Ebola operation stepped up

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A team cleans an area where a suspected Ebola patient sat outside waiting hours for treatment. (Sep 2014) © Kieran Kesner/IRIN

Efforts are speeding up to limit the spread of ebola with UN medical specialists now targeting countries most at risk from an outbreak.

The World Health Organization (WHO) wants to ensure that 14 African countries implement its 10-point ebola prevention checklist.

The UN agency says its list is a "minimum" requirement for countries.

It wants national authorities to be sure that they can respond rapidly to an outbreak, with sufficient labs and contact tracing systems in place.

UN doctors have already travelled to Mali and Côte d'Ivoire, while other missions are also under way. WHO spokesperson Fadelah Chaib has more:

"As of now WHO has formed teams with partners to go to these 14 countries…it's very important; for example, do we have the means for rapid response for public awareness and community engagement, for infection prevention control, do we have a good epidemiological surveillance, contact tracing and laboratories etc? So it's a list of 10 indicators that we should be having as a minimum in each of these 14 countries."  (34″)

Problems with diagnosing ebola continue to hamper the effort to combat the disease.

WHO's Ms Chaib said that some blood samples had to be driven "kilometres and kilometres" before they can be tested.

More than 5,400 people now have died from the disease out of more than 15,100 cases in eight countries according to the UN.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration:  1’29″

 

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