As the Ebola outbreak surges to record levels, the international response has been “lethally inadequate” and has only worsened the epidemic by “marginalizing” the population affected, a chorus of top international medical officials said during a high-level United Nations briefing in New York on Tuesday.
Slamming the lack of response by UN Member States, Dr. Joanne Liu, international president of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said that despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) announcement that the epidemic constituted a “public health emergency of international concern,” outside countries “have essentially joined a global coalition of inaction.”
“Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it,” Liu declared. Painting a bleak picture of the situation on the ground in the most affected countries, she continued:
Accusing UN Member States of focusing “solely on measures to protect their own borders,” Liu added: “We cannot cut off the affected countries and hope this epidemic will simply burn out. To put out this fire, we must run into the burning building.”
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According to WHO’s latest statistics, the number of detected Ebola cases in affected countries Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, stands at 3,069 with over 1,552 deaths, making this the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded. Dr. Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General, said this was the largest, most severe and complex Ebola outbreak ever seen in the nearly 40-year history of this disease.
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