To Contain Ebola in W/A, USAID, CDC Announce Additional Assistance

first_imgThe United States Agency for International Development (USAID) says it will be deploying a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to West Africa to coordinate the U.S. Government’s response to the Ebola outbreak.The outbreak has so far sickened more than 1,600 people, and nearly 900 have died from the disease.The team, according to a U.S Embassy statement issued yesterday in Monrovia, will comprise staff from Agency’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, who will be overseeing critical areas of the response.The response will include  planning, operations, logistics in coordination with other federal agencies, among them the U.S. Departments of Defense and Health and Human Services.Members of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also serve on the DART to lead on public health and medical response activities, the statement has confirmed.USAID has also announced an additional US$5 million in assistance to help ramp up the international community’s Ebola response efforts.Specifically, the statement said, the funding will go toward the expansion of Ebola outbreak programs, which the Agency is already supporting in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.Accordingly, these programs help trace people who may be infected with the disease, as well as provide health clinics and households with hygiene kits, soap, bleach, gloves, masks, and other supplies to help prevent the spread of disease.USAID is also supporting outreach campaigns to provide information on Ebola and its symptoms to the general public and health workers in affected countries that may not be familiar with the disease.The statement said that these messages are being conveyed through radio, text messages, and through local media.In addition to the new funding, USAID has provided US$2.1 million to the United Nations (UN), World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Educational Fund (UNICEF) for the deployment of more than 30 technical experts, and other Ebola response efforts.The USAID is primarily responsible for administering civilian foreign aid in response to President Obama’s pledge in his last year’s State of the Union Address to “join with our allies to eradicate extreme poverty, and other diseases in the next two decades.”It has adopted as its mission statement “to partner to end extreme poverty and to promote resilient, democratic societies, while advancing the security and prosperity of the United States.President John F. Kennedy, in whose memory Liberia’s  major referral hospital, the JFK Medical Center, is  named, created USAID in 1961 by executive order to implement development assistance programs in the areas authorized by the Congress in the Foreign Assistance Act.  America’s development assistance before 1961 was channeled through the International Cooperation Administration (ICA).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Thousands flee as Tomas rips through Fiji

first_imgMore than 10,000 people have fled to 178 evacuation centres across Fiji as Tropical Cyclone Tomas continues to thrash the archipelago with extreme winds and giant waves.The cyclone is one of the strongest to hit Fiji for several years, with the Fiji Meteorological Service recording winds speeds of up to 175 kilometres per hour moving in a southerly direction.There have been reports of at least one village evacuated due to flooding while heavy rain and wind has battered Koro, Nairai and Ovalau on the Lomaiviti island.Contact had been lost with Lau and parts of Vanua Levu as antennas were damaged by the winds, but communications links were restored this morning according to disaster management officials.No communication has been received from Udu or Cikobia which lay directly in Tomas’ path according to the Fiji Times.A 31-year-old woman named Tamarisi Tabua is the only reported death so far. Tabua saved her sisters and two children before being swept away by strong waves on Vanna Levu.Reports this morning said there were 40 people in two evacuation centres in Nadi, 477 people in 12 centres across Ba, and 480 people in six centres in Tavua with hundreds in other parts of Fiji. <a href=”” target=”_blank”><img src=”;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> However, post-disaster operations have already commenced today with the National Emergency Operation Centre taking action on immediate needs.These included securing freezer units for temporary morgues through AusAID, supplying a 10,000litre water tank for the temporary Navua Hospital at Ro Matanitobua House and two direct lines for the Commissioner Eastern Division Emergency Operations Centre.Tourism Fiji said Air Pacific, Air New Zealand and V-Australia would resume flights in and out of Nadi today.The tourism body’s chief executive Josefa Tuamoto said the country was very experienced at cleaning up after a cyclone and was confident that once the worst was over Fiji would be back to normal within days.Tomas is expected to continue on its southerly track throughout the day, passing near the south of Lakeba tonight and moving to the southeast of Suva tomorrow morningcenter_img Source = e-Travel Blackboard: J.Llast_img read more