World Health Organization

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GENEVA — The World Health Organization declared the West African nation of Senegal to be free of Ebola on Friday, a rare success in dealing with a deadly virus that has rampaged uncontrolled in neighboring countries and prompted alarm around the world.

Senegal’s achievement came as the health organization was reported to have internally acknowledged its own stark failure to arrest the disease months ago. The internal document reportedly went far beyond the self-criticism that organization officials have expressed publicly about their response. Read more


Android L

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After giving us all a taste of Android L in June 2014, at the I/O developer conference, Google is finally releasing the next version of Android to the world, version number 5.0, code-named Lollipop.

The release, which comes nearly one year after 4.4 KitKat, ushers in a brand-new design throughout the operating system, enhanced notifications, changes to how you multitask, and handful of other features. Read more

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I’ve long been interested in voice recognition together with EHR software. In many ways it just makes sense to use voice recognition in healthcare. There was so much dictation in healthcare, that you’d think that the move to voice recognition would be the obvious move. The reality however has been quite different. There are those who love voice recognition and those who’ve hated it.

One of the major problems with voice recognition is how you integrate the popular EHR template documentation methods with voice. Sure, almost every EHR vendor can do free text boxes as well, but in order to get all the granular data it’s meant that doctors have done a mix of clicking a lot of boxes together with some voice recognition.

A few years ago, I started to see how EHR voice recognition could be different when I saw the Dragon Medical Enabled Chart Talk EHR. It was literally a night and day difference between dragon on other EHR software and the dragon embedded into Chart Talk. You could see so much more potential for voice documentation when it was deeply embedded into the EHR software. Read more

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The financial services sector is forging new partnerships and adapting its product offerings to help investors expand their activities throughout Africa.

Mauritius is positioning itself to become an Africa-focused financial support centre, modelling itself on the role Singapore is playing in Southeast Asia.

Africa is the big opportunity over the next five to 10 years – everyone knows the macro story

The country is well established in the sector. It has a wide network of tax and investment protection treaties with African countries and it is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Read more


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Diagnosing Ebola in an person who has been infected for only a few days is difficult, because the early symptoms, such as fever, are nonspecific to Ebola infection and are seen often in patients with more commonly occurring diseases, such as malaria and typhoid fever.

However, if a person has the early symptoms of Ebola and has had contact with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola, contact with objects that have been contaminated with the blood or body fluids of a person sick with Ebola, or contact with infected animals, they should be isolated and public health professionals notified. Samples from the patient can then be collected and tested to confirm infection.

Laboratory tests used in diagnosis include:

Timeline of Infection Diagnostic tests available
Within a few days after symptoms begin
  • Antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) testing
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
  • Virus isolation
Later in disease course or after recovery
  • IgM and IgG antibodies
Retrospectively in deceased patients
  • Immunohistochemistry testing
  • PCR
  • Virus isolation

Narendra Modi

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NEW DELHI — Beware, o lollygagging Indian bureaucrats. If it was not already apparent that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would display a schoolmaster’s intolerance for laxity, the recent introduction of an electronic monitoring system — capable of registering the daily entry and exit times of 100,000 government officials — has made the situation abundantly clear.

The system, accessible to the public on the website, began working in early October, providing a digital dashboard that so far displays the comings and goings of more than 50,600 employees spread across 150 departments. Read more

Food and Drug Administration

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The first complete treatment for hepatitis C that requires taking only one daily pill won approval Friday from the Food and Drug Administration.

The drug, called Harvoni and developed by Gilead Sciences, could shorten the duration of treatment and provide the first all-oral regimen for many patients.

The new drug also appears to be a bit less expensive for some patients than Gilead’s existing hepatitis C drug, Sovaldi, which many insurers and state Medicaid programs have said is overpriced and threatens to bust their budgets.

Sovaldi costs $1,000 a pill, or $84,000 for a typical 12-week course of treatment, but it must be used with other drugs. Read more

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FlickPay, Snapscan and Zapper might sound like a foreign language – yet these are the apps used by a fast growing group of consumers in South Africa who have bought into the world of mobile payment. Mobile phone providers, merchants, financial institutions and consumers represent the fast-growing ecosystem centred on mobile-linked banking, a facet of today’s society that continues to gain popularity.

Experts in the financial services space (and convergence with ICT) agree that mobile transacting has developed, is now a reality and has found mainstream application. The days of thick wallets, heavy purses and paper-based transactions are fast disappearing.

Innovation centred on mobility and integration with financial systems makes it possible for consumers to pay for goods and services via their mobile phones. It also enables merchants to offer customers the benefit of an inter-connected system and add more value and convenience to their services. Read more

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The consortium behind the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) submarine cable system have signed a supply contract with NEC for the S1H segment. According to reports, the AAE-1 will be the first high-capacity cable system to link all major South East Asian nations to Africa and Europe via the Middle East. Serving unprecedented growth in Asia-Africa trade, as well as the markets of Vietnam and neighbouring countries, the new cable system will deliver, according to NEC, reliable, low-latency connectivity. It will also provide desperately needed diversity for the congested subsea systems currently connecting countries along the route. Read more

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The Tech4Africa “un-conference” is underway at the SciBono Discovery Center, Mary Fitzgerald Square, Newtown, Johannesburg. IT News Africa caught up with Gareth Knight, creator of Tech4Africa in order to discuss the concept of the USD $50 smartphone as well as its impact on Africa.

When the $50 smartphone hits there will be a massive boom in Africa, this is according to Knight. Furthermore, Knight believes that the $50 smartphone is only 12 months away and set to revolutionise the continent.

Mobile phones and devices have already penetrated the African market at an extremely high rate, which is why Knight believes that the standard desktop PC will become irrelevant – as it is an immovable and inconvenient device. Read more