Before the Ebola virus ravaged West Africa, killing thousands and leaving entire towns reeling, it started small. The virus wound its way out of a rainforest-adjacent village in Guinea and spread through other rural areas in Liberia and Sierra Leone, going undetected for months. By the time the world realised what was happening, it was too late to stop the virus’s spread.
It’s hard to find outbreaks if people aren’t actively looking for them. And in rural communities across the world, people lack access to healthcare workers who might be able to detect future Ebola outbreaks — or on a more regular basis, help diagnose and treat problems like pneumonia, malaria and diarrhoea.
Dr. Raj Panjabi just won the $US1 million TED Prize for an idea that could dramatically increase the number of paid community health workers around the world. The prize is given each year at the TED conference in Vancouver, Canada to make the recipient’s “big wish” a reality.
Source: News Now/Business Insider online