Ebola outbreak: Liberia's health care system 'collapsing' amid epidemic
The number of trained doctors and nurses, already in critical short supply after years of civil war, is shrinking as medical workers get infected
Thursday 07 August 2014
The health care system in Liberia is collapsing as hospitals shut down and medical workers flee from the Ebola epidemic, Liberia's foreign minister has said.
Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan said diseases such as malaria and diarrhoea were going untreated because frightened Liberians were shunning medical centres.
He warned deaths resulting from normally treatable conditions could outstrip those from the Ebola virus by three or four times.
“People are dying from common diseases because the health care system is collapsing,” Mr Ngafuan said in an interview with Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“It is going to have a long-term impact, even after this crisis is behind us.”
But he said his biggest immediate concern was the spreading epidemic.
“We are hearing it is going to get worse before it gets better. We do not know how much worse that will be. My main worry is the fear of how many people will die. Right now it is out of control and jumps from place to place,” Mr Ngafuan said.
The number of trained doctors and nurses, already in critical short supply after years of civil war, is shrinking as medical workers get infected, quarantined or are afraid to report to work. The country entered the epidemic with only about 50 doctors for 4 million people, he said.
“What is happening is the entire health sector is being devastated by the crisis. It is not only a killer, but it kills those who care for them, and a good number of them are dying,” Mr Ngafuan said.
Video: Explaining Ebola
Overwhelmed, the three West African countries most affected by the Ebola virus - Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone - stressed at a meeting on Monday with top-level US government officials, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Bank that a global response is critical, Mr Ngafuan said.
Sierra Leone's Foreign Minister Samura Kamara, in a separate interview in Washington, gave a similar message.
“This is a disease that is beyond the capacity of the three national governments. We need greater international awareness and support and it should be considered a global health crisis that needs a global response,” he said.
Kirstie Allsopp has waded into the female fertility debate again
Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood
The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs
- 1 Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
- 2 Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
- 3 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 4 35,000 walrus gather on north-west Alaska beach 'for a rest'
- 5 Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Snoop Dogg and Jared Leto buy a stake in Reddit as A-list invests $50m
Prince held a Facebook Q&A and this is the only question he answered...
Brad Pitt, on the moment he completely lost his temper with Clint Eastwood's son
Jennifer Lawrence nude photos leak: More celebrities allegedly targeted as third wave of hacked images released
Cheryl Cole named 'the most dangerous celebrity' on the internet
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Former Tory donor Arron Banks ups his Ukip donation to £1million following William Hague 'nobody' comment
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission, 1st yr OTE £30-£40k : SThree:...
£45000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: My client are looking fo...
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Domino ...