Dear GNF Members and Friends,

We are excited to announce our first opportunity for "learning together" during our new 2014-2015 grant cycle.  We have all been watching the news in West Africa and reading about the impact of the Ebola epidemic on our friends in Liberia.  
 Global Neighborhood Fund, Direct Relief and Friends of the United Nations Population Fund UNFPA are pleased to welcome Dianne Stewert, Director of the Information and External Relations Division of UNFPA.

October 15th, 9:30 am
Orfalea Foundation Downtown Center
 1221 Chapala St, Santa Barbara 

Dianne will have just left the UN meetings and will be able to give us insight and information regarding this incredible challenge.

Later in the month, Micheal Murphy, an award winning architect from MASS Designs will present their unique approach to healthy architecture, advocating for contextually appropriate health care and education environments while building capacity and sustainability.  They have completed projects in, Rwanda, Liberia, Haiti and more.  



Direct Relief sends 100 tons of medicine 

On Tuesday, September 14, FedEx trucks will leave from Goleta carrying  about about 100 tons of medical supplies.  These trucks will go (in 3 days) to New York where DR has chartered a 747-Cargo plane that will fly directly to Sierra Leone and then on to Liberia.This emergency shipment contains 400 pallets of the most-needed and requested items, including pharmaceuticals, 2.5 million pairs of gloves, masks, goggles, thermometers, gowns, and rehydration supplies.

All of the customs issues have been settled thanks to strong partnerships with organizations on the ground like GNF grantee Last Mile Health. The necessary channels have been secured to insure safe delivery and distribution of supplies. The ultimate goal is ambitious, "To stop the spread of disease and re-instill confidence in the heath care worker," Said Thomas Tighe, CEO of Direct Relief.

The logistics are very challenging as ports and airports are highly restrictive. Direct Relief is committed to providing relief no matter what.



Does Paul Farmer Have the Ebola Solution? George Soros is Spending $4 Million to Find Out

The Ebola outbreak, which public health officials privately fret could turn into a global pandemic, carries with it a quiet riddle: while West Africa ineptly focuses on prevention, virtually no one has focused on care.


Or to put it mathematically, the fatality rate from Ebola, historically near 90%, sits closer to 50% during this outbreak (4,366 cases, 2,218 deaths), despite the fact that the facilities in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other countries affected remain appalling. What would the true rate be if victims were treated under western standards? And the larger ramifications if Ebola was no longer viewed as an automatic death sentence?


"There's never been a connection between Ebola and first-rate medical care," says Paul Farmer, the renowned co-founder of Partners in Health, before pointing out that none of the health care workers flown back to the U.S. for treatment have died. Could the answer to the outbreak lie in the care regiment for those afflicted?

We'll soon find out. Farmer landed in Liberia this morning, at the center of a coalition quietly formed to specifically - and quickly - test that thesis. In the next few weeks, the Farmer group will open a top-notch treatment facility in one of Liberia's most rural provinces, along with strategies designed to maximize its effectiveness.


"This has been coming together for years," Farmer tells Forbes, a few hours before departing on the trip. "The Ebola crisis pushed it over the edge."Click here for the full article.



  A Liberian Health Worker Aims To Keep Ebola 
  Out Of His Rural Region

by HANNAH BLOCH September 03, 201410:44 AM ET


Lorenzo Dorr is facing one of the most important challenges of his career as a Liberian health outreach worker: trying to keep Ebola from taking hold in the southeastern part of the country.


The 50-year-old father of four has spent more than two decades working in Liberian community health. He was trained as a physician assistant and got his start providing essential care to residents of Grand Gedeh County. Over the years, Dorr has supervised medical clinics, mentored and trained community health workers and coordinated larger projects. In 2012, he earned a certificate in epidemiology and global health delivery from Harvard.


Dorr is now working with Last Mile Health, known in Liberia as Tiyatien Health, a nonprofit started by a Liberian-born physician that trains and deploys community health workers in remote areas.

While much of the attention given to Liberia's Ebola outbreak has focused on large cities, the country's far-flung, rural regions are beset by serious challenges as well. After a 14-year civil war that killed 250,000 people, the health care system was devastated and most hospitals and clinics were destroyed. Since the war's end a decade ago, community health workers have become a vital source of primary care for villagers who otherwise might have to walk for days to seek treatment.


Dorr coordinates anti-Ebola measures and helps train and equip village health workers in the southeast of the country, an area known for logging and gold mining. He'll soon start work in a county called Rivercess, one of Liberia's poorest, which thus far has seen one confirmed Ebola case. Dorr wants to limit the spread. He spoke with NPR from Grand Gedeh County, where he's based. Click here for the full article.


Global Neighborhood Fund
C/O Santa Barbara Foundation 

1111 Chapala Street Suite 200
Santa Barbara, CA, California 93101