Mon, Jun 15, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Ebola mistakes repeated: Medecins Sans Frontieres

HOPES DASHED:Although Liberia has been declared Ebola-free, Sierra Leone and Guinea have both reported a second weekly increase in incidences of the disease

AFP, DAKAR

Health authorities are repeating the mistakes of the past in combating Ebola, more than a year after its onset in Guinea and Sierra Leone, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said on Saturday.

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) international president Joanne Liu’s remarks come a day after Sierra Leone imposed a three-week daytime curfew in the last Ebola-hit areas in a bid to curb a resurgence of the deadly virus, which has killed about 3,900 people in the country.

Neighboring Liberia was declared Ebola-free last month, but hopes that Sierra Leone and Guinea would quickly follow suit have been dashed in recent weeks.

“We are still making the same mistakes as we did in the past,” Liu said. “We know now that engaging the community in the response is essential. But we also know that leadership at the government level... is absolutely essential.”

Liu said that when “certain political interests are prioritized over the response to the epidemic, this does not work,” an apparent reference to Guinea, where the issue of combating Ebola has been a subject of debate between Guinean President Alpha Conde and the opposition.

STALLED RETREAT

The WHO said on Wednesday the retreat of the virus “has stalled,” after a second consecutive weekly increase in incidences of Ebola in Guinea and Sierra Leone.

One of the deadliest viruses known to man, Ebola is spread only through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms, such as fever or vomiting.

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