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2014 Dec 18; Authors: Minkoff H, Ecker J Abstract Physicians across the United States are engaged in training in the identification, isolation and initial care of patients with Ebola. Some will be asked to do more. The issue this viewpoint will address is the moral obligation of physicians to participate in these activities. In order to do so the implicit contract between society and its physicians will be considered, as will many of the arguments that are redolent of those that were litigated 30 years ago when AIDS was raising public fears to similar levels, and some physicians were publically proclaiming their unwillingness to render care to those individuals. We will build the case that if steps are taken to reduce risks-optimal personal protective equipment (PPE) and training-- to what is essentially the lowest possible level then rendering care should be seen...

   

Sierra Leone doctors call for better Ebola care for colleagues.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - Shuchman M

Sierra Leone doctors call for better Ebola care for colleagues. Lancet. 2014 Dec 17; Authors: Shuchman M PMID: 25530440 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

   

Announcement: Interim U.S. guidance for monitoring and movement of persons with potential Ebola virus exposure.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Announcement: Interim U.S. guidance for monitoring and movement of persons with potential Ebola virus exposure. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Oct 31;63(43):984 Authors: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) PMID: 25518066 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

   

The 2014 Ebola Outbreak and Mental Health: Current Status and Recommended Response.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - Shultz JM, Baingana F, Neria Y

The 2014 Ebola Outbreak and Mental Health: Current Status and Recommended Response. JAMA. 2014 Dec 22; Authors: Shultz JM, Baingana F, Neria Y PMID: 25532102 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

   

Recombinant Marburg viruses containing mutations in the IID region of VP35 prevent inhibition of Host immune responses.

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov - Albariño CG, Wiggleton Guerrero L, Spengler JR, Uebelhoer LS, Chakrabarti AK, Nichol ST, Towner JS

Recombinant Marburg viruses containing mutations in the IID region of VP35 prevent inhibition of Host immune responses. Virology. 2014 Dec 19;476C:85-91 Authors: Albariño CG, Wiggleton Guerrero L, Spengler JR, Uebelhoer LS, Chakrabarti AK, Nichol ST, Towner JS Abstract Previous in vitro studies have demonstrated that Ebola and Marburg virus (EBOV and MARV) VP35 antagonize the host cell immune response. Moreover, specific mutations in the IFN inhibitory domain (IID) of EBOV and MARV VP35 that abrogate their interaction with virus-derived dsRNA, lack the ability to inhibit the host immune response. To investigate the role of MARV VP35 in the context of infectious virus, we used our reverse genetics system to generate two recombinant MARVs carrying specific mutations in the IID region of VP35. Our data show that wild-type and mutant viruses grow to similar titers in interferon deficient cells, but exhibit attenuated growth in interferon-competent cells. Furth...

   

Ebola: protection of health-care workers

Lancet--The Ebola outbreak in west Africa has taken a substantial toll on health-care workers in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone—not only doctors and nurses, but also other cadres including ambulance drivers, hospital cleaners, and burial team members. More than 600 of the nearly 17 000 cases of Ebola virus disease have been in health-care workers, more than half of them fatal. In today's issue of The Lancet we pay tribute to several of the health workers who have lost their lives to the disease since the outbreak began a year ago. Many of the doctors who have died were medical educators in their nations, representing a tragic loss for the next generation of health workers in Africa.


Can Ebola be a route to nation-building?

Lancet--At one of the first meetings of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, someone is reported to have said that if anyone present wanted to use Ebola as a reason to strengthen health systems they should leave the room. The Ebola response was about one goal and one goal only—getting to zero cases. How times have changed. Last week, WHO convened a High-Level Meeting on Building Resilient Systems for Health in Ebola-Affected Countries. What seems clear now is that Ebola in west Africa is not (only) about Ebola.

Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus

E Levin-Sparenberg, R Gicquelais, N Blanco… - American Journal of …, 2014

In 2014, the world experienced the largest known outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in

history. Several countries in West Africa were affected, and the case fatality rates reached

60%. The world panicked as the outbreak seemed to spiral out of control and news of the ...

[PDF] Ebola experts seek to expand testing.

D BUTLER - Nature, 2014

Arriving at an Ebola treatment centre outside Sierra Leone's capital, Freetown, I heard

celebratory singing and clapping: three survivors of the disease were preparing to leave.

Staff at the centre in Kerry Town, which is run by the non-profit organization Save the ...

A race for an Ebola vaccine: promises and obstacles

CL Cooper, S Bavari - Trends in Microbiology, 2014

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[HTML] Correlating the ability of VP24 protein from Ebola and Marburg viruses to bind human karyopherin to their immune suppression mechanism and pathogenicity using …

S Chakraborty, B Rao, B Asgeirsson, A Dandekar - F1000Research, 2014

Abstract Immune response suppression is crucial for viral invasion. The protein VP24 is

pivotal in achieving this in Ebola, although interestingly the mechanism of immune

suppression is different in the closely related Marburg virus. Here, we illustrate that a ...

The unprecedented scale of the West African Ebola virus disease outbreak is due to environmental and sociological factors, not special attributes of the currently …

D Gatherer - Evidence Based Medicine, 2014

An outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD), caused by Zaire ebolavirus, beginning in south-

eastern Guinea in December 2013, 1 but not formally identified until 23 March 2014, has

spread to the neighbouring countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali, with limited ...

Ebola: Implications for the Clinical Laboratory

RE Rohde - Clinical laboratory science: journal of the American …, 2014

ABSTRACT ASCLS is proud to announce that Dr. James Griffith and Dr. Rodney E. Rohde,

two highly respected laboratory scientists specializing in the fields of infectious disease and

public health, have composed an article that we hope will dispel some myths and ...

Physicians' Obligations to Patients Infected with Ebola: Echoes of AIDS

H Minkoff, J Ecker - American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 2014

Abstract Physicians across the United States are engaged in training in the identification,

isolation and initial care of patients with Ebola. Some will be asked to do more. The issue

this viewpoint will address is the moral obligation of physicians to participate in these ...

Airport exit and entry screening for ebola-august-november 10, 2014.

CM Brown, AE Aranas, GA Benenson, G Brunette… - MMWR. Morbidity and …, 2014

In response to the largest recognized Ebola virus disease epidemic now occurring in West

Africa, the governments of affected countries, CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO),

and other international organizations have collaborated to implement strategies to control ...


[HTML] Complete Genome Sequences of Three Ebola Virus Isolates from the 2014 Outbreak in West Africa

T Hoenen, A Groseth, F Feldmann, A Marzi, H Ebihara… - Genome Announcements, 2014

ABSTRACT Here, we report the complete genome sequences, including the genome

termini, of three Ebola virus isolates (species Zaire ebolavirus) originating from Guinea that

are now being widely used in laboratories in North America for research regarding West ...

Infection control: Ebola aware; Ebola beware; Ebola healthcare

C Scully, L Samaranayake, S Petti, RG Nair - British Dental Journal, 2014

Send your letters to the Editor, British Dental Journal, 64 Wimpole Street, London, W1G 8YS

e-mail: bdj@ bda. org. Priority will be given to letters less than 500 words long. Authors must

sign the letter, which may be edited for reasons of space. Readers may now comment on ...

Ebola in children: Epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis and outcomes.

P Olupot-Olupot - The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, 2014

Abstract Ebola virus disease (EVD) is caused by a highly contagious and pathogenic

threadlike RNA virus of the Filoviridae family. The index human case is usually a zoonosis

that launches human-to-human transmission interface with varying levels of sustainability ...

Small molecule inhibitors of ebola virus infection

E Picazo, F Giordanetto - Drug Discovery Today, 2014

Abstract Ebola viruses are extremely virulent and highly transmissible. They are responsible

for sporadic outbreaks of severe hemorrhagic fevers with human mortality rates of up to

90%. No prophylactic or therapeutic treatments in the form of vaccine, biologicals, or small ...

[PDF] Severe Ebola virus disease with vascular leakage and multiorgan failure: treatment of a patient in intensive care

T Wolf, G Kann, S Becker, C Stephan, HR Brodt… - The Lancet, 2014

Background In the current epidemic of Ebola virus disease in western Africa, many aid

workers have become infected. Some of these aid workers have been transferred to

specialised hospitals in Europe and the USA for intensified treatment, providing the ...

License to Serve—US Trainees and the Ebola Epidemic

L Rosenbaum - New England Journal of Medicine, 2014

PERSPECTIVE n engl j med nejm. org 2 for instance, division chair Brian Zink sent out an e-

mail message calling them “heroes” and asking others to “gift a shift”—and he was the first to

sign up. The University of California, San Francisco, created a “vacation bank” where ...

UNCERTAINTY, RISK ANALYSIS AND CHANGE FOR EBOLA PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT GUIDELINES

CR MacIntyre, AA Chughtai, H Seale, GA Richards… - International Journal of …, 2014

In early September 2014, we were the first to publicly challenge the guidelines of the World

Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and

those of many countries which suggested that medical masks be used by health care ...

Ebola in the United States

R Lindblad, A El Fiky, T Zajdowicz - Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 2014

ScienceDirect is phasing out support for older versions of Internet Explorer on Jan 12, 2016.

For the best product experience, we recommend you upgrade to a newer version of IE or

use a different browser: Firefox or Chrome. For additional information please see the ...

Offline: Can Ebola be a route to nation-building?

R Horton - The Lancet, 2014

At one of the first meetings of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, someone is

reported to have said that if anyone present wanted to use Ebola as a reason to strengthen

health systems they should leave the room. The Ebola response was about one goal and ...

[PDF] Ebola and the social media

ICH Fung, ZTH Tse, CN Cheung, AS Miu, KW Fu - crisis, 2014

In October 2014, during heightened news coverage about cases of Ebola in the USA,

anecdotal observations suggested that many Americans were anxious about Ebola. Given

the negligible risk of infection, their anxiety was arguably driven by perceived rather than ...

Remembering health workers who died from Ebola in 2014

A Green - The Lancet, 2014

A recent graduate of the University of Liberia's AM Dogliotti College of Medicine, he was

completing a medical internship when he volunteered to help with the country's Ebola

response. He died in Monrovia, Liberia, on Oct 18, 2014.

Ebola: limitations of correcting misinformation

C Chandler, J Fairhead, A Kelly, M Leach, F Martineau… - The Lancet, 2014

Communication and social mobilisation strategies to raise awareness about Ebola virus

disease and the risk factors for its transmission are central elements in the response to the

current Ebola outbreak in west Africa. 1 A principle underpinning these efforts is to change ...


EBOLA COLLABORATION SITES AND RESOURCES

Mapping

Logistics

Collaboration

______________________

Blogs worth the Read

______________________

NEW! Program on Forced Migration and Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health

 


Science/Research

 


Published Research

News Sources

Education

Video: Understanding Ebola

CDC Ebola Case Definition

Checklist for Healthcare Coalitions for Ebola Preparedness

AFRICOM: Preventing and Understanding Ebola

UNICEF Posters and Fact Sheets

TED Ideas

Twitter Feeds to Follow

@MackayIM

@jwgale

@lisaschnirring

@healthmap

@marynmck

@nprGlobalHealth

@reutersafrica

@WHO

@BBCafrica

@CIDRAP

@claudinnetweets

@ECDC_Outbreaks

@filovir

USG Sites

UN Sites

WHO


Digest by:

Claudinne Roe

INTELINK

(U) claudinne.r.roe@ugov.gov

(410) 854-9536

CSC Contractor

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