Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has expressed disappointment that States with biological-disaster response capacities have chosen not to deploy them in West Africa’s Ebola fight.
According to Dr Joanne Liu, MSF’s International President, the international community has instead left the response to Ebola now a transnational threat up to doctors, nurses and charity workers.
A release from MSF says the international response to Ebola in West Africa has so far been “patchy and slow, and has left local people, national governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to do most of the practical, hands-on work.”
The MSF also warned that the international community must not “fail twice with a response that is slow in the first instance and ill-adapted later on.”
MFS noted that across the region, “there are still not adequate facilities for isolating and diagnosing patients where they are needed. In rural areas of Liberia where there are active chains of transmission, for example, there are no transport facilities for laboratory samples.”
MSF began its Ebola intervention in West Africa in March 2014 and is now operating in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali.
The organization runs six Ebola case management centers with a total capacity of more than 600 beds.
Since March, MSF has admitted more than 6,400 people, of whom about 4,000 tested positive and 1,700 have recovered.
MSF currently has some 270 international staff working in the region and employs 3,100 locally hired staff.