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Disasters and large-scale emergencies

Ebola in West Africa (67) NLM Launches Emergency Access Initiative to fight Ebola

The offer is only available to "those affected by the disaster or assisting the affected population". 
(One day, within the next 10 years, we shall all look back and think it absurd that humans used to restrict access to the information they need to protect their health and the health of others.)
News Release: NLM Launches Emergency Access Initiative, Granting Free Access to Books and Journals for Healthcare Professionals Fighting Ebola Outbreak

The news media and Ebola (5) The Church and Ebola

Beyond the traditional news media that we are aware of, our churches in Nigeria have done a great deal of information dissemination and pro-action in controlling the spread of the Ebola virus. Last week, the Catholic Church in some parts / dioceses / archdioceses in Nigeria gave a directive, temporarily suspending close contacts between members of the congregation during the rituals of a typical mass session...

Ebola in West Africa (60) The news media and Ebola (4)

In general, the news media have a huge role in public communications to help contain an epidemic such as Ebola. With this comes a responsibility to be accurate. The BBC is widely trusted as a reliable provider of information, which brings with it even greater responsibility than other broadcasters to maintain accuracy. I would like to comment on the 60-second video on the BBC news website with the caveat that I am not an expert and would welcome comments from others.

Ebola in West Africa (52) Community radio to save lives through effective communication

As the ebola epidemic goes almost unchecked amidst the frantic professional efforts and global commitments for its containment, may be this is as good a time as any for Nigeria to fast-forward its delay in approval of licenses for COMMUNITY RADIOS.

Increasing the availability of health research in languages other than English (8) Ebola in West Africa (43)

If all abstracts of research undertaken in Guinea (and other francophone countries in West Africa) had been available in French, might this have made it easier for public health professionals and policymakers to review and synthesise the evidence? 
On a related issue, many thanks to Jules Storr for letting us know about the new practical guidance from WHO published yesterday in English (guidance that she herself has been helping to develop at WHO Geneva). 

What Information To Spread About Ebola Virus? The Role That Mobile Telephony Can Play In Health Behaviour

Some minutes ago, a friend sent me an sms which reads 
"Please please, avoid eating pork (pig, meat,) monkeys, bats, or chimpanzees during this period! Just read a WHO website that these are potential sources of the EBOLA VIRUS! eat bitter cola to prevent infection. Ebola hit nigeria dis week. Please spread the message..."

Evidence Aid - new shareable leaflet available

Though the body of evidence-based research continues to grow, there still stands a divide between new and relevant findings and their real-life application towards disaster relief and humanitarian aid. We hope that by distributing these leaflets, you can help publicize our work to better the availability of research in needy areas.


World Medical Association head on Ebola epidemic

Dr Margaret Mungherera is President of the World Medical Association and is also a member of HIFA. She gave an interview about the Ebola crisis to New Zealand National Radio on Friday 1st August. The audio recording is freely available here (11 minutes): .

Ebola in West Africa (23) Health education during consultation

[A HIFA member asks] 'Do we really have enough time for health education?',. And I wish to say, Yes, we do, in every contact with patients, during emergency or scheduled interaction (consultation). It takes a little learning and practice and we can cover a successful patient-practitioner interaction including counselling and health education. We cannot be too busy not to use every opportunity to inform, educate the population and hopefully even change bad health and lifestyle habits.



Ebola in West Africa (21)

To those more exposed to western traditions and what seems eminently logical to us,  it takes a lot of understanding, tolerance, patience, and what I see as overwhelming dedication, devotion to duty, to vocation ,  to service of man , and plain self sacrificing love to work in these environments.

I can remember the early days of HIV, when many of our people refused to accept our public health statements, insisting that this was a virus planted by the white man to kill black people, a man-made virus, and not a sexually transmitted one.


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