What do health workers need to continue Ebola fight? Current response is “dangerously inadequate”
PBS NewsHour: Doctors Without Borders president Dr. Joanne Liu discusses the aid group’s new treatment facility, the epidemic’s dangerous impact on health care, and why the current response is “dangerously inadequate.”
Relief Official Urges Groups to Step Up Ebola Efforts
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is “a complete disaster,” and health agencies do not yet grasp its scope, the president of the relief group Doctors Without Borders said Tuesday.
“No one yet has the full measure of the magnitude of this crisis,” the president, Dr. Joanne Liu, said in an interview. “We don’t have good data collection. We don’t have enough surveillance.”
With two treatment centers in each of the three hardest-hit countries — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — her organization is treating more patients than any other entity.
Her colleagues at Doctors Without Borders — often called M.S.F. for its French name, Médecins Sans Frontières — are overwhelmed, she said. In one center, until recently, five people were caring for 100 patients. During crises, many doctors work for the group on rotations of up to six weeks, for which they get small stipends.
The supply of volunteers is drying up. Although the group operates in war zones — including Gaza, Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine — West Africa is the hardest to staff, Dr. Liu said.