Ebola outbreak a global health emergency-WHO
By La Shawn Pagán
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the recent Ebola outbreak that has claimed
an estimated of 1,848 lives to be a global public emergency. As numbers escalate, the organization
gave the green light to test the experimental serum on patients who tested positive for the fateful
“A coordinated international response is deemed essential to stop and reverse the international
spread of Ebola,” said the Director-General of the WHO Margaret Chan in Geneva. “Countries
affected to date, simply don’t have the capacity to manage an outbreak of this scale on their own.”
The outbreak, which began in Guinea, has affected two American Doctors who are currently being
treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Nancy Writebol and Kent Brantly, were both
volunteering in Liberia when diagnosed with the illness, soon after were flown out of the country to
be treated in the United States.
Most recently, the outbreak that has been traced back to a two-year old child in Guinea – claimed
the life of Spanish missionary Miguel Pajares, who died in Madrid’s Carlos III Hospital while being
treated with the U.S. – made experimental serum ZMapp.
“In the particular circumstances of this outbreak, and provided that certain conditions are met,
the panel reached consensus that it is ethical to offer unproven interventions with as yet unknown
efficacy and adverse effects, as potential treatment or prevention,” read a statement released by the
WHO that approves the usage of the experimental serum on human patients.
Meanwhile, the Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon briefed members of the press at the United
Nation’s Headquarters in New York, where he urged the international community to respond.
“I urge the international community to respond urgently to the shortage of doctors, nurses and
equipment, including protective clothing and isolation tents – we need all hands on deck,” he
pressed after stating that the most severe countries affected such as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra
Leone had only recently stabilized from a long and painful conflict that disabled their health
In addition, the Secretary General assured that the UN will be working closely with WHO to assess
the situation and to provide resources to strengthen how the latest Ebola outbreak is being dealt
“We need to avoid panic and fear, Ebola can be prevented,” said the Secretary General. “With
resources, knowledge, early action and will, people can survive the disease – Ebola has been
successfully brought under control elsewhere, and we can do I here too.”
Photo by Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire