Ebola: Cuba pledges doctors as WHO warns that infection rate outpaces ability to manage cases

Catherine Neilan
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Ebola: Infection rate is now beyond what West African health authorities are able to manage (Source: Getty)
The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is now beyond health authorities' ability to contain it, the World Health Organisation said today.
The three worst affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – are the most problematic, the international body said, with the rate of infection rising faster than capacity to cope.
"The Ebola outbreak that is ravaging parts of West Africa is the largest and most complex and most severe in the almost four-decade history of this disease," WHO's director general Margaret Chan told a news conference in Geneva.
"The number of new patients is moving far faster than the capacity to manage them."
About 2,300 people in West Africa have died of Ebola virus infection. The epidemic started in March and has also reached Nigeria and Senegal.
These new concerns come as Cuba has announced it will provide 165 health professionals to support care in the region.
Doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, specialists in infection control, intensive care specialists and social mobilization officers, will be sent to the area, focusing on Sierra Leone.
Chan said: "If we are going to go to war with Ebola, we need the resources to fight.
I am extremely grateful for the generosity of the Cuban government and these health professionals for doing their part to help us contain the worst Ebola outbreak ever known. This will make a significant difference in Sierra Leone.
She added: "Cuba is world-famous for its ability to train outstanding doctors and nurses and for its generosity in helping fellow countries on the route to progress."
The health professionals will be deployed to Sierra Leone the first week in October and stay for six months. They have all worked previously in Africa.

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