The death toll from West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has reached over 5,000 from a total of just over 14,000 cases of infection the World Health Organisation has said this evening.The numbers supersede figures the UN health agency gave last Friday, when it reported 4,960 deaths and 13,268 cases.
As the death toll rises, children’s humanitarian agency, Plan Ireland is continuing its response across the three worst hit countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
Speaking from West Africa, Plan Ireland’s Damien Queally said:
“Tragically, the announcement today that the death toll from Ebola has surpassed 5,000 is no great surprise. The fear is that without a stronger, more co-ordinated response, the number of fatalities could rise exponentially.
The countries battling Ebola are among the poorest in the world and the public health systems across West Africa are fragile. The impacted countries desperately need financial and technical assistance to avoid a catastrophic situation
Every day, families are losing loved ones and children are at risk of death or being orphaned. But something can be done. For instance, for as little as €25, a hygiene kit for 25 families will mean children can wash and disinfect, €29 will mean that 100 people have a secure hand washing facility while €49 can provide a protective suit for staff working in treatments centres.”
Since the outbreak, Plan has been responding by disseminating public health information and providing material support to contain the spread of the disease. We have also trained volunteers to disinfect public and household latrines, treated the homes of suspected cases, and set up hand washing systems in schools and public areas.