l. Today I learned about the ILO, the International Labor Organization, which was the first specialized agency of the U.N. in 1946. The ILO promotes social justice by promoting jobs and protecting workers. The ILO has joined with the WHO in producing protocols and educational materials on EBOV for the 158 countries which belong to the ILO. See: http://www.ilo.org/safework/areasofwork/occupational-health/WCMS_302846/lang–en/index.htm for a description of ILO activities related to EBOV.
2. News media reported today that the Chinese EBOV treatment center (100 beds) has opened in Monrovia, Liberia. This center has air-conditioning and electronic medical records. HCW in PPEs may be able to care for patients in the ‘hot zone’ for more than 1.5 hours with the air-conditioning. See: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/china-builds-ebola-treatment-center-in-liberia/ for photographs of the center.
3. WHO reports on an eighth case of EBOV in Mali today. ALL cases in this second wave of EBOV are related to contact with the grand iman from Guinea who died in Mali.
4. NPR carried a story of a reporter who traveled with a contact tracing team in Liberia to search out a possible EBOV patient in the forest. She drove for 5 hours, hiked for another 4 hours to a remote village where the sick woman lived. The woman’s hut was shut tight; villagers told the contact tracing team that she had left the village (probably at the urging of the traditional healer). The team had to turn back immediately without a search for the woman because a bridge of branches across a river might be carried away by the rising river. This is what contact tracing is like in rural Liberia. See the story at: http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/11/24/365689595/ebola-in-remote-liberia-through-the-eyes-of-a-local-health-worker
5. Ebola Deeply reports that burial workers in Sierra Leone are leaving bodies at doorsteps instead of burying them because these workers have not received their ‘hazard pay’ from the government. This is the second time the government has not distributed the agreed upon hazard pay to burial workers.
6. CNBC reports that the $2.7 million purchase of PPEs by the CDC has produced a shortage of PPEs for West Africa. The result is an increase in the price of PPEs for West Africa (law of supply and demand). The price of a face mask has increased 30% in the last five weeks.
7. Washington Post reports that USAID has sponsored a competition for the ‘Maker Movement’ to develop innovative equipment for HCW in West Africa; e.g. air-cooled PPEs. The grants are upwards of $5 Million for winners. Some college engineering majors have developed exciting ideas. Read about these ideas at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/on-it/usaid-seeks-help-from-maker-movement-in-ebola-outbreak/2014/11/23/1c8d9a4a-6611-11e4-bb14-4cfea1e742d5_story.html.
8. Pentagon is testing a ‘Care Cube’ for EBOV patients so that the patient is isolated from HCW rather than the other way around. See: http://www.usatoday.com/story/nation/2014/11/25/darpa-ebola-treatment-center/70094634. DARPA is interested.