Tag Archive: West Africa


16 Members Of Doctors Without Borders Infected With Ebola, Nine Dead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” International aid organization Doctors Without Borders said that 16 of its staff members have been infected with Ebola and nine of them have died.

  Speaking at a press conference in Johannesburg Tuesday, the head of Doctors Without Borders in South Africa Sharon Ekambaram said medical workers have received inadequate assistance from the international community.

” Where is WHO Africa? Where is the African Union?” said Ekambaram who worked in Sierra Leone from August to September. “We’ve all heard their promises in the media but have seen very little on the ground.”

  Four of the organization’s medical workers who had just returned from Sierra Leone and Liberia said they were frustrated, “chasing after the curve of the outbreak,” according to Jens Pederson, the aid organization’s humanitarian affairs adviser.”

 

Read on

 

 

 

 

The Centers For Disease Control Loses Its Grip

 

 

” I have lived long enough, now, to have seen it again and again. Something goes badly wrong involving a corporation, a university, a religious denomination, or a branch of government, and the executive in charge or a designated minion goes before the press to engage in what is euphemistically called “damage control.” The spokesman does not level with the public. He or she tries to be reassuring and — more often than not — by lying, succeeds in undermining confidence in the institution he or she represents.

  This is what is now going on with the Centers for Disease Control. In recent years, this well-respected outfit has branched out, opining in a politically correct manner on one issue after another outside its proper remit. Now it is faced with a matter absolutely central to its responsibilities — actual disease control — and it flips and flops and flounders because the ultimate boss, the President of the United States, cannot bring himself to put limits on contacts between Americans and the citizens of the countries in Africa where there is an Ebola epidemic.

  There is only one way to prevent the spread of an epidemic, and that is quarantine. No medical professional with any sense would suggest that we should admit individuals from Liberia to the United States at this time, and no medical professional worth his or her salt would say that we can test for the disease when the prospective visitor arrives at Immigration and Passport Control. Like most diseases, Ebola has an incubation period. Early on, there are no symptoms: none at all. There is no reliable way to tell whether those arriving at our ports of entry have contracted the disease or not. If we do not want it coming here, for a time, we have to keep everyone out who has been in that neck of the woods. 

  And what are we told by the authorities? That cutting off contact would contribute to the spread of the epidemic. “Just how?” we are entitled to ask. But no explanation is given because, of course, there is none. We were also told that the disease would not come here. And, when it did come here, we were told that it could easily be contained. And, when it was not contained and a medical professional wearing all the proper gear came down with the disease, we were told that he did not follow the protocol. “

 

 

Read the whole thing from Paul Rahe

 

Illustration by John Darkow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Graves Point To Undercount Of Ebola Toll

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The Ebola epidemic is spreading rapidly in Sierra Leone’s densely packed capital — and it may already be far worse than the authorities acknowledge.

  Since the beginning of the outbreak more than six months ago, the Sierra Leone Health Ministry reported only 10 confirmed Ebola deaths here in Freetown, the capital of more than one million people, and its suburbs as of Sunday — a hopeful sign that this city, unlike the capital of neighboring Liberia, had been relatively spared the ravages of the outbreak.

  But the bodies pouring in to the graveyard tell a different story. In the last eight days alone, 110 Ebola victims have been buried at King Tom Cemetery, according to the supervisor, Abdul Rahman Parker, suggesting an outbreak that is much more deadly than either the government or international health officials have announced.

“ I’m working with the burial team, and the first question I ask them is, ‘Are they Ebola-positive?’ ” said Mr. Parker, adding that the figures were based on medical certificates that he had seen himself. The deaths are carefully recorded by name and date in a notebook headed “Ebola Burials.” “

NY Times report

Obama To Announce Ebola Force Of 3,000 US Military Personnel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The Obama administration is ramping up its response to west Africa’s Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 US military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local healthcare systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic.

  Barack Obama is to announce the stepped-up effort on Tuesday during a visit to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta amid alarm that the outbreak could spread and the deadly virus could mutate into a more easily transmitted disease.

  There have been appeals from the region and from aid organisations for a heightened US role in dealing with the outbreak, blamed for more than 2,200 deaths.

  Administration officials said on Monday that the new initiatives aimed to train as many as 500 healthcare workers a week; erect 17 healthcare facilities in the region of 100 beds each; set up a joint command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to co-ordinate between US and international relief efforts; provide home healthcare kits to hundreds of thousands of households, including 50,000 that the US Agency for International Development will deliver to Liberia this week; and carry out a home and community-based campaign to train local populations on how to handle exposed patients.

  The US effort will include medics and other personnel for treatment and training, engineers to help erect the treatment facilities and specialists in logistics to assist in patient transportation.

  Officials said the cost of the effort would come from $500m in overseas contingency operations, such as the war in Afghanistan, that the Pentagon already had asked Congress to redirect to carry out humanitarian efforts in Iraq and west Africa.”

 

Guardian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guinea: Mobilization Against Ebola Epidemic

 

 

 

 

 

 

” With eight confirmed cases of Ebola reported in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is facing an unprecedented epidemic regarding the distribution of the disease, which is present in several locations in Guinea.

  To date, Guinean health authorities have recorded 122 suspected patients and 78 deaths. Other cases, suspected or diagnosed, were found in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The outbreak features the Zaire strain of the virus, the most aggressive and deadly. It kills more than nine out of 10 patients. In addition to Conakry, there are cases in Gueckedou, Macenta, Kissidougou, and Nzerekore.”

 

 

MSF Ebola

 

 

” We are facing an epidemic of a magnitude never before seen in terms of the distribution of cases in the country,”  said Mariano Lugli, coordinator of MSF’s project in Conakry.

  MSF continues to strengthen its teams in Guinea. By the end of the week, there will be roughly 60 international field workers experienced with addressing hemorrhagic fever divided between Conakry and in the southeast of the country.  

  Among the field workers are doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, and water and sanitation experts, as well as anthropologists. In addition, more than 40 tons of equipment have been flown into the country to try to curb the spread of the disease.”

 

Read more from Médecins Sans Frontières

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At Least 59 People Dead In Guinea Ebola Outbreak

 

 

 

 

 

 

” An Ebola outbreak has killed at least 59 people in Guinea, UNICEF said, as the deadly hemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from southern communities in the West African nation.

  Experts in the country had been unable to identify the disease, whose symptoms — diarrhea, vomiting and fever — were first observed last month.

  Health Minister Remy Lamah said Saturday initial test results confirm the presence of a viral hemorrhagic fever, which according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention refers to a group of viruses that affect multiple organ systems in the body.

  In a written statement, UNICEF said at least 59 out of 80 people who contracted Ebola have died. At least three of the victims were children.”

 

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