Immediately dispatch disaster response teams with expertise to provide treatment centres and mobile labs to end Sierra Leone Ebola epidemic
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This Ebola epidemic is unprecedented in its scale and has killed nearly 2,000 people in the last few months. Whole villages have been wiped out, countless children have been orphaned, and now that it has spread to cities, the speed and scale of destruction has intensified. Businesses have closed, jobs been lost and livelihoods destroyed. Isolation and treatment centres, vital to overcoming this epidemic are overwhelmed, health care workers have been infected and killed in record numbers. Health care systems are on the verge of collapse. We acknowledge and thank the UK Government for the support it has already given to Sierra Leone but emerging health statistics and experts' feedback confirm that current interventions are proving inadequate and insufficent.
Dealing with this epidemic requires highly specialised expertise that has already been overstretched to breaking point. There is now a deadly vicious cycle operating. As the numbers of infected people increase, they further stretch limited treatment capacity, in turn leading to more infected people. Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) and other experts believe that the disease is spiralling out of control and specialist bio-hazard containment expertise is urgently needed now. The UK Government is one of the few in the world that has biological threat response capabilities and it has a strong historical relationship with Sierra Leone.
The longer the epidemic remains out of control, the longer the virus has to mutate and take on new and more deadly forms making it more difficult to diagnose and contain. We are in a race against time and we need the UK Government to act now.
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