The World Health Organization and leaders of the West African countries mired in the worst Ebola outbreak in history have agreed to launch a $100 million emergency response.
They assembled Friday in Guinea's capital city of Conakry to discuss the plan. The response will mostly include sending in reinforcements to help the struggling medical facilities. From the Agence France-Presse report:
The leaders of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia gathered in Conakry to organise the deployment of hundreds of medical personnel to help overstretched workers and facilities struggling with an epidemic which has now claimed more than 700 lives.
The plan will also bolster efforts to prevent and detect suspected cases, urge better border surveillance, and reinforce WHO's sub-regional outbreak coordination centre in Guinea.
Elaborating on the response, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan released a statement Thursday, saying, "The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level, and this will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination."
Meanwhile, an unnamed U.S. aid worker will also be flown to the U.S. to be treated at a high-security ward at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, which a Centers for Disease Control spokeswoman said will be the first Ebola patient ever treated in the U.S.
Despite the increased efforts, the leader of Guinea's Ebola task force warned Friday that Liberia and Sierra Leone's attempts to contain the disease—closing schools, quarantining some communities—may be having the opposite effect.
"Currently, some measures taken by our neighbors could make the fight against Ebola even harder," Aboubacar Sidiki Diakité told Reuters. "When children are not supervised, they can go anywhere and make the problem worse. It is part of what we will be talking about."
These "measures" have also been spurred on by headlines throughout the country:
The latest update from the WHO puts the number of cases in the region at 1,323 infected.