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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Ebola: WHO declares global health emergency

The dreaded and fast killing Ebola virus has led the World Health Organisation into declaring a global health emergency just as it appealed for global aid to help afflicted countries.


The declaration was made after a two-day emergency session in Geneva, Switzerland and it has grave implications as travel restrictions may be put in place to prevent the continuous spread of the ravaging virus that has claimed more than 900 lives in Africa.


Dr. Margaret Chan
Dr. Margaret Chan

The move, coming in the aftermath of US health authorities’ position that the spread of Ebola beyond countries badly hit in West Africa is “inevitable,” saw WHO director, Dr Margaret Chan appealing for greater international aid for the countries worst hit by the outbreak described as the most serious in four decades.


States of emergency have already been declared across overwhelmed West African nations, including Libera, Guinea and Sierra Leone.


Soldiers in Liberia’s Grand Cape Mount province have set up road blocks to limit travel to the capital Monrovia while the towns of Kailahun and Kenema in the east of Sierra Leone were quarantined on Thursday as nightclubs and entertainment venues across the country were ordered shut.


Public sector doctors in Nigeria have also suspended a five-week strike with fears rising that the virus is taking hold in sub-Saharan Africa’s most populous country. The deadly tropical disease has already killed two and infected five others in Lagos.


Ebola has claimed at least 932 lives and infected more than 1,700 people since breaking out in Guinea earlier this year, according to the WHO.

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