#AceNewsServices – LONDON – October 27 – While the ‘The Ebola crisis in West Africa continues to impact on many public services’ Scheduled flights in and out of the most affected parts of the region are now limited, and this means that our courier routes at this time are less reliable.
As a result, UKVI must unfortunately suspend its Priority Visa Service in West Africa.
Whilst our Priority “Fast Track” Service will not be available until further notice, UKVI is committed to ensuring that our standard service is not compromised during the crisis and we will continue to assess visit visa applications within 15 working days.
This measure is temporary and we regret any inconvenience it may cause to our customers.
#AceWorldNews – NEW YORK – October 26 – The nurse who was quarantined at a New Jersey hospital because she had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa criticized the way her case has been handled, raising concerns from humanitarian and human rights groups over unclear policies for the newly launched quarantine program.
Kaci Hickox, the first traveller quarantined under Ebola watches in New Jersey and New York, wrote the first-person account for the Dallas Morning News (http://bit.ly/1w4Vi4J), which was posted on the paper’s website Saturday.
Her preliminary tests for Ebola came back negative.
#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – October 26 – Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby on the Change of Responsibility for Operation United Assistance.
Today in Monrovia, Liberia, Major General Gary Volesky of the U.S. Army 101st Division assumed command of Joint Forces Command – Operation United Assistance and the fight against Ebola in West Africa.
Just 38 days ago, Major General Darryl Williams arrived in Liberia to form an advance detachment in his capacity as Commanding General, U.S.
Army Africa prior to the formal establishment of this Joint Forces Command.
In this short period, our service members, under his leadership, have made great advances in establishing command and control capabilities for this effort including lines of communication over very rough terrain.
Over 1,500 samples from patients have been tested in three labs, two of which were established earlier this month. These labs can now provide 24-hour turn-around results, and are capable of processing up to 100 samples from clinics and healthcare providers each day.
The 25-bed hospital in Monrovia should be fully operational in the first week of November once the construction of the supporting facilities is complete. Upon completion, the hospital will be staffed by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services personnel. In addition, the construction of the first Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU) at Tubmanburg is nearing final completion. The construction on the second ETU should finish around the beginning of November and a third soon after.
In Dakar, Senegal, DoD personnel are establishing an intermediate staging base and transport hub. This week, the M/V Vega,a contracted vessel, arrived in the region to deliver some 700 containers of support equipment for US efforts.
In total, approximately 700 U.S. service members are now deployed to West Africa, including nearly 600 in Liberia and 100 in Senegal. Over the coming weeks, that could grow to upwards of 3,900 personnel.
Secretary Hagel appreciates the dedication of these service members to help fight Ebola at its source. The Department of Defense will continue to support the whole-of-government response, led by USAID in this effort.
#AceWorldNews – GENEVA – October 21 – Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for “real-world” testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe, a top World Health Organization official said Tuesday.
Dr Marie Paule Kieny, an assistant director general for WHO, said clinical trials that are either under-way or planned in Europe, Africa and the U.S. are expected to produce preliminary safety data on two vaccines by December.
#AceBreakingNews – WASHINGTON – October 21 – The Department on Homeland Security on Tuesday imposed travel restrictions on flights from West African nations hit by the deadly Ebola virus.
“Today, I am announcing that all passengers arriving in the United States whose travel originates in Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be required to fly into one of the five airports that have the enhanced screening and additional resources in place,” DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said in a statement. The Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday that all travelers from Ebola outbreak countries in West Africa will have to arrive at one of five airports with enhanced screening.
Customs and Border Protection within the department began enhanced screening – checking the traveler’s temperature and asking about possible exposure to Ebola – at New York’s John F. Kennedy airport on Oct. 11.
Enhanced screening for travelers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea was expanded Oct. 16 to Washington’s Dulles, Chicago’s O’Hare, New Jersey’s Newark and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airports.
By The Hill and USA Today.
#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES (Washington) – October 18 – President Barack Obama has authorized the Pentagon to deploy National Guard and reserve forces to West Africa in what the US claims to be an effort to help combat the spread of Ebola.
The National Guard would “augment the active armed forces of the United States for the effective conduct of Operation United Assistance, which is providing support to civilian-led humanitarian assistance and consequence management support related to the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa,” Obama told House and Senate leaders in a letter.
“The authorities that have been invoked will ensure the Department of Defense can properly sustain the military operations required in this effort,” read the letter.
Under the president’s order, over 4,000 American troops could deploy to West Africa “to help combat the Ebola viral disease” there, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Thursday.
#AceNewsServices – UNITED STATES (Washington) – October 16 – Pressure is building on President Obama to ban flights to West African nations that are battling Ebola as concerns mount about the disease spreading in the United States.
Administration officials have resisted a flight ban thus far, arguing it would make it harder to deliver relief supplies to the countries where the virus is rampant.
But lawmakers in growing numbers are pushing Obama to reverse course, and polls show the idea has strong public support.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) says a flight ban is something Obama should consider, adding that the president already has the authority he would need to put such restrictions in place.
“The president has the authority to take this action right now.
The House will continue to conduct rigorous oversight, which, along with discussions with our members, will help inform our path forward as we continue to assess the administration’s response,” Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said.
Here’s a look at where lawmakers stand on the travel ban question. (Check back often, this list will be updated.)
Source: The Hill Staff
#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN – October 10 – The Warwick district is playing a role in helping those caught up in the world’s biggest ever Ebola disasters.
Not only will that involve help from here in Leamington Spa, but it will also include first hand aid from a former doctor.
Dr Paul Gully has volunteered to go into the epicentre of the Ebola crisis to see what he can do to help those.
So far, hundreds of thousands of people have died from Ebola, which has swept across countries in West Africa.
One of the countries most affected is Sierra Leone, where Leamington has enjoyed strong links during its 30-year partnership with the town of Bo through the One World Link (OWL).
One of the OWL’s founder members back in the early eighties was Dr Gully, who brought up his young family in Farley Street, Leamington Spa.
Now it has emerged that he has volunteered to the country’s captial city, Freetown, as a field co-ordinator for the World Health Organisation.
As the Courier went to press, Dr Gully was due to land in Sierra Leone.
#AceNewsServices – October 06 – The International Rescue Committee (IRC), on behalf of 34 NGOs battling Ebola in West Africa, has warned that the number of cases is doubling roughly every three weeks and the globe has only four weeks to stop the crisis from spiralling out of control.
Recently the Aid organizations have called for a six-point plan to combat the virus at an international summit convened in London to tackle the epidemic.
The charity Save the Children warned that five people are being infected with the virus every hour.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced earlier this week that more than 3,000 people have died from Ebola so-far in West Africa. 6,500 cases have been officially recorded, but the real number is expected to be far higher, as many victims are dying unreported.
The ‘Defeating Ebola’ conference commenced in London on September 02 Highlighted scale of crisis!
Dr. David Nabarro, leading the United Nation’s Ebola response, said that epidemic scares him more than either the early years of the HIV virus and SARS.
Airport screenings for Ebola don’t give a 100 percent guarantee of preventing the spread of the disease. Airport staff may lack competence and the infected can use anti-fever drugs and lies to get aboard the plane, healthcare experts warn.
Passengers flying from Ebola-stricken countries – Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – are mostly being health screened at departure gates, while the same should be done on arrival as well, believes infection control specialist Sean Kaufman, who was interviewed by Reuters.
Kaufman, who is president of Atlanta-based biosafety company, Behavioral-Based Improvement Solutions, recently travelled from Monrovia to Casablanca to London to Atlanta. At the last two stops he was not fever-screened.
While he was surprised to discover such relaxed attitudes to those arriving from Ebola-stricken regions of Africa in the US and the UK airports, he is simultaneously being skeptical of the airport screenings.
“The fever-screening instruments run low and aren’t that accurate,” he said. “And people can take ibuprofen to reduce their fever enough to pass screening, and why wouldn’t they? If it will get them on a plane so they can come to the United States and get effective treatment after they’re exposed to Ebola, wouldn’t you do that to save your life?”
Travelers flying from Liberia also have to fill in a questionnaire at the airport, asking them whether they had contacts with those sick.
A medical worker from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tai Chen, described it in an interview with Reuters as “process relying on an honour system.”
Sources: Reuters – RT – AP – AFP – IRC – WHO – CDC
#AceWorldNews – WEST AFRICA – September 23 – New estimates by the World Health Organization and the U.S. health agency are warning that the number of Ebola cases could soar dramatically – the U.S. says up to 1.4 million by mid-January in two nations alone – unless efforts to curb the outbreak are significantly ramped up.
Since the first cases were reported six months ago, the tally of cases in West Africa has reached an estimated 5,800 illnesses and over 2,800 deaths.
But the U.N. health agency has warned that tallies of recorded cases and deaths are likely to be gross underestimates of the toll that the killer virus is wreaking on West Africa.
#AceWorldNews UNITED STATES (Washington) September 16 The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa’s Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic.
President Barack Obama planned to announce the stepped-up effort Tuesday during a visit to the federal Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta amid alarm that the outbreak could spread and that the deadly virus could mutate into a more easily transmitted disease.
#AceWorldNews – WEST AFRICA – August 31 – Women are the most affected by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, according to Laurent Duvillier, Regional Communication Specialist for UNICEF’s West and Central Africa office.
He told that Anzhelika Devis that this is because many of the healthcare workers dealing with the epidemic on the ground are women.
Also, women are also most likely to look after family members at home who have contracted the disease.
The Ebola virus is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people.
The mortality rate is close to 60 percent and there is no known cure.
The outbreak in West Africa has killed over 600 people so far in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, with one death reported in Nigeria.
Mr Duvillier also told Anzhelika Devis about the common misconceptions on the ground regarding disease.
He started by explaining what UNICEF and its partners are doing to help contain the outbreak.
Listen to the Download – Duration: 4’55″ Link
#AceWorldNews – FRANCE (Paris) – July 19 – French President Francois Hollande on Friday promoted a new military operation being rolled out in West Africa to take on a multi-faceted menace from Islamist groups that he warned threatened France’s interests and citizens reported Reuters.
The military operation succeeded in scattering the Islamist groups in Mali, and Paris is in the process of reorganising its deployment in the region, with its 1,700 soldiers in Mali being folded into a broader counter-terrorism force.
Under the new plan, some 3,000 French troops will now operate out of Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad – countries straddling the vast arid Sahel band – with the aim of stamping out an Islamist threat across the region.
“There are threats, notably from Libya. Military hardware has accumulated there, and without a doubt, terrorists are seeking refuge there,” Hollande said in Niger during a three-day trip that will also take him to Ivory Coast and Chad.
“We have, therefore, decided to put in place structures and measures that will allow us to confront this threat of terrorism in the Sahel,” he said.
#AceNewsServices – GUINEA – April 05 – (ALJ) – Reports from the agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has confirmed that an angry crowd attacked a treatment centre in Guinea where staff from they were working to contain an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus, forcing it to shut down, a spokesman for the medical charity said.
“We have evacuated all our staff and closed the treatment centre,” Sam Taylor told Reuters news agency on Friday, adding that the attackers in Macenta, around 425km south-east of the capital Conakry, had accused MSF of bringing the disease to the south-eastern town.
“We have the full support of the local leaders and we’re working with the authorities to try and resolve this problem as quickly as possible so we can start treating people again,” he said, declining to give further details of the incident.
FEAR AND MISTRUST
Foreign mining companies have locked down operations and pulled out some international staff in mineral-rich Guinea. French health authorities have also put doctors and hospitals on alert in case people travelling to and from countries in the region pick up the disease.
Ebola, which has killed some 1,500 people since it was first discovered in 1976 in what is now Democratic Republic of Congo, causes vomiting, diahorea and external bleeding. It has a fatality rate of up to 90 percent.
Many health systems in West Africa are poorly equipped to deal with an epidemic and aid workers have warned of the difficulty of fighting infections scattered across several locations and in densely populated areas such as Conakry.
Some blame the government for not immediately quarantining an individual who carried the virus to the capital from the remote south, where the bulk of the 137 cases are concentrated.
Al Jazeera – Business Insider – Reuters
#AceWorldNews – CAMEROON – April 05 – Two Italian priests and a Canadian nun were kidnapped in Cameroon overnight, Vatican radio said on Saturday (Reuters)
The radio station, part of the official news service of the Catholic Church, said two groups of armed men had raided the houses of priests and nuns in the parish of Maroua in northern Cameroon at around 2:00 a.m. local time (0100 GMT).
Italy’s Foreign Ministry named the priests as Giampaolo Marta and Gianantonio Allegri, from the diocese of Vicenza in northeast Italy.
It did not identify the nun and said it was working with the Italian embassy in Yaounde to resolve the situation.
The attack took place late on Friday night.
Earlier in November, a French priest was kidnapped in Cameroon, who was then set free in December.
#AceHealthNews – GUINEA – March 27 – Four new cases of the deadly Ebola virus in Guinea has been confirmed in the southern forests, health sources told AFP.
The patients were immediately quarantined in isolation centres to avoid the spread of the disease.
Dozens of health workers have been sent to the country to combat the haemorrhagic fever outbreak which so far has claimed the lives of at least 63 victims, many of whom have been confirmed to have been infected by Ebola.
The tropical virus causes high fever and muscle ache, vomiting, diarrhea and, in some instances, organ failure and bleeding.
Besides Guinea, five other Ebola-like deaths are being investigated in Liberia, one in Sierra Leone which could bring the total in the epidemic to above 70.
Ace Related News
1. March 23 – 12.10 GMT – Extract – #AceHealthNews – GUINEA – 23 March – The deadly epidemic, which has killed at least 59 people, in Guinea, West Africa, and could have spread to neighbouring Sierra Leone, has been confirmed to be Ebola, according to government officials. http://wp.me/p165ui-4uC