Showing posts from December, 2014

Will the goal of an Ebola vaccine be realized in 2015?

It's exactly a month today since Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) put out a statement on the first phase 1 trial results of a candidate Ebola vaccine. Commenting on the results, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chairman of Global Vaccines at GSK said: “We are very encouraged by these positive first trial results showing this type of vaccine has an acceptable safety profile and can produce an immune response against Ebola in humans." The release also said further data from ongoing phase 1 trials in the United States of America, United Kingdom, Mali and Switzerland were expected by the end of 2014. “If the combined data from these trials are positive, the next phases of the clinical trial programme will begin in early 2015 to see whether the immune response we are seeing in phase 1 actually translates into providing people in affected countries with meaningful protection against Ebola," the statement said . Phase 3 trials will involve the vaccination of thousands of volunteers, includin

Thoughts on "The Path to Zero Ebola Cases"

If you read anything in the Sunday papers or on social media today, make Sylvia Olayinka's Blyden's commentary a must. On her Facebook wall, Blyden responds to Jim Yong Kim's recent Op-Ed in the New York Times. Read on.   These two photos are scenes of a now-typical day at the Kingtom Ebola Burial grounds in Western Sierra Leone. Scores of corpses are thrown into graves hastily dug by overworked grave diggers. Freetown has never seen a thing like this in contemporary times. We are being psychologically scarred; the World needs to end this scourge - fast. However, we all have roles to play especially those of us who can engage in critical thinking. In today's update therefore, I am drawing attention to what, in my view, is one of the BEST articles ever written on our Ebola crisis. It is authored by the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Yong Kim and was published this month in New York Times newspaper. Read it carefully. His listed steps, especially as to what loca

Africa on the "Best Countries for Business" Map

African nations make up 60 percent of the bottom 10 in the 2014 Forbes’ annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business, but it's not all bad news for Sierra Leone. In this week's publication, Kurt Badenhausen reports that high levels of corruption, red tape and taxes registering are major issues in Africa. Guinea brought up the rear at 146 and Sierra Leone stands at 114. In his first state of the nation address since the Ebola outbreak this May, President Koroma remarked on the nation's change in fortune at the State Opening of Parliament in Freetown on December 5. "This time last year, Sierra Leone won high praise and acclamation around the world as a country transforming itself into a model of post war recovery, a country registering sterling economic growth, a country improving its scores on most indices of governance, peace, investor confidence and democracy," said President Koroma in his state of the nation address. "This time last year, thousands

President Ernest Bai Koroma's State of the Nation Address

"Our country is a nation of young people. Youths, defined as those between 15 and 35, comprise about a third of the country’s population. The overwhelming majority of health workers, from nurses to contact tracers, burial teams, communication teams and volunteers are youths. This nation owes its very survival to youths. Youths are more resilient than any other group; the majority of those who survive Ebola are youths; we must build on this resilience of our youths to overcome the challenges we now face as a nation." -  President Ernest Bai Koroma's State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Friday, December 5, 2014 Full text of President Ernest Bai Koroma's State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Friday, December 5, 2014 MR. SPEAKER, MR. VICE PRESIDENT, MY LADY THE CHIEF JUSTICE, MINISTERS OF GOVERNMENT, HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT, EXCELLENCIES, MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS, HIS WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF FREETOWN, DISTINGUISHED G

What's Next for Sulaiman?

In a WhatsApp group Sunday, Sulaiman “Justice” Musa of Bo, Sierra Leone's second city, marked a career milestone with a look at some of his achievements, folk who helped him along the way, and people he has worked with.  "It's 5 years since I stepped down as leader of the Children's Forum Network/Children's Parliament here in Sierra Leone. During my time in the Children's Forum Network (CFN), I had the opportunity to interact with Leonard Francis Vibbi, now studying in the United States, Alex Samuel Nallo Jr., a consultant here in Sierra Leone, Chernor Bah, who now works at the United Nations in New York, Messeh Leone, an international critic based in the United Kingdom, Sillah Sillah, now a consultant in the Netherlands, Bamine Charlie Boye, a global youth ambassador based in the United States, and Musa Ansumana Soko, now head of the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Network ( WASH-Net ) Sierra Leone. "I was mentored by Sylvia Olayinka Blyden (she ne