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Why the World Health Organization is taking the ebola outbreak in Guinea ‘very seriously’

West Africa’s lush tropical rain forests host one of the deadliest viruses on earth — ebola. A fast-moving ebola outbreak originating in a border region in southeastern Guinea has already taken at least 83 lives. In recent days, the virus has shown up in neighboring Liberia, and in Guinea’s capital, Conakry. Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the WHO in Conakry, says there’s evidence that the virus has spread from infected individuals to health care providers.

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Episode 42: The Idealist (Nina Munk on Jeff Sachs)

Nina Munk’s latest book, The Idealist, is about Jeffrey Sachs and the Millennium Villages Project. It is also a book about the efforts that people in industrialised countries make to help poor people. It is a book about vision, passion and hubris. In this episode of Development Drums, Nina Munk tells the story of how she came to write the book, and what she learned about Jeff Sachs, and about development aid, as she did so.

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Episode 41: The Great Escape (Angus Deaton)

Angus Deaton, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Economics Department at Princeton University, talks about his book, The Great Escape, which brings together his research into health, well-being, and economic development. In his book, Professor Deaton talks about the great progress that is being made in health and well-being, but also the problem of inequality within and between nations.  The book finishes with a robust critique of the aid business, leading Professor Deaton to recommend that industrialised countries should spend money for, but not in, developing countries.  In the podcast, I discuss with Professor Deaton the difference between happiness and well-being, the drivers of improved health around the world, and the implications of inequality of material well-being

Latest

In typhoon-hit Tacloban, some families have moved into the local prison

Immediately after Typhoon Haiyan barrelled into the Philippines in November, many inmates left the Leyte Provincial Prison in the city of Tacloban. They didn’t exactly escape. In the chaos after the storm, the prison turned a blind eye as a few hundred inmates, along with most of the guards, walked out of the gates. They wanted to check on their homes and loved ones. Most of them returned after a few of weeks — and some brought their families back with them. Aurora Almendral reports.


Kicking off the week by looking at the last one

Sign up for the Newsletter From the Cave (as seen below) to land directly in your already crowded inbox each week, by going here.Articles He WroteWill the US foreign aid budget continue its decline?Discussions in DC are now taking place over the Fiscal Year 2015 budget and the downward trend of foreign aid spending may resume.US underfunding crucial global health research and development, warns groupA GHTC report warns that the political wrangling over federal budgets in Washington DC are putting crucial global health research and development at risk.Income growth is great, just not for reducing child undernutritionIt has been held that improving the economies of developing countries can help reduce undernutrition. New research says that is not actually happening.Genocide anniversary reignites French-Rwandan political tensionsComments made by Rwandan President Paul Kagame about France’s complicity in the nation’s genocide throws cold water on the improving relations between them.World needs to get its shit together on climate changeAnother report from the UN warns about the negative effects of climate change on the world, but will it actually get people to take action?Gif Me a BreakStephan Colbert will be replacing David Letterman over at the Late Show next year.Good ReadsSatirical spoilers for the final season of Mad Men that cut close to what could happen.Two-thirds of the neighborhoods in the bottom fourth of the national income distribution in 1980 were still at the bottom in 2008. You like art (music, paintings, etc) when you believe the artist is eccentric (aka why people like Bjork and Lady Gaga).USA Network is pretty much the anti-AMC, and it’s getting the big audience. Here’s why.”Upworthy enrolls us in the establishment of our own organized ignorance.” Coffee nerd alert: MIT mapped the neighborhoods served by independent coffee shops in San Francisco and Cambridge.Tracking down the elusive great satirist Tom Lehrer, who continues to be an influence a half century after he suddenly stopped writing music.A new series on Showtime tries to make climate change more interesting by using celebrities. See the first episode in full here.Song of the WeektUnE-yArDs – Water FountainDevelopment GoodiesWe “need a new way of thinking about the challenge of international development that goes beyond obsolete divisions of North-South.”What should be the role of the NGO?“You’re just not that vulnerable enough” – the situation of urban displacement in Libya.When an aid project goes wrong, who is responsible?


IHP news 266: The IHME report on global health financing

Dear Colleagues, Some of you are on early Easter holidays, so we’ll try to keep this newsletter a bit shorter than usual. Other good reasons for keeping it brief, is that Richard Horton occasionally pops up in my dreams now (which I’d like to avoid), and that I have to pick up my son from a table tennis camp, later this afternoon. In this newsletter we focus, among other issues, on the annual IHME report, ‘Financing Global Health 2013: Transition in an Age of Austerity’. Very nice report, apparently; on Twitter we learnt Chris Murray got a well-deserved “reception like a rock star”, when the report was launched. Unfortunately, the title is just plain wrong (granted, Bono himself gets it wrong on some issues too)


Impoverished kids love the soccer ball that powers a lamp — until it breaks

In the latest in a series called Tracking Charity, Jennifer Collins travels to Mexico to find out what ever happened to the Soccket. It was lauded by Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and Ashton Kutcher and raised $92,000 on Kickstarter, but has it actually helped impoverished kids in Mexico?


The hero of Hotel Rwanda warns of ‘simmering volcano’ in his country

Paul Rusesabagina actually sounds a bit like Don Cheadle, the actor who played him in the movie Hotel Rwanda – a 2004 film that greatly expanded public recognition of the genocide a decade earlier in the east-central African nation, an event that killed perhaps a million people. Or, well, I guess it’s more that Cheadle … Continue reading →


Why the World Health Organization is taking the ebola outbreak in Guinea ‘very seriously’

africa-map-wiki-Author-Hristov

West Africa’s lush tropical rain forests host one of the deadliest viruses on earth — ebola. A fast-moving ebola outbreak originating in a border region in southeastern Guinea has already taken at least 83 lives. In recent days, the virus has shown up in neighboring Liberia, and in Guinea’s capital, Conakry. Tarik Jasarevic, a spokesman for the WHO in Conakry, says there’s evidence that the virus has spread from infected individuals to health care providers.


An ointment could save up to half a million newborns a year­ — and it costs 20 cents

“About 20,000 newborns die every year in Nepal,” says Asha Pun, a maternal and newborn health specialist with UNICEF. She says many of those deaths are due to infections, so the challenge is to prevent infections at the time of birth. Several years ago, public health experts suggested one way to do that — by using an antiseptic gel called chlorhexidine.


Episode 42: The Idealist (Nina Munk on Jeff Sachs)

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Nina Munk’s latest book, The Idealist, is about Jeffrey Sachs and the Millennium Villages Project. It is also a book about the efforts that people in industrialised countries make to help poor people. It is a book about vision, passion and hubris. In this episode of Development Drums, Nina Munk tells the story of how she came to write the book, and what she learned about Jeff Sachs, and about development aid, as she did so.


The Ninth Month

PRI’s The World begins a journey through pregnancy and childbirth, across cultures and continents. We start in villages in Malawi and Nepal, where women become mothers in challenging conditions.


NEJM Audio discussion of “Causes of Fever in Outpatient Tanzanian Children”

Jeffrey Drazen (audio) discusses findings from a recent study published in the NEJM on “Causes of Fever in Outpatient Tanzanian Children”. NEJM — Beyond Malaria…