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article imageHealth care system in collapse as Ebola death toll passes 3,000

By Karen Graham     Sep 28, 2014 in Health
As fast as clinics are built, they are filled up, leaving scores of the sick and dying to sit or crouch on the ground outside the gates. Ebola is turning into an insurmountable obstacle as health care workers labor day and night, fighting a losing battle.
In the West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the Ebola virus continues to spread. The Wall Street Journal on Sunday is reporting the World health Organization (WHO) is saying that 3,091 have died of confirmed, suspected or probable cases of Ebola.
Doctors and health care workers are in very short supply. Without things like protective clothing, masks and gloves, as well as clinics and beds, patients will continue to go unattended for want of needed care. Health care resources in the countries affected by the Ebola epidemic have been stretched to their limit. The CDC and WHO are very concerned about this, especially if the number of cases continues to rise as predicted.
According to FOX News, statistics reviewed by the Associated Press show just how insurmountable the Ebola virus has become. FOX is reporting that 870 beds are available for Ebola patients in Guinea, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. This is far from the 2,900 beds needed.
Recently, 730 beds were promised through pledges by countries saying they would help with the crisis. But even if the clinics are built, these countries will still be short 2,100 beds. WHO says 1,000 to 2,000 additional health care workers are needed, but recruitment has been difficult because of the over 200 health care workers who have died of the disease.
One of the biggest difficulties the CDC and WHO are facing is getting an accurate count on the true number of cases of Ebola, and the number of deaths. This is because many deaths are going unreported, and officials are saying the death toll is undoubtedly much higher than we are seeing. The same thing holds true with people who are sick.
People are afraid. Ebola is a horrible way to die, and a very lonely death for many. family members would rather stay home with people they know than be taken to an isolation ward to die. This reason, and a great deal of superstition about the disease is still something that is hard to break through in a population fearful of outsiders.
The world community has promised the beleaguered West African nations their help. The U.S. is sending 3,000 personnel and a dozen 100-bed field hospitals. Britain and France has promised to build field hospitals in Guinea and Sierra Leone. China is sending a lab-team to Sierra Leone, and even Cuba 461 workers, to be trained in bio-security, with some going to Liberia and Guinea.
But the question remains: Is this enough, and will the aid get there in time? Dr. Joanne Liu, The international president of Doctors Without Borders is worried, and rightly so. She again urged world leaders this week to take "immediate action." Liu said, "The reality on the ground today is this: The promised surge has not yet delivered."
More about Ebola, CDC, Predictions, International monetary fund, worst health disaster
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