Global Studies’s Updates

As Ebola's Spread Continues, Warnings of an Inadequate Global Response

Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons / Dr. Randal J. Schoepp / Army Medicine | Article Link | by Karen Weintraub

The battle against Ebola is winnable, public health officials say, but a growing chorus of institutions and experts is warning this week that an insufficient global response to West Africa's epidemic may put a solution to the crisis out of reach.

The disease is spreading uncontrollably in Liberia and Sierra Leone, has now spread beyond Lagos in Nigeria, and has just been detected in a fifth West African country, Senegal.

At a news conference Wednesday, the head of the World Health Organization and a United Nations senior system coordinator for Ebola disease renewed pleas for more support from the world's nations, while praising current efforts by the United States, the United Kingdom, Uganda, South Africa, and some others.

The problem basically comes down to a lack of trained volunteers, the officials said.

"Without the support of foreign medical teams, it is very difficult to mount a response [on] the scale that is in keeping" with the scope of the problem, said Margaret Chan, the WHO's director-general. She said foreign medical teams have been "very far and few between."