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://

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.


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


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


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.”

Tribal Art Fair Amsterdam 24-26 October

Screenshot 2014-10-20 21.00.53Tribal Art Fair Amsterdam 24-26 October 2014

The TAF in Amsterdam will be held from 24-26 October, with an invitation-only preview on the 23rd.

Twenty art dealers from Holland and abroad will display their pieces, including objects from Oceania, Africa, Indonesia, South America, Tibet and The Philippines.

The exhibitions include jewellery, sculptures, textiles, masks, implements and furniture. All objects at the Fair will be vetted by experts of that region. Collectors, enthusiasts and anyone who is curious about ethnographic art can come and browse or learn more by attending a guided tour or an interesting lecture, all at ‘De Duif’ church in the centre of Amsterdam.

Opening times:
Opening 23 October, 15.00 – 19:00
(by invitation only)
24, 25, 26 October 11.00-18.00
Admission fee: Euro 5,00

De Duif
Prinsengracht 756, Amsterdam

more info:


Nothing We’re Doing or Might Do Will Halt Ebola in W. Africa

0,,17911388_403,00No Short-Term Curb Expected in Ebola Epidemic

Improved infection control practices, increased contact tracing, and even hoped-for pharmaceutical interventions like vaccines or antiviral drugs will apparently not halt the short-term spread of Ebola in West Africa, according to a new study.

A new research paper (Rivers et. al. 2014) using existing data from Liberia and Sierra Leone to model the forecast of the epidemic, concluded that “Near-term, practical interventions to address the ongoing Ebola epidemic may have a beneficial impact on public health, but they will not result in the immediate halting, or even obvious slowing of the epidemic.”

“…the epidemic has progressed beyond the point wherein it will be readily and swiftly addressed by conventional public health strategies. The halting of this outbreak will require patient, ongoing efforts in the affected areas and the swift control of any further outbreaks in neighboring countries.”

This is consistent with earlier predictions by those who stated that the window during which the epidemic might have been contained was back in May and June 2014 and was missed, such as Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg. Early in September, he agreed with others who believe that there is no way to halt the disease now in Liberia and to a somewhat lesser degree in Sierra Leone. His prognosis was grave, predicting that the only way Ebola will stop in Liberia is when it has infected all of the people and killed almost half the population—about 5 million people. He felt that more and continued efforts, particularly international in scope, were still needed, and he did not suggest that we should abandon Liberia and Sierra Leone as lost causes. (Osterath 2014) .

New Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève Opens — 31 October



New Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève Opens — 31 October

The new Musée d’Ethnographie de Genève (MEG) in Switzerland is opening at the end of this month. The old cramped museum closed its doors in September 2010. The new building (shown above), will be inaugurated on October 31, 2014. 1.000 objects from the MEG’s permanent collection are on display.

Its first exhibitions, free to the public, begin 1 November 2014, and include not only the above-noted display entitled “The Archives of Human Diversity” but also “The Mochica Kings: Divinity and Power in Ancient Peru” running from 1 November 2014 – 15 May 2015.

The MEG has one of Switzerland’s two biggest ethnographic collections: some 80,000 objects and 300,000 books and documents including images, photographs, audiovisual and sound recordings. Collected over several centuries, these holdings are divided into five departments according to the objects’ geographical provenance (Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania). The museum’s ethnomusicology department is of worldwide scope and boasts a specialized library.

The displays have seven main sections: a historical introduction, a separate section for each continent, and one devoted to ethnomusicology.

The Autumn edition of Tribal Art Magazine features an interesting overview of the museum’s holdings by Boris Wastiau, the museum’s director (73: 76-85). You can read about all planned festivities here.