Thanks to Greg Folkers for alerting me to this Bloomberg report: WHO Seeks $430 Million to Stop Ebola Outbreak in 9 Months. Excerpt:
More than $430 million will be needed to bring the worst Ebola outbreak on record under control, according to a draft document laying out the World Health Organization’s strategy to fight the viral illness.
The plan, which sets a goal of reversing the trend in new Ebola cases within two months and stopping all transmission in six to nine months, will require funding from governments, development banks, the private sector and in-kind contributions, according to the document, which was obtained by Bloomberg News. The WHO plans to publish the plan by the end of this week at the earliest and details may change, said Fadela Chaib, a spokeswoman for the Geneva-based agency.
Protecting Against Ebola
The outbreak has killed 1,427 people in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and is on the verge of exceeding the total number of deaths from all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon this month appointed health crisis expert David Nabarro to coordinate the UN response to Ebola. The WHO has been criticized by the European Commission and aid groups including Doctors Without Borders for a lack of leadership.
“The response at the beginning wasn’t robust enough,” David Heymann, a professor of infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who worked on the first recorded Ebola outbreak in 1976. “It’s a step forward that they’ve made the plans and I’m glad they’re emphasizing rapid containment as a start.”
The sum being sought to pay for the work is six times more than the WHO’s appeal for $71 million in a plan published less than a month ago.
More than half the cost will be needed for the treatment, isolation and referral centers that are bearing the brunt of the epidemic, according to the WHO plan. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are among the world’s poorest countries, and weak health systems combined with a lack of experienced health-care workers has contributed to the epidemic, the WHO has said.
The WHO this month declared Ebola in West Africa a public health emergency of international concern. A separate outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed as many as 13 people, the government in that country said yesterday.
In West Africa, more than 240 health care workers have been infected and 120 have died, the agency said in a statement today. Among them is Abraham Borbor, the deputy chief medical officer of Liberia’s John F. Kennedy Medical Center, who died despite being treated with Mapp Biopharmaceutical Inc.’s experimental ZMapp medicine, the nation’s information minister said today.