he Obama administration is ramping up its response to west Africa’s Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 US military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local healthcare systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic.
Barack Obama is to announce the stepped-up effort on Tuesday during a
visit to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta
amid alarm that the outbreak could spread and the deadly virus could
mutate into a more easily transmitted disease.
There have been appeals from the region and from aid organisations
for a heightened US role in dealing with the outbreak, blamed for more
than 2,200 deaths.
Administration officials said on Monday that the new initiatives
aimed to train as many as 500 healthcare workers a week; erect 17
healthcare facilities in the region of 100 beds each; set up a joint
command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to co-ordinate between US
and international relief efforts; provide home healthcare kits to
hundreds of thousands of households, including 50,000 that the US Agency
for International Development will deliver to Liberia this week; and
carry out a home and community-based campaign to train local populations
on how to handle exposed patients.
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