DOCTORS Without Borders’ dire warning that the world is “losing the battle” against Ebola is off the mark — but the United States and other first-world nations still need to do more, local experts say.
Doctors Without Borders President Joanne Liu said in a statement on Wednesday that doctors are “in uncharted waters” and that treatment centers have become places “where people go to die alone.”
“Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it. Leaders are failing to come to grips with this transnational threat,” Liu said.
Dr. Mark Gendreau, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the Tufts School of Medicine, said, “The doctors over there are overwhelmed and frustrated, so they’re going to say very emotional things. I can certainly empathize with them and their circumstances, but I don’t think we’ve gotten to that point.”
The front-line aid organization’s statement follows reports another American doctor has been infected. A missionary in Liberia tested positive despite not treating Ebola patients.
Gendreau cited the stance by World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials that the outbreak would “get worse before it gets better.”
“Getting control of this is not going to just take a couple of weeks. It’s going to be in about six months,” Gendreau said.
Dr. Paul Biddinger, medical director for emergency preparedness for Massachusetts General Hospital, said the US and others need to “step up and commit resources” in Africa.
“I think it’s very clear that they need more help,” Biddinger said. “Both for things like equipment, and to augment the health systems to build trust in the community,” he added. MCT