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With fears still looming over the cyber-attacks that started on Friday it would appear that they are slowing with few reports of new attacks in Asia and Europe.

Many firms have employed experts over the weekend in attempt to prevent new infections however Microsoft have warned that these attacks should serve as a wake-up call.

A total of 200,000 computers in more than 150 countries were affected, with the attacks preventing access to a computer or its data. The WannaCry ransomware has demanded money to release the data and if no payment is made within seven days it threatens to delete the files.

It also demands £230 ($300) to restore access to the data however, the ransomware warning said that the price will double after three days but organisations are being advised to not pay any ransoms.

It has been said that the US delivery company FedEx has been affected along with 61 of the UK’s NHS organisations. Renault had to halt production in France had to be halted and Russia’s interior ministry also reported 1,000 of its computers infected, according to the BBC.

So What Really is WannaCry?

It is the programme used in the global cyber attacked, known now as WannaCry, ransomware or Wanna Decryptor. It was spread through phishing emails and on systems without up-to-date security patches.

The attack could infect more systems, according to experts from the National Cyber Security Centre. However, the National Crime Agency (NCA) along with investigators from around the globe are trying to find those responsible for the attacks.

Top Tips for Avoiding Infections

  1. Make sure that you keep your software up to date to ensure any bug fixes are made to your computer.
  2. Be wary of emails with attachments where you are unsure of the original source.
  3. Avoid dodgy websites and downloads so that your computer is at lower risk of infection.
  4. Back up any of your important files so that you always have a spare copy.

In the last year an international medical education charity based in St Leonards on sea has delivered over 1,500 days of teaching and training in 59 programmes in 34 different countries to over 4,000 healthcare professionals.

PRIME Map, 2014 v2

PRIME International is now operating in 34 countries

PRIME Partnerships in International Medical Education has over 250 highly experienced tutors who volunteer their time, experience and passion for teaching excellent compassionate healthcare. They also help support and resource over 650 individuals around the world with teaching materials and regular publications to enable them to teach and practice healthcare based on sound scientific knowledge and clinical skills, to consider the effects of illness on the whole person – body, mind and spirit – and to provide care with integrity and generous compassion.

In the UK press recently there has been lots of grumbling about access to doctors and our ‘crumbling’ NHS system. In reality almost all the time we can access free, top quality healthcare relatively easily without travelling miles from our homes. This is not the case in many parts of the world were access to healthcare facilities and access for continued professional education may be rare or even non-existent.

In fact over a billion people worldwide lack access to even the most basic healthcare, often because there are no healthcare workers.

This year, as well as ongoing training programmes, PRIME are hoping to:

  • Make all our publications available electronically
  • Increase our training programmes for PRIME tutors, particularly in Africa and America
  • Expand our nurse training
  • Support a new GP diploma in Egypt, Nigeria and Uganda
  • Train and support university lecturers at medical schools in several countries, including Ethiopia and Swaziland
  • Further expand our work in the UK
  • Broaden the use of the Values Added programme in the UK and other countries
  • Engage further with healthcare chaplains, church and community leaders to provide access to healthcare for some of the poorest communities in the world
  • Expand our office-based support and resources team

Last year PRIME’s teaching programme would have cost most NGOs over £600,000 but thanks to PRIME’s wonderful volunteer tutors the charity’s turnover was just £102,000. A donation to PRIME goes a very, very long way.

Find out more about PRIME on their website www.prime-international.org