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

 


UN vows to radically scale up Ebola fight

UN vows to radically scale up Ebola fight as ‘invisible’ caseloads are escaping detection

22 August 2014

Dr. David Nabarro, Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola who was appointed by the Secretary-General to establish how best the UN can support affected communities, was wrapping up the first leg of a visit to all Ebola-effected countries in West Africa.

In the Liberian capital, Monrovia, this afternoon, he told reporters at the end of his two-day visit that more health workers will be brought to the country to deal with the outbreak, saying “The United Nations is looking at ways to radically scale up support to fight Ebola.”

Dr. Keiji Fukuda, UN World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director-General for Health Security, who is travelling with Dr. Nabarro, said at the press conference: “This is not a hopeless situation.”

Also at the same press conference, Karin Landgren, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Coordinator of UN Operations in Liberia, said that UN peacekeepers were not involved in quarantining people due to Ebola.

Meanwhile, the Geneva-based WHO said in its latest update that the magnitude of the Ebola outbreak, especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone, has been underestimated for a number of reasons.

In parts of Liberia, WHO said, a phenomenon is occurring that has never before been seen in an Ebola outbreak. As soon as a new treatment facility is opened, it is immediately filled with patients, many of whom were not previously identified.

For example in Monrovia, it said, an Ebola treatment centre with 20 beds, which opened last week, was immediately overwhelmed with more than 70 patients.

“This phenomenon strongly suggests the existence of an invisible caseload of patients who are not being detected by the surveillance system,” the UN health agency said.

WHO said: “Many families hide infected loved ones in their homes. As Ebola has no cure, some believe infected loved ones will be more comfortable dying at home. Others deny that a patient has Ebola and believe that care in an isolation ward – viewed as an incubator of the disease – will lead to infection and certain death.”

The health agency went on to say that in rural villages, corpses are buried without notifying health officials and with no investigation of the cause of death. In some areas, most notably Monrovia, virtually all health services have shut down.

Meanwhile, WHO reiterated that it does not recommend any ban on international travel or trade. It stresses that closing borders doesn’t work and is detrimental, as affected countries will be pushed towards a humanitarian crisis and the international community’s ability to fight and reverse the Ebola outbreak will be hampered.

WHO and the rest of the UN system also continue to highlight that the virus is not airborne and that becoming infected requires direct physical contact with body fluids of people who have been infected or died from Ebola.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

South Sudan: UN Agencies Reach More Than Half A Million

South Sudan: UN Agencies Reach More than Half a Million People with Life-Saving Aid More>>

Israeli Plans To Expand Its Illegal Settlement Enterprises

PLO Executive Committee member, Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, strongly denounced Israeli plans to expand its illegal settlement enterprise by approving the construction of 2,561 units in the settlement of Givat Hamatos. More>>

ALSO:

Ecuador: Villagers Plan To Seize Chevron's $106M Arbitral Award

QUITO, ECUADOR, Sep. 30 /CSRwire/ - In what could be a huge boost to their campaign to force Chevron to comply with a $9.5 billion environmental judgment in Ecuador, rainforest villagers plan to enforce a court order directing them to take possession ... More>>

World Grossly Ill-Prepared To Deal Ebola Outbreak

Leaders from Sierra Leone and Liberia, the two countries, along with Guinea at the frontlines of the battle against the unprecedented Ebola outbreak in West Africa, urged the General Assembly today ensure the United Nations mounted a stronger, better coordinated response “to end this grave threat to our collective survival.”More>>

ALSO:

  • Save The Children - Save the Children Builds Its First Ebola Treatment Centre


  • Israel’s Netanyahu Warns Against ‘Militant Islam’

    29 September 2014 – From the podium of the General Assembly today Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the world of the grave threat he said it faced from militant Islam’s desire to dominate the planet, be they Sunni extremists or ... More>>

    Deputy PM of Syria Victims Of ISIL Brutality 'Waiting On Us To Act'

    As the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant began carrying their slaughter in the Middle East, “they might have surprised many of the countries present here, but not…us,” the Deputy Prime Minister of Syria told the United Nations General Assembly, underscoring today that the time has come for the world to stand united and tackle the threat head-on.More>>

    Not A Single Child Untouched By Recent Gaza Conflict

    There is not a single child who has not been adversely affected by the recent conflict in Gaza, where children suffer from bedwetting, difficulties in sleeping, nightmares, a loss of appetite, and display more aggressive behaviour at school, an independent United Nations human rights expert said todayMore>>


    Ebola: UN Readies To Start Work As Death Toll Surpasses 3,000

    Ebola response: medical supplies, including protective equipment and essential medicine, are loaded onto trucks at the Lungi International Airport in Freetown, capital of Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF/Sulaiman Stephens More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news