INTERVIEW: UN System Coordinator on Ebola dispels myths, pledges support for West Africa’s efforts to halt outbreak

Senior UN System Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease, David Nabarro, talks with UN News Centre about efforts to contain unprecedented outbreak in West Africa. UN Photo/Mark Garten

20 August 2014 – As the World Health Organization (WHO) ramps up its response to the unprecedented outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in West Africa, the wider United Nations, led by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has launched a system-wide coordination initiative to assist Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone in their efforts to halt the spread of the virus, which has left more than 1,000 people dead and is now affecting more than 1 million people throughout the region.

Press Release - African Livestock Futures: Realizing the potential of livestock for food security, poverty reduction and the environment in Sub-Saharan Africa

4 Aug 2014 - New research, the African Livestock Futures Study investigating plausible trajectories for African livestock up to 2050, indicates potential for growth in livestock production and demand in Africa, contributing greatly to wealth, employment, economic growth as well as to the resilience and productivity of producers’ livelihoods, and to the food security, nutrition and sustainable development of all.

Predicting climate-change-related disease in Africa

It is common knowledge that climate change particularly affects developing countries, but its effects on health are still very hard to predict. In a joint effort to bridge this gap, the QWECI project set out to assist medical practitioners and public health decision-makers in allocating resources and implementing preventative measures ahead of disease epidemics.

Climate change as a matter of public health

For a long time people perceived climate change as an environmental issue–the concern of environmentalists, the concern of a few. It was reframed as a justice issue at the turn of the 21st century, when it became clear that those most likely to suffer the consequences of climate change were primarily those who had least contributed to its cause. Africa in particular has contributed little to the climate change crisis and yet is considered to be one of the regions most vulnerable to its effects.

Pandemic Risk paper for the WDR 2014

By Olga B. Jonas, The World Bank - This paper looks at pandemic risk, what it means for development, and how management of this risk could be improved, both in countries and internationally. The paper was motivated by the prevalence of pandemic myths. Widely held beliefs—that pandemics are inevitable and thus not worth worrying about, that the health sector is managing the risks, and that the pandemic risk is not a development issue—lead to underestimation of pandemic risk, scant preparedness, and inadequate prevention. Examining the reasons why these myths persist could help governments and international organizations improve management of the risks associated with pandemics. Read more and download full paper from UN-Influenza.org website: Pandemic Risk paper for the WDR 2014

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