Ebola control efforts set back after health workers killed in Guinea

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Personal protective equipment for Ebola health care workers includes individual gowns, gloves, masks and goggles or face shields, as well as boots covered with disposable protection. WHO/Christina Banluta

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it is appalled by the murder of health workers and journalists trying to raise awareness about the Ebola disease in Guinea.

The organization says the killings reflect the enormous difficulties and challenges health workers and other volunteers face in trying to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

Over 5,335 cases of the disease have been reported with 2,622 deaths.

At the same time, WHO says it was concerned about the situation in the Liberian capital Monrovia where a surge of new cases has been reported.

Dr Pierre Formenty from WHO says rapid transmission of the disease is taking place in the slum areas of the capital, adding that the high number of cases had stretched available Ebola treatment centers to the limit.

"We are trying to help some communities start to develop home care interventions because at the moment, the number of beds available in Monrovia are not enough to cope with the number of cases that are being detected by the surveillance system. We are trying to provide a service to the population in Monrovia for safe burials. The people who are dying from Ebola are the most contagious and this is the place where we are seeing a lot of transmission during unsafe funerals. So we have put a lot of effort to ensure that we have enough teams in Monrovia to deal with the high number of people dying from Ebola in the capital city." 

In the meantime, Sierra Leone has declared a three day curfew to try to stop the spread of the disease.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1.41″ 

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