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New app lets public help map disasters, conflicts and outbreaks

By Lin Taylor LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Swiping right or tapping on a mobile phone are not typical ways of helping poor communities, but a new app launched by a medical charity on Friday aims to use technology to help aid workers map areas at risk of conflict, disasters and disease. Using the latest

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Acceso gratuito a UpToDate en Ecuador – Free access to UpToDate in Ecuador

[English at the bottom] Como una medida de apoyo para todos los cuerpos de emergencia y profesionales de la salud que toman parte de las Read More

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Attacks on civilians and hospitals must stop

On Oct 3, 2015, a US airstrike hit Médecins Sans Frontières’ (MSF’s) Kunduz Trauma Centre in Afghanistan; 42 lives, including 14 MSF hospital staff, were lost.1 The 92-bed hospital was the only facility with essential trauma care capabilities for hundreds of thousands of people living in northern Afghanistan; those who continue to live amid conflict will critically miss it. The attack was a violation of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions, a war crime, and an incursion on the sanctity of humanitarian action globally.

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Playing for Change: Making peace through music

Grammy Award-winning producer, engineer and film director Mark Johnson stopped to listen to a subway musician on his way to work one morning, when he had an epiphany: “The greatest music I had ever heard was on the way to the studio and not in the studio.” According to his web site, he decided to bring the


Earth on track for hottest year ever as warming speeds up

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) — The earth is on track for its hottest year on record and warming at a faster rate than expected, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Thursday. Temperatures recorded mainly in the northern hemisphere in the first six months of the year, coupled with an early and fast Arctic


How satellites and social media help us anticipate the needs of conflict-affected countries

About this series More blog posts The World Bank Group plays a major role in recovery and reconstruction efforts in conflict-affected countries. Therefore, it is important for us, in collaboration with international partners, to engage in assessing the needs and planning for recovery and reconstruction as much ahead of time as possible. In recent times, we have been conducting broad-brush damage assessments in active conflict situations using innovative remote-based techniques like satellite imagery or social media analytics to provide not only damage numbers and trends but also qualitative information on the status of various services. These new approaches have helped us maintain situational awareness of and be ready for recovery when the situation allows.


Making Disaster Relief More Like Funeral Societies: A Review of Dercon and Clarke’s Dull…

I was recently at the Novafrica conference in Lisbon, where one of the keynote talks was given by Stefan Dercon. He based it around a newly released short book he has written with Daniel Clarke, called Dull Disasters. The title is meant to indicate both the aim to make dealing with disasters a dull event rather than media circus, as well as to discuss ways to ‘dull’ or reduce the impact of disasters. Stefan started his talk by noting that disaster relief may well be the part of the whole international development and humanitarian system that is the least efficient and has had the least research on it. The book starts by noting the predictability of responses “every time a natural disaster hits any part of the world, the newspaper headlines ten days later can be written in advance: ‘why isn’t the response more coordinated?’.


News in the Humanosphere: Imminent La Niña poses further humanitarian problems

Now that the 2015-2016 El Niño –one of the strongest on record– has subsided, La Niña – El Niño’s ‘counterpart’– could strike soon, further exacerbating a severe humanitarian crisis that is affecting millions of people in the most vulnerable communities in tens of countries worldwide, especially in Africa and Asia Pacific. El Niño is the


Typhoid versus typhus fever in post-earthquake Nepal

A few months after the 7·8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal on April 25, 2015, and the subsequent strong aftershocks, outbreaks of scrub typhus were reported from various parts of the country, especially from districts affected by the earthquake.1 These outbreaks were thought to be due to people and rodents (which carry mites with the bacterium Orientia tsutsugamushi, the infective microbe in scrub typhus) living in close proximity in temporary shelters after the earthquake. Although typhus in Nepal has been well reported in large studies,2,3 the earthquake posed problems in diagnosis and treatment of the outbreaks, primarily because of poor awareness of the disease.


New app lets public help map disasters, conflicts and outbreaks

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By Lin Taylor LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) — Swiping right or tapping on a mobile phone are not typical ways of helping poor communities, but a new app launched by a medical charity on Friday aims to use technology to help aid workers map areas at risk of conflict, disasters and disease. Using the latest


WHO steps up response to rising health needs of internally displaced persons in Juba City,…

WHO steps up response to rising health needs of IDPs in South Sudan


News in the Humanosphere: They tried to make South Sudan have peacekeepers and the president…

The regional IGAD group and the Security Council have both suggested that more peacekeepers are needed to stabilize South Sudan. The president apparently disagrees. This is problematic because new peacekeepers can only be deployed with his consent. “South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir said his government ‘will not accept a single soldier’ to back peacekeepers as


WHO and partners step up response to the critical health needs in Juba

Since 8 July the situation in South Sudan has deteriorated rapidly. The country, just 5 years old faces fresh violence and news reports indicate that it could be back at war. More than 200 people are reported to have died since Friday, 8 July 2016.


News in the Humanosphere: U.N. airlifts food in ‘hard-to-reach’ part of Syria

The U.N. began airlifting humanitarian aid to families cut off from supplies in northeastern Syria, bringing 40 tons of food on a flight that landed in Qamishli, an area controlled by the Syrian government, the World Food Program said Sunday. The WFP said the flight landed the night before in Qamishli airport in Syria’s Hassakeh


Some U.S. Congress Members Look To FEMA Disaster Relief Fund As Model For Infectious Disease…

CQ HealthBeat: Disaster Relief Overhaul May Be Model for Viral Threat Fund “Lawmakers in both parties are eyeing the overhauled Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Relief Fund as a possible model for a proposed reserve fund to address emerging infectious threats such as the Zika virus. … Rep. Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut sees the Disaster…More


WFP Announces $610M Shortfall To Address Drought Relief In 7 Southern African Nations

Reuters: U.N. food agency says faces $610 million shortfall for southern Africa drought relief “The United Nations’ food agency said on Thursday it needed $730 million over the next 12 months for relief in seven Southern African countries hit hard by a blistering drought and faced a $610 million shortfall. The World Food Programme (WFP)…More


Telemedicine saves lives in disaster zones

Remote consultations help medics provide better care to those hit by war and catastrophe, says Raghu Venugopal.


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