In fact, with the eyes of much of the world on American elections, African news media compromise the largest single source of today’s items.
We begin with an election day sit-down via the Associated Press:
Obama gets Ebola update from virus response team
President Barack Obama received an update from his Ebola response team as West Africa continued to struggle against the deadly outbreak that has killed nearly 5,000 people.
Obama met Tuesday at the White House with Cabinet and other officials involved in the administration’s response both in Africa and the United States. The U.S. has been sending military personnel into the afflicted region to help set up treatment units and train health care workers.
The administration also has devised guidelines for travelers returning to the U.S. from West Africa. Some states have imposed stricter guidelines. Only one individual is known to have Ebola in the U.S. He is a doctor who served in West Africa and is now being treated in a New York City hospital.
Next, because you’ve probably been curious about just what’s entailed, here’s a just-released video from Britain’s Western Sussex Hospitals on the fine art of donning and doffing all that protective garb before dealing with the presence of the live Ebola virus in patients and the places they dwell:
Ebola order of PPE Put on and Removal
Next, Ebolaphobaia run amok from the Louisville Courier-Journal:
Parents’ Ebola fears push Catholic teacher to quit
A teacher at St. Margaret Mary Catholic School who had recently returned from a mission trip to Kenya has resigned amid swirling frustration and fears about Ebola.
Susan Sherman was not immediately available Monday to comment on her resignation.
Cecilia Hart Price, chief communications officer for the Archdiocese of Louisville, confirmed that Sherman resigned and that St. Margaret Mary’s principal has already begun trying to fill the teaching position.
The school had asked Sherman to take a paid “precautionary leave” of absence of 21 days upon her return from her trip after “strong parent concerns” about Ebola. It also asked Sherman, who is a registered nurse, to provide a doctor’s note stating she was in good health.
Japanese Ebola screening transparency from NHK WORLD:
Ebola information guidelines set
Japan’s government says it will release detailed information on suspected Ebola patients spotted at its quarantine stations after their blood and other samples are ready to be transferred to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases for testing.
The health and transport ministries set up the arrangements in response to recent public calls for the disclosure of such information.
The public request came after a man with a fever of 37.8 degrees was tested in a hospital in Tokyo last week after arriving in Japan from Liberia. The ministries were criticized for initially concealing the flight number of his plane, the number of passengers aboard, and other details.
Next, via Voice of America, a voice of optimism:
Economist Optimistic About W. Africa’s Post-Ebola Prospects
The chief economist of the African Development Bank says Ebola’s effect on West African economies is “astounding,” - but he is optimistic that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone will bounce back faster than some experts expect. He spoke from a conference in Ethiopia’s capital.
The Ebola virus’s deadly rampage through West Africa has claimed more than just lives – it has threatened the region’s economy, slowing trade and decreasing productivity. On this point, leaders at the African Development Bank agree with their colleagues at the World Bank and other financial institutions that have warned of the massive economic impact of the often-fatal virus.
The bank’s acting chief economist and vice-president Steve Kayizzi-Mugerwa spoke from Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on Sunday.
A euronews video fires a rhetorical broadside:
Asia ‘must do more’ to fight Ebola, says World Bank group president
Asian countries are not doing enough to fight Ebola, that is the conclusion of World Bank group president Jim Yong Kim.
The virus has killed more than 5,000 people mostly in West Africa. Thousands of health care workers are needed to stem the tide of the outbreak.
“But many countries in Asia that could help simply are not, especially when it comes to sending health workers,” said Kim. “I call on countries across Asia to offer trained health workers now to help stop Ebola at its source.”
Another cautionary note from the NewDawn in Monrovia, Liberia:
Ebola difficult to narrow to zero says UN Representative
The head of the UN Ebola Emergency Response to Liberia, Anthony Bambary, says it’s difficult for the Ebola virus in Liberia to reach point zero. Speaking with reporters Tuesday in Monrovia, Mr. Bambary said cases in Liberia are declining in certain regions due to measures that have been adapted by the Government and with the help of the UN and international partners.
He also said the Government of Liberia needs more logistical support and money to help in the fight against the deadly virus. Mr. Bambary said in 30 days, there has been fast deployment in West Africa to fight the virus and there will be more investments to help governments of the region and their peoples in the fight because the virus is a global treat.
The UN envoy said he had visited Guinea and Serra Leone and was in Liberia, adding that he has already met with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. He noted that there have been great improvements and commended the Government and international partners for collaborating in the Ebola fight, while adding that the UN has also been a great help in the process though there are still difficulties in some areas.
From the Vanguard in Lagos , Nigeria, another quarantine announced:
China to quarantine Ebola doctors returning from W Africa
China will quarantine medical staff who work with Ebola patients in West Africa for 21 days after they return from duty, a senior health official said Monday.
Doctors returning to China will be subjected to a battery of tests before they enter the observation period, said He Qinghua, deputy director of the Ministry of Health’s Bureau for Disease Control and Prevention.
“As these doctors are responsible for the testing of the virus, on their return to China they will be put under a 21 day quarantine period to be supervised by local community service centres,” He said at a press briefing.
From the Associated Press, collateral damage:
Ebola hits health care access for other diseases
The Ebola outbreak has spawned a “silent killer,” experts say: hidden cases of malaria, pneumonia, typhoid and the like that are going untreated because people in the countries hardest hit by the dreaded virus either cannot find an open clinic or are too afraid to go to one.
Evidence of what the World Health Organization calls an “emergency within the emergency” is everywhere in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the West African countries worst hit by the Ebola epidemic.
It can be seen in a decline in the number of kids being vaccinated for preventable diseases. It can be seen in the mother who crosses Monrovia, Liberia’s capital, searching for an open clinic that will treat her 3-year-old daughter who has a fever and is vomiting, both signs of Ebola but also of many other diseases. It can be seen at the hospital in Kissidougou, Guinea, which sees not even a tenth of the patients it used to.
It can also be seen at the hospital outside Sierra Leone’s capital run by the medical charity Emergency. It is inundated with patients because nearby hospitals are closed or only partially operating.
On to Sierra Leone with the Associated Press and an alarming development:
Thousands break Ebola quarantine to find food
Thousands of people in Sierra Leone are being forced to violate Ebola quarantines to find food because deliveries are not reaching them, aid agencies said.
Large swaths of the West African country have been sealed off to prevent the spread of Ebola, and within those areas many people have been ordered to stay in their homes. The government, with help from the U.N.’s World Food Program, is tasked with delivering food and other services to those people. But there are many “nooks and crannies” in the country that are being missed, Jeanne Kamara, Christian Aid’s Sierra Leone representative, said Tuesday.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed nearly 5,000 people and authorities have gone to extreme lengths to bring it under control, like the quarantines in Sierra Leone. The country said Tuesday that it would keep a state of emergency, which includes restrictions on large gatherings, in place for a full year.
Restrictions on movement and gatherings have also been used in Liberia and Guinea, the two other countries hardest hit by the epidemic.
While public health authorities have said such measures may be necessary to bring under control an Ebola outbreak unlike any other, the Disasters Emergency Committee, an umbrella organization for aid organizations, warned on Monday that they were cutting off food to thousands of people.
One possible consequence from the Guardian:
New Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone raises fears of new infection chain
- Koinadugu had prided itself on being the only area to have kept Ebola at bay by operating self-imposed quarantine system
A fresh outbreak of Ebola in a part of Sierra Leone where the virus was thought to have been contained has raised fears of a new, uncontrolled infection chain that could send the death toll soaring.
A Red Cross ambulance team was sent to the remote district of Koinadugu, which had prided itself on being the only area to have kept Ebola at bay, on Tuesday to urgently collect 30 corpses for medical burial.
The outbreak is a major setback for the Ebola response force and the district, which two weeks ago remained resolved to control the spread of the virus that has officially infected 5,338 people and claimed 1,510 lives in the country.
Koinadugu has been operating a self-imposed quarantine for four months, thanks to the intervention of an expat businessman, Momah Konte, who returned from Washington and worked with local officials and tribal chiefs to try to prevent the spread.
How Sierra Leone is like America, via StarAfrica:
S/Leone emergency “still in force”
The Sierra Leone government late on Monday declared that the emergency introduced in July to deal with the Ebola crisis is still in force. The government laid to rest weeks of speculation over the fate of the state of emergency declared by President Ernest Bai as part of measures to tackle the epidemic.
In the announcement on July 31President Ernest Bai Koroma pronounced several measures which he said at the time would be in force for an initial period of 60 days and to be extended to 90 days if the epidemic was not contained.
That 90-day period elapsed at the end of October.
From the Guardian, both good news and bad:
Ebola’s catastrophic consequences on Sierra Leone’s small-scale mining sector
- Ebola is having a devastating impact on Sierra Leone’s informal mining sector, which provides a livelihood to some of the country’s poorest people
In Sierra Leone, the macro-economic impacts of the crisis came into sharp focus two weeks ago, when the country’s second largest iron ore producer, London Mining, went into administration. The London-listed company was one of the country’s largest employers, providing jobs for 1,400 local people at its mine in Marampa, and contributing an estimated 10% to GDP. While the company has been hard hit by a 40% drop in the global price of iron ore, it seems that the disruption caused by the Ebola epidemic served as the final nail in the coffin.
The Ebola crisis is having devastating consequences on Sierra Leone’s macro-economy, but it is also having far reaching knock-on effects at the micro-level, suppressing informal livelihood opportunities for poor people. This is particularly the case for those who are dependent on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing activities that generate disposable income for hundreds of thousands of families in an employment-constrained economy.
With many parts of the country in effective quarantine and regional trade routes blocked off, there are enormous logistical challenges for ASM. It is Sierra Leone’s second largest employer after agriculture and provides a livelihood for an estimated 200,000-300,000 individuals and their families. It is also an activity that is characterised by a high degree of mobility, and it often takes place in confined spaces where there is poor hygiene. While the spread of Ebola has forced many ASM operators to abandon mining altogether, tight border controls implemented to halt the spread of disease have also made activities within the ASM sector increasingly difficult.
After the jump, on to Liberia and a public healthcare reevaluation, the president gets European solace, the latest positive numbers, sexual side effects, a presidential caution, journalists draw a not-so-subtle threat, and the government warns against congregating in crowds, 112 false alarms in Ghana, and turning to cell phone messaging in Senegal. . . Continue reading