Alarming spread of Ebola

by Lisa Jones, Plan UK | Plan UK
Monday, 30 June 2014 16:15 GMT

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The spread of Ebola in West Africa is alarming and needs a regional response, says children’s charity Plan International.

At least 230 people across Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have died since the outbreak began in March.

Hundreds more are suspected of having been infected – with the World Health Organisation warning that it could spread further to Mali, Cote D’Ivoire, Senegal and Guinea Bissau.

“The Ebola situation remains alarming with new cases being confirmed daily,” says Berenger Berehoudougou, Plan’s Disaster Risk Manager for the West Africa region.

“Ebola is one of the most virulent diseases known to humankind with a case fatality rate of up to 90 per cent.

“It poses a serious challenge for the authorities and humanitarian agencies to contains the virus.

“Given the proximity of the affected areas the outbreak is becoming a regional crisis with a multi-country response,” he adds.

Plan is working in all of the affected areas in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to prevent the spread of the virus.

“With no effective treatment, raising awareness of the risk factors of Ebola infection and the protective measures individuals can take, is the only way to reduce infection and death,” says Mr Berehoudougou.

In Guinea and Liberia Plan has been raising awareness through the media and poster campaigns, as well as supplying medical equipment and disinfectants in the affected areas.

It has also supported the training hundreds of clinical staff and community health volunteers, as well as distributing medical supplies and disinfectants to health centres.

In Sierra Leone and Liberia, Plan is a member of the national stakeholder taskforce, participating in co-ordination and planning meetings at national and district level, and ensuring the right advice is given to community members.

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