by Gary Francoeur
Like a plot straight out of a nightmarish Hollywood blockbuster, the world’s worst-ever Ebola epidemic continues to rage in West Africa. Over 7,100 cases of Ebola have been reported since the start of the outbreak and more than 3,300 people have died, according to data from the World Health Organization.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been working on the frontlines to contain the Ebola virus since March, sending nearly 3,000 staff members to the region to treat infected patients. But it hasn’t been nearly enough, cautions Dr. Joanne Liu, MDCM’91, the Montrealer who is the international president of the medical relief organization.
“The sick are desperate, their families and caregivers are angry, and aid workers are exhausted. Maintaining quality of care is an extreme challenge. Fear and panic have set in, as infection rates double every three weeks. Mounting numbers are dying of other diseases, like malaria, because health systems have collapsed,” she told the United Nations General Assembly on September 25.
Dr. Liu recently spoke to the McGill News about the desperate situation in the affected West African nations and what the international community needs to do to get it under control.
October 9, 2014