Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Alex Whiting, Thomson Reuters Foundation

8/22/2014 (3 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 (3 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'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for December 2014
Christmas, hope for humanity:
That the birth of the Redeemer may bring peace and hope to all people of good will.
Parents: That parents may be true evangelizers, passing on to their children the precious gift of faith.



Comments


More Africa

Will the truth die? Fatwa launched against journalist Kamel Daoud Watch

Image of There has been a call to murder Algerian columnist and writer Kamel Daoud.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

Is the pen mightier than the sword? Those who wield the pen risk being felled by the sword. There has been a call to murder columnist and writer Kamel Daoud. Launched on the Internet by Abdelfattah Hamadache, the leader of an unauthorized Salafist party, the ... continue reading


Kidnapping of 100 Nigerian women and children believed to be dreaded Boko Haram Watch

Image of Boko Haram has cut a bloody swath throughout the oil-rich nation of Nigeria.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Although no one has yet claimed responsibility, the kidnapping of 100 Nigerian women and children - in addition to the ruthless slaughter of 35 other people have the bloody fingerprints of terrorist group Boko Haram all over it. The attack took place at the ... continue reading


No solutions: Dakar Peace and Security Summit declared a failure Watch

Image of Chadian President Idriss Deby said that the goal in Libya was accomplished, as the NATO's objective was to assassinate Muammar Gaddafi.

By Kaci Racelma, Catholic Online

Only three heads of state attended the Dakar Peace and Security Summit. At the closing of the forum, entitled "Forum on Peace and Security in Africa" earlier this week, Chadian President Idriss Deby said that the goal in Libya was accomplished, as the NATO's ... continue reading


Haftar's forces gain control of new territory between Libya, Tunisia Watch

Image of Fajr Libya remains entrenched inside distant lands. This strategy aims at isolating the Tunisian Islamists, cutting contact between the Libyan and Tunisian Islamist militias.

By Kaci Racelman, Catholic Online

Forces loyal to the retired general Khalifa Haftar have successfully conquered Rass Jedir in the borders between Libya and Tunisia. That battle raged in the early morning hours of Monday, December 15. Fajr Libya was won, but not definitely, as the other side ... continue reading


Eleven illegal migrants from Niger die in traffic accident in Ghardaia Watch

Image of The bus was carrying illegal migrants from Niger who were in the process of being repatriated to their countries of origin, at the request of the Niger government.

By Kaci Racelman, catholic Online

Terrible luck remains a given for illegal migrants traveling in the Sahel region. After enduring much pain and hardship in their flight to a better life, a terrible fate came to 11 illegal migrants from Niger. All perished in a horrific traffic accident this past ... continue reading


Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria: STOP CHEMICAL WARFARE ON POOR WOMEN!

Image of We firmly declare that this is not democratic and is even unethical to continue the agenda of throwing commodities with known dangers and potential risks at the vulnerable peoples of the world who are often uninformed about all the issues concerned.- Catholic Bishops of Nigeria

By Catholic Bishops of Nigeria

This easy-to-administer form of an old drug by Pfizer Incorporated is being hailed by many as the magic wand to reduce poverty and emancipate poor women in over 69 countries around the world especially in Sub Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America.In the current ... continue reading


Release of French hostages reason for deep concern in North Africa - WHY? Watch

Image of The release of French hostages Serge Lazarevic, pictured, who was snatched in Mali in November of 2011 along with his fellow Frenchman Philippe Verdon, has led to a feeling of dread in many North African countries.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

It would appear that the release of any hostage held by terrorist forces would be a reason for celebration. However, the release of French hostages Serge Lazarevic, who was snatched in Mali in November of 2011 along with his fellow Frenchman Philippe Verdon, ... continue reading


Stepping up to the plate: Algeria continues to work with refugees from Niger Watch

Image of High winds and freezing weather is having its effect in hastily constructed Niger refugee camps in Algeria.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Winter arrives at an extremely inopportune time for Niger migrants taking shelter in Algeria. High winds and freezing weather is having its effect in hastily constructed refugee camps here. Many migrants lack winter clothing and shelter. Algeria is doing what ... continue reading


Islamic state extending influence throughout North Africa Watch

Image of Eastern Libya is becoming more attractive to agents affiliated with Islamist State.

By Kaci Racelma (Algiers, Algeria)

Terrorists belonging to the Jund al Khilafah group are rapidly establishing bases in eastern Libya. According to local sources, they number no less than 200. It's believed that they are preparing for significant attacks in the North African region. Jund al ... continue reading


SO OTHERS MAY LIVE: Ebola survivors crucial to turning back deadly tide Watch

Image of Thousands of Ebola survivors with little to no risk of re-infection are critical to controlling the epidemic and training them has the potential to save thousands of lives and decrease the spread of the virus.

By Magdalena Mis, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Thousands of Ebola survivors with little to no risk of re-infection are critical to controlling the epidemic and training them has the potential to save thousands of lives and decrease the spread of the virus, experts said on Wednesday. LONDON (Thomson Reuters ... 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, Isaiah 7:10-14
10 Yahweh spoke to Ahaz again and said:11 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 1:26-38
26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for December 20th, 2014 Image

St. Dominic of Silos
December 20: Benedictine abbot and defender of the faith. Born in Canas, ... 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