Who will help those who cannot help themselves?

                                              

 Raising awareness of injustices in the African Continent.  

 

 

 

Mans' inhumanity to man 

Africa remains a Continent severly used, abused and plundered day by day.  Whilst its natural resources are taken out, the return in value or benefits are minimal or non-existent.  As if it did not have enough problems, it is overwhelmed by diseases which have often been neglected. 

 

Hunger, thirst and the need for basic medicine 

The worst drought in over half a century has hit many part of Africa.  One example is parts of East Africa and Somalia, affecting all ages and threathening lives of the weak and the young children. Thousands of families are currently travelling for days across scorched scrubland from Somalia to Kenya, including barefoot children with no food or water. These people have witnessed their crops and livestock destroyed by the drought. Politics and greed compounds the problem even further by pushing the venerable even further into despair in their fight to survive.  CEEP Conference raises awarness of the needs of this Continent.

                    

                                             

 

Ebola, Science and humanity

Deaths and recent cases

 

Ebola  - The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia has laid bare the calamity that faces this Continent.  Whilst the World may have awoken to Ebola, the reality and immensity of the task to repair this Continent needs International effort and not just words. One has to remember that Ebola isn’t West Africa’s only problem. Tens of thousands die there each year from diseases like AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have among the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. Because people are now too afraid of contracting Ebola to go to the hospital, very few are getting basic medical care.

This is about humanitarianism and not self-interest. If we wait for vaccines and new drugs to arrive to end the Ebola epidemic, instead of taking major action now, we risk the disease’s reaching from West Africa to other Continents of the World.  The dearth of basic research funding for scientists in many African countries, which cannot afford the high-cost of building laboratories or purchasing equipment needed to study such diseases highlights the legacy and  years of neglect which have now comes to hunt the nations who could have done something positive in the past.  Now, some donors and scientists predict that the heightened awareness may result in expanded funding on not just Ebola, but also diverse neglected diseases in Africa.  Ebola exposed our ignorance of Africa and the Western World about emerging infectious diseases.  So far, however, there have been no signs that funding for African research in general will surge, and some worry that increased funding for Ebola in the midst of the epidemic will actually draw funds away from other research programs.

The Gates Foundation, however, continues its commitment to eradicating malaria, having announced earlier this month that it will pledge another $500 million towards the disease.  Not all funding for Ebola and other diseases that affect the African population is going to researchers on the continent.  And the lion-share of funds that the Gates Foundation devotes to research into malaria is spent in developed countries outside Africa where drug development systems are already in place.

 

                                                

 

                 

                    Challenges                                                                             Realities

 

Ebola Drug Trials in Africa

Researchers will test antiviral drugs and transfusions of blood from Ebola survivors in the West African countries hardest hit by the epidemic. Three separate research projects will test Ebola treatments among the human populations at the epicenter of the epidemic.  Some of the clinical trials have commenced at separate sites in West Africa: in Liberia, and in Gueckedou and Conakry, two towns in Guinea.  Researchers from the University of Oxford in the U.K. will test the effectiveness of Brincidofovir, an antiviral drug being developed by Chimerix of Durham, North Carolina, in Liberia. Ebola sufferers in Gueckedou, Guinea, will be given the Japanese antiviral Favipiravir as part of a study that will be overseen by France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research. Researchers from the Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine will administer the blood of Ebola survivors to patients in Conakry, Guinea.

It is possible that these products may or may not work in patients with Ebola and the only way to confirm that they work is to use them now during this epidemic in affected countries in question.  The trials will be challenging, not only because the Ebola epidemic continues to ravage West Africa.  The disease has claimed more than 9,000 lives and health care systems in these worst hit countries are now severely compromised.

 

A sustained fight by researchers and scientists is needed against the virus until it is finally eradicated from these countries before it spreads far and wide.  Additionally, and even more urgent, is the need for a greater sustained effort by the World economic powers and its people to help the poor, diseased and starving who cannot help themselves!

 

 

Malaria & Zika

                                                            

Zika virus, a mosquito-borne disease known to cause birth defects if it infects pregnant women, has been spreading rapidly throughout the Americas for several months. The diagnostic technology required to achieve the specificity needed to distinguish between Zika and related viruses that are also common in affected regions is relatively expensive and requires specialized skills. In a recent publication, the inventors of the simple, paper-based test showed that it can detect Zika virus in plasma from infected monkeys.  The test-cartridge contains a new paper-based diagnostic test for Zika virus with dots that turn purple on detection of the virus.

 

These researchers also showed that it not only distinguishes between Zika and dengue but also between different Zika strains. This could provide valuable information to health workers because genetic variation may lead to different symptoms. The authors point out that a strain found in Brazil seems to be more closely linked than others to higher incidences of fetal microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare immunological disorder that may be triggered by Zika virus.

 

At the heart of the new diagnostic test is a piece of paper that on its surface contains biological machinery—components found in living cells—that can carry out gene expression. A specialized gene is paired with a sensor made of RNA, which triggers the production of a purple-colored protein when exposed to target sequences from the viral genome found in the blood of an infected patient.  The researchers added new components to the system for collecting and preparing the sample, and for distinguishing between individual Zika strains using the gene-editing tool CRISPR. The system is freeze-dried on the paper and then rehydrated when needed.  Each test, which can process a sample in about three hours, can be stored at room temperature for up to year and costs less than a dollar to make, according to the researchers. These are early days and commercialization of the technology needs to take place before it can be tested in the field.

 

 

Research Progress:

Rsearchers Show Zika-virus Infected Chick Embryos a Good Model for Studying Microcephaly in Human Pregnancy (2016)

A new study has shown that chick embryos can be infected with Zika virus and have Zika-induced brain changes including the microcephaly seen in human fetuses infected early in pregnancy. Chick embryos can serve as a valuable model organism for studying the effects of Zika virus on development and for screening experimental therapies, according to the study published in Stem Cells and Development.   To read the article, click link below

 

                    Stem Cell & Development - Volume: 25 Issue 22: November 15, 2016-    CLICK HERE

 

 

Promoting Global medical needs such as Zika virus impact on new borns

 

                                                                

                                                              

 

 

Exposing mans' inhumanity to animals 

 

 

Africa remains a Continent severly used, abused and plundered day by day.  Whilst its natural resources are taken out, the return in value or benefits are minimal or non-existent.  As if it did not have enough problems, its animal population is being hunted down to almost extinction for the wrong reasons and selfishness.  Whilst Rhinos are killed for their horns which are wrongly belived to have medicinal properties in the Far East, elephants population is destroyed for their ivory.  The use of ivory for carvings and ornaments to decorate coffee tables, house or furs for the human body shows the real 'mans' inhumanity to wildlife' .  Whilst some countries make propaganda bans of these animal trophies, ivory, horns and furs, in reality, this are just public relation excercises to the world! This actions are without any regards to the eco-system, environment or wildlife.  As the World watches and does nothing, it is only a matter of time before many of these wonderful animals are totally wiped out from the face of the earth!  

 

Rhinos

 

                                       Rhino horns

                                       

 

 

Elephants and their young

 

 

                       Destruction of elephants, big cats and our wildlife

                      

 

                               Please don't allow these animals to become extinct because of human greed and stupidity!

                                                                                     http://savetheelephants.org/

 

     raising awarness of wildlife extinction in Africa !