UN Moves to Prevent Spread of Ebola

The United Nations has launched a mission to prevent the global spread of Ebola, describing the epidemic as the world's ‘highest priority’ as the United States scrambled to limit its own outbreak.

Anthony Banbury, head of the UN Mission on Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), began a tour of the three hardest-hit nations in the Liberian capital Monrovia setting out an ambitious goal to eradicate the deadly virus.

WHO: Ebola Set to Explode Without Drastic Action

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that, the Ebola epidemic is set to explode unless the response is radically intensified, warning that hundreds of thousands could be infected by the end of 2014.

In a report, the United Nations agency declares that new cases would surge from hundreds each week to thousands without ‘drastic improvements in control measures’, with the number of infections set to more than triple to 20 000 by November 2014.

World Losing Battle Against Ebola

The international medical agency, Medecins sans Frontieres, says the world was ‘losing the battle’ to contain Ebola as the United Nations (UN) warned of severe food shortages in the hardest-hit countries.

MSF told a UN briefing in New York that world leaders were failing to address the epidemic and called for an urgent global biological disaster response to get aid and personnel to West Africa.

WHO Announces Potential Ebola Vaccine

The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that, the death toll from the Ebola epidemic has risen above 2 000, however hopes that a vaccine could be available in November 2014.

Following a two-day crisis meeting in Geneva, WHO confirmed that the deadly virus has claimed 2 097 lives out of 3 944 people infected in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone since emerging in December 2013.

WHO Sets-Up Ebola Task Force

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that it has set up a task force with the global airline and tourism industry in an effort to contain the spread of Ebola.

The United Nations agency says it is working hand in hand with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the World Tourism Organisation, Airports Council International (ACI), the International Air Transport Association and the World Travel and Tourism Council.

Ebola Moving Faster - MSF

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says the ebola crisis in West Africa is outstripping the ability of aid organisations to stem the epidemic.

MSF head, Joanne Liu, likened the disease to a war, adding that “It is deteriorating faster, and moving faster, than we can respond to."

Speaking after her return from a 10-day mission to the hard-hit region, Liu warned that, “"It's [ebola] moving, and advancing, but we have no clue how it's going. Like in a war time, we have a total collapse of infrastructure."

Travellers From Ebola Countries Banned

In one of the strictest moves yet by a Southern African country against Ebola, Zambia says it would restrict entry of travellers from countries affected by the deadly virus and would ban Zambians from travelling to those countries.

The health ministry announces that, "All delegates from any of the countries affected by Ebola virus disease are restricted from entering Zambia until further notice."

SADC Calls for Urgent Ebola Measures

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) health ministers agreed that urgent preventive measures must be put in place across the Southern African Development Community to ensure there is no outbreak of Ebola.
In a press statement following an emergency meeting in Johannesburg, the ministers say that South Africa should also become the centre of excellence in Ebola laboratory diagnosis for the region.

New TB Drug Gets Mixed Reaction

The University of Cape Town's (UCT) head of Pulmonology division, Professor Keertan Dheda, says he is less optimistic about the cocktail of new drug resistance tuberculosis (TB).

The PaMZ three-drug combo from the Global Alliance for TB Drug Development is said to cure the disease more quickly than current regimens.

The PaMZ regimen shows promise to be effective in all (100 percent) of drug-sensitive patients and about 30 percent of patients with MDR-TB

UN: Ending AIDS Epidemic Possible

The United Nations (UN) says that the global AIDS-related deaths and new HIV infections have fallen by over a third in a decade, the UN says as it voiced hope of wiping out the killer disease.

The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) executive director, Michel Sidibe, says global effort to beat the pandemic has made huge strides, though the battle is far from over with 35 million people still living with HIV worldwide.


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