The Ebola epidemic has affected West Africa since last year March. The latest figures by the World Health Organization reveal that more than 24,350 people have been infected so far, and 10,004 people have died from the disease mainly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Though the number of new Ebola infections has gone down, the epidemic is far from over, reported the global medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) on Monday. The organization also revealed the shortcomings of the global response to the crisis, in the Xinhua report, 'Pushed to the Limit and Beyond' which is based on interviews with dozens of MSF staff involved in the organization's Ebola intervention.
Joanne Liu, president MSF International, said, "Today we share our initial reflections and take a critical look at both MSF's response and the wider global response to the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. The Ebola epidemic proved to be an exceptional event that exposed the reality of how inefficient and slow health and aid systems were to respond to emergencies."
The report describes MSF's early warnings an year ago about cases of Ebola spreading in Guinea, the initial denial by governments of the affected countries, and the unprecedented steps that MSF was forced to take in the face of global inaction as the outbreak engulfed neighboring states. It details the effects of the several months-long global coalition of inaction, during which the virus spread wildly, leading MSF to issue a rare call for the mobilization of international civilian and military medical assets with bio-hazard capacity. The report also highlights the challenges MSF faced over the past year and the difficult choices made in the absence of available treatment and sufficient resources.
In Sierra Leone, many people are presenting with the Ebola virus who were not previously on lists of known Ebola contacts. The Sierra Leone authorites enforced a new three-day curfew in the last week to stop the spread of the Ebola virus, which has already killed nearly 3,700 people in the African country. In Guinea, the number of patient are again rising. Liberia is currently on the countdown to zero cases, but remains at risk while the virus lives on in neighboring countries.
The United Nations announced on Wednesday that the WHO and the World Food Program (WFP) would be joining forces to bring the cases of Ebola outbreak in West Africa down to zero.