Health Care

Doctors Without Borders slams global response to Ebola

One of the world’s pre-eminent medical groups fighting Ebola in West Africa is condemning an international response that it says is still “falling dangerously short of expectations.”

Doctors Without Borders, an international aid group with hundreds of healthcare workers on the ground, released a report Tuesday warning that a shortage of staff, funding and leadership is leading to “significant delays” in curbing the epidemic.

“How is it that the international community has left the response to Ebola — now a transnational threat — to doctors, nurses and charity workers?” the organization, known by its French name, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), wrote in a statement.

The warning comes as leaders from the United Nations and the U.S. have offered optimism in the effort to end Ebola, with one official saying that the prognosis is “very good” even in Sierra Leone, where new cases have exploded in recent weeks.

MSF has been one of the biggest voices in the call for a stronger global response to Ebola, which has now killed more than 7,000 people in West Africa.

For months, the organization has condemned the global response as slow and uncoordinated. While many more countries have stepped up and pledged millions, the report released Tuesday shows that progress has been haphazard and large gaps remain.

“People are still dying horrible deaths in an outbreak that has already killed thousands,” Dr. Joanne Liu, MSF international president, wrote in a statement. “We can’t let our guard down and allow this to become double failure, a response that was slow to begin with and is ill-adapted in the end.”


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