WHO calls urgent 11-nation meeting on Ebola

UN agency "gravely concerned" about transmission of deadly virus and potential for international spread.

    The World Health Organisation has called an 11-nation meeting to address what it considers to be the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record.

    The UN agency warned on Thursday that dramatic steps were needed as the number of deaths from the virus continued to rise in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

    The agency was now "gravely concerned by the on-going cross-border transmission into neighbouring countries as well as the potential for further international spread," said WHO's regional director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo.

    The WHO has sent in more than 150 experts to help tackle the crisis.

    But despite the efforts of  the WHO and other international aid organisation, there had been a "significant increase" in the number of cases and deaths reported each day for the past three weeks, it said.

    The WHO said it would convene a meeting of the health ministers from 11 countries in Accra, Ghana on July 2 and 3 to address the growing crisis.

    Doctors Without Borders has described the outbreak as out of control.

    On Tuesday, the European Commission announced it was committing an additional 500,000 euros in funding to combat the outbreak, bringing its total contribution to 1.9m euros.

    According to WHO figures, the outbreak has killed 280 people.

    Ebola, named after a small river in the DRC, has no cure.

    Ebola first emerged in Central Africa in 1976.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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