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WHO welcomes US support

The World Health Organization (WHO) has welcomed a commitment by the Government of the United States of America to significantly build upon previous Ebola response in West Africa.

According to a WHO release, the new commitment provides support to the United Nations and other international partners to help the Governments of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal in their work to contain the outbreak.

Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization says this massive ramp-up of support from the United States is precisely the kind of transformational change WHO needs to get a grip on the outbreak and begin to turn it around. The backbone of the US response is military leadership and the establishment of a regional command and control in Monrovia.

The approach includes a military staging base to facilitate the coordination of the American and international response and to expedite the transportation of equipment, supplies and personnel, including up to 3,000 from the military. In addition, WHO engineers will construct additional Ebola Treatment Units in affected areas and establish a site to train up to 500 health workers per week to care for patients.

The United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps will deploy 65 health workers to support the previously-announced, state-of-the-art hospital that will be placed in Monrovia to provide care to health workers who become sick.

The WHO Ebola response roadmap, released on 28 August, highlights the need for a massively scaled response to support affected countries. The commitment from the US Government exemplifies the kind of international effort required to intensify response activities and strengthen national capacities.

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