Monthly Archives: October 2014

Wikipedia, Ebola, and African Languages | Mali | UMass Ebola Panel 28 October

27 October 2014

• Wikipedia, Ebola, and African Languages: Wikipedia Is Emerging as Trusted Internet Source for Information on Ebola

Beyond Niamey reports that an article in the New York Times, “Wikipedia Is Emerging as Trusted Internet Source for Information on Ebola” (26 Oct. 2014), mentions translations of a main article on ebola “into other languages” – from English being understood. Those translations are coordinated through the Medical Translation Project / Translation Task Force (MTP/TTF) of the WikiProject Medicine, the

• Mali to keep Guinea border open despite Ebola death: president

• Ebola Epidemic to Be Discussed by Panel at UMass Amherst 28 October 2014

University of Massachusetts in Amherst announced that four panelists will discuss “The Ebola Epidemic: How We Got Here, Current Preparedness, and Future Outlook” on Tuesday, 28 October at 6 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The speakers are:

  • Martha Anker of the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences, a global surveillance and response expert in infectious disease
  • George Corey, executive director and medical director, University Health Services
  • Donna Gallagher, founding coordinator, UMass Medical School Office of Global Health
  • Alpha Kabinet Kaba of the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter Public School, a native of Guinea whose family has been affected by the Ebola outbreak

Wilmore Webley, associate professor of microbiology and an expert in infectious disease and immunology, will be moderator.

Heritage Auction 14 November 2014

Heritage ‘s American Indian, Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Auction will be held in Dallas 14 November, with online access.

The African material begins with Lot 71258, and are mostly edged weapons and textiles.

Lot 71288 is a male Dan mask stripped of all its pigments and attachments, the bare light-colored wood having been cleaned and possibly polished in the past, ex Park Bernet December 1965.

Lot 71289 is a Dan ceremonial spoon with a clenched right hand carved at the tip of its handle.

Ebola in Mali: The Guinea-Mali Connection

Potential for Ebola Spread Along Route from Guinea to SW Mali

Some important details were revealed by WHO today regarding Mali’s first recorded case of Ebola, and the situation does not look good.

The two-year-old girl who died on 23 October had recently arrived from Guinea accompanied by her grandmother. Her first contact with the country’s health services occurred on 20 October, when she was examined by a health care worker at Quartier Plateau in Kayes, a city of about 12,000 people near the border with Senegal.

The health-care worker referred the grandmother and child to the Fousseyni Daou Hospital, in the same city, where she was admitted to the pediatric ward on the following day. Symptoms on admission included a fever of 39°C (102.2°F), cough, bleeding from the nose, and bloody diarrhea.

She tested positive for typhoid fever, but not malaria, and was given acetaminophen for fever, but did not improve. It wasn’t until three days after she initially presented that Ebola was confirmed. She died that day.

Long, infectious travel route a concern

Of major concern is the extensive travel history of the child and her grandmother. The grandmother traveled from her home in Mali to attend a funeral in the town of Kissidougou, in southern Guinea. This is home to the Mel-speaking Kissi, and very close to the Mande-speaking Koranko, both ethnic groups with Poro (variously called Poro, Tɔɔma vandiamua, or Komo by the former, and Gbangbani among the Koranko).

The region near Kissidougou in Guinea where the first Mali Ebola patient attended her mother’s funeral. This is home to the Kissi, and very close to the Koranko. (From Carey 2007).

The funeral may have been for the child’s mother, who was reportedly symptomatic with Ebola before her death, but this has yet to be confirmed. On 19 October, the grandmother left Kissidougou to return to Mali, taking the child with her on public transportation. The girl’s nasal bleeding began while they were still in Guinea, meaning that the child was symptomatic, and therefore infectious, during their travels through Guinea and Mali. Travel was by public bus through the towns of Keweni, Kankan, Sigouri, and Kouremale to Bamako. They stayed in Bamako for two hours before travelling on to Kayes.

Considering that the first patient out of the more than 10,000 cases to date was one 2-year-old boy in Guédéckou, Guinea, the tremendous opportunity for viral spread all along this travel route in ominous.

Kayes is near the borders of Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, and only 420 kilometres (260 mi) northwest of the capital Bamako.

Carey, Neil. 2007. Masks of the Koranko Poro: Form, Function and Comparison to the Toma. Amherst: Ethnos.

_________. 2013. Comparative Native Terminology of Poro Groups. Secrecy: Journal of  the Poro Studies Association, 1(1), 1-21.

_________. (2014). Art of the Kissi.  Retrieved October 8, 2014, from HTTPS://www.porostudiesassociation.org/art-liberian-kissi/

WHO. (2014). Mali Confirms its First Case of Ebola: Ebola SitRep 24 October 2014.  Retrieved October 25, 2014, from HTTPS://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/ebola/24-october-2014/en/

First Mali Patient Dies, Ivory Coast Searching For Ebola Suspect

Ebola in West Africa Update | 24 October 2014

2-Year-Old Girl Dies of Ebola in Mali —  Côte d’Ivoire looking for Guinean Ebola Medic

Yesterday Mali became the 6th nation in West Africa to confirm Ebola. Today the 2-year-old girl died of the disease, having just arrived from Guinea. (HTTPS://www.porostudiesassociation.org/ebola-spreads-mali/).

Medical staff wearing protective masks wait for passengers arriving from Guinea at Abidjan's airport on October 20, 2014 (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)

Medical staff wearing protective masks wait for passengers arriving from Guinea at Abidjan’s airport on October 20, 2014 (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)

A two-year-old girl, who was Mali’s first reported case of Ebola, died on Friday, shortly after the World Health Organization warned that many people had potentially been exposed to the virus because she was taken across the country while ill.

The girl had travelled with her grandmother hundreds of miles by bus from Guinea via Mali’s capital Bamako to the western town of Kayes, where she was diagnosed on 23 October. Health workers are now trying to trace hundreds of potential contacts in a bid to prevent Ebola taking hold in Mali.

WHO said that an investigation into the girl’s case revealed that she had already started showing symptoms — and was therefore contagious — before being taken to Kayes.

“The child’s symptomatic state during the bus journey is especially concerning, as it presented multiple opportunities for exposures – including high-risk exposures – involving many people,” it added.

The girl was seen by health workers on Oct. 20 in Kayes but was referred to another hospital the next day where she tested positive for typhoid but was also bleeding from her nose. It was not until Oct. 23 that she tested positive for Ebola, WHO said.

Kayes is near the borders of Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, and only

Kayes is near the borders of Guinea-Bissau and Senegal, and only 420 kilometres (260 mi) northwest of the capital Bamako.

WHO said that 43 contacts had been identified and isolated but a second Malian health official, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters that authorities estimated that at least 300 people had been in contact with the infected child.

Hours before Mali confirmed the case on Thursday, WHO Assistant Director-General Keiji Fukuda said the agency had “reasonable confidence” that there was not widespread transmission of the Ebola virus into neighbouring countries.

In the capital Bamako, residents voiced alarm at the girl having spent time in the city’s Bagadadji district before travelling on Sunday to Kayes, some 600 km to the northwest near the Senegalese border.

Mali was the sixth West African nation to record a case of Ebola. Senegal and Nigeria have successfully contained outbreaks and has been declared free of the disease. Spain and the United States have had a several cases, the newest an ER doctor who had just returned from treating Ebola patients in Guinea, but was not quarantined. He became ill and tested positive for Ebola today after breaking his self-imposed quarantine for some bowling and fun in New York City.

There is much concern about the preparedness of Mali, one of the world’s poorest countries, to contain an outbreak. Home to a large U.N. peacekeeping mission, the mostly Muslim country is still battling northern Islamist militants after a brief war last year.

IVORY COAST CONTACT

Both Mali and Ivory Coast have put in place border controls in an attempt to stop Ebola entering from Guinea or in the case of Liberia too. However, a visit to Mali’s border with Guinea by Reuters this month showed vehicles avoiding a health checkpoint set up by Malian authorities by simply driving through the bush.

Learning that one of his patients had Ebola, a Guinean health care worker slipped surveillance and fled to the Ivory Coast today, where a manhunt for him is underway.

Raymonde Goudou Coffie, Ivory Coast’s health minister, said they did not know if the man had Ebola but had to be traced as he had been in contact with someone who had the disease.

If this man is carrying the virus, he might become the first Ivorian Ebola case.

 

Ebola Spreads to Mali

Ebola Update: Mali confirms first infection case

23 October 2014

Despite health officials in Mali checking people returning from the Ebola-hit countries in West Africa, the Mali government has confirmed the first case of Ebola in the country today.

A two-year-old girl had tested positive for the virus. She recently returned from neighboring Guinea. Patient Zero, the first known case of this new strain of Ebola that’s ravaging West Africa, was also a 2-year-old who died in December 2013 in Guédéckou, Guinea near where the borders of guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia intersect.

Almost 10,000 cases have since occurred, and 4,800 people have died of Ebola – mainly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone – since March 2014.

Speaking on state television on Thursday, Malian Health Minister Ousmane Kone said the infected girl was being treated in the western town of Kayes.

Kayes is near the border of Guinea-Bissau, 612 km (380 mi) by road from Bamako, and only 96 km (60 mi) from the border with Senegal.

Mali is now the sixth West African country to be affected by the latest Ebola outbreak. Nigeria and Senegal contained their small numbers of cases very quickly and efficiently, and are for the time-being Ebola-free. Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone continue to experience exponential growth of the disease. Although the northern areas of Guinea have been the least hard-hit, they have reported cases, and the spread of Ebola across its porous borders with Mali and/or Guinea-Bissau was just a matter of time.

Kayes is nicknamed the “pressure cooker of Africa” due to its extreme heat. The town has been described as the hottest continuously inhabited town in Africa. The average daily high temperature in the city is 36 °C (97 °F), with temperatures usually peaking in April and May at an average of nearly 42 °C (108 °F).

Once a small village, it became the capital of French Sudan before being replaced by Bamako. It is still a hub for Senegalese commerce, and its proximity to Senegal and Bamako are a concern regarding further spread of Ebola transmission.

Kayes, Mali 2006

Kayes, Mali 2006

The second peak of Ebola in Sierra Leone is linked to viral spread to Kenema, a large city of an estimated 188,463 people (pre-ebola). Ebola occurring in Kayes, with a population of 127,368 in 2009, is of major concern. Also, it has an international airport, facilitating translocation of cases.

At the SE end of the infected region, as we’ve already noted, the only barrier keeping Ebola out of Ivory Coast is the Cavalla River. Given the porosity of the (closed) borders between Ivory Coast, Guinea, and Liberia, and the historical ease of migration across the borders as seen during the conflicts of the 1990s, it is odd that Ivory Coast has not yet reported a case. Underreporting may be at play.

Renovated Musée Picasso (Paris) Opens 25 October

Musée Picasso Reopens 25 October in Paris

Grebo Face Mask.

Grebo Face Mask.

The Picasso Museum in Paris reopens this Saturday, on 25 October (Picasso’s birthday), having been closed since 2009. Expanded to over five floors, the museum boasts more than 5,000 pieces of paintings, sculptures and prints, as well as Picasso’s personal archives.

Thanks to Bruno Claessens for the heads-up on this.

Fernandez Leventhal Gallery — Exhibition Opening 20 November

Fernandez Leventhal Gallery announced a special exhibition entitled Limousin Sculpteur: Rencontres Africaines.

7838532a-098a-48fa-bf1b-cbf6d52b231aThe show explores the shared aesthetics and sensibilities between the sculptor Limousin and African art. The opening will take place on Thursday, November 20, starting at 6:30 PM at their Paris gallery located at 8 rue de Bièvre, Metro Maubert-Mutualité

Musée Dapper Exhibition — L’Art de Manger: Rites et Traditions

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Fang Reliquary Figure. Gabon. Musée Dapper, Paris. Photo Hughes Dubois.

The exhibition L’Art de Manger: Rites et Traditions (The Art of Eating: Rites and Traditions) at the Musée Dapper opened 15 October, and will run through 12 July 2014. It is curated by Christiane Falgayrettes-Leveau and Anne van Cutsem-Vanderstraete.

The essential theme is that food, the foundation for any group’s survival and its members’ well-being, also allows man to relate to the beings of other cultures. These practices and the myriad objects associated with them are presented in the exhibition. Special utensils including dishes, bowls, cups, spoons, ladles, and other fascinating implements from important cultural practices as marriages, births, initiations, and funerary rites are displayed.

Alain-Michel Boyer of the Université de Nantes, known for his expertise on the Baule, Yaure and Wan of Côte d’Ivoire and his many books on the arts of sub-Saharan Africa, is co-author of the accompanying 350 page book L’Art de Manger: Rites et Traditions en Afrique Insulinde et Oceanie from Éditions Dapper, which will not be released until 30 October.

West African Ebola Education Material in Wrong Language

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Are We Educating W. Africans in Pig Latin?

When some of us were children (pre-texting era) we would use “Pig Latin” as a coded language when we didn’t want someone within earshot to understand our secrets. Our elders simply talked in the languages from the “old country”.

Since local and international aid groups and health care workers are making important efforts to educate W. African communities about Ebola avoidance, reporting, and decontamination, one would assume they’re doing so in languages that the people can understand, right?

Not so, points out Don Osborn on the linguistics site Beyond Niamey, who has been making this irony clear to us for quite awhile. West African Ebola education material is often in the wrong language.

Several recent posts on his blog have highlighted the need to provide information about Ebola in diverse African languages. He mentions two important efforts to share material for communication on the disease, which include almost no information (yet) in African languages: the Ebola Communication Network (ECN), funded by USAID and run by the Center for Communications Programs at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and “Ebola and C4D,” a page on UNICEF‘s Communication for Development (C4D) website.

The need for translators and materials in appropriate languages and dialects (such as Krio, and various Mande, Limba, Kruan languages) is essential, as e.g. only 13% of Sierra Leone women use English.

He notes that on the “Ebola and C4D” page, apparently launched in August, all linked materials are in English, French, or Portuguese, with one item in Khmer and one poster from Uganda in “Bantu” (which is a language family – may be Runyoro or Luganda – seeking to identify).”

Osborn makes a valid plea for “any proactive effort to develop the collection of materials in African languages in affected areas that might otherwise be overlooked.”