jm + ebola   5

How open-source software developers helped end the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone
Little known to the rest of the world, a team of open source software developers played a small but integral part in helping to stop the spread of Ebola in Sierra Leone, solving a payroll crisis that was hindering the fight against the disease.

Emerson Tan from NetHope, a consortium of NGOs working in IT and development, told the tale at the Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg, Germany. “These guys basically saved their country from complete collapse. I can’t overestimate how many lives they saved,” he said about his co-presenters, Salton Arthur Massally, Harold Valentine Mac-Saidu and Francis Banguara, who appeared over video link.
open-source  software  coding  payroll  sierra-leone  ebola  ccc 
january 2016 by jm
Closed access means people die
'We've paid 100 BILLION USD over the last 10 years to "publish" science and medicine. Ebola is a massive systems failure.' See also https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150409/17514230608/dont-think-open-access-is-important-it-might-have-prevented-much-ebola-outbreak.shtml :

'The conventional wisdom among public health authorities is that the Ebola virus, which killed at least 10,000 people in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, was a new phenomenon, not seen in West Africa before 2013. [...]
But, as the team discovered, that "conventional wisdom" was wrong. In fact, they found a bunch of studies, buried behind research paywalls, that revealed that there was significant evidence of antibodies to the Ebola virus in Liberia and in other nearby nations. There was one from 1982 that noted: "medical personnel in Liberian health centers should be aware of the possibility that they may come across active cases and thus be prepared to avoid nosocomial epidemics."
deaths  liberia  ebola  open-access  papers  elsevier  science  medicine  reprints 
april 2015 by jm
'In 1976 I discovered Ebola, now I fear an unimaginable tragedy' | World news | The Observer
An interview with the scientist who was part of the team which discovered the Ebola virus in 1976:
Other samples from the nun, who had since died, arrived from Kinshasa. When we were just about able to begin examining the virus under an electron microscope, the World Health Organisation instructed us to send all of our samples to a high-security lab in England. But my boss at the time wanted to bring our work to conclusion no matter what. He grabbed a vial containing virus material to examine it, but his hand was shaking and he dropped it on a colleague's foot. The vial shattered. My only thought was: "Oh, shit!" We immediately disinfected everything, and luckily our colleague was wearing thick leather shoes. Nothing happened to any of us.
ebola  epidemiology  health  africa  labs  history  medicine 
october 2014 by jm
Ebola: While Big Pharma Slept
We’ve had almost 40 years to develop, test and stockpile an Ebola vaccine. That has not happened because big pharma has been entirely focused on shareholder value and profits over safety and survival from a deadly virus. For the better part of Ebola’s 38 years ‒ big pharma has been asleep. The question ahead is what virus or superbug will wake them up?
pharma  ebola  ip  patents  health  drugs  africa  research 
october 2014 by jm
Ebola vaccine delayed by IP spat
This is the downside of publicly-funded labs selling patent-licensing rights to private companies:
Given the urgency, it's inexplicable that one of the candidate vaccines, developed at the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) in Winnipeg, has yet to go in the first volunteer's arm, says virologist Heinz Feldmann, who helped develop the vaccine while at PHAC. "It’s a farce; these doses are lying around there while people are dying in Africa,” says Feldmann, who now works at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in Hamilton, Montana.

At the center of the controversy is NewLink Genetics, a small company in Ames, Iowa, that bought a license to the vaccine's commercialization from the Canadian government in 2010, and is now suddenly caught up in what WHO calls "the most severe acute public health emergency seen in modern times.” Becker and others say the company has been dragging its feet the past 2 months because it is worried about losing control over the development of the vaccine.
ip  patents  drugs  ebola  canada  phac  newlink-genetics  health  epidemics  vaccines 
october 2014 by jm

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