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HHS offers tools to promote local pandemic preparedness

first_img Jun 14 CIDRAP News story “HHS hears community leaders’ ideas on pandemic readiness” He said the gap between what public health experts know and what the public knows about pandemic planning is still very large, and more work is needed, particularly on community mitigation efforts that may be needed in a severe pandemic, such as school closures and student dismissals. See also: One component that seems to be missing from the HHS toolkit is a plan for distributing it to community leaders who are well positioned to use the materials, Dworkin said. “As of right now, they are available online, but who knows about them? How will community leaders, school boards, and others learn about their existence?” he asked. Greg Dworkin, MD, founding editor of the Flu Wiki Web site and chief of pediatric pulmonology at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Conn., told CIDRAP News the materials have been well received. “Interestingly, long-time flu preppers have already used them to discuss the idea with relatives and others who respond to the HHS stamp of legitimacy,” he said. Stephanie Marshall, HHS director of pandemic communications, told CIDRAP News via e-mail that the agency launched a “trade advertising campaign” for the toolkit on Dec 1, the same day the materials were posted on the government’s pandemic planning Web site. She said the ads appear on the toolkit Web site. “Government alone can’t prepare the nation for pandemic flu; this challenge requires your help,” HHS says in its online introduction to the toolkit. “As a leader in your community, you can playa powerful role in encouraging your employees, patients, and members and others whom you represent to prepare by providing information and guidance and by preparing yourself.” The toolkit is an outgrowth of earlier HHS efforts to engage community leaders’ help in preparing the nation for an influenza pandemic. In May the agency hosted a 5-week blog series that was designed to engage community leaders in online discussions about personal preparedness. In June, HHS held a leadership forum in Washington, DC, that drew about 100 leaders from various sectors.center_img Dworkin was one of 13 experts who led the HHS blog discussions and also took part in the agency’s leadership summit. HHS has identified nine communities that it will target with more intensive communication efforts regarding pandemic planning, Marshall said, adding that the agency hopes to introduce that campaign early next year. Titled “Take the Lead: Working Together to Prepare Now,” the 21-item toolkit is aimed at groups such as churches and business, healthcare, and civic organizations. The package of materials, posted on the HHS’ pandemic planning Web site Dec 1, includes several components that groups can adapt to meet their needs, including talking points, checklists, fact sheets, sample e-mails, and sample newsletter articles. The toolkit includes a template that groups can use to publicize campaigns to stockpile food as a community pandemic preparation activity. The package also includes ideas about incentives leaders can use to motivate community members to attend pandemic planning information meetings and related activities. Toolkit materials reflect the input from community leaders, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), HHS said on the Web site. Dec 4, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a toolkit to help community leaders educate their constituents about steps they can take to prepare for an influenza pandemic.last_img read more

Saudi deportations of Ethiopians could fuel COVID-19 spread: UN

first_imgSaudi Arabia has deported nearly 3,000 Ethiopian migrants in recent days, despite concerns that such operations could hasten the spread of the coronavirus, the United Nations says.Since mid-March, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) has registered 2,870 Ethiopian returnees, all but 100 of whom were sent back from Saudi Arabia, IOM spokesman Alemayehu Seifeselassie said on Monday. A humanitarian worker familiar with the deportations, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, put the total at “about 3,000” and said most had arrived from Saudi Arabia in the past 10 days. “The expulsion and deportation of Ethiopian irregular migrants while their country’s COVID-19 response is under-prepared puts them in harm’s way,” Catherine Sozi, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Ethiopia, wrote in a position paper seen Monday by AFP.The migrants are kept in detention facilities in Saudi Arabia before being flown back to Ethiopia, and it is unclear how thoroughly Saudi authorities are screening them for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The Ethiopian government had requested that such deportations be halted until it could set up 30 quarantine centers in Addis Ababa, Sozi said in her paper.But they have continued even though “only seven quarantine centres can host returnees” and “much work remains” to make Ethiopian quarantine centers compliant with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, Sozi wrote. The Ethiopian Public Health Institute on Monday referred questions about the deportations to the country’s foreign ministry, which did not respond to a request for comment.Ethiopia has reported just 74 cases of COVID-19 and three deaths, but testing remains limited and experts fear the country’s weak health system could quickly be overwhelmed. Ethiopians have long looked to Saudi Arabia as an escape from poor economic prospects and state repression, hoping to find work despite not having legal status. To get there, many board overcrowded boats that are at constant risk of sinking during sea crossings that can last up to 24 hours. Up to half a million Ethiopians were in Saudi Arabia when officials there launched a crackdown on illegal migration in 2017, according to the IOM.Since then, around 10,000 Ethiopians on average have been deported monthly, including in January and February.The humanitarian worker said there was a two-week break in deportations beginning around the time Ethiopia announced its first COVID-19 case on March 13. But flights have resumed despite the fact that Ethiopia is straining to accommodate the migrants.”The quarantine measures currently in place need to be improved, and the current medical staff needs to be increased and better prepared and equipped to assist… all newly arrived migrants,” the aid worker said. “These migrants are very vulnerable. They have undertaken an extremely dangerous journey and many arrive in Ethiopia with high medical and mental health needs.” Topics :last_img read more

World Cup Drawing Took Place Last Night, B&H in Group with Argentina

first_imgArgentina, Iran and Nigeria are B&H’s opponents in group F at the World Cup that will take place in Brazil next summer.B&H will play the first match at the famous Maracana stadium against Argentina.Schedule of matches in group F are as follows:Rio de Janeiro, 15. June: Argentina – BiHCuritiba, 16. June: Iran – NigeriaBelo Horizonte, 21. June: Argentina – IranCuiaba, 21. June: Nigerija – BiHPorto Alegre, 25. June: Nigeria – ArgentinaSalvador, 25. June: BiH – Iran(Source: klix.ba)last_img read more