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Cuba, United States Sign Oil Spill Deal


Cuba, United States sign oil spill deal before Trump inauguration - by Marc Frank - January 10, 2017

Cuba and the United States agreed on Monday to jointly prevent, contain and clean up oil and other toxic spills in the Gulf of Mexico . . .

 . . . U.S. Charge d'Affaires Jeffrey DeLaurentis, upon signing the agreement, said it was one of a series of deals to protect the shared marine environment of the two neighboring countries separated by just 90 miles (145 km) of water . . . 

 . . . Last week a deal was struck to export small amounts of charcoal to the United States and in December Google signed an agreement to place servers on the island to quicken access to its products.



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Community Resilience and Emergency Preparedness - Information Resources

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Individuals can make a difference in their own community but not everyone has bought into preparedness.  Research on personal preparedness indicates that individuals who believe they are prepared for disasters often are not as prepared as they think.  In addition, some admit they do not plan to prepare at all. 

The challenge: Maximizing awareness and encouraging participation in disaster preparedness activities to affect change at the community level.

How Research Data Sharing Can Save Lives

CLICK HERE - WHO - Developing Global Norms for Sharing Data and Results during Public Health Emergencies - by Trish Groves / The BMJ - September 8, 2015

The whole debate on sharing clinical study data has focused on transparency, reproducibility, and completing the evidence base for treatments. Yet public health emergencies such as the Ebola and MERS outbreaks provide a vitally important reason for sharing study data, usually before publication or even before submission to a journal, and ideally in a public repository.


CLICK HERE - Wikipedia - Ingelfinger rule


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WHITE HOUSE FACT SHEET: The Global Health Security Agenda

The U.S. Government announces it intends to invest more than $1 billion in resources to expand the Global Health Security Agenda to prevent, detect, and respond to future infectious disease outbreaks overseas.

THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS OFFICE                       July 28, 2015

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa continues to galvanize global attention and resources as the international community strives to eliminate active cases and help the affected countries recover.  African leaders and African Union officials have shown extraordinary leadership in addressing the outbreak. The epidemic highlighted the urgent need to establish global capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats – to prevent future outbreaks from becoming epidemics. 

Beginning with the release of the National Strategy for Countering Biological Threats in 2009, and outlined in his 2011 speech at the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama has called upon all countries to come together to prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats, whether naturally occurring, accidental or deliberately spread.  Today, the President underscored the unwavering U.S. commitment to partnering with Africans, their governments, and all who will join the effort to improve health security across the continent and for all people.

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Stopping the next pandemic today


By Ron Klain, the  White House Ebola response coordinator from October 2014 to February.

....To the extent there is discussion of improving the international response to epidemics, the focus has been on the need to reform the World Health Organization. Such reforms are badly needed, but even a fully effective WHO will not close the most gaping holes in the world’s epidemic response system. Even if the WHO did a better job of recognizing outbreaks that pose a risk of epidemic and alerting the world that action is needed, it does not have the substantial response function needed to combat such an epidemic. Recent discussions about creating a WHO response function — assuming that the agency could be trusted to manage it — rely largely on overburdened and underfunded nongovernmental organizations to staff a response. Thus, any new WHO response capacity will lack military-style mobile hospitals ready to be deployed; battalions of medical personnel with accompanying security support to isolate and treat the infectious and the ill; or a medical airlift capacity to move patients to places where they can get help...

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Ebola Response Reveals the Need for New Models for Collaboration Between the Private and Public Sectors

A Report by the World Economic Forum and BCG Analyzes the Private Sector's Response to the Ebola Outbreak and Distills Lessons for Public-Private Partnerships in Future Health Crises

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA-- The private sector played an important role in the global response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa not only by providing financial and in-kind donations but also by acting as a partner to support response activities.

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Global health leaders ask G7 for post-Ebola rapid response unit

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REUTERS by Kate Kelland                                                           June 5, 2015
LONDON -- Global health leaders will ask G7 leaders this weekend to back the creation of a specialist rapid response unit to tackle outbreaks of infectious killer diseases.

The corpse of a patient who passed away is given back to the family for funerals after being decontaminated by the MSF teams. It was washed with chlorine solution and put it in a hermetic bag also disinfected to leave the high risk area.

The move reflects how the World Health Organization in particular was caught unprepared last year by Ebola, which spread through three West African countries, has killed 11,000 people, and will not be stamped out before the end of this year.

Jeremy Farrar, director of the Wellcome Trust global health charity, said the unit should come under the WHO, but be free of bureaucracy and able to act independently "in days" when a potentially fatal epidemic begins...

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Ebola activity heats up as West Africa's rainy season begins

CIDRAP NEWS by Lisa Schnirring                                                                               June 3, 2015

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In  its weekly epidemiologicpidemiologic profile of the outbreak Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Ebola activity in Guinea and Sierra Leone has become more intense and widespread since May 10, when the region saw cases hit a 10-month low.

Last week the two countries reported 25 new lab-confirmed cases, 13 in Guinea and 12 in Sierra Leone. The number is up from 12 reported the week before.

Overall, the total of confirmed, probable, and suspected cases in the two countries and Liberia—which is now Ebola free—has risen to 27,145, including 11,147 deaths, the WHO said.

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Ebola outbreak thrusts MSF into new roles

 Relief agency sees its mission expanding after leading response to West Africa epidemic.

NATURE by  Erika Check Hayden                          June 3, 2015

GENEVA -- Joanne Liu, president of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), is not overly concerned with diplomacy. Participating in a panel in Geneva, Switzerland, on 20 May with officials from the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO), Liberia and Sierra Leone, she propped her head on her hand, stared into space and rolled her eyes during another speaker’s remarks. When she spoke, she excoriated the world for leaving West Africa vulnerable to the largest Ebola epidemic in history. “We’re failing, guys,” she said.

Joanne Liu visiting an MSF trauma centre in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

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The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to Fund Disease Surveillance Network in Africa and Asia to Prevent Childhood Mortality and Help Prepare for the Next Epidemic

PR NEWSWIRE                                                                                                  May 7, 2015

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At its Global Partners Forum, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will announce the Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance Network (CHAMPS), a network of disease surveillance sites in developing countries. These sites will help gather better data, faster, about how, where and why children are getting sick and dying. This data will help the global health community get the right interventions to the right children in the right place to save lives. The network will also be invaluable in providing capacity and training in the event of an epidemic, such as Ebola or SARS. The Gates Foundation plans an initial commitment of up to $75 million on the effort.

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