KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Authorities are having trouble figuring out how many more people are getting Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone and where the hot spots are in those countries, harming efforts to get control of the raging, deadly outbreak, said Anthony Banbury, the U.N.'s top Ebola official in West Africa said Tuesday. "The challenge is good information, because information helps tell us where the disease is, how it's spreading and where we need to target our resources," Banbury said by phone from the Ghanaian capital of Accra, where the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, or UNMEER, is based. Health experts say the key to stopping Ebola is breaking the chain of transmission by tracing and isolating those who have had contact with Ebola patients or victims. Health care workers can't do that if they don't know where new cases are emerging.
The president of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, meanwhile, said the three countries need at least 5,000 more health workers to effectively fight the epidemic. Kim said Tuesday that he is worried about where those health workers can be found given the widespread fear of Ebola. Quarantining health workers returning to their home countries could also hurt recruitment efforts.
The U.N.'s target is to have 70 percent of Ebola cases getting access to a treatment center and to achieve a similar percentage for safe Ebola burials. "They are extremely ambitious (goals), given the geographical spread of the disease, the numbers of people infected, the very poor information on exactly where those infected are and what the transmission patterns are," Banbury said. "The three things we need the most are people, supplies and money. The most critical right now are people, health workers in particular, trained health care workers . But also people who can manage these Ebola treatment facilities." Ban said the transmission of the virus continues to outpace the international community's response. He appealed to the AU's 54 member states not to impose Ebola-related travel restrictions or close their borders. Some already have. Dlamini-Zuma said African Union states have pledged to send more than 2,000 health care workers to West Africa. She did not say when the workers would arrive.So everything I said yesterday is spot-on.
The only thing missing to get ahead of this is people, supplies, and money:
which is, in short, EVERYTHING.
It's like trying to make a hamburger without meat, condiments, and a bun.
They need 5000 more health workers, when articles BACK IN SEPTEMBER quoted UN officials as having trouble coming up with so many as 10.
And the other countries in the region have pledged more health workers than the total number they probably even have.
Promises are cheap, and in this outbreak, as cheap as Zimbabwean dollars.