The Other Side of Ebola: It Is Preventable

by Tamara Pearson/TeleSUR

2 November 2014 

Ebola, because of the way it is easily transmitted and that it kills, is a scary disease. However, the media, through disinformation and information omission, has blown that fear out of proportion. With a few basic steps at a personal level and on a larger scale, Ebola can be prevented, with no need for such alarm and sensationalism.

  1. Raise awareness of symptoms and procedures

It is important to only focus on symptoms, and not a person’s country of origin or where they look like they are from. Decisions to isolate, to ground a plane and so on, should be based on rationality, and information not discrimination.

Ebola is spread by contact with infected body fluids of someone with active symptoms. It is not an airborne disease. Its symptoms include: fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, diarrhoea, vomiting, stomach pain, and unexplained haemorrhage like bleeding or bruising. Symptoms may appear two to 21 days after exposure.

The methods for raising awareness can be creative, such as this mural

ebola mural

  1. Provide training, protective equipment, and sufficient health infrastructure.

Hospitals, both in the US, Europe, and in West African countries, need sufficient protective equipment, and nurses and doctors need specific training in how to recognize and treat Ebola. The U.S. National Nurses United says it doesn’t have enough protective equipment and is demanding Obama enforce the provision of uniforms, national standards and protocols. “Not one more patient, nurse, or health care worker should be put at risk due to a lack of health care facility preparedness,” states the union.

Spain EbolaAll those regions also need decent, basic, free health care. With that, outbreaks are easy to treat and prevent. According to a Lancet report by Ranu S Dhillon, Devabhaktuni Srikrishna, Jeffrey Sachs, and co., 60 to 90 percent of untreated patients in the West African countries die, while effective medical care would reduce that rate to below 30 percent. When healthcare is free and of high quality, people don’t wait until the symptoms get worse (and more contagious) before seeking attention.

  1. Invest in vaccines, instead of luxury, for profit medicine and surgery

ebola vaccineAccording to a document by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, mass production of Ebola vaccines would cost US$73 million for 27 million doses. GlaxoSmithKline has a vaccine in development, likely ready for trials by early next year. The sad fact is though, almost a decade ago, scientists from Canada and the United States reported that they had created a 100 percent effective vaccine to the Ebola virus. Health officials were excited, but testing on people never happened and the vaccine sat on a shelf, because the medicine did not, and does not, have a profitable market – namely, at the time the few hundred people affected were from third world countries.

The World Health Organization has also confirmed that “several hundred thousand” vaccines will be produced in the first half of the year, but these should have been available Continue reading

Cuba to Release Cholera Vaccine by 2015

Cuban medical research continues to prove to be one of the most effective in the world.  It is guided by effective preventive approaches and not a pharmaceutical model that is profit-driven

cuba to release cholera vaccine by 2015Cuba will release a new preventive vaccine against cholera in 2015, a state-owned pharmaceutical group who developing the drug announced Sunday.

Gustavo Sierra Gonzalez, the Vice President of the BioCubaFarma told the daily Juventud Rebelde that the clinical trials had been very successful, and that the proper health registration for the drug is expected to come next year.

Gonzalez said that the Cuban population would be vaccinated and that the drug would also be hand to the World Health Organization (WHO) for global use.

We will start protecting the whole population of the country

“Starting 2015, we will start protecting the whole population of the country and we are already prepared to increase its production to export it to other nations, including delivering it to the WHO,” he added.

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Lionel Messi Breaks Another Goal-Scoring Record

The Argentinian striker, who plays for the Spanish team Barcelona, broke Raul Gonzalez’s record in Champions League.

messi and team celebratesBarcelona’s player Lionel Messi broke a second goal-scoring record in just four days. Now he surpassed Spanish striker Raul Gonzalez as the player with most goals made in the Champions League.

The Argentine player scored a hat-trick in the 4-0 victory of his team against Chipre’s Apoel. Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez scored his first goal with Barcelona at minute 27.

With his goals at minutes 37, 58, and 86, Messi arrived to 74 goals in 91 games in the Champions League, breaking the record of Real Madrid legendary striker Raul Gonzalez, who scored 71 goals in 142 games.

The most important thing is the team’s victory

messi breaks record“I am very happy with this record in such a beautiful competition, but the most important thing is the team’s victory,” said Messi after the game.

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Michael Brown’s Parents Speak Out

In a TV interview they challenged the decision of a St. Louis grand jury to not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of their 18-year old son.

michael brown parentsThe parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed Black teenager slain by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, gave an interview Wednesday rejecting claims made by Wilson.

michael brownMichael Brown Sr.,the father of Michael Brown, told CBS This Morning that he thought that the characterization of their son by Darren Wilson and the Ferguson police department was unfair, “For one, my son, he respected law enforcement. Two, who in their right mind would rush or charge at a police officer that has his gun drawn? It sounds crazy.”

Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden said, “I don’t think he wanted to kill my son, but he wanted to kill someone.” “Why did you choose to wake up with a chip on your shoulder and do what you did to our son?” she asked.

At the end of his statement Wilson says he would do it again

About Wilson he added, “At the end of his statement he says he would do it again.”

Lesley McSpadden said of Wilson’s claim that his conscience is clear, “How can your conscious be clear after killing someone, even if it was an accidental death?”

When asked about Michael Brown’s stepfather, overcome with grief, yelling to a Ferguson crowd, “Burn this bitch down!” in response to the grand jury’s decision not to indict his stepson’s killer, Mrs.Spadden said, “The crowd was already stirred. It’s been stirring since Aug. 9. I wouldn’t hold him accountable for that. They stirred the pot. They had everyone on edge.”

Brown Sr., said he was going to work for a conviction of Wilson under federal law, “We’re just going to keep fighting and pray for a better outcome”

The family attorney, Benjamin Crump, said, “We plan on exhausting every legal avenue possible to give them some sense of justice.”

Source: Michael Brown’s Parents Speak Out  TeleSur English

Ferguson Indictment: Protesters Gather Outside White House


ferguson protests white houseAbout 350 protesters gathered in front of the White House to protest the decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson. The peaceful protesters chanted and held signs after President Barack Obama urged calm in response to the decision. The protesters showed up in waves, carrying signs and chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot.”

Each wave of protesters added to the size of the crowd and its enthusiasm. Ultimately, the crowd remained calm and, the police, who had been positioned in front of the White House long before their arrival, watched with no reaction. Most of the protesters said they came from Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, D.C.

ferguson protests students lying on the ground at the white house

Students from GW and American, Howard and Georgetown universities lied on the ground in front of the White House in protest of a grand jury decision not to press charges against officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown.

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Widespread demonstrations in the US following Ferguson grand jury decision

ferguson protesters new york

New York: Protesters fill Times Square during Monday night’s march after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown

Demonstrators angered by at the grand jury decision in the Darren Wilson case took to the streets in 90 cities from coast to coast Monday night, snarling traffic, chanting slogans condemning police and waving signs in support of slain black teen Michael Brown. 

In New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Boston and Chicago, thousands of people led marches screaming, ‘Hands up! Don’t shoot!’ that has become a rallying cry in protests over police killings across the country.

ferguson protests howard university students

Washington DC: Demonstrators, including students from Howard University, marched down the middle of U Street Northwest to protest the grand jury’s verdict on Monday 

ferguson protests los angeles

Los Angeles: A protester faces off against a line of police on the 110 freeway during a demonstration in California following the grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri

ferguson protests all lives matter

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Ferguson ablaze after Michael Brown verdict: ‘This is a war zone now’

ferguson in flames country police carFires were raging when a man with a scarf wrapped around his face walked out of the smoke and looked around him in disbelief. “All they had to do was give us justice and look at this,” he said. “This a war zone now.”

Chaos broke out on Ferguson’s West Florissant Avenue after it was announced that Darren Wilson, a white police officer, would not be charged for shooting dead Michael Brown, a 18-year-old African-American, earlier this year.

“It feels like someone took a pitchfork, stuck it in a fire and put it right in my stomach and then twisted it,” the man in the bandana said of the grand jury’s decision.

ferguson in flames

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