Estimates show that it will take about six more months before health-care officials can contain the Ebola outbreak in the three worst affected countries, the Deputy Regional Director of World Health Organizatio (WHO), Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, has said.
Speaking exclusively to citifmonline.com, Dr. Moeti said it is possible to contain the disease but it will take more resources and time
“I think there are estimates that it could take another six months, it will take some months, even with what we have now, we have pledges of support. We have very substantial pledges, especially of financial pledges. And we also have on the ground, health-care workers from western countries, people who capable, particularly the military, these people who have the experience and the capacity to set up infrastructure extremely quickly. And this starting to happen now.”
The WHO has declared Ebola entrenched in the capitals of the worst-affected states – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The disease has killed over 3000 thousand people so far.
She said: “We are at a phase if the support especially the human resources and the infrastructure support is pushed at the rate that is more in tandem with the scale of the epidemic, we can contain it.”
Fragile health-care systems
Moeti said in spite of efforts by the WHO in helping to develop health-care systems on the continent, the disease has also exposed the weaknesses in the healthcare systems in the Ebola hit countries.
“When HIV Aids landed in Africa some years ago, it also reminded us of this, that we have healthcare systems that are weak. In the past few years, together with entities like the Global fund, GAVI, it has become very clear that no matter however much money you have for HIV AIDS, or for maternal health or for immunization, if the health-care systems continue to be weak, continue not to have enough staff, or infrastructure which is distributed adequately throughout the country.
You will reach a certain level beyond which you cannot progress. This has been a very painful and tragic reminder of that,” she stated.
Dr. Moeti who is a candidate for the directorship of the WHO in Africa also revealed that WHO is already working to help countries health-care systems with its universal coverage strategy.
This is “really about financing healthcare system properly because the fundamental issue is about insufficient funding.”
People can catch Ebola if they come into direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or animal
Early symptoms include fever, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhoea and bleeding, sometimes from the eyes and mouth
The current outbreak started in March in west Africa, where the worst-affected countries include Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.