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International response to Ebola: Travel bans, funding

International Response To Ebola: Travel Bans, Funding

Deaths from West Africa's Ebola outbreak, the deadliest outbreak in history, continue to rise as more people become infected everyday - so what are countries able to do about it?

Well, starting in West Africa - they're closing borders. According to Guinéenews, ​the afflicted nation announced Saturday its closing its borders with Sierra Leone and Liberia in an attempt to stymie the influx of infected people in and out of the country.

Al Jazeera quotes the country's health minister as saying: "We have provisionally closed the frontier between Guinea and Sierra Leone because of all the news that we have received from there recently."


The news the health minister is referring to is probably the recent statement from the World Health Organization labeling this Ebola outbreak an "extraordinary event" and calling for international aid.

"The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus, the intensive community and health facility transmission patterns, and the weak health systems in the currently affected and most at-risk countries."

Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leon have all declared states of emergencies following the Ebola outbreak, putting limitations on civil liberties and closing public institutions like schools.

Airlines have started suspending flights to the ailing West African countries as well. CNN reports that British Airways and Emirates have stopped flights completely while others such as ASKY and Arik Air have started restricting flights.

And while travel restrictions don't really help the struggling nations, money might. World Bank president Jim Yong Kim appeared on CNN to explain the organization's $200 million pledge to the region.

"But the other thing we're trying to do is, we want to point out that this can happen to any country. What countries need is a functioning public health infrastructure."

On Friday, the European Union announced that it was expanding its aid to West Africa by $10.7 million, bringing its total aid to almost $16 million. It is also planning to deploy further medical aid to bolster the three countries' weak public health infrastructure.

So we have money, states of emergencies and travel restrictions. But what about that experimental serum used to treat the two Americans infected with Ebola?

​"I think we gotta' let the science guide us, and you know I don't think all the information is in on whether this drug is helpful." (Video via C-SPAN)

That was President Obama at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit responding to a question on whether or not he planned to send the experimental ZMapp drug used on two American patients to West Africa.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ZMapp is still in an experimental stage and only produced in a limited supply, so it's not quite ready to be used except under special circumstances.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services did release a statement saying a vaccine was being developed with the assistance of the Department of Defense, but it's unlikely that we'll see anything out of that for at least another year.

While international governments and organizations figure out what to do about this deadly Ebola outbreak, individuals are feeling the impact of the devastating virus as well.

One of those individuals is Saah Kanda, who moved from Liberia to Charlotte, North Carolina 15 years ago. Between May and July, he has lost seven family members to Ebola in his home country. (Video Via WCNC).

In an interview with WCCB, Kanda blamed a lack of information for the deaths. "People have to be careful. You've got to be preventive, take sanitation as a priority. But people were not. They were in denial."

And Kanda isn't alone. The Washington Post covered local efforts by West Africans in the U.S. to raise awareness of the virus and donate medical supplies. Liberian officials had urged them to help educate those in the country, saying, "Please call your people in the villages, tell your people, even if they don't believe government officials. Ebola is real."

More in the news:
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Obama leaves DC for Massachusetts island vacation

Join the discussion

1000|Char. 1000  Char.
bo August 09 2014 at 9:37 PM

Why are we bringing Ebola into a country that has none? Are we trying to spread the joy? Keep it contained as much as possible.

Flag Reply +33 rate up
2 replies
dgoffnspector bo August 09 2014 at 10:10 PM

What country is that? Not the U.S. which has been conducting research at multiple facilities, with live cultures, and infected primates, for years, since the Ruston strain was diagnosed in Virginia, in the 1980s.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
2 replies
Yvonne Tavares dgoffnspector August 09 2014 at 10:17 PM

So you are comparing contained research to hopping people aboard an airliner and bringing them to the US to bring us another "gift". We can't even treat our brave veterans who served this country with appropriate healthcare but we bring more health issues into this country. Why couldn't they be treated in Africa or Europe?

Flag +5 rate up
Ripper dgoffnspector August 10 2014 at 12:03 PM

Yes they have been doing research for several years as everyone has posted a million times already since this issue again started recently. However all the research having done jack to find a cure or any way to slow it down.

Flag 0 rate up
Kathy bo August 10 2014 at 7:49 AM

Actually a strain of Ebola had been in the country befoe. !981, 1990 and 1996. Do some research. It was in Virginia.

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2 replies
Kathy Kathy August 10 2014 at 7:49 AM

Sorrt not 1981, 1989

Flag 0 rate up
curtschnell Kathy August 10 2014 at 9:49 AM

I had a lot of questions concerning the mentally of people in Virginia. Thanks for answering them all.

Flag +1 rate up
surghucjls August 09 2014 at 9:51 PM

Why haven't we closed our borders and stopped travelers from going to Africa and coming back to USA and all who are coming from these countries should be turned away. The Ebola virus could be coming in our border with Mexico right now. Time to close the USA down to outsiders NOW.

Flag Reply +33 rate up
3 replies
jer.thompson August 09 2014 at 9:42 PM

I wonder what Obamas presidency has done for science, with the sad state of the economy , how much money is being pushed towards any scientific studies. What has Obama done to increase stem cell research? The same thing Obama has done for anything in the United States, NOTHING

Flag Reply +24 rate up
14 replies
Gayle August 09 2014 at 11:12 PM

What really amazes me is that as an old woman, I remember always some terrible thing going on in Africa, starvation disease war and anything else one can think of. So in nearly 70 yrs why haven't they got better standards of living, better health infrastructure, better food/farming. Nations have been donating and helping with education, medicine and food ever since I can remember and nothing changes over there. It seems every yr or maybe two it's some new calamity they need help with. Missionary after missionary of different churches have gone to help and died....what is wrong here. I would think after two or three generations helping them the suffering would be kept to a minimum.

Flag Reply +24 rate up
12 replies
hokanut August 09 2014 at 9:53 PM

We can't even secure our border with Mexico. How will they secure a continent?

Flag Reply +23 rate up
2 replies
campbell1221 hokanut August 10 2014 at 2:46 AM

Such cry babies the US has two countries that border it, heaven forbid if you were surrounded by other countries like most are.. Poor souls you want to be exclusively alone.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
3 replies
cbza3600 hokanut August 10 2014 at 8:53 AM

what does ebola have to do with your bigotry? answer-nothing

Flag Reply +2 rate up
3 replies
Jeannette August 09 2014 at 11:28 PM

When will the US close its borders and deport those flooding into our country with diseases to protect its citizens? Or does that not suit his purpsoes?

Flag Reply +19 rate up
4 replies
Fred August 09 2014 at 9:38 PM

To bring it to the U S A was a crime, who's paying for this,,,obamacare?

Flag Reply +14 rate up
3 replies
Robert Drdul August 09 2014 at 9:54 PM

If ignorance is bliss, you folks commenting here must be the happiest folks on Earth.

Flag Reply +12 rate up
4 replies
blindskeeter August 09 2014 at 10:16 PM

Thanks Obama for making my healthcare more affordable. {{{{{sarcasm}}} My usual 30 dollar co pay was $111.00. I paid at the office. I got another bill today for $570.00. This was suppose to be a free physical but when I told the receptionist I wanted a free chest xray she said they could not do that under a code for a physical. She said and I quote " you can't go back there and tell the doctor bad things wrong with you, you have to tell him good things...(still quoting here) "this is not a bad things visit this is a good things, you cant tell him bad things wrong with you but good things" I SWEAR TO GOD ON MY MAMA AND DADDY'S GRAVE. I asked her if the Doctor preferred Somewhere Over The Rainbow or would he rather I talk about Snow White? This pissed me off so bad and I let them know it. My blood pressure soared to 170 0ver 93 and you guessed it ... he perscribed me with high blood pressure medicine. BTW crack heads no longer get it for $6. They cut theirs in half to 3 bucks. Thanks O.B

Flag Reply +10 rate up
3 replies
wnagle53 August 09 2014 at 9:52 PM

taking containment (closing the borders) seriously a bit too late , wouldn't you say?

Flag Reply +9 rate up
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