Monday 16 February 2015

Fight against Ebola hindered by attacks on aid workers

I have blogged a number of times about attacks on health workers vaccinating people against polio in Pakistan (24 February, 3 March, and 10 December, 2014), so how depressing to report that local people are attacking aid workers helping the fight against Ebola in Guinea.

The Red Cross says they are being subjected to about 10 assaults a month. The latest happened on Sunday when two volunteers were beaten while trying to conduct a safe burial. Traditional funeral rituals can help spread the virus. Last year eight aid workers were hacked to death in Guinea.

Apparently, many Guineans believe that those who come to bury the dead, disinfect areas and bring information about the disease are in fact spreading it.

And alarm bells are ringing. After several weeks of decline, the number of new cases is rising again. So far, in its deadliest outbreak ever, Ebola has claimed nearly 9,270 victims; more than 2,030 of them in Guinea. Liberia has been worst hit with nearly 3,860 while Sierra Leone has suffered more than 3,360.

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