In Liberia, Ebola patients are now being reportedly turned away because there is no space to treat them, and officials are saying that the disease is “threaten[ing] Liberia’s national existence,” reports the BBC.
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While the Ebola virus has spread to Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, with one case showing up and being fully rehabilitated in Senegal, Liberia has reportedly had the weakest response to the disease.
Consequently, Liberian Defense Minister Brownie Samukai told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that Ebola was “devouring everything in its path,” adding, “Liberia is facing a serious threat to its national existence. The deadly Ebola virus has caused a disruption of the normal functioning of our state.”
As to why Liberia hasn’t been able to contain the disease, Samukai blamed the country’s lack of “infrastructure, logistical capacity, professional expertise, and financial resources to effectively address this disease.”
Watch an ambulance worker describe patients being turned away here:
To provide context on Liberia’s unique situation, before the Ebola outbreak, there was only one doctor for every 100,000 patients. In addition, Liberia also went through a 14-year civil war, with about 250,000 dying in the conflict by 2003.
In response to this reality, Karin Landgren remarked, “Liberians are facing their gravest threat since their war.”
Underscoring Samukai’s point is the fact that of the 160 health workers who have become infected, half of them have perished.
Meanwhile, 2,288 people have died from Ebola so far this year in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. Nigeria has had 21 cases of the virus, with eight deaths.