Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Alex Whiting, Thomson Reuters Foundation

8/22/2014 (2 years 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 (2 years 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.

---


'Help give every student and teacher Free resources for a world-class moral Catholic education'


Copyright 2017 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for DECEMBER 2016
Universal:
End to Child-Soldiers: That the scandal of child-soldiers may be eliminated the world over.
Evangelization: Europe: That the peoples of Europe may rediscover the beauty, goodness, and truth of the Gospel which gives joy and hope to life.



Comments


More Africa

Have the graves of the first African slaves been found? Watch

Image of An image from 1865 shows Africans being taken into slavery. One victim is being put to death arbitrarily, or for some unknown offense.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Archaeologists have identified the origins of some of the first slaves brought to the Americas. Researchers used DNA to confirm their findings. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- Archaeologists researching slavery in the Americas have unearthed what may be the ... continue reading


Egypt's Christians grieve fallen believers but hold tight to faith in the Lord Watch

Image of Coptic Christians remain under attack of terrorist in Egypt.

By Andrea Krogmann (Aid to the Church in Need)

Coptic Catholic Bishop Kyrillos William of Assiut, Egypt, commenting on the Dec. 11, 2016 suicide bomber attack that killed 26 people and wounded scores at an Orthodox church in Cairo, confirms that the country's Christian community fears further violence and terror. ... continue reading


Coptic Christians refuse to give up - But who are they and what do they stand for? Watch

Image of Who are the Coptic Christians?

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Following the horrific attack on <a href="http://www.catholic.org/news/international/middle_east/story.php?id=72513">St. Mark's Cathedral</a>, many are hearing about Coptic Christians for the very first time. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


25 Dead in latest church bombing - Heavenly Father, protect your flock Watch

Image of A bombing in Cairo has destroyed a church and killed at least 25 of its parishioners.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On Sunday morning, St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral's 105-year-old chapel was targeted by at least one bomb. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - At least 25 people were killed and another 49 were injured in the explosion, which destroyed sections of the church.The ... continue reading


Parishioners killed during bishop's ordination in tragic accident WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES Watch

Image of Over 100 people were killed when a church roof collapsed on parishioners.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Reigners Bible Church International made headlines on Saturday when its roof collapsed on parishioners celebrating the ordainment of founder Akan Weeks as a bishop. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ceremony was cut short when the roof collapsed.Metal beams ... continue reading


South African Supreme Court strikes down physician assisted suicide, but the ruling comes with a worrisome twist Watch

Image of The Supreme Court of South Africa has struck down a lower court ruling that opened the possibility of physician assisted suicide. Now the question may be taken up by Parliament.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The Supreme Court of South Africa has overturned a ruling that could allow physicians to assist a patient who wants to commit suicide. The decision is a life affirming one, with one small detail to cause concern. Thankfully, the court is upholding the importance and ... continue reading


'We know what we trust in' - The AMAZING and POWERFUL story of how ONE MAN led 300 people to God Watch

Image of Many have been baptized in Ethiopia.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

A distant part of Ethiopia last week celebrated the baptisms of 300 adult catechumens, youth, and infants. Bahir Dar, Ethiopia (CNA/EWTN News) - "Today when you receive this great Sacrament of Baptism you become sons and daughters of God, people of God and members of ... continue reading


Nuns no longer safe? Robbery turned homicide in Democratic Republic of Congo Watch

Image of A nun (not pictured) was killed in the Republic of Congo.

By (CNA/EWTN News)

A nun in the Democratic Republic of Congo was murdered earlier this week by unknown suspects in an apparent robbery, the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions has reported. Rome, Italy (CNA/EWTN News) - Sister Marie Claire Agano, a religious of the Franciscan ... continue reading


Calling Indiana Jones! Mysterious 7,000 year old city discovered - but what secrets does it hold? Watch

Image of A lost city has been discovered next to Luxor.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Archaeologists have discovered a 7,000 year old city in Egypt, dating back to the earliest days of the Egyptian civilization. The settlement is a remarkable discovery that will shed light on a period about which little is known. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - ... continue reading


AMERICAN SCAM? Uganda kicks Gates and Zuckerberg from schools Watch

Image of Students attend a Bridge Academy in Africa. Uganda has ordered the closure of these schools.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Some sixty-three private schools in Uganda are about to be closed after officials found they are not properly educating students. The schools in question belong to the Bridges Academy, a private, for-profit school system funded in part by Bill Gates and Mark ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17
1 Melchizedek, king of Salem, a priest of God Most High, came to meet ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 110:1, 2, 3, 4
1 [Of David Psalm] Yahweh declared to my Lord, 'Take your seat at my ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 3:1-6
1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and there was a man present ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 18th, 2017 Image

St. Volusian
January 18: Bishop of Tours, France. A senator at Tours, he ... Read More