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Nov 14, 2014

Exclusive: MSF should have called for Ebola vaccine earlier, says aid group veteran

DAKAR/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Medecins Sans Frontiers “wasted time” by waiting too long to call for vaccines to fight an unprecedented outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, a veteran of the medical charity told Reuters.

The group’s response to the epidemic which has so far killed more than 5,000 people has been widely praised by governments and the World Health Organization. While Western donors dithered and other aid groups pulled out, MSF deployed hundreds to the Ebola “hot zones” and treated more than 3,000 patients.

Nov 6, 2014

Ebola surging in Sierra Leone amid lack of treatment centers: U.N

DAKAR (Reuters) – The number of Ebola cases is surging in Sierra Leone due to a lack of treatment centers, the United Nations said, while scarcity of food may also be forcing some people to leave quarantined areas, risking further spread of the virus.

The warning by the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) came as Sierra Leone’s Deputy Minister of Health said Ebola had so badly damaged confidence in the West African country’s health system that many people were dying from other diseases as the sick refused to come to clinics for treatment.

Nov 4, 2014

Gold, diamonds fuelling conflict in Central African Republic- U.N. panel

DAKAR, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Gold and diamond sales are being
used to finance conflict in Central African Republic and United
Nations peacekeepers should monitor mining sites to clamp down
on illicit trade, a U.N. panel of experts said.

In a report, the panel also said the peacekeeping mission
(MINUSCA) should deploy troops to the remote north of the
country and use drones to monitor the rebel-controlled region to
put an end to simmering violence there.

Oct 21, 2014

MSF aims to start drug trials in Ebola clinics next month

DAKAR (Reuters) – The medical charity Medecines Sans Frontieres (MSF) intends to start trials of experimental Ebola drugs in its treatment centers in West Africa next month, as it steps up measures to tackle the worst outbreak of the disease on record.

Bertrand Draguez, medical director of MSF Belgium, said academics and the World Health Organization (WHO) were currently assessing which drugs to include in the tests. Meanwhile, a team of experts in West Africa was assessing which treatments should be tested in which MSF clinic, he said.

Oct 10, 2014

U.S. troops take on invisible enemy in Liberia Ebola mission

ROBERTS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Liberia (Reuters) – Marine pilot Captain Chris Legere has dropped troops into combat in Afghanistan and flown into Libya to evacuate U.S. embassy staff, but now he faces an enemy both silent and invisible: Ebola.

Legere is part of a U.S. mission of up to 4,000 troops deploying to West Africa to help contain an outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever that President Barack Obama has called a threat to global security.

Oct 9, 2014

Liberian leader brings money and hygiene message to Ebola’s “hot zone”

GANTA, Liberia, Oct 9 (Reuters) – Normally bustling with
trucks carrying rubber, timber and other goods to and from
Guinea, the streets of Ganta in Liberia’s Ebola “hot zone” have
fallen quiet since the bridge spanning the border was shut in
August to try to halt the spread of the disease.

Now, fear of the deadly haemorrhagic fever – which has
killed more than 3,800 people in three small West African
states, 2,200 of them in Liberia – stalks the town, with many
locals saying they are afraid to seek medical treatment.

Oct 8, 2014

Liberian leader sees signs Ebola in decline but aid too slow

GBARNGA Liberia (Reuters) – International aid to battle the Ebola epidemic in Liberia is arriving too slowly, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said on Wednesday, though she said there were early signs that the outbreak in her West African country might be “in decline”.

On a tour of the villages of remote northern Liberia, Johnson Sirleaf told Reuters that she wanted to give her people hope that the virus could be beaten, though the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week there were few indications of the epidemic being brought under control.

Oct 8, 2014

Exclusive – Liberian leader sees signs Ebola in decline but aid too slow

GBARNGA Liberia (Reuters) – International aid to battle the Ebola epidemic in Liberia is arriving too slowly, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf said on Wednesday, though she said there were early signs that the outbreak in her West African country might be “in decline”.

On a tour of the villages of remote northern Liberia, Johnson Sirleaf told Reuters that she wanted to give her people hope that the virus could be beaten, though the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week there were few indications of the epidemic being brought under control.

Oct 5, 2014

Aid workers ask where was WHO in Ebola outbreak?

DAKAR/GENEVA (Reuters) – In the first days of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, as aid workers and health authorities battled to contain the deadly virus, Mariano Lugli asked himself a simple question: where was the World Health Organization?

Lugli, an Italian nurse, was among the first responders from medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) to reach the remote forests of Guinea in March where the hemorrhagic fever – one of the most lethal diseases known to man – was detected.

Sep 13, 2014

Liberian president appeals to Obama for U.S. help to beat Ebola

DAKAR, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Liberian President Ellen Johnson
Sirleaf has appealed to U.S. President Barack Obama for urgent
aid in tackling the worst recorded outbreak of the deadly Ebola
virus, saying that without it her country would lose the fight
against the disease.

The outbreak, which was first discovered in March, has now
killed more than 2,400 people mostly in Liberia, neighbouring
Guinea and Sierra Leone, as understaffed and poorly resourced
West African healthcare systems have been overrun.