Restrictions on the movement of people, quarantining of communities and positive response to the frequent washing of hands and avoiding infested dead bodies have helped to reduce the infection rate of the Ebola virus throughout Liberia, according to Mr. James Dorbor Jallah, Deputy Incident Manager for support services at the Incident Management System.Moreover as the Dry Season approaches in Liberia, he said, intense heat and sunlight will contribute to Liberia’s effort to eradicate the disease. The Ebola Virus has been described as ‘fragile’ by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, and is easily destroyed by heat and sunlight.The Incident Management System, (IMS) is the body that has replaced the National Ebola Taskforce set up by the Liberian government earlier in the Ebola fight, headed by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Mr. Jallah told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview in Monrovia Sunday that despite the optimism, “We should remember that we are still fighting the Ebola Virus disease and, therefore, there is no need for celebration.” Instead, he emphatically stated that the Liberian public should continue to take all safety measures, including regular hand washing, refraining from touching infected persons or dead bodies, avoiding all cultural and traditional practices that could spread the disease and avoiding movement from one area to another. According to Mr. Jallah, coordinated information reaching his office from the various Ebola Treatment Units, (ETUs), indicates that across the country, “there are less than 400 people who are in treatment.” “Therefore,” Jallah said, “there are more than 300 ETUs that are empty, which means they are without people who are being treated for the virus.” The latest report has also made it clear that decisions and recommendations approved by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and implemented by the Liberian government have worked to reduce increased infection from the insidious disease, Mr. Jallah said. “All of us should continue with the measures outlined in this fight,” he said, “because the less than 400 people being treated in the various ETUs is still a high number,” he noted. With particular reference to the six hardest hit counties of Montserrado, Bomi, Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Margibi, Jallah said, “Lofa County, particularly Foya and Barkedu, have registered less than ten persons in treatment in the last couple of weeks.” At the peak of its infection, Jallah said, nearly eighty people were admitted at the ETU in Foya, with most of the cases coming from Quarduboni. “The infection reduced tremendously when the communities in Lofa and citizens from areas in Monrovia, including religious leaders, got involved,” Jallah disclosed. “They implemented the measures issued by government and that has brought relief,” he said. Jallah said, “Currently, Foya has reported no new cases and the 120 bed ETU is empty.” While these reports show a success story, the World Health Organization, (WHO) has indicated that there could be 10,000 infections weekly in the coming weeks in Liberia. But with the dry season now in Liberia, as mentioned earlier, nature could work to support the fight against Ebola, according to health officials. Since there are “sparks” of cases now and then, according to Jallah, “Liberia is still in the woods, meaning the country is not yet out of danger. However, recent reports on the decline in the use of the ETUs do not support the WHO’s dire prediction. Jallah, whose division coordinates and ensures the effective provision of non-medical support to the Incident Management System, (IMS), said the re-organization of the National Ebola Task Force, headed by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, is effective in its fight against the disease. He insisted that what could be considered as a success story came about and would continue if Liberians and residents take the following measures daily: Avoid touching sick or dead persons; Avoid movement from one community to another, particularly for people who may have been exposed to the virus and If one gets exposed to the virus, observe the 21-day quarantine. Other measures are: Avoid contact with sick, symptomatic, or dead person’s saliva, excretion, vomit, urine, semen, etc.; Wash your hands regularly and Wash your hands when entering AND leaving buildings, since it is possible for an infected person to leave a virus on surfaces and other areas which people find easy to touch, such as door handles and stair rails. Meanwhile Mr. Tolbert Nyenswah, Incident Manager of the Incident Management System of the Ebola Response, corroborated Mr. Jallah’s report yesterday in a phone interview and added that since October 19, there have been 329 patients in ETUs with 725 bed capacity across the country. “While we are encouraged by such a prospect, it does not mean we are free from the disease,” Nyenswah said. “It is too early to determine why there are not many cases and we are investigating.” Nyenswah said there are possibilities that “We have Ebola infected individuals in our various communities,” stressing on the need to follow measures outlined by the Liberian government in its fight against the disease. In addition a source at the Foya Ebola Treatment Unit, (ETU), confirmed to the Daily Observer yesterday in a telephone interview that “in the last two and half weeks, there have been no new cases.” This corroborates information from the nerve center in Monrovia.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… brian proffitt Contextual search and the Internet of Things are two key factors in how search is evolving from users actively searching for information to users receiving information as they need it.But there is another key component that must be added to the search equation: the rise of intelligent software agents that will not only anticipate the information you need, but also act on that information to help manage your life.(See also Forget Searching For Content – Content Is About To Start Searching For You and How The Internet Of Things Will Revolutionize Search.)The Dawn Of The Bot AgeCall it artificial intelligence, software agents or even bots, the technology for search-related automated prediction and action has been in development for a long time. (In fact, I used to cover this topic when I was the managing editor for BotSpot.com at the turn of the century.)(See also Futurist’s Cheat Sheet: Artificial Intelligence.)In those days, bot development was focused on creating automated software to handle the routine tasks that were proliferating on the then-fledgling commercial Internet. Web crawlers, software that actively seeks out and indexes websites for search engines, were one very popular use of software bots. But there was always a goal beyond the mundane world of Web crawlers and software trying to reasonably fake a Turing test to appear human: developers wanted the software to take specific tasks completely off the hands of humans.Over a decade later, we may finally be getting to the point where bots can actually do that.It is not that the development of intelligent agents stalled during the first decade of the 21st Century. Instead, we may not have been quite ready to implement them. Automating routine tasks just didn’t seem like the top priority during the beginnings of the mobile revolution.Now things have changed. First, and most obviously, mobile devices are everywhere. Second, there are now legions of interesting Web services to automate. The final ingredient is the most important: With the rise of Big Data, there is now enough information available for a software agent to actually use to perform anticipatory actions. In that context, the challenges of applying software agents and artificial intelligence to business solutions is nothing compared to the potential payoff to users.(See also How The Internet Will Tell You What To Eat, Where To Go And Even Who To Date.)Dr. Moshe BenBassat, CEO of ClickSoftware, it is fair to say, lives and breathes this stuff every day. BenBassat envisions a world where personal agents, which he calls “butlers,” manage the day-to-day planning and implementing of workflows.The “Butler” Did ItBenBassat offers an example to illustrate: Imagine a service technician who logs into his smartphone’s service app and pulls up today’s schedule. His first appointment: the Acme Bank downtown. A few more swipes pulls the address from the calendar app and then brings up a map in the navigation app, and off the technician goes. When he arrives at Acme, he finds and calls the customer contact, who has to come down to the lobby and admit him into the building. Once arriving at the customer site on the 17th floor, the technician discovers he has left the replacement part in his vehicle, so he goes back down to get it.In a scenario like this, BenBassat estimates the technician would spend 7-12 minutes just swiping and typing on the phone to find and use the data he needs. Over the course of the day, that adds up to a lot of lost productivity.In a world staffed by BenBassat’s butlers, the scenario might unfold like this: The service technician logs into his phone’s service and is immediately informed about the first appointment: the Acme Bank downtown. The butler asks if the technician if he would like a map to the appointment, and after agreeing, off the technician goes, using the map to reach his destination. Just before he arrives at Acme, the butler autodials the customer contact and informs her the technician is about to arrive, so she can come down to the lobby and let him into the building. When the technician leaves his vehicle, the butler senses that the replacement part is not in toolkit the technician is carrying, and prompts the technician to grab it from the truck, saving the trip back down to the vehicle.“Butlers” like the ones BenBassat describes promise to play a huge role in changing search – and by extension the way we work. Proactive software agents will reduce the need to waste time looking for information. Instead, information will be delivered right when we need it. As software agents get better at figuring out what we want, that information will become more useful and actionable.We are almost there now: Contextual search tools like Google Now, which takes into account where you are and what you are doing to provide useful information, are the first big step towards anticipatory and responsive software agents.(See also Google Now Knows More About You Than Your Family Does – Are You OK With That?)The Interaction IssueThere is still a ways to go. Social interaction is seen as the biggest obstacle to effective software agents. Agents are only as good as what they are programmed to do, while humans have internalized a lot of common-sense tricks for interpreting reality. We know what we mean when we say, “find me some pizza,” but the software agent might give you a map of nearby pizza places – or just call up pictures of pizza.In the consumer world right now, Apple’s Siri is the most well-known example thus far of how a software agent will interact with humans, though it has its limitations, both in speech recognition and plain common sense. As that interaction is smoothed out, though, it is not hard to imaging giving agents like Siri or Google Now’s voice search more permissions to act on the information at hand, instead of just reporting it. Once that hurdle is overcome, all of that predictive and contextual information that the Internet is starting to finding for us will have a smooth, human-like interface and better able to help us manage our days.(See also Who Has The Advantage: Siri Or Google Now?)Why Search Anymore?Searching for anything – be it on the Internet, your inbox or on your personal devices and services – will be far less necessary, both in business and personal contexts. Search is not just firing up Google, after all – it also includes combing through your own data for relevant information. When your spouse has a last-minute meeting and can’t pick up the kids from after-school sports, for example, you won’t have to go though a complicated dance of multiple phone calls, texts and emails as you re-arrange both your schedules and stress out over making sure someone gets there on time. Instead, your search agents could analyze and coordinate both your schedules and create a single suggestion to line everything up. All you’d have to do is agree to the changes. The combination of automated agents, contextual search and a sea of data from our devices, services and the Internet of Things, search is poised to become vastly more useful and efficient than it already is. The pieces are getting there with agents like Siri and contextual search like Google Now. If it all works as promised, information we need will be delivered to us just when we need it, without our having to invest time and effort looking for it.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Related Posts Tags:#artificial intelligence#search
The Opposition BJP members staged a walkout in the Rajasthan Assembly on Friday after raising the issues of illegal mining and transport of ‘bajri’ (riverbed sand), despite the ban imposed by the Supreme Court, and the cancellation of appointment process for 2,500 community health officers in the National Health Mission (NHM).Speaker C.P. Joshi adjourned the proceedings for half an hour after the walkout, when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal asserted that the State government had a “right to reply” to the Opposition’s allegations.‘No concrete step’Attacking the Congress government through an adjournment motion, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Rajendra Rathore said though the Governor’s address to the House on January 17 had admitted of the ‘bajri’ mafia operating in the State, no concrete step had been taken to stop the illegal activity. People in the State were still waiting for the sandstone policy that the State government had promised, he said.Senior BJP leader and former Medical & Health Minister Kali Charan Saraf raised the issue of NHM appointments during zero hour. He said the entrance exam for vacancies of community health officers, scheduled for June 22, was cancelled and the NHM human resource cell’s officials were suspended hurriedly. He said the reasons behind the government’s action “taken in a haste” were not clear.On the issue of restrictions imposed on journalists’ movements in the Assembly building, Mr. Joshi said the boycott of press gallery would not affect the flow of information from the House as the proceedings were telecast live on YouTube. He said the decision to limit journalists’ access had been taken as per the rules.