While the fight against Ebola continues in Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea, one vital measure for epidemic preparedness has emerged: a robust community health system.
The Global Health Media Project has produced a cartoon video, The Story of Ebola. The video presents the Ebola virus in scientific, yet understandable terms for West African countries still facing the viral threat.
The resurgence of Ebola in Liberia is a sharp reminder that all efforts to fight the epidemic must remain high and that the international community should continue to be mobilized.
Today in New York the world is coming together to pledge resources for the recovery of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia. And this is support they need urgently. But it will also be an occasion to sound the alarm bell that the emergency response to the epidemic must not wane now.
When Pardis Sabeti rollerblades to her lab at Harvard on a warm spring day, she may come up with a discovery that saves lives before she puts on her skates to go home that night. It's happened before and at the rate she's going, it's likely to happen again.
Bordering Sierra Leone, Forécariah is 60 miles and over four hours of bumpy, dusty, traffic-laden routes out of the country's coastal capital of Conakry. With only a small portion of Guinea's 12 million people, Forécariah's population of 136,000 represents 80 percent of all new Ebola cases since January.
Liberia has less than 13 months to assume full responsibility for its own security, as the UN peacekeeping mission draws down. With many Liberians uneasy at the prospect of an eventual withdrawal of the mission, the government needs to establish clear priorities now to be prepared.
Disease in Africa is a perennial problem and cannot be resolved with short-gap measures such as occasional interventions when there are epidemics. The problem is structural and systemic and requires the West to address the actual problem and not make Africa recipients of perpetual Western charity
Save the Children has been hard at work over the last year in order to help bring the world to this point. In Liberia, we've reached over 165,000 people, built two Ebola Treatment Centers, provided psychosocial support to more than 5000 children, reunified 65 children with their families and much, much more. But we didn't do all of this alone.
Public health officials and practitioners from around Africa and from international public and private organizations, businesses, and universities, met in Accra, Ghana June 9-11 to consider ways to scale-up the coverage of high-quality community health worker systems in our countries to achieve universal health coverage.
It's hard to believe but I first posted the article that this is adapted from almost two years ago to the day. Little has changed other than Ebola drawing the world's attention away from MERS until a new and significant outbreak erupted in east Asia three weeks ago after being introduced by a traveler returning from the Middle-East.
Escalating tensions between the US and China, while ominous, offer a useful reminder that the artificial division of our world into separate nation-states may no longer serve us, and present a compelling reason to consider a better model.
The New York Blood Center has abandoned a colony of 66 chimps in Liberia that its research teams used in experiments for three decades, reports James Gorman of the New York Times in a story today. This story is not just about the chimpanzees, but also about the caregivers who have sacrificed so much.
While celebrating as the World Health Organization declared Liberia Ebola-free on 9 May, neighboring Sierra Leoneans are still struggling to put an end to Ebola in their country. Seeing the crucial front-line roles women play as caregivers, UN Women partnered with UNMEER, to support the women of Sierra Leone.
It is documented that Ebola virus remains in the sperm and breast milk of survivors, for up to 90 days or longer, indicating that the virus is sexually and maternally transmitted. Aid agencies distribute condoms to men who recovered from Ebola, disregarding reported failures in adherence to "don't have sex for 3 months."
Something African leaders have deftly avoided discussing in the wake of the Ebola outbreak is the impact their corrupt and incompetent governance has had on how they (mis)manage such crises.