Only Guinea meets the WHO deadline to curb Ebola virus

Picture courtesy of www.flickr.com

Fabeha Syed (News Correspondent), Young London News
@PuraniDilliWali

Liberia misses the WHO target. According to the latest figures revealed by World Health Organisation, the plan that they launched this October has been missed by Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The plan was to ensure isolation of 70% of the victims and 70% of the safe burials of the one died of the virus.

December 1st was the deadline set for the three worst affected areas, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to share their statistics.

Isolations Burials
Liberia 23% 26%
Sierra Leone 40% 27%

Dr Bruce Aylward of WHO says, while directing its response, “If we don’t do it in 60 days and we take 90 days – number one, a lot more people will die that shouldn’t; and number two, we will need that much more capacity on the ground to be able to manage the caseload.”

The head of the UN Ebola response, Tony Banbury, said that the deadline set by the UN to curb the deadly virus could spread to other parts of the world.  He says that the risks are very high.

The area around Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown has reported more cases in the past few days, about which Banbury says, “Especially in the capital Freetown and in the town of Port Loko we are falling short.

It is in those areas where we really need to focus our assets and our capabilities”. He says the strategy of halting the deadly virus involving treatment centres, safe burials and community mobilization, is working.

Meanwhile a British-run clinic in Seirra Leone remains less than a quarter operational. According to a BBC report, the organization Save the Children says that more beds will be filled in but they are ensuring that all the safety standards have been met.

According to WHO figures, more than 16,000 people have been affected and nearly 7,000 have died of the deadly virus.

Tony Banbury also says “there is a huge risk to the world that Ebola will spread. It may spread around this sub-region, or someone could get on a plane to Asia, Latin America, North America or Europe… that is why it is so important to get down to zero cases as quickly as possible”.

Ebola Burials

Earlier this month the WHO has issued a safe and dignified protocol for the burial of those dying of Ebola.

It said that that even after death, there is high level of the virus in the body and when family members perform religious rites, it can get transmitted while directly touching and washing the body.

The WHO website mentions that: “As the protocol is applied in affected countries, feedback from religious leaders, communities and people managing burials will be used to update and improve the protocol.”

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