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World leaders are failing to address the worst ever Ebola epidemic, and states with biological-disaster response capacity, including civilian and military medical capability, must immediately dispatch assets and personnel to West Africa, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) announced today in a special briefing at the United Nations organized by the office of the UN Secretary General and the World Health Organization (WHO). In a speech delivered to UN member states, MSF International President Dr. Joanne Liu denounced the lack of deployment of resources, which has to date relied on overstretched ministries of health and private nongovernmental organizations to tackle the exceptionally large outbreak. Despite repeated calls by MSF for a massive mobilization on the ground, the international response has been lethally inadequate. Transmission rates have reached levels never before reported in past Ebola outbreaks, and the further spread of the virus will not be prevented without a massive deployment of specialized medical units to bolster epidemic control efforts in affected countries.
MSF has sent more than 700 international staff to the region
Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations African affairs subcommittee, applauded the new US commitment. Coons earlier had called for the Obama administration to step up its role in West Africa.
Obama’s trip to the CDC comes a day after the United States also demanded a stepped-up international response to the outbreak. The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, on Monday called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday, warning that the potential risk of the virus could “set the countries of West Africa back a generation.”
— Train as many as 500 health care workers a week. — Erect 17 heath care facilities in the region with 100 beds each.
— Set up a joint command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to coordinate between US and international relief efforts.
— Provide home health care kits to hundreds of thousands of households, including 50,000 that the US Agency for International Development will deliver to Liberia this week.
— Carry out a home- and community-based campaign to train local populations on how to handle exposed patients.
Dear World In just over six months, Ebola has managed to bring my country to a standstill. We have lost over 2,000 Liberians. Some are children struck down in the prime of their youth. Some were fathers, mothers, brothers or best friends. Many were brave health workers that risked their lives to save others, or simply offer victims comfort in their final moments… There is no coincidence Ebola has taken hold in three fragile states – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – all battling to overcome the effects of interconnected wars. In Liberia, our civil war ended only eleven years ago. It destroyed our public infrastructure, crushed our economy and led to an exodus of educated professionals. A country that had some 3,000 qualified doctors at the start of the war was dependent by its end on barely three dozen. In the last few years, Liberia was bouncing back. We realized there was a long way to go, but the future was looking bright.Now Ebola threatens to erase that hard work. Our economy was set to be larger and stronger this year, offering more jobs to Liberians and raising living standards. Ebola is not just a health crisis – across West Africa, a generation of young people risk being lost to an economic catastrophe as harvests are missed, markets are shut and borders are closed.The virus has been able to spread so rapidly because of the insufficient strength of the emergency, medical and military services that remain under-resourced and without the preparedness to confront such a challenge. This would have been the case whether the confrontation was with Ebola, another infectious disease, or a natural disaster.But one thing is clear. This is a fight in which the whole world has a stake. This disease respects no borders. The damage it is causing in West Africa, whether in public health, the economy or within communities – is already reverberating throughout the region and across the world.The international reaction to this crisis was initially inconsistent and lacking in clear direction or urgency. Now finally, the world has woken up. The community of nations has realized they cannot simply pull up the drawbridge and wish this situation away.This fight requires a commitment from every nation that has the capacity to help – whether that is with emergency funds, medical supplies or clinical expertise.I have every faith in our resilience as Liberians, and our capacity as global citizens, to face down this disease, beat it and rebuild. History has shown that when a people are at their darkest hour, humanity has an enviable ability to act with bravery, compassion and selflessness for the benefit of those most in need.From governments to international organisations, financial institutions to NGOs, politicians to ordinary people on the street in any corner of the world, we all have a stake in the battle against Ebola. It is the duty of all of us, as global citizens, to send a message that we will not leave millions of West Africans to fend for themselves against an enemy that they do not know, and against whom they have little defence.The time for talking or theorizing is over. Only concerted action will save my country, and our neighbours, from experiencing another national tragedy. The words of Henrik Ibsen have never been truer: “A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed. Yours sincerely, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
originally posted by: FlyersFan
China will dispatch an elite unit from the People's Liberation Army to help Ebola-hit Liberia, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, responding to U.N. calls for a greater global effort to fight the deadly virus in West Africa. Washington has led the international drive to stop the spread of the disease that has killed nearly 5,000 people, sending thousands of troops and committing about $1 billion, but Beijing has faced criticism for not doing enough. The PLA squad, which has experience from a 2002 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), will build a 100-bed treatment centre in Liberia, the first such facility in the three countries most impacted by Ebola to be constructed and run by a foreign country, said Lin Songtian, director general of the ministry's Department of African Affairs. The centre will be open for operation in a month's time, he told a briefing in Beijing. China will also dispatch 480 PLA medical staff to treat Ebola patients, he said. It's the first time China has deployed a whole unit of epidemic prevention forces and military medical staff abroad, Lin said.
Meanwhile, the Russian military said the first of two transport planes carrying the components of a field hospital had left for Guinea on November 16.
MOSCOW, November 28. /TASS/. Russian virologists who are staying in Guinea to fight Ebola fever are expanding their work and will continue fighting the virus at one more hospital, the chief of Russian consumer standards agency told TASS on Friday. “This is planned that our specialists will keep working not only with a hospital in the capital of the Republic of Guinea, but also with another one which is being built 50 kilometres away,” chief of the country’s consumer rights watchdog Anna Popova said, noting that “Our specialists plan to co-operate there with Cuban partners. They have already met and are developing further working tactics.” Russian epidemiologists have been staying in Guinea since August 22. They will keep working in that country until it is needed, she said. The first team of specialists has been fully replaced now, Popova noted.
originally posted by: FlyersFan