World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN: Doctors, nurses, staff, urgently needed to combat ebola

Doctors, nurses and health staff urgently needed to combat ebola – UN health agency

4 August 2014

The United Nations health agency today appealed for urgently needed contributions to combat the deadly Ebola disease in West Africa, saying hundreds of doctors, nurses, health staff and materials are needed in the region “as fast as possible.”

World Health Organization (WHO) spokesperson Gregory Hartl said that this week is all about putting into practice the emergency response agreed upon by the head of the UN health agency and the presidents of the three affected West African countries – Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone – in a meeting that lasted more than five hours last Friday.

Mr. Hartl said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and the three West African leaders agreed on an Ebola disease response plan involving three co-centric rings in the most-affected areas along their common border, such as Kenema, Lofa and Kailahun.

“They want to institute emergency measures to encourage people to stay in those areas and not leave in order not to spread the disease to other areas,” Mr. Hartl told UN Radio, and to do that, they will increase supplies of food and other benefits into that area so it is attractive for people to stay there.

He said that is why WHO and the three countries have launched an appeal for a $100 million response plan.

“We need many more contributions from the international community, from governments, from NGOs, academic institutions, from anyone who can provide us with doctors, nurses, health staff, and other public health staff,” Mr. Hartl said.

“We need materials. We need money, and this we need quickly and we need a lot of it,” he said. “We are looking at hundreds of international staff that we would like to get into region as fast as possible.”

Dr. Chan had given a bleak assessment of the Ebola outbreak in remarks to the West African leaders last Friday, saying they are confronted with “an unprecedented outbreak” of the deadly Ebola disease accompanied by “unprecedented challenges” as the outbreak was moving faster than efforts to control it.

But she also told presidents of countries affected by the most lethal strain of the virus that “when well-managed, an Ebola outbreak can be stopped.”

The WHO chief also announced that on 6-7 August, WHO will convene an Emergency Committee meeting in order to ascertain whether the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC) and, if it does, to recommend appropriate temporary measures to reduce international spread.

According to WHO, Ebola, formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, affects humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees). The origin of the virus is unknown, but fruit bats are considered the likely host.

“Once a person comes into contact with an animal that has Ebola, it can spread within the community from human-to-human. Infection occurs from direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with the blood, or other bodily fluids or secretions (stool, urine, saliva, semen) of infected people,” according to WHO.

Sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat are typical signs and symptoms. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, and in some cases, both internal and external bleeding.

WHO says the incubation period, or the time interval from infection to onset of symptoms, is from 2 to 21 days. The patients become contagious once they begin to show symptoms. They are not contagious during the incubation period.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news