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Ebola outbreak: World Bank appeals for 5,000 health workers to volunteer in West Africa

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World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has made an emotional appeal for thousands of medical workers to volunteer and help contain the growing Ebola outbreak.

Jim Yong Kim said at least 5,000 medics and support staff are needed to beat the disease.

Many potential recruits were too scared to travel to West Africa, he added.

The current Ebola outbreak has infected more than 10,000 people and killed nearly 5,000.

Jim Yong Kim was speaking during a visit to Ethiopia, where he accompanied UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon and African Union Chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

“Right now, I’m very much worried about where we will find those health care workers,” he said.

“With the fear factor going out of control in so many places, I hope health care professionals will understand that when they took their oath to become a health care worker it was precisely for moments like this.”

Ban-ki Moon said that transmission rates in West Africa continued to outstrip the pace of the international response.

At least 5,000 medics and support staff are needed in West Africa to beat the Ebola disease

At least 5,000 medics and support staff are needed in West Africa to beat the Ebola disease (photo Reuters)

He added that imposing travel restrictions to affected countries would severely curtail efforts to beat the disease.

Meanwhile in the US, Dallas nurse Amber Vinson, who contracted Ebola on American soil, was due to be discharged from hospital on October 28 after being declared virus-free.

Amber Vinson was one of two nurses who cared for a Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, in a Texas hospital. Thomas Eric Duncan, who had travelled to the US from West Africa, died on October 8.

The second nurse, Nina Pham, was declared virus-free last week.

On October 27, the CDC introduced new Ebola treatment guidelines.

The rules say that US medics returning from affected areas will be actively monitored but not placed in quarantine.

It came following criticism over the treatment of nurse Kaci Hickox was placed in isolation after returning from West Africa.

Kaci Hickox, who had no symptoms, said she was made to feel like a criminal when she arrived back in the US on October 24.

Responding to her quarantining, the UN Secretary General’s spokesman said Ebola health workers were “exceptional people” and “should not be subjected to restrictions that are not based on science”.

However, the new guidelines were immediately rejected by the governor of New Jersey.

In the US quarantine decisions are ultimately made at a state level.

Meanwhile in Mali, 82 people who had contact with a toddler who died from Ebola are now being monitored, according to Reuters.


Mali recently became the sixth West African nation to report an outbreak.

Officials are concerned that the disease, which has so far been largely restricted to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, may spread.

Since the boy died last week there have been no new reported cases.

There have been 4,922 deaths from the Ebola virus, according to the World Health Organization’s latest figures.

All but 27 of the cases have occurred inside Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.

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