WHO: New Ebola patients emerging ‘faster than capacity to manage them’

Friday, September 12, 2014
By Paul Martin

The World Health Organization’s Margaret Chan has said that the number of new Ebola patients “is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them.” More than 2,400 people have died in the West African outbreak.


World Health Organization (WHO) director general Chan told reporters on Friday that the Ebola virus was spreading in West Africa more quickly than health authorities could respond – particularly in the three worst-hit countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

“The Ebola outbreak that is ravaging parts of West Africa is the largest and most complex and most severe in the almost four-decade history of this disease,” Chan told reporters at the UN health body’s Geneva headquarters on Friday. “As of September 12, we are at 4,784 cases and more than 2,400 deaths.”

Cuba sends staff to Sierra Leone

Margaret Chan said that more international medical staff and equipment were urgently required to combat the disease’s spread, lauding a pledge from Cuba to send 165 medical staff to Sierra Leone.

“If we are going to go to war with Ebola, we need the resources to fight,” Chan said. “Cuba is world famous for its ability to train outstanding doctors and nurses and for its generosity in helping fellow countries on the route to progress.”

Doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, infection control and intensive care specialists are among the personnel being dispatched by the government in Havana. Cuba’s minister for public health, Roberto Morales Ojeda, also attended Friday’s press conference.

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