1. The Telegraph reports that Nurse Cafferkey at the Royal Free Hospital in London is still in ‘critical condition’. She is expected to stay in this condition for several days. She has received convalescent serum from William Poole; that’s the good news.
2. Ebola Deeply reports that over 800 HCW have been infected by EBOV and nearly 500 HCW have died of EBOV:
“A total of 838 healthcare workers are known to have been infected with the Ebola virus disease up to the end of January 4, 2015, 495 of whom have died,” WHO said in a statement.
“The marked increase from the total of 678 healthcare worker infections reported last week is due to additional cases reported from Sierra Leone that have occurred since the onset of the epidemic. These are not infections that have occurred between the two most recent reporting periods,” it added.
3. WHO Assistant Director General-Health Systems and Innovation Dr. Kieny wrote an editorial 12 December on the WHO website re: how to prevent EBOV epidemics in the future in West Africa. She states the EBOV epidemic developed in West Africa because of weak health systems. West Africa needs to strengthen their health systems and make the systems proactive and resilient. WHO met with member nations from Africa recently and the meeting concluded: health systems in Africa need to be integrated (not silos); Universal Health Coverage was needed; labs and surveillance should meet International Health Regulations; African nations should ‘own’ their health systems so that response to a crisis can be local. See: http://who.int/mediacentre/commentaries/health-systems-ebola/en/ for the full editorial.
4. In my opinion, Dr. Kieny’s editorial is the correct response to the NY Times article yesterday criticizing WHO Director General Dr. Chan for believing reports from her WHO country leaders in West Africa at the beginning of the EBOV epidemic.
5. Chapter 6: Household Finance from the World Bank World Development Report has the following take-home messages for me:
Figure 6.1 on page 117 says that simplifying information on loan rates, interest paid, for poorly educated lenders decreases the frequency that pay day loans are taken out by these lenders.
Figure 6.2 on page 119 says that plans that allow future raises to be placed into savings accounts rather than added to take home paychecks increase the savings rate in poor countries.
Figure 6.4 says that placing public messages about finance into soap operas on TV decreases credit card spending and gambling and bank loans by TV viewers.