Ebola could hit again and we would hardly do better - MSF

2015-06-13 21:02
(AFP)

(AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dakar - The Ebola epidemic could flare up again in West Africa and health authorities are no better equipped to control it than they were a year ago, the head of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Saturday.

"The reality today is if Ebola were to hit on scale it did in August and September, we would hardly do much better than we did the last time around," Joanne Liu said on the sidelines of a meeting on Ebola in Dakar.

Leaders of the Group of Seven industrial nations vowed this week to wipe out the epidemic that has killed more than 11 100 people across West Africa, but offered little concrete action.

While the virus is spreading more slowly than at the peak last year and Liberia has defeated the outbreak, cases have risen sharply in the past two weeks in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

"We've been disappointed by the World Health Assembly and again by the G7 in terms of their recommendations," Liu, the international president of MSF, told Reuters. She was referring also to a World Health Organisation (WHO) meeting last month.

The WHO did not declare an international public health emergency until August last year, eight months after the first Ebola case, delaying resources to the sick.

Jerome Mouton, MSF country head for Guinea, described a state of "semi-denial" about the virus similar to a year ago, adding that another major flare-up of the disease was possible.

"We are in the same situation where we are overly optimistic, saying that it is almost finished and there's no problem but in fact it's a big problem as there is potential for this to again set off a big epidemic," he said.

Sierra Leone reported the highest daily Ebola case count in nearly three months earlier this week and the government has since introduced a curfew for the affected areas.

In Guinea, the outbreak has spread into districts previously free of the disease in recent weeks, including the border area with Guinea Bissau.

"A month ago I thought we would see the end shortly but I am much less optimistic now," Mouton said.

Read more on:    msf  |  who  |  ebola  |  west africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
5 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.