Ebola Crisis May Last Six Months –MSF

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A humanitarian-aid non-governmental organisation, Medecins Sans Frontieres, also known as Doctors Without Borders, said on Friday that the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa may take at least six months to be brought under control.

Speaking in Geneva, Switzerland, MSF President, Joanne Liu, said the situation was “deteriorating faster, and moving faster, than we can respond to.”

Earlier during the week, the World Health Organisation had said the scale of the outbreak appeared to be “vastly underestimated.”

It said that “extraordinary measures” were needed.

The epidemic began in Guinea in February and has since spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.

On Friday, the death toll rose to 1,145 after WHO said 76 new deaths had been reported in the two days to August 13. There have been 2,127 cases reported.

Liu said that although Guinea was the initial epicentre, the pace there had slowed, and other countries – particularly Liberia – were now the focus.

She added, “If we don’t stabilise Liberia, we will never stabilise the region. In terms of timeline, we’re not talking in terms of weeks; we’re talking in terms of months. We need a commitment for months, at least I would say six months, and I’m being, I would say, very optimistic.”

Liu also called for more actions from the international community and stronger leadership from WHO – the UN’s health agency.

She said, “All governments must act. It must be done now if we want to contain this epidemic.

“WHO needs to take leadership and bring some strong elements into the field at all operational levels. It’s already started but it needs to happen at all levels.”

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