Harrison Sakilla, a 39-year-old former teacher, can’t stop smiling.
"I have to smile," he says. "I’m the first survivor for the case management center here from Ebola."
Former patients like Sakilla, who’ve recovered from the virus, lift the collective spirit at at the Doctors Without Borders Ebola center in Liberia’s northern town of Foya. He was admitted to the high-risk isolation unit, which is part of a cluster of large tents that make up the bulk of the center.
While health workers busy themselves caring for patients on one side — with all the stress, hard work, death and sorrow that entails – there’s an oasis of joy and relief on the other side, where a few brick buildings stand to the right.
That’s where Ebola survivors congregate.
But their smiles may mask deep sorrow. “I’m very fine, even though I’ve lost seven [family members],” says Sakilla.
He starts to list them: “My father, my mother, my sister, my niece, my big brother and my niece’s daughter,” he says. “But right now I’m alive, I’m very, very, very happy. You see me smiling — nothing but smiling.”
Sakilla and other survivors gather together in their own little center, beyond the pop-up tents. Several are helping Doctors Without Borders, looking after orphaned children and performing other tasks.
Photo: Bendu Borlay, 21 and an Ebola survivor, is caring for an infant whose mother died of the disease. (Tommy Trenchard for NPR)
(From Bloomberg Philantropies)
World Rabies Day is September 28. On this day, begin to take steps to keep yourself and your family free from rabies. Look for events in your area that provide an opportunity to celebrate World Rabies Day and get the facts on rabies prevention and control.
Rabies is a deadly virus that can kill anyone who gets it. Every year, an estimated 40,000 people in the U.S. receive a series of shots known as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) due to potential exposure to rabies. In addition, the U.S. public health cost associated with rabies is more than $300 million a year. Each year around the world, rabies results in more than 55,000 deaths – approximately one death every 10 minutes. Most deaths are reported from Africa and Asia with almost 50% of the victims being children under the age of 15.
The Challenge of Rabies
Rabies is present on every inhabited continent. People usually get rabies when they are bitten by an animal that has the virus. In the U.S., the animals that most often get rabies are wild animals. Fortunately, the U.S. has been successful in eliminating a particular kind of rabies – known as canine rabies – that is responsible for rabies spreading from dog-to-dog.
However, canine rabies has not been controlled in many regions of the world, further threatening the health of humans and animals in these areas. In addition, some areas of the world have problems with large numbers of stray dogs, which can often come in contact with wild animals that have rabies. This often causes an increased number of rabid animals that have the potential to transmit the virus to humans.
The good news is that people can easily take steps to help prevent and control rabies.
(Picture from Global Alliance for Rabies Control)
Activists, celebrities and policy makers from around the world show their support for climate action in this UN Climate Summit video.
Climate Summit 2014 website:
From Bloomberg Philantropies via Twitter
Increased access to comprehensive reproductive health services saves lives bloombg.org/1CtgFhD
(From Gates Foundation via Twitter)
Eye surgeons in Mali travel long distances in extreme heat on motorbikes visiting remote villages to try and eliminate one of the leading causes of preventable blindness.
They go from village to village and treat anyone with the advanced stages of trachoma, a bacterial infection, before it causes irreversible blindness. Trachoma is common in children and the women who care for them. It is infectious and is spread by coming into direct contact with the discharge produced from the eyes or nose of an infected person through contaminated objects such as towels. Flies also transfer the bacteria from the discharge.
(More from BBC News)
The arrival of fast food has triggered the latest health epidemic to hit developing countries. As doctors begin the fightback against morbid obesity, Bénédicte Desrus travels round Africa photographing people living with the condition, while Ian Birrell reveals why South Africa now faces its biggest challenge since HIV.
Photograph: Benedicte Desrus
Photograph: Bénédicte Desrus