AS THE number of people infected by the Ebola virus passed
17,000 this week, the charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) warned
that the international response was still "patchy and slow" and
falling "dangerously short of expectations", and that local people
and charities were left to pick up the pieces.
Foreign governments have concentrated their help on building
clinics, but were not supplying the medical experts needed to staff
them, the charity said. It called for more flexible support to
respond to the crisis differently as it changed across a region
where the "hot- spots" of the outbreak were constantly moving.
The international president of MSF, Dr Joanne Liu, said: "It is
extremely disappointing that states with biological-disaster
response capacities have chosen not to deploy them. How is it that
the international community has left the response to Ebola - now a
transnational threat - up to doctors, nurses, and charity
The World Health Organization (WHO) said earlier in the week
that the 60-day goals it set itself for tackling the Ebola outbreak
in West Africa had largely been met. The WHO has set a target of
isolating and treating 70 per cent of patients, and of safely
burying 70 per cent of bodies in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea
- the worst-affected countries - by 1 December.
An assistant director-general at WHO, Dr Bruce Aylward, said on
Monday that only the treatment figure in Sierra Leone had fallen
below the mark. Its latest figures suggest that nearly 6000 people
have so far died in this epidemic.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, in a video message to a meeting of
the World Council of Churches and UN leaders in Geneva, said that
the virus struck a challenge at the "very heart of what it is to be
human". He spoke of the "deep sorrow" that he encountered on a
visit to West Africa last month, where he met the chief of staff of
the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in Ghana, Prosper
The Archbishop of Canterbury speaks
on Ebola: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDTDimInfUY