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Five New People Infected with Ebola Every Hour

Five New People Infected with Ebola Every Hour


The demand for treatment beds and nurses to halt the rap
id spread of Ebola across Sierra Leone is far outstripping supply, according to Save the Children.

An estimated 765[1] new cases were reported last week – a rate of five every hour - while there are only 327 beds in the country. The critical shortage comes as untold numbers of children are dying anonymously at home or in the streets, meaning the scale of the problem is massively unreported.

Ebola is spreading across Sierra Leone at a terrifying rate, with the number of new cases being recorded doubling every few weeks. At the current rate, 10 people every hour will be infected with Ebola in the country before the end of October. Even as health authorities get on top of the outbreak in one area, it breaks out in another. In the Port Loko district, cases have risen five-fold in the last month[2].

Even with the 700 new beds pledged by the UK government, unless the international community radically steps up its response people will continue to die at home, infecting their families and wider community.

Save the Children’s country director in Sierra Leone, Rob MacGillivray, says: “We are facing the frightening prospect of an epidemic which is spreading like wildfire across Sierra Leone, with the number of new cases doubling every three weeks. Children, more than anyone, are suffering painful, anonymous and undignified deaths at home. It’s very difficult at this stage to even give accurate figures on the number of children who are dying from Ebola, as monitoring systems cannot keep pace with the outbreak.”

Save the Children is working with the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and its Ministry of Defence to build and run a 100-bed treatment centre in Sierra Leone, as well as supporting an Interim Care Centre in Kailahun for children who have lost their families to Ebola. The organisation is pledging to raise and spend $70m (£43m) to stop the spread of the disease across the region, treat more patients and support children who have lost their parents. Save the Children is tackling Ebola in Liberia and Guinea too.

ENDS

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