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Published On: Thu, Jun 26th, 2014

WHO calls for ‘drastic action’ as West Africa Ebola outbreak now a ‘sub-regional crisis’

Brazzaville, 25 June 2014 — As the number of deaths and cases of Ebola virus continues to rise in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization is warning that drastic action is needed.

Public domain image/Mondo Magic

Public domain image/Mondo Magic

The World Health Organization has so far provided technical assistance through the deployment of over 150 multidisciplinary team of experts involved in a range of outbreak response activities such as surveillance, communication and social mobilization, infection control, logistics, data management.

Despite this, there has been significant increase in the number of daily reported cases and deaths of Ebola as well as newly affected districts over the last three weeks.  As of 23 June 2014, the total cumulative number of cases reported was 635 out of which 399 died. This makes the on-going Ebola outbreak, the largest in terms of the number of cases and deaths as well as geographical spread.

“This is no longer a country specific outbreak but a sub-regional crisis that requires firm action by Governments and partners. WHO is gravely concerned of the on-going cross-border transmission into neighbouring countries as well as the potential for further international spread. There is an urgent need to  intensify response efforts;  to promote cross-border collaboration and information sharing of suspected cases and contacts in line with WHO guidelines and to mobilise all sectors of the community  to ensure unhindered access to affected areas. This is the only way that the outbreak will be effectively addressed”, said Dr Luis Sambo, WHO Regional Director for Africa.

In an effort to interrupt further spread of this virus in the shortest possible time, the World Health Organization is convening a special meeting of Ministers of Health of eleven (11) countries and partners involved in the Ebola outbreak response in Accra, Ghana from 2-3 July 2014 to discuss the best way of tackling the crisis collectively as well as develop a comprehensive inter country operational response plan.

Decisions taken at this meeting will be critical in addressing the current and future outbreaks.

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