Doctors Without Borders at Breaking Point in Ebola Fight

The front line doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers, are the real heroes in the fight against Ebola. It takes real bravery and dedication to go to the dangerous work day after day. I salute them all.

I hope our CDC is in close contact with DWB. In Africa, they have led the Ebola fight for years. Africa is the place this disease must be stopped. The international response must be robust. The US is now leading the way and must continue to show leadership. We need to aid Doctors Without Borders  and they need to aid us. The disease can be stopped, but will take a massive effort.

doctors and nurses
Doctors and Nurses Are Heros

By Makiko Kitamura and Naomi Kresge Oct 19, 2014 Bloomberg.

At 3:30 a.m. in the world’s biggest Ebola treatment center, Daniel Lucey found the outbreak reduced to its essentials: patients lying on mattresses on the floor and vomiting in the dark, visible only by the wavering flashlight beam of a single volunteer doctor.

“I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Lucey, a physician and professor from Georgetown University who is halfway through a five-week tour in Liberia with Medecins Sans Frontieres, the medical charity known in English as Doctors Without Borders. “The epidemic is still getting worse,” he said by phone between shifts.

That’s an increasingly urgent challenge for MSF and the global health community. As fear spreads in the U.S. over transmission of the virus to two nurses in a modern Dallas hospital, the main fight against the outbreak is still being waged by volunteers like Lucey half a world away.MSF has been the first — and often only — line of defense against Ebola in West Africa. The group raised the alarm on March 31, months ahead of the World Health Organization. Now, after treating almost a third of the roughly 9,000 confirmed Ebola cases in Africa — and faced with a WHO warning of perhaps 10,000 new infections a week by December — MSF is reaching its limits.

Photographer: John Moore/Getty Images
A doctor outside the JFK Ebola treatment center speaks to journalists on Oct. 13, 2014… Read More
“They are at the breaking point,” said Vinh-Kim Nguyen, a professor at the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal who has volunteered for a West African tour with MSF in a few weeks. MSF has already seen 21 workers infected and 12 people die, and “there’s a sense that there’s a major wave of infections that’s about to wash everything away,” Nguyen said.

Biafra War

The story of how a relatively small, decentralized group like MSF came to lead the response to the world’s biggest outbreak of Ebola began 43 years ago in Paris. Alarmed by war and famine in the Nigerian secessionist state of Biafra, 13 doctors and journalists created an emergency medical response organization that could work around the world.

Read More: Doctors Without Borders

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