Ebola Outbreak Over
After more than 11,000 Ebola deaths in West Africa over the last two years, the World Health Organization (WHO) will declare an end to the latest outbreak of the deadly virus on January 14.
Liberia was hardest hit by the disease, which claimed over 4,000 lives there alone. Francis Karteh, the country’s chief medical officer, said “We will remain careful and keep calling on the population to take the necessary measures in preventing reoccurrence.” Karteh has been a central figure in Liberia’s fight against Ebola.
Shift Labs joined the fight against Ebola in 2014, hosting a hackathon after being approached by the IMAI-IMCI Alliance (WHO’s training arm). Shift’s CEO, Beth Kolko, organized the effort, which brought engineering students, game developers, UX designers, and medical professionals together to develop a digital training simulation for healthcare workers preparing to treat Ebola.
In 2015 Shift Labs’ DripAssist™ Infusion Rate Monitor was selected as a recipient of the Fighting Ebola Grand Challenge award, sponsored by US Agency for International Development (USAID). The award funded extensive user testing in sub-Saharan Africa, as well as research and development protocols to ruggedize the device for use in outbreak settings. Kolko and her team spent two weeks in Rwanda performing field tests and gathering data to make DripAssist as effective as possible in providing infusion to outbreak victims.
For more on the end of the outbreak, visit WHO at http://www.who.int/csr/disease/ebola/en/.