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Humane world cannot let West Africa suffer 'on such extraordinary scale': UN health chief

India Blooms News Service | | 22 Aug 2014, 10:18 am
New York, Aug 22 (IBNS) The newly-appointed United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola on Thursday began his visit to countries affected by the deadly disease, as the head of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) appealed for "massive, coordinated and targeted assistance" in the months ahead, saying "a humane world cannot let the people of West Africa suffer on such an extraordinary scale."

WHO also reported on Thursday that clinicians working in Liberia have informed the agency that two doctors and one nurse have now received the experimental Ebola therapy, ZMapp. The nurse and one of the doctors have shown a marked improvement, while the condition of the second doctor is still serious but has improved somewhat.

ZMapp is one of several experimental treatments and vaccines for Ebola that are currently undergoing investigation. At present, supplies of all are extremely limited. WHO also said that it will host in Geneva on 4 to 5 September a consultation on potential Ebola treatment by gathering expertise about the most promising experimental therapies and their role in containing the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, where the official number of cases in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone have reached 2,473, and the number of deaths 1,350.

The expertise among the more than 100 participants, including 20 experts from affected West African countries, will discuss issues of safety and efficacy as well as innovative models for expediting clinical trials, according to WHO. Possible ways to ramp up production of the most promising products will also be explored.

Meanwhile, According to a UN spokesperson in New York, the UN System Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease, Dr. David Nabarro arrived on Thursday in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, on the first leg of his visit to the region to establish how best the United Nations can do to support affected communities.

Karin Landgren, the head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), said this visit underscored the UN’s commitment to rolling back the deadly virus. She said the Mission has reoriented several parts of its operations to support the Government in the fight against Ebola. UNMIL Radio and the Mission’s outreach team are also disseminating information on Ebola prevention and response, with UNICEF and the WHO.

“If we are to preserve the gains made over these 11 years of peace in Liberia, Ebola must quickly be stopped,” Ms Landgren said.

WHO Director-General, Dr. Margaret Chan, in an article from The New England Journal of Medicine titled “Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa — No Early End to the Outbreak” outlined the many challenges to be overcome in the worst outbreak in the nearly four-decade history of this disease, saying “with the formidable combination of poverty, dysfunctional health systems, and fear at work, no one is talking about an early end to the outbreak.”

“The international community will need to gear up for many more months of massive, coordinated, and targeted assistance,” she wrote. “ A humane world cannot let the people of West Africa suffer on such an extraordinary scale.”

Meanwhile, WHO flagged the importance of raising awareness about the virus in communities in the affected countries, by shining a spotlight on the lyrics of the so-called Ebola Rap written by a Liberian artist “to kick Ebola out of Liberia.”

“Take away the fear, don’t hide yourself. People can still survive from Ebola,” go the lyrics.

“Education and communication are crucial to make sure that everyone – health workers and the general public – understands what Ebola is, how it is transmitted and how they can protect themselves,” WHO said. “Through strong community involvement, various initiatives are starting to emerge, such as this song that Charles wrote.”

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm