Scott Filler has been a Senior Disease Coordinator with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria since 2011. Scott Filler's role with The Global Fund is to ensure that resources from The Global Fund are distributed and funded properly to the areas where they will have the most impact through interventions. Scott realized his mission in life was to work on malaria awareness and helping the cause when he was a junior in college. Scott elected to spend a semester in Kenya and at that time he got sick after being bitten by a mosquito. Scott Filler had malaria. He knew at that time to devote his life to the cause and working with The Global Fund in Geneva, Switzerland has allowed him to fulfill that life's work by helping other people and playing a strong role on The Global Fund's strategy. For more information on Scott Filler and his role with The Global Fund in Geneva check out his website.
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In Geneva, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) met for two days to discuss the Ebola virus and its outbreak in Western Africa. The emergency committee met to discuss their role and decide whether the outbreak is a “public health emergency of international concern.” This according to Islands Business.
This will be a historic two-day conference as it was the first time the committee ever discussed Ebola. Tarik Jašarevic, a spokesperson for the WHO, told the press that Ebola would be the only topic of discussion throughout the two days. While the outbreak is focused in West Africa, Jašarevic mentioned that the committee wished to decide if the Ebola viral disease is of international concern and if so, how to move forward from there as an organization. Jašarevic also mentioned that it would be unwise to predict what the committee would decide prematurely.
The death toll of the Ebola virus had been over 1,600 as of August 1st. Over 880 of those deaths were in the four most victimized countries where the outbreak is present, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and Nigeria. At present, these countries were still seeking financial resources from the WHO’s partners as well as other stakeholders.
Ebola, which was previously known as the Ebola hemorrhagic fever, affects humans and gorillas, monkeys, and chimpanzees. The origin of the virus isn’t known but it is thought that it comes from fruit bats. Symptoms of Ebola could range from muscle pain, fever, sore throat, weakness and headache in the onset but can be followed with impaired liver and kidney function, intense vomiting, external or internal bleeding, rash and diarrhea. From the time one is affected with the virus to the time the symptoms take hold can be anywhere from 2 to 21 days, says the WHO. This is the incubation period where victims are not contagious. Once symptoms do take hold, however, victims do become contagious.
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In a recent Independent UK article the collapse of healthcare systems in Western Africa could have the potential to see thousands more die from the Ebola outbreak due to malaria and other diseases. An expert told Independent UK, that they suspect the death toll from malaria and other diseases will actually rise above the death toll from Ebola itself. The expert is Dr. Jimmy Whitworth and he states that he is not confident in the health services to handle the outbreak. Whitworth, the head of population health at Wellcome Trust, explained to the Independent that Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone may lack the ability to deal with the outbreak and that a breakdown in services at hospitals in these countries could lead to an “excess” of deaths from diseases like diarrhea, pneumonia and malaria.
West Africa, at present, has seen over 1,000 deaths from the outbreak since the month of February and now it is in the middle of its rainy season, prime time for for malaria transmission due to mosquito breeding. It doesn’t look good for many of the hospitals either as many of them have been shut down because of the sheer impact of the virus. Furthermore, it appears that many people in need of treatment for other diseases are now avoiding hospitals to not be hit with the Ebola virus themselves.
The Ebola outbreak shutting down hospitals is coming at a horrible time. In any given year, even without an outbreak, 100,000 people can die from malaria in a single area. The World Health Organization is also taking great measures now. They are now calling for and authorizing experimental medicines that have yet to be tested on humans to combat the outbreak. Canada is sending an experimental Ebola vaccine to West Africa. Even though they are sending 1,000 doses, officials say that regardless if whether the vaccine works or not, it would take months for the vaccine to have a major impact.
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In a recent article by Fox News, imprecise measure measurements on certain medications could do more harm than good for you and your family and lead to potentially dangerous dosing mistakes. Results of this study have been posted in Pediatrics Magazine. In these results, experts say that people should use droppers and syringes for precise measurements rather than using spoons. In this study, 300 parents were involved with their children- mostly younger than 9 years old. The young children were treated for various illnesses in New York City hospitals and were sent home with prescriptions for liquid medicines.
Parents were afterwards contacted about the method they used to give their children the medication. They later came in and demonstrated to doctors how they gave their children the medication. According to the results of the study- “50% were more likely to give their children incorrect doses than those who measured out with more precise devices- such as a dropper.”
Incorrect doses include too much and too little of the medication- and both can be equally as dangerous. Underdosing may not effectively treat an illness and can even lead to medication-resistant infections. On the other hand, overdosing on medication can cause illness and can be life-threatening. About one third of the parents gave the wrong dose and 1 in 6 used a kitchen spoon rather than a more precise device. According to the author: “Outreach is needed to promote the consistent use of millimeter units between prescriptions and bottle labels.”
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In a recent article by the New York Daily News, there are lots of fun things to do in the Lake Geneva region this summer. Many people when they think of Switzerland are images of people skiing down snowy mountains. In the summertime, those same mountains are photographed in the summer but instead of snow, there are cows warming themselves in the sum on the Alpine meadow. Surrounded by the meadow, the small country of 7 million has always been known for its natural beauty, skilled craftsmanship and delicious chocolates. On a trip to Switzerland, you could expect to explore medieval cities, take hikes alongside clear water streams, visiting chocolate shops and window shopping for watches.
If you take a visit to Switzerland’s french speaking region, Geneva it is an easy transportation hub where you can access international locations by Swiss Rail, airplane, bus and car. For such a small city, Geneva has a lot of fire-star hotels. The Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons and Le Richemond are just across the Rhone River from the shopping district on Rue du Rhone that has a collection of world-famous, upscale retail shops such as Jahan, Piaget, Harry Winston, Bulgari, Christian Louboutin and Breguet. Facing Lake Geneva are the Beau Rivage with a 17,000 bottle-fine wine cellar and the contemporary Hotel President Wilson, which is a short walk to two expansive parks, La Perle-du-Lac (“Pearl of the Lake”) and Park Moynier.
The Metropolitan area of Geneva is primarily composed of many townships that are combined together to make one large town. Contrary to its large role in finance and diplomacy, Geneva proper has a population fewer than 200,000 people. Another great activity to go besides shopping is visiting wineries and vineyards. Many of these places are small and family run businesses. When searching for a new vacation spot- try Geneva for its variety of different activities.
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