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WHO Misses Treatment, Burial Targets in Ebola Countries

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on January 8, 2015 at 8:31 PM
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 WHO Misses Treatment, Burial Targets in Ebola Countries

The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that although the West African countries have made great strides to stem the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, they have missed the key January 1 targets towards halting the epidemic. On October 1, 2014, the United Nations set a 90-day target to isolate and treat all Ebola patients in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and to ensure safe burials for all bodies, which are highly infectious.

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WHO in its latest situation report said, "The three west African countries have dramatically scaled up the number of beds available in Ebola treatment centers and now have the capacity to isolate and treat all patients. All three countries now have the capacity to ensure safe burials for all people known to have died from Ebola. In Liberia, which was long the hardest-hit country and still counts the most deaths at 3,496, a steep drop in transmission paired with a rapid scale-up in treatment means the country now counts 15.1 beds for every confirmed and probable case of the virus. In Guinea, where the epidemic began in December 2013 and which counts 1,781 deaths, there are 2.1 available beds for each infected person. And in Sierra Leone, which currently has the most infections, 9,780, of whom 2,943 have died, there are 4.6 beds for each patient."

WHO has acknowledged that the true number of Ebola deaths is likely far higher than the recorded figure of 8,235, given that many deaths go unreported. The uneven geographical distribution of beds and cases, and the under-reporting of cases, means that the UNMEER (UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response) target of isolating and treating 100 percent of Ebola cases is still not met in some areas. The WHO said, "Efforts to attain each target will continue until the epidemic has been brought to an end."

Source: Medindia
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