Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα solidarity. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα solidarity. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Πέμπτη, 25 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

Oettinger on energy security: “Gas can be used as a weapon and no longer be delivered" (EP -25.09.14)


Europe should ensure people and companies enjoy a secure supply of energy and this includes measures based on solidarity, said energy commissioner Günther Oettinger addressing the EP's energy committee on 24 September. In his last appearance as energy commissioner at the Parliament, Oettinger looked back at his tenure over the last five years and discussed future challenges regarding the EU's energy policy, including the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine.


Committee chair Jerzy Buzek, a Polish member of the EPP group, referred to the situation in Ukraine in his welcome statement: “The crisis in Ukraine reminds us that energy security of the EU does not end at the EU borders. It is a pan-European challenge.”

  • In his opening speech, Mr Oettinger said that in the field of energy, many people think that relations with Russia are more important that relations with Ukraine, but "we have to overcome this". He added: “Gas can be used as a weapon and no longer  be delivered. This is not yet the case, but we believe that Russia will do whatever they can to undermine Ukraine.” Oettinger said: “Perhaps Ukraine could purchase gas from Russia with co-finance from the EU in order to store more gas.”

The commissioner also pleaded for more collaboration on energy. The EU already has a legal basis to work on energy issues, but "we now have 28 fragmented systems", he said. Several MEPs shared his view that more should be done to combat this fragmentation and to link the energy sectors of countries within the EU.

MEPs

Martina Werner, a German member of the S&D group, said: “He has partly applied climate goals, but not fully. I’m especially critical of the directive on energy efficiency. We, the Socialists and Democrats, had hoped for much more.”

Dawid Bohdan Jackiewicz, a Polish member of the ECR group, asked whether new energy efficiency targets would hurt member states’ competitiveness and wondered how they would affect energy prices.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20140924STO69503/
25/9/14
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Πέμπτη, 4 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014

WHO experts to gather in Geneva to discuss use of experimental anti-Ebola drugs

GENEVA, September 04 /ITAR-TASS/. About 200 health experts will gather on Thursday in Geneva for a two-day conference to discuss all aspect of the use of experimental drugs that have not yet been tested on humans in anti-Ebola efforts. 

This meeting will be sequential to a mid-August conference of the World Health Organization (WHO), which gave green light to the use of anti-Ebola drugs tested only on monkeys.
This radical step was made in a bid to stop the unprecedented grave Ebola outbreak that have already claimed more than 1,500 lives in Western Africa. More than 3,000 people have been infected.

Since the first Ebola outbreak in 1976 in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, no drugs capable of curing this disease have been officially registered.
However, the WHO’s permission to use experimental drugs failed to solve the problem. The matter is that there are no efficient vaccines against Ebola and experimental drugs are either scarce or underdeveloped. But, according to the WHO forecasts, the number of infected people in Western Africa may reach 20,000 in the next six months.
This situation poses lots of questions, such as: what the criteria of a drug efficiency are, what kind of restrictions on its use should be imposed, how to better organize data collection for analysis. Apart from that, the experts are to outline the priorities for the use experimental drugs and decide where such drugs should go in the first instance, bearing in mind the acute shortage of such drugs. Financial aspects are important too. It is yet to be decided who is to finance the production of such drugs in the long run.

Taking part in the conference will be representatives from pharmaceutical companies who will present their latest developments. In all, specialists will speak about 20 drugs that might be used to cope with Ebola outbreak. These preparations are divided into three groups: drugs derived from the blood of humans or animals who have had Ebola; anti-virus preparations, like the ones used to treat HIV/AIDS; and, finally, vaccines. 


By now, Ebola virus has spread across five countries in Western Africa, namely Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. Deaths from Ebola have been reported from all these countries, except Senegal. The most serious situation is in now in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. According to the WHO estimates, this outbreak will last from six to nine months and will require about 490 million U.S. dollars.

Apart from these countries, Ebola cases have been registered in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the death toll has reached 31. WHO experts however say this is an isolated outbreak not linked with the one raging in Western Africa.

The World Health Organization describes Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) as “a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90%.” Symptoms include sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding. The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus. The incubation period is 2 to 21 days. There is no known cure or vaccine for the disease. The only treatment offered is “supportive intensive care.” During an outbreak, those at higher risk of infection are health workers, family members and others in close contact with sick people and deceased patients.
http://en.itar-tass.com
4/9/14
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Σάββατο, 16 Αυγούστου 2014

Ebola: cases, deaths ‘vastly underestimated,’ says UN health agency

UN,  15 August 2014 – Health workers at Ebola outbreak sites are seeing evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths “vastly underestimate” the magnitude of the crisis as they work around the clock to stop the disease from spreading, according to the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO, in its latest update on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa dated August 14, said no new cases have been detected in Nigeria, attributing the outcome to extensive contact tracing and monitoring, implemented with support from the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


“Elsewhere, the outbreak is expected to continue for some time,” WHO said.

The most recent statistics compiled by WHO show that the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa continues to escalate, with 1975 cases and 1069 deaths reported from Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

But WHO also said: “Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak.”

On the humanitarian side, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is delivering food to the more than one million people locked down in the quarantine zones, where the borders of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone intersect, and several countries have agreed to support the provision of priority food staples for this population.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in a blog post from Sierra Leone on the “joys of survivors” of the deadly disease, says that “Ebola survivors can play a valuable role in dispelling myths and in gaining community support in the fight against Ebola.”

“Some people in Sierra Leone still have not accepted that Ebola is real. While many survivors fear stigma, some are now coming forward and telling their brave stories,” wrote UNICEF consultant Jo Dunlup.

WHO said it is mapping the outbreak in great detail, to pinpoint areas of ongoing transmission and locate treatment facilities and supplies.

“CDC is equipping the hardest-hit countries with computer hardware and software that will soon allow real-time reporting of cases and analysis of trends,” according to the UN agency’s update.

WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan in Geneva regularly meets with ambassadors from United Nations missions based in the Swiss city to identify the most urgent needs within countries and match them with rapid international support.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Dr. David Nabarro as Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola, in support of the work done by the WHO team. WHO has expressed its disappointment that some airlines have stopped flying to West Africa. It is “hard to save lives if we and other health workers cannot get in,” WHO has said.

  • WHO has repeatedly said the Ebola virus is highly contagious – but not airborne. Transmission requires close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, as can occur during health-care procedures, home care, or traditional burial practices, which involve the close contact of family members and friends with bodies.

The incubation period ranges from 2 to 21 days, but patients become contagious only after the onset of symptoms. As symptoms worsen, the ability to transmit the virus increases. As a result, patients are usually most likely to infect others at a severe stage of the disease, when they are visibly, and physically, too ill to travel.

un.org
15/8/14
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Παρασκευή, 8 Αυγούστου 2014

WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak a Global Health Emergency

The World Health Organization has declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa to be an international public health emergency that requires an extraordinary response to stop its spread.

At a news conference in Geneva Friday, WHO director Margaret Chan said the announcement is "a clear call for international solidarity.''

She said the countries affected by the deadly virus "simply do not have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this size and complexity," as she appealed for greater international aid.

The impact of the WHO declaration is unclear.
On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activated its emergency operation center at the highest level in response to the outbreak.

CDC chief Thomas Frieden told a congressional hearing on Ebola that the centers will soon have 50 disease experts in West Africa. He said he is confident no major outbreak in the U.S. will happen.

The current Ebola outbreak is on pace to infect more people than all other outbreaks of the virus combined.

The World Health Organization says Ebola has now killed more than 930 people in West Africa, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. The total number of cases stands at more than 1,700.

There is no known cure or vaccine for Ebola. Patients may experience fever, vomiting, diarrhea, body aches and uncontrollable bleeding from all openings in the body, including the eyes, mouth and ears. Initial symptoms of the disease are often similar to malaria.
http://www.voanews.com/content/who-declares-ebola-outbreak-global-health-emergency/2406877.html
8/8/14
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