Since the Ebola outbreak began in February, 729 people have died out of the total of 1323 that were infected. As a result, the World Health Organization has decided to launch a $100 million response plan meant to combat the deadly outbreak that is wreaking havoc throughout West Africa.
The United Nations agency declared that on Friday, Margaret Chan, World Health Organization Director General, will be meeting the heads of states of affected nations in Conakry, Guinea. Chan declared that the level this outbreak has reached is forcing not only Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to raise their response to new levels, but it has also required the WHO to seriously intervene as the situation escalates. She added that, in order to properly contain the infection, affected countries would have to increase resources as well as in-country medical expertise and coordinate perfectly.
The plan that the WHO has devised involves several hundred more personnel that would be deployed in affected countries. Moreover, the WHO has also appealed to donor countries as epidemiologists, clinical doctors, nurses and logisticians are urgently required.
According to WHO spokesman Paul Garwood, the countries currently facing the Ebola outbreak require not only better information but also effective infection-control measures. What the WHO means to accomplish through the plan they are setting into motion is to stop the transmission of the virus. They mean to strengthen disease surveillance, especially in border areas. Other key aspects involve protecting the health of medical workers as well as finding a way of better explaining the disease to communities.
Currently, non-essential travel to countries like Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are being advised against by the CDC. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that they will be sending another 50 health experts to take part in the efforts of controlling the outbreak.
Sierra Leone’s president, Ernest Bai Koroma has declared that his country is in a state of public health emergency and said that he would quarantine sick patients at home. He added that authorities would be conducting house calls to evaluate those who may have been exposed to the virus. Liberia has also shut down schools and ordered public servants to stay home instead of coming to work.
In the meanwhile, Dr. Kent Brantly’s condition, the doctor who contracted the Ebola virus while working to fight the outbreak, has allegedly worsened. He is, according to doctors, stable but critical. Brantly had been working in Monrovia, Liberia, as part of a post-residency program.