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Ebola-hit West African countries to get $10m aid from US

Ebola-hit West African countries to get $10m aid from US
September 09
19:06 2014
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The United States of America has pledged to assist Ebola-hit West African nations, including Nigeria, with $10m.

The fund will be used to pay for medical workers and equipment to fight the deadly epidemic in Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said on Tuesday.

The fund will also be used to transport to the affected region, a contingent of about 25 doctors and 45 nurses, as well as other medical staff tasked with running Ebola treatment units where patients are kept in isolation while recovering from the illness.

The current outbreak which has killed more than 2,000 people in West Africa has been a major cause of worry globally.

In August, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the virus an “international public health emergency” that should be combated before it spread to other regions or part of the world.

More than half of those infected with the virus have died.

The United States’ latest cash infusion would bring to more than $100m, the funds it has spent trying to combat the outbreak.

“The US is committed to supporting the African Union’s response to the urgent needs across West Africa as a result of this vicious disease,”head of USAID, Rajiv Shah, said.

“We can and will stop this epidemic, but it will take a coordinated effort by the entire global community.”

Aside funds, US president, Barack Obama, has also promised to send the US military to help join the fight against fast-spreading Ebola in Africa.

“We’re going to have to get US military assets just to set up, for example, isolation units and equipment there, to provide security for public health workers surging from around the world,” Obama said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last Saturday.

“If we do that, then it’s still going to be months before this problem is controllable in Africa, [but] if we don’t make that effort now, and this spreads not just through Africa but other parts of the world, there’s the prospect then that the virus mutates.”

Although President Obama said he did not believe Ebola would reach the United States, he warned that the virus could mutate and become a much greater threat to those outside Africa.

 

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