News / Africa

Experts: Stronger Response Needed to Ebola Crisis

Government health workers administer blood tests to check for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014.
Government health workers administer blood tests to check for the Ebola virus in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 25, 2014.
Jennifer Lazuta

The World Health Organization says there have been at least 50 new cases of Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone since July 3 - in what is already the worst outbreak in history. The aid group Plan International says the outbreak could become a global health crisis if there isn't a better-coordinated regional response and more support from the international community.

According to WHO,  there have now been 844 cases and 518 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in February.
 
While no new cases have been reported in Guinea in the past week, the number of suspected cases and the death toll continues to rise on an almost daily basis in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
 
Dr. Unni Krishnan, the head of disaster preparedness and response for Plan International, said the situation is "extremely worrying."
 
"This is a serious outbreak, which has serious regional dimensions now. It is not a global health crisis at this stage, but it has the risk that if we don't contain it at this stage, it is possible that it can get out of control and even reach other places," said Krishnan. "So this outbreak needs all the support from the rest of the world, so that we are able to stop its spread and save lives and help people and communities that have been impacted with this."
 
Prevention, containment, treatment

Plan International, along with other organizations, such as Doctors Without Borders, UNICEF and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies -- has been helping local officials with containment and prevention efforts, as well as treating people and providing manpower and resources.
 
But Krishnan says it hasn't been enough. "You are talking about countries with some of the weakest health systems and health infrastructure. And with each passing day, the demand on agencies who have been acting on the ground has been increasing. We are stretched to our limits now.

"So this outbreak needs a much more coordinated response at the global level from developed countries and those who can afford both human resource, technical specialists and other infrastructure and machinery to contain this."
 
He said health officials need to improve monitoring mechanisms within affected communities, as well as at border controls and airports.
 
He also said more messages need to be disseminated about proper health and hygiene practices and to better educate people about how the often-fatal disease is spread by direct contact with the blood or other bodily fluids from an infected person.
 
Following an emergency meeting of regional health ministers in Ghana last week, the WHO announced plans to open a center in Guinea to better coordinate response efforts.  

The WHO has said, however, that the outbreak is likely to continue for at least several months.

You May Like

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
July 10, 2014 3:44 PM
Once the ever-mutating Ebola virus hits a critical mass it could/will explode into a global pandemic that is likely to cull the global human population of more than seven billion people like no other disease has ever done.
With water, food and other resources becoming increasingly scarce in many areas, perhaps this is water global leaders silently want to happen -- a lethal population super cull blamed on Nature which will cut the population in half, including places like the United States which despite its wealth doesn't have the emergency medical services to do any better than anybody else.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid