By Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that coordination and collaboration between countries on surveillance and epidemic intelligence were poor and led to ineffective and inefficient decision-making. This poor collaboration was not limited to countries with poor capacity but applied also to countries with advanced capacities and good socio-economic relations.
While many countries generate data, the potential for meaningful analysis remains underutilized as the data are collected in ad hoc ways, with differing standards that are not sufficiently connected to answer complex questions. The pandemic also revealed that channels of coordination for countries to learn from each other and produce global models, or share national insights was limited. Moreover, many countries have not prioritized the development of public health surveillance and intelligence systems on account of limited capacities and scarce resources.
Clearly, there are immense benefits to be gained from better sharing of data related to health risks, vulnerabilities, and outcomes. The sharing of data can facilitate timely response, robust research, and overall, better-informed policy outcomes. Despite these benefits, several barriers and challenges to data sharing persist.
In response to an increased number of disease outbreaks affecting African countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Regional Office (AFRO) introduced the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) framework in 1998. IDSR was introduced to strengthen data collection, analysis, and use in African countries. The overall goal is to improve the detection and response to the leading causes of illness, death, and disability in the region. Regrettably, this strategy never received the due investments it needed, and implementation was very poor. Both local and global resource streams favored vertical disease programs over an integrated approach. Nevertheless, in some countries, its introduction led to improvements, including improved timeliness and completeness of surveillance data, increased national-level review, and better use of surveillance data for outbreak preparedness and response.
In addition to data on disease occurrence, and outcome, there is also a complex web of interconnected biological, public health, and economic factors that contribute to the emergence and spread of diseases. Yet, data collected from these other drivers are often not systematically connected or shared with health data, leading to limited opportunities to determine their impact on risk. For example, in many African countries, there are limited platforms for data sharing and cross-sector analysis between human and animal health sectors, despite the increased occurrence of zoonotic diseases.
Several countries in Africa are at different phases in building their data collection, analysis, and broader epidemic intelligence capabilities. Many are in the process of digitalizing their surveillance systems. However, these processes are proceeding in an organic, uncoordinated manner.
Several countries in Africa are at different phases in building their data collection, analysis, and broader epidemic intelligence capabilities. Many are in the process of digitalizing their surveillance systems. However, these processes are proceeding in an organic, uncoordinated manner as countries make critical decisions on what software and hardware to use, without getting appropriate strategic and technical advice.
The WHO through its new Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence Hub in Berlin, working in collaboration with the Africa Regional Office (AFRO) is putting together processes, guidelines, and tools to support African countries in developing their surveillance and intelligence infrastructure. A peer-to-peer learning environment will also be created and nurtured to enable sharing between countries.
Several African countries face competing priorities—from frequent infectious disease outbreaks to an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases, as well as challenging socio-economic indicators. The available resources are limited, and areas such as surveillance system and epidemic intelligence strengthening are underresourced. Factors such as the limited availability of health workers and infrastructure often affect the ability to collect, analyze, report, and use data.
Despite the challenges, there remains immense potential for the region. The increased focus on these capabilities by the WHO Hub for Pandemic and Epidemic Intelligence, and the growth of regional health organizations such as the Africa CDC, present an opportunity to strengthen epidemic intelligence in the region. In addition, recognizing the challenges facing African countries, the Hub is developing a collaborative intelligence approach clustered around three activities: Connect data, solutions, and communities of practice globally; innovate solutions and processes; and strengthen capabilities for forecasting, detection, and assessment of risks to provide actionable insights for prevention, preparedness, response, and recovery from health threats and emergencies.
The future of public health in Africa, and indeed across the world, rests in large part on the ability of countries to leverage the use of data through sharing and linking data and learning from each other.cdc pandemic covid-19 spread recovery africa world health organization
Which New World Order Are We Talking About?
Which New World Order Are We Talking About?
Authored by Jeff Thomas via InternationalMan.com,
Those of us who are libertarians have a tendency…
Those of us who are libertarians have a tendency to speak frequently of “the New World Order.”
When doing so, we tend to be a bit unclear as to what the New World Order is.
Is it a cabal of the heads of the world’s governments, or just the heads of Western governments?
Certainly bankers are included somewhere in the mix, but is it just the heads of the Federal Reserve and the IMF, or does it also include the heads of JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, etc.?
And how about the Rothschilds? And the Bundesbank—surely, they’re in there, too?
And the list goes on, without apparent end.
Certainly, all of the above entities have objectives to increase their own power and profit in the world, but to what degree do they act in concert? Although many prominent individuals, world leaders included, have proclaimed that a New World Order is their ultimate objective, the details of who’s in and who’s out are fuzzy. Just as fuzzy is a list of details as to the collective objectives of these disparate individuals and groups.
So, whilst most libertarians acknowledge “the New World Order,” it’s rare that any two libertarians can agree on exactly what it is or who it’s comprised of. We allow ourselves the luxury of referring to it without being certain of its details, because, “It’s a secret society,” as evidenced by the Bilderberg Group, which meets annually but has no formal agenda and publishes no minutes. We excuse ourselves for having only a vague perception of it, although we readily accept that it’s the most powerful group in the world.
This is particularly true of Americans, as Americans often imagine that the New World Order is an American construct, created by a fascist elite of US bankers and political leaders. The New World Order may be better understood by Europeans, as, actually, it’s very much a European concept—one that’s been around for quite a long time.
It may be said to have had its beginnings in ancient Rome. As Rome became an empire, its various emperors found that conquered lands did not automatically remain conquered. They needed to be managed—a costly and tedious undertaking. Management was far from uniform, as the Gauls could not be managed in the same manner as the Egyptians, who in turn, could not be managed like the Mesopotamians.
After the fall of Rome, Europe was in many ways a shambles for centuries, but the idea of “managing” Europe was revived with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The peace brought an end to the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) in the Holy Roman Empire and the Eighty Years’ War (1568-1648) between Spain and the Dutch Republic. It brought together the Holy Roman Empire, The House of Habsburg, the Kingdoms of Spain and France, the Dutch Republic, and the Swedish Empire.
Boundaries were set, treaties were signed, and a general set of assumptions as to the autonomy within one’s borders were agreed, to the partial satisfaction of all and to the complete satisfaction of no one… Sound familiar?
Later, Mayer Rothschild made his name (and his fortune) by becoming the financier to the military adventures of the German Government. He then sent his sons out to England, Austria, France, and Italy to do the same—to create a New World Order of sorts, under the control of his family through national debt to his banks. (Deep Throat was right when he said, “Follow the Money.”)
So, the concept of a New World Order has long existed in Europe in various guises, but what does this tell us about the present and, more important, the future?
In our own time, we have seen presidents and prime ministers come and go, whilst their most prominent advisors, such as Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski, continue from one administration to the next, remaining advisors for decades. Such men are often seen as the voices of reason that may be the guiding force that brings about a New World Order once and for all.
Mister Brzezinski has written in his books that order in Europe depends upon a balance with Russia, which must be created through the control of Ukraine by the West. He has stated repeatedly that it’s critical for this to be done through diplomacy, that warfare would be a disaster. Yet, he has also supported the US in creating a coup in Ukraine. When Russia became angered at the takeover, he openly supported American aggression in Ukraine, whilst warning that Russian retaliation must not be tolerated.
Henry Kissinger, who has literally written volumes on his “pursuit of world peace” has, when down in the trenches, also displayed a far more aggressive personality, such as his angry recommendation to US President Gerald Ford to “smash Cuba” when Fidel Castro’s military aid to Angola threatened to ruin Mr. Kissinger’s plans to control Africa.
Whilst the most “enlightened” New World Order advisors may believe that they are working on the “Big Picture,” when it comes down to brass tacks, they clearly demonstrate the same tendency as the more aggressive world leaders, and reveal that, ultimately, they seek to dominate. They may initially recommend diplomacy but resort to force if the other side does not cave to “reason” quickly.
If we stand back and observe this drama from a distance, what we see is a theory of balance between the nations of Europe (and, by extension, the whole world)—a balance based upon intergovernmental agreements, allowing for centralised power and control.
This theory might actually be possible if all the countries of the world were identical in every way, and the goals of all concerned were also identical. But this never has been and can never be the case. Every world leader and every country will differ in its needs and objectives. Therefore, each may tentatively agree to common conditions, as they have going back to the Peace of Westphalia, yet, even before the ink has dried, each state will already be planning to gain an edge on the others.
In 1914, Europe had (once again) become a tangle of aspirations of the various powers—a time bomb, awaiting only a minor incident to set it off. That minor incident occurred when a Serbian national assassinated an Austrian crown prince. Within a month, Europe exploded into World War. As Kissinger himself has observed in his writings, “[T]hey all contributed to it, oblivious to the fact that they were dismantling an international order.”
Since 1648, for every Richelieu that has sought to create a New World Order through diplomacy, there has been a Napoleon who has taken a militaristic approach, assuring that the New World Order applecart will repeatedly be upset by those who are prone to aggression.
Further, even those who seek to operate through diplomacy ultimately will seek aggressive means when diplomatic means are not succeeding.
A true world order is unlikely.
What may occur in its stead would be repeated attempts by sovereign states to form alliances for their mutual benefit, followed by treachery, one- upmanship, and ultimately, aggression. And very possibly a new World War.
But of one thing we can be certain: Tension at present is as great as it was in 1914. We are awaiting only a minor incident to set off dramatically increased international aggression. With all the talk that’s presently about as to a New World Order, what I believe will occur instead will be a repeat of history.
If this belief is correct, much of the world will decline into not only external warfare, but internal control. Those nations that are now ramping up into police states are most at risk, as the intent is already clearly present. All that’s needed is a greater excuse to increase internal controls. Each of us, unless we favour being engulfed by such controls, might be advised to internationalise ourselves—to diversify ourselves so that, if push comes to shove, we’re able to get ourselves and our families out of harm’s way.
* * *
Unfortunately, there’s little any individual can practically do to change the course of these trends in motion. The best you can and should do is to stay informed so that you can protect yourself in the best way possible, and even profit from the situation. That’s precisely why bestselling author Doug Casey just released Surviving and Thriving During an Economic Collapse an urgent new PDF report. It explains what could come next and what you can do about it so you don’t become a victim. Click here to download it now.
As yen weakens and interest peaks, Bank of Japan balances on a policy precipice
Quick Take The Bank of Japan (BOJ) stands at a critical juncture, striving to maintain a delicate balance amid a changing economic landscape. Recent data…
The Bank of Japan (BOJ) stands at a critical juncture, striving to maintain a delicate balance amid a changing economic landscape. Recent data shows that the 10-year yield, which the BOJ has endeavored to keep below 1%, has touched 0.8, a peak unseen since 2013. Simultaneously, the BOJ has labored not to let the Yen weaken, yet it continues to be pressured as it drops further against the US dollar, crossing the 150 mark for the first time in over a year.
There is burgeoning speculation about possible BOJ interventions in these market movements. As the central bank continues to uphold negative interest rates, a shift towards positive rates might become inevitable in the foreseeable future. It’s a precarious fulcrum of financial strategies that the BOJ is balancing on, with market tempests stirring on one side and the stability of the national currency on the other.
This scenario highlights the intricate dynamics of monetary policies and the profound impact they can have on both national and global economies. A closer look at the situation illuminates the complexities in the BOJ’s policy decisions and the broader implications on the financial landscape.
The post As yen weakens and interest peaks, Bank of Japan balances on a policy precipice appeared first on CryptoSlate.us dollar interest rates japan
Poland, Austria, & Czechia Introduce Temporary Border-Checks With Slovakia To Curb Illegal Migration
Poland, Austria, & Czechia Introduce Temporary Border-Checks With Slovakia To Curb Illegal Migration
Authored by Thomas Brooke via Remix…
Poland, Austria and Czechia will all introduce random checks at the countries’ borders with Slovakia from midnight on Wednesday following an influx of illegal immigration.
Temporary checks will be conducted along the length of the border for an initial 10-day period until Oct. 13.
They will focus specifically on road and railway border crossings, although, pedestrians and cyclists may also be asked for documentation. Anyone within the vicinity of the border may be requested to identify themselves.
“The numbers of illegal migrants to the EU are starting to grow again,” said Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala following the announcement. “We don’t take the situation lightly.”
“Citizens need a valid passport or identity card to cross the border,” the Czech Interior Ministry added.
The Czech policy would also be adopted by neighboring Austria, the country’s Interior Minister Gerhard Karner confirmed.
Poland had already announced its intention to reintroduce checks on the Slovak border with the number of migrants along the Balkans migration route continuing to surge. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said last week he was “instructing Minister of Interior Mariusz Kamiński to check on buses, coaches, and cars crossing the border when it is suspected there could be illegal migrants on board.”
“In recent weeks, we detected and detained 551 illegal migrants at the border with Slovakia. This situation causes us to take decisive action,” Kaminski added.
Slovak caretaker Prime Minister Ludovit Odor acknowledged the growing issue of illegal migration in his country but insisted that the problem needs a European solution rather than individual nations restricting border access.
He claimed that the decision by the three neighboring countries had been fueled by the Polish government, which is involved in a tightly contested election campaign, with Poles heading to voting booths on Oct. 15.
“The whole thing has been triggered by Poland, where an election will soon take place, and the Czech Republic has joined in,” Odor said.
Slovakia revealed last month that the number of illegal migrants detained by its authorities this year had soared nine-fold to over 27,000. The majority of detainees comprise young men from the Middle East using the Balkan migratory route through Serbia as they seek to migrate to northwestern Europe.
The winner of Sunday’s general election in Slovakia, former Prime Minister Robert Fico, has vowed to tackle the issue more robustly by promising to reintroduce border checks with neighboring Hungary.
“It will not be a pretty picture,” Fico told journalists as he threatened to use force to dispel illegal migrants detected on Slovak territory.
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