Ebola breaking away from efforts to contain it

Friday, September 26, 2014
By Paul Martin

by Cesar Chelala
JapanTimes.co.jp
Sep 26, 2014

As the Ebola epidemic is claiming increasing number of victims, there is widespread concern that efforts to contain it are inadequate. New and more effective measures are needed to combat one of the most dangerous epidemics of modern times.

“Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it,” stated Doctors Without Borders International President Dr. Joanne Liu.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s anguished letter to President Barack Obama, urging the U.S. Government to take a more aggressive policy to combat this deadly epidemic, stated the situation in clear terms: “Without help from your government, we will lose this battle against Ebola.”

Losing this battle means not only that the initially affected countries will lose many but also that many other countries will be affected as well.

The Liberian scenario is paradigmatic: While infections are rapidly spreading in the country, it is affecting an already weak health care system that has proven unable to contain the spread of the infection.

So far, more than half of the recorded deaths from Ebola have taken place in Liberia. In the meantime, rather than providing direct aid to the affected countries, Western countries are mainly concerned about their own safety by closing airlines, aid workers say.

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