Communities too scared to let Ebola teams in, says Red Cross

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Sierra Leone, a health worker receives training in how to wear personal protective equipment. © UNICEF/NYHQ2014-3000/James

Efforts to eradicate Ebola have shifted to tracing those with the virus.

It follows signs that the deadly disease is on the wane in the three worst affected countries Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

But humanitarian workers have met resistance from communities which deny them access to the sick in the belief that the outsiders are to blame.

The risk is that the disease becomes endemic, as Daniel Johnson reports.

The chances of Ebola becoming endemic haven't been ruled out amid reports that communities continue to hamper aid access.

“In places like Sierra Leone and especially in Guinea it's flaring up in new districts all the time…

Birte Haid, spokesperson for UN partner agency the International Federation of the Red Cross.

"There are still areas that are so insecure that we cannot send our Red Cross teams out there."

The Red Cross spokesperson told reporters on Friday that communities in Guinea still believe that health teams are spreading the virus when they use disinfecting sprays.

And she warned that the epidemic was "definitely not over yet" and we should consider ourselves "lucky and fortunate" if Ebola were stopped this year.

World Health Organization also confirmed "a lot of resistance" from communities but insisted it remains important to trace all cases of infection.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations.

Duration: 47"

Filed under Today's News.
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