Saturday, September 20, 2014

UK Health Radio – Medical News Update on the Hour - Ebola Update

UK Health Radio – Medical News Update on the Hour
Ebola Update

With our news update on the Ebola epidemic this week comes the very sad news that eight members of a team that had been trying to raise awareness about Ebola have been killed by villagers using machetes and clubs in Guinea. This comes as medical staff in the UK are being asked to volunteer to help halt the spread of disease.
The BBC reported that some of the bodies of health workers, local officials and journalists involved in the health campaign were found in a septic tank in a village school near the city of Nzerekore.
Correspondents say many villagers are suspicious of official attempts to combat the disease.
The figure of those that have died from Ebola is now 2,600 in West Africa as the world’s worst outbreak of Ebola continues and officials warn that more than 20,000 people could ultimately be infected.
Neighbouring Sierra Leone has begun a controversial three-day curfew to try to stop the spread of the disease.
The BBC looked at the scale of the challenge the Ebola outbreak presents with the news that residents pelted the doomed health team with stones when they arrived at a village in southern Guinea, where the Ebola outbreak was first recorded.
A journalist who managed to escape told reporters that she could hear villagers looking for them while she was hiding.
A government delegation, led by the health minister, had been dispatched to the region but they were unable to reach the village by road because a main bridge had been blocked.
On Thursday night, government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said the victims had been "killed in cold blood by the villagers". Six people have been arrested and the village is now reportedly deserted.
The motive for the killings has not been confirmed, but the BBC's Makeme Bamba in Guinea's capital, Conakry, says many villagers accuse the health workers of spreading the disease while others still do not believe that the disease even exists.
Last month, riots erupted after rumours that medics who were disinfecting a market were actually contaminating people.
Meanwhile the World Health Organization said that more than 700 new cases of Ebola have emerged in West Africa in just a week, showing that the outbreak is accelerating.
It said there had been more than 5,300 cases in total and that half of those were recorded in the past three weeks.

Amanda Thomas
UK Health Radio – Medical News Update on the Hour
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