Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Alex Whiting, Thomson Reuters Foundation

8/22/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

More qualified personnel needed to deal with broadening crisis, experts say

Hospitals battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa desperately need more staff, as local doctors leave their posts and foreign doctors are reluctant to come forward, medical experts said during an online debate on the disease.

More money and resources are desperately needed to improve local health systems.

More money and resources are desperately needed to improve local health systems.

Highlights

By Alex Whiting, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/22/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Ebola, medical help, doctors, crisis


LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Medical staff are among the most vulnerable to infection, and several have already died of the virus. Locals have no previous experience of Ebola, how to protect themselves or contain the disease.

"The fear factor is high, but people need to understand that Ebola can be controlled, be it within a clinic or within a country," said Francis Kasolo, coordinator of the World Health Organization's Sub-regional Ebola Outbreak Coordination Centre in Conakry, Guinea. He was one of five panelists at the debate organized by Thomson Reuters Foundation.

SAVE Iraqi Christians from Genocide --

The crisis is symptomatic of the state of local health systems, the panelists said. The three most seriously affected countries - Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia - have very few local doctors and nurses. Sierra Leone, for example, has only a few hundred local medical staff to serve a population of nearly 6 million, according to WHO figures.

Ambulances are also in short supply. Just four serve a population of about 470,000 in Kailahun district in eastern Sierra Leone, according to Anja Wolz, emergency coordinator for medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), who was recently in Sierra Leone.

There are not enough protective suits made to the right specification, and hospitals even lack gloves, the experts said.

Aid agencies and local authorities do not have enough resources to collect dead bodies safely. The panelists said they had heard reports of people in Liberia waiting 30 hours or more for someone to collect their dead.

Although some medical staff are fleeing their posts, many are staying despite the dangers.

"The heroic local doctors and nurses must be acknowledged and we need to find ways to remunerate them for their dangerous work," said Johan Von Schreeb, professor of international disaster medicine at the Karolinska Institut in Sweden.

QUARANTINE

In an attempt to contain the virus, Liberia imposed a quarantine in West Point, a large slum in the capital Monrovia, on August 19. Security forces have been deployed to stop people from entering or leaving the area.

Although quarantines are an effective way of stopping transmission in principle, in practice they are very difficult to maintain and have a major impact on those forced into isolation, said Korto Williams, country director for ActionAid Liberia.

"To do this and not have an effective plan for contact tracing, will not help to end the crisis," Williams said, referring to the need to trace all the people that Ebola patients have come into contact with.

A worker walks past newly erected quarantine tents at the expanded ELWA Ebola Treatment Centre on th

A worker walks past newly erected quarantine tents at the expanded ELWA Ebola Treatment Centre on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia, in this UNICEF handout photo.


"Quarantine should not mean the creation of plague villages," he added. "Ebola affected communities must not be abandoned. There should be no 'no go' areas for health workers."

He added that trade and communications should be allowed to continue in areas under quarantine, to avoid further impoverishing those whose communities and livelihoods are already at risk.

CAN ANY GOOD COME OF THE OUTBREAK?

The outbreak will take many months to stabilize, Kasolo said.

In the meantime, local medical staff are gaining experience in how to treat and contain the epidemic, which will hopefully stand them in good stead in the future, some of the panelists said.

But more money and resources are desperately needed to improve local health systems.

Kasolo said that several donors are interested in building the health systems in West Africa.

"This is the marathon that will follow this run," he added.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Africa

Christian pastors face possible death penalty for practicing faith in Sudan Watch

Image of Presbyterian pastors, Yat Michael Ruot (pictured) and Peter Yein Reith, were detained after practicing their faith in Sudan.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Presbyterian Christian preachers, Yat Michael Ruot and Peter Yein Reith, were reportedly detained by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of Sudan for no apparent reason. Now, the humanitarian group, Open Doors USA is voicing out concern over this ... continue reading


Stone tools dating back more than three million years old discovered in Kenya Watch

Image of Paleoanthropologists five years ago reported finding animal bones in Ethiopia that bore the signs of being cut 3.3 million to 3.4 million years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Crude stone tools, recently discovered in Kenya, raise profound questions about prehistory. The tools date back 3.3 million years, making them the oldest such artifacts ever found by 700,000 years. However, these findings suggest that members of the genus Homo ... continue reading


Thousands of migrants flee Libyan conflict through Mediterranean Sea Watch

Image of Libyan migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

African migrants on the Libyan territory are plagued with several dangers; cruelty and violence against them are among the main causes that push them to search for a safe destination, like Europe. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - To reach this continent, they must ... continue reading


Freed journalist sues Al Jazeera news agency for $100 million, alleging negligence Watch

Image of Mohamed Fahmy's lawyers, Joanna Gislason and Gary Caroline, filed the lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court in Canada earlier this month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy was held with two other Al Jazeera journalists for more than 400 days in Egypt. They were charged with belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, accused of threatening Egypt's national security, as well as airing false news. Released ... continue reading


'Today, we need peace' Mali peace talks resume as violence increases Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

While preparations for signing a peace agreement, scheduled for the 15th of May in the Malian city of Bamako, continue to progress, the situation in northern Mali becomes more and more complex and confused. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - Insecurity resurfaces and ... continue reading


Boko Haram kidnap victim speaks on horrific experience full of rape and abuse Watch

Image of Most of the kidnapped women were turned into sex slaves.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"They turned me into a sex machine. They took turns to sleep with me. Now, I am pregnant and I cannot identify the father," told Asabe Aliyu, one of the rescued women from the extremist camp, in an interview with the Daily Times newspaper. Asabe, 23, is just one of the ... continue reading


Disabled and under-aged Ugandan women seek justice for sexual crimes committed against them Watch

Image of Uganda is in the midst of a sexual violence epidemic, and most perpetrators go unpunished, the rights group said.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Tackling an "epidemic" of sexual violence in Uganda, in which disabled women and girls are most vulnerable to abuse, and seeking justice for the victims are at the heart of a campaign launched by the rights group Equality Now on Thursday. LONDON (Thomson ... continue reading


'We have no room for gays and those others,' deputy president of Kenya says Watch

Image of Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and has been so since colonial British rule, which ended in 1963.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God. We have no room for gays and those others," Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto declared at a Nairobi church congregation in the national Swahili language. Ruto says that there is "no room" for ... continue reading


Special Report: UN French Soldiers Rape African Boys in Central African Republic Watch

Image of According to a recently leaked report entitled: Sexual Abuse on Children by International Armed Forces, in order to receive food, young refugee boys in Central African Republic (CAR) were forced to let the French troops, who were working as UN peacekeepers in CAR, rape and sodomize them in the capital city Bangui.

By Obianuju Ekeocha

African nations have been under severe pressure to fall in line and submit to the rainbow flag of the LGBT campaigns. Many of our African leaders have been harassed, embarrassed , threatened and even punished for refusing the virulent LGBT propaganda that is ... continue reading


Hundreds of hostages freed from Boko Haram captivity Watch

Image of An acknowledged Boko Haram stronghold, the liberated hostages from the Sambisa forest are not the 200 girls kidnapped from a school in Chibok last year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The tide may have turned for the Nigerian military n its ongoing battle with terror group Boko Haram. Army officials say that nearly 300 women and girls have been rescued after a successful offensive. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Troops have this ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 42:15-25
15 Next, I shall remind you of the works of the Lord, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 33:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 Give thanks to Yahweh on the lyre, play for him on ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 10:46-52
46 They reached Jericho; and as he left Jericho with ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2015 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret Plantagenet, the niece ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter