Doctors Without Borders: We’re losing fight against Ebola

Friday, September 12, 2014
By Paul Martin

Joanna Liu
September 12, 2014

Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain the disease. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat.

In West Africa, cases and deaths continue to surge. Riots are breaking out. Isolation centers are overwhelmed. Health workers on the front lines are becoming infected and dying in shocking numbers. Others have fled, leaving people without care for even common illnesses. Entire health systems have crumbled.

It is impossible to keep up with the sheer number of infected people pouring into facilities. Ebola treatment centers have been reduced to little more than palliative-care facilities where people go to die. In Sierra Leone, bodies are rotting in the streets. Rather than building Ebola care centers in Liberia, we are forced to build crematoriums.

Nations neighboring the worst-affected countries are closing their borders. Flights are being stopped, preventing additional relief supplies and health workers from reaching the hot zones.

The World Health Organization projected that as many as 20,000 people could be infected over three months in the three worst-affected countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. This number is likely underestimated.

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