Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


World losing ground against Ebola as infections expected to soar

15 October 2014, 11:08

United Nations - The world is falling behind in a desperate race stop the deadly Ebola outbreak, a top UN official warned on Tuesday amid dire predictions that thousands of new infections are possible before year's end.

"Ebola got a head start on us," said Anthony Banbury, head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.

"It is far ahead of us, it is running faster than us, and it is winning the race," the Briton told the UN Security Council in New York, by remote link from UNMEER headquarters in Accra, Ghana.

"If Ebola wins, we the peoples of the United Nations lose so very much," he said.

Also Read: US says it could have done more on Ebola

The UN official made his remarks as the World Health Organization said the Ebola infection rate could soon reach 10 000 a week as world leaders prepared to hold talks on the crisis at the United Nations.

"We either stop Ebola now or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan," Banbury stressed.

He said that with infection rates rising exponentially every day, UNMEER will need 7 000 beds for treatment.

"There's much bad news about Ebola but the good news is we know how to stop it," said Banbury.

But to push back the spread "we must defeat Ebola and we must do it fast," he said.

WHO assistant director general Bruce Aylward, describing his figures as a working forecast, said the epidemic "could reach 5,000 to 10,000 cases per week by the first week of December."

The latest death toll is 4 447, from 8 914 recorded infection cases, Aylward said as the worst-ever Ebola outbreak spirals in the three hardest-hit countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Also Read: No hospital 'protocols' for Ebola treatment: US nurses' group

The WHO has called current Ebola outbreak the most severe in modern times.

On Monday, US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for the international campaign against the haemorrhagic virus, which is killing seven out of every ten people infected, to be intensified.

Governments in west Africa have been scrambling to contain the epidemic, with patients in the Liberian capital describing devastating scenes as patients struggled to survive during a strike by health workers.

A 56-year-old Sudanese doctor who had worked as a UN volunteer in Liberia died of Ebola late Monday after arriving in Germany last week for treatment.

Outside west Africa, medical staff have also been particularly at risk during the crisis, with at least two cases of contamination reported despite stringent safety protocols.

Meanwhile, a nurse in the city of Dallas, Texas, Nina Pham, said she was "doing well" after catching the virus while caring for a Liberian Ebola patient, but authorities warned 76 workers may have been exposed during his 10-day stay in the hospital.

Spanish nurse Teresa Romero, 44, is thought to have caught Ebola while treating an elderly missionary who was infected in Sierra Leone and died on September 25.

'A hellish situation'

Liberian health workers late Tuesday ended a two-day strike to secure risk pay for Ebola, saying they put the needs of their endangered country first following global appeals to end the protest.

George Williams, secretary general of the National workers union of Liberia, told AFP that workers had ended the stoppage "first for the love we have for our people, and also because we received calls from everywhere in the world".

Ninety-five Liberian health workers have died so far in the epidemic. Their colleagues want compensation for the risk of dealing with Ebola, which spreads through contact with bodily fluids and for which there is no vaccine or widely available treatment.

In the capital Monrovia, a hospital patient quoted on local radio described scenes of desolation, with sick people climbing over the fence to escape from the treatment unit after being deserted by striking staffers.

"We risk our life every day and the government remains insensible to our plight," said Alphonso Wesseh, a health worker who joined the strike.

"It's not human. One of our colleagues died because he was bitten by a patient," he said. "We are in a hellish situation, so we want to be compensated as a result."

'Heroic work'

In the US, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced a $25 million donation to the US Centers for Disease Control Foundation to help efforts to contain the epidemic.

"Grants like this directly help the frontline responders in their heroic work," Zuckerberg said on his Facebook page.

British troops began loading a ship that will set sail for Sierra Leone this week to help in efforts to contain the outbreak.

The civilian-staffed military ship will travel with three helicopters, air crews and engineers to provide transport and support to medical teams and aid workers.

Amid the scramble to stop the disease spreading, Africa Cup of Nations' hosts Morocco saying Tuesday they were weighing whether to cancel the continental showcase.


Tags un ebola

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...