First up, a belated move from Washington via BBC News:
Obama says Ebola outbreak a ‘global security threat’
President Barack Obama has called the West Africa Ebola outbreak “a threat to global security” as he announced a larger US role in fighting the virus.
“The world is looking to the United States,” Mr Obama said, but added the outbreak required a “global response”. The measures announced included ordering 3,000 US troops to the region and building new healthcare facilities.
Ebola has killed 2,461 people this year, about half of those infected, the World Health Organization said.
More from the New York Times:
Obama Urges World Powers to Bolster Ebola Response
President Obama on Tuesday challenged world powers to ramp up the global response to the Ebola outbreak that is ravaging three West African countries, warning that unless health care workers, medical equipment and treatment centers are deployed quickly, the disease could take hundreds of thousands of lives.
“This epidemic is going to get worse before it gets better,” Mr. Obama said at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where he met with doctors who had just returned from West Africa. But “right now, the world still has the opportunity to save lives.”
He said “the world is looking” to the United States to lead the fight against Ebola. “This is a responsibility that we embrace,” he said. But he called on other nations to respond as well.
Still more from the Washington Post:
U.S. military will lead $750 million fight against Ebola in West Africa
President Obama will announce Tuesday that the U.S. military will take the lead in overseeing what has been a chaotic and widely criticized response to the worst Ebola outbreak in history, dispatching up to 3,000 military personnel to West Africa in an effort that could cost up to $750 million over the next six months, according to senior administration officials.
By the end of the week, a general sent by U.S. Africa Command will be in place in Monrovia, Liberia — the country where transmission rates are increasing exponentially — to lead the effort called Operation United Assistance. The general will head a regional command based in Liberia that will help oversee and coordinate U.S. and international relief efforts while a new, separate regional staging base will help accelerate transportation of urgently needed equipment, supplies and personnel.
In addition, the Pentagon will send engineers to set up 17 treatment centers in Liberia — each with a 100-bed capacity — as well as medical personnel to train up to 500 health-care workers a week in the region.
Here’s Obama’s statement, via PBS NewsHour:
President Obama announces plan to combat Ebola in Africa
President Obama spoke from the Centers for Disease Control today after a debriefing from doctors there. The President pledged support in the form of personnel, setting up an “air bridge” into regions difficult to reach, and the establishment of a mobilization center in Senegal.
From The Hill, gettin’ the word:
Obama, Ebola survivor meet in Oval Office
President Obama met in the Oval Office Tuesday with a U.S. doctor who contracted Ebola while treating patients in Liberia, a spokesman said.
Obama met with Kent Brantly, the Ebola survivor, and his wife, Amber, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters traveling with the president aboard Air Force One.
The meeting occurred shortly before Obama left Washington to announce an escalated U.S. response to the virus at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
Brantly and another American medical worker, Nancy Writebol, were successfully treated for Ebola at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. Both were given an experimental therapy called ZMapp and fully recovered from the virus, which kills roughly half of those who contract it.
The Christian Science Monitor asks a question:
Why is US deploying the military to fight Ebola?
On Tuesday, White House officials outlined a new plan to assign 3,000 members of the American armed forces to supply medical and logistical support to help treat Ebola epidemic victims.
Why is the Defense Department fighting the war on Ebola? The short answer is because it is the largest and most capable US organization available for emergency action, and has money to pay for the effort.
The military’s extensive airlift and health-care infrastructure can quickly plug holes in the current international fight to try and contain the Ebola outbreak. US personnel should be flowing into the area in force in about two weeks, according to the White House.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon plans to move some $500 million of unspent funds within its budget into an account to fund Ebola action. The US has already spent some $175 million and moved 100 civilian experts from the Centers for Disease Control into West Africa.
And what are those soldiers learning about the invisible enemy they’re being dispatched to fight? Here’s the answer in the from of a video just posted [we were viewer 116] by the U.S. Army Public Health Command:
EVD: Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak
Information for service members deploying in response to the West African Ebola virus disease outbreak.
It’s concise and hits most of the key points, though we’d be a little more comfortable if they hadn’t used that gunsight graphic a bit too often. . .
From the New York Times, a price tag:
U.N. Sees Need for $1 Billion to Fight Ebola
The Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa risks ballooning into a humanitarian catastrophe without a major surge in international efforts to contain it, senior United Nations officials said Tuesday, estimating the cost of this effort at $1 billion.
The number of people affected by the disease is still rising at an “almost exponential” rate, Bruce Aylward, an assistant director general of the World Health Organization, said at a news conference in Geneva. He said the number of reported cases had climbed to 4,985, including 2,461 deaths. Half of the infections and deaths occurred in the past 21 days, he said, underscoring the acceleration of the outbreak. “We don’t really know where the numbers are going with this,” Mr. Aylward said.
A road map he announced nearly three weeks ago to guide the international response had called for the capacity to manage 20,000 cases, but “that does not seem like a lot today,” he said.
“The numbers can be kept in the tens of thousands,” he said, “but that is going to require a much faster escalation of the response if we are to beat the escalation of the virus.”
Deutsche Welle admonishes:
WHO warns Ebola cases could double every three weeks
The World Health Organization has warned that the number of Ebola cases could double every three weeks, with medics stressing it could soon become too late to contain the disease
The number of Ebola cases in West Africa could begin to double every three weeks, according the UN’s official health agency, with doctors warning that the likelihood of limiting the spread of the outbreak is becoming progressively smaller.
In a report released on Tuesday, the WHO claimed $987.8 million (770 million euros) was needed to cover expenses already incurred, including the payment of health workers and the cost of supplies.
At a meeting of the UN in Geneva, the medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) urged governments to act to halt the spread of the disease.
“The response to Ebola continues to fall dangerously behind,” said MSF President Joanne Liu. “The window of opportunity to contain this outbreak is closing. We need more countries to stand up, we need greater deployment, and we need it now.”
The Associated Press avers:
Ban: UN ‘taking lead’ on global fight of Ebola
The head of the United Nations said Tuesday that the world body is “taking the lead now” on international efforts to fight the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that has killed some 2,400 people and could spread further.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a press briefing that the U.N. General Assembly next week will follow-up with a high-level meeting — the disease, he said, taking on “a special focus” at an event that will welcome more than 140 heads of state and government. Before that, an emergency meeting will be held Thursday in which Ban and World Health Organization director general Margaret Chan plan to “outline the international action plan to contain this threat.”
The U.N.’s response so far has drawn criticism, with the president of France-based humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders on Tuesday calling it “dangerously behind.”
The World Health Organization gives thanks:
WHO welcomes Chinese contribution of mobile laboratory and health experts for Ebola response in west Africa
WHO welcomes the commitment from the Government of the People’s Republic of China to dispatch a mobile laboratory team to Sierra Leone to enhance the laboratory testing capacity for Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the country.
The contribution comes in response to WHO’s appeal for further assistance to Ebola response efforts in Africa and requests by the government of Sierra Leone. In addition to laboratory experts, the 59-person team from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control will include epidemiologists, clinicians and nurses. They will support Ebola response efforts at the China-Sierra Leone Friendship Hospital, which was built in 2012 with assistance from the Chinese Government.
“The most urgent immediate need in the Ebola response is for more medical staff,” says Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization. “The newly announced team will join 115 Chinese medical staff on the ground in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone virtually since the beginning. This is a huge boost, morally and operationally.”
Liberian Observer offers optimism:
“We can Win This fight”, UNICEF Deputy
In support of the fight against the deadly Ebola virus in Liberia, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has opened a five-day Training of Trainers (TOT) of social workers and mental Health clinicians across Liberia.
At the opening of the workshop yesterday at the Corinna Hotel in Sinkor, the Deputy Representative, Dr. Fazlul Haque, said the training is intended to provide the relevant skills and ability to roll out the needed psychosocial services to meet the needs of the Ebola-affected communities.
“We are fully delighted to provide support to the government of Liberia to train these social workers and mental health clinicians of various counties to ensure that we meet the necessary needs of affected communities,” Dr. Haque stated.
Kenya lashes out at West over slow Ebola response
Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday called for concerted efforts against Ebola, saying the global reaction to the deadly disease would not have been the same if it had happened in Europe or America.Speaking during a round table discussion panel of high level delegates comprising of Heads of States and leaders of Government in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea, Kenyatta said time has come for African leaders to look for homegrown solutions to the continent’s problem.
He said the global response to Ebola outbreak is a wakeup call to African leaders to partner and set aside resources to tackle health challenges facing the continent.
He urged African leaders to work in solidarity in tackling various challenges facing the continent, including health and security problems.
StarAfrica again, with another number:
Kenya: $7m sets aside to ward off Ebola
Kenya’s Director of medical services, Dr. Nicholas Muraguri said on Tuesday the country has set aside $7 million as part of its contingency plan to prevent the entry of Ebola into the country, local media reported.This was revealed at the ongoing regional health minister’s conference in Nairobi seeking to address the challenges in tackling the spread of the Ebola virus in the continent.
He was quoted saying by the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Television that the country remains on high alert to ensure the disease is kept at bay.
At the same the government has maintained that the ban on travelers from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, the epicenters of the epidemic remains in force.
From Punch Nigeria, partial border closure continues:
Kenya maintains flight ban to Ebola-hit nations
The Kenyan government will not lift a travel ban to West African countries affected by an outbreak of Ebola virus until the risk reduce to a manageable level, state officials said on Tuesday
Director of Medical Services, Nicholas Muraguri, told journalists that Kenya remains vulnerable to Ebola transmission, and hence needs to intensify surveillance at ports of entry.
“The travel ban to Ebola-hit countries is temporal and since we are not convinced the risk levels are low, the ban will stay. However, we are closely monitoring the situation,” Muraguri said in Nairobi during the regional ministerial meeting on preparedness and response to Ebola.
From the Liberian Observer, a call from Ghana:
In Order to Eradicate Ebola, Ghanaian Prexy Wants Supports Expedited
The Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, has called on international partners and friendly countries that have pledged to assist Liberia with human, financial and material resources in the fight against the dreadful Ebola virus to expedite the process.
President Mahama said though several promised donations would adequately help in combating the virus in the Mano River sub-regions, the problem is that those resources are very slow in coming and as such, there is the need for the process to be fast-tracked in order to augment the government efforts in the fight.
The ECOWAS’s Chair spoke Monday, September 15, when he paid “a solidarity visit” with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. He was addressing a joint press briefing along with President Sirleaf in the Foyer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ghanaian leader revealed at the briefing that he had held talks with United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, on the issue of expediting support to the governments of Ebola affected countries if the virus is to be fought effectively and contained. President Mahama revealed that his visit is to show solidarity from the people of Ghana to Liberia as the country goes through this difficult period.
More from the Monrovia Inquirer:
Ghanaian Leader Braves Ebola Storm…Pays One-Day Visit To Liberia
In spite of fear amongst citizens of non-affected countries in the wake of the deadly Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, Ghanaian President, John D. Mahama has ended a one day visit to Liberia. President Mahama is the first President to visit the West African country that now has the highest number of Ebola cases since the outbreak of the epidemic in Liberia in early March. The Ghanaian leader briefly met his counterpart, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before addressing a joint press conference yesterday.
President Mahama, who spent less than two hours in the country, expressed optimism that with determination, awareness, the Liberian people will be able to reciprocate. President Mahama said his visit is mainly about the observation of the guidelines by the Ministers of Health of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS).
He added, “From the onset of the outbreak of this disease, actions and measures were taken out of panic. Now that we have a clearer understanding of the disease and how it spreads and all of the ramifications; we should not panic or take measures that will isolate countries that are affected by this outbreak because by doing that will make it more difficult for the disease to be brought under control.”
A video report from FrontPageAfrica:
FPA WEB TV: Standing in Solidarity with Liberia
Ghanaian President John Mahama, also the current ECOWAS Chairman, on a stop in Monrovia, Monday, outlines a number of measures and review mechanisms underway to end the isolation of countries hit by the deadly Ebola outbreak.
The Liberian Observer hears the shout of fire in a crowded political theater:
Ebola Fear Grips Lawmakers
The fear of the deadly Ebola virus has forced the House of Representatives to suspend its Extra Ordinary Sitting for Tuesday, September 16, 2014.
According to a statement issued from the House’s Press Bureau, leadership of the House took the decision based “on medical advice.” “The House Chambers and surrounding offices are expected to be disinfected due to a probable case of Ebola,” the statement said.
“Members and chamber staff have been asked to stay away for 48 hours after the fumigation. “The Chief Clerk of the House, Madam Mildred Siryon, has been instructed to communicate the House’s decision to the Liberian Senate. The House took the decision after one of the Chamber’s doorkeepers, Captain James Morlu suddenly died.
From the Liberian Observer again, a call for action:
Health Advocacy Group Wants GOL Improves Its Ebola Response
The National Health Advocacy Network of Liberia (NHANL) has called on the Liberian Government to focus on improving responses on the removal and burial of bodies.
The group also urged the GOL to trace people who have made contacts with infected persons. The National Coordinator of the NHANL, Mark Marvey, spoke to newsmen Monday at his Sinkor offices.
Marvey said his organization has encouraged the government to prioritize the re-opening of health facilities in order to avoid preventable deaths and maternal mortality.
Punch Nigeria pleads:
Ebola: Jonathan begs NUT to shelve strike
President Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to the Nigerian Union of Teachers to shelve its plan to embark on strike in protest against government’s directive that schools should resume on September 22.
The NUT had maintained that it would be unsafe for schools to resume on September 22 until the country was completely rid of the Ebola Virus Disease.
But President Jonathan, who spoke with state house correspondents in Abuja on Tuesday, said instead of going on strike, the NUT should commend government on its handling of the outbreak of the Ebola disease.
He said, “I will plead with NUT and other unions that this does not require industrial action. They should commend government. They worked with us, they are Nigerians; all Nigerians must work together to make sure that we contain Ebola. Why do we want to create problems while it is not necessary? It is uncalled for.”
Punch Nigeria again, covering the deplorable:
NAFDAC impounds expired hand sanitisers, Ebola kits
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, has impounded 104 brands of expired hand sanitisers and fake Ebola testing kits at various borders in the country.
The NAFDAC Director-General, Dr. Paul Orhii, who spoke at a press briefing in Lagos, where importers of the fake products were paraded on Tuesday, warned that counterfeiters have flooded the Nigerian market with expired hand sanitisers and fake Ebola testing kits
Orhii said,”So far, we have quarantined 104 brands that were illegally imported into the country without certification by NAFDAC. It is worrisome to observe that some unscrupulous businessmen have turned the country into a dumping ground by bringing in all sorts of products including expired hand sanitisers.
And for our final item, via the Liberian Observer, market mobilization:
ABIC Takes Ebola Awareness to Markets
The Angie Brooks International Center (ABIC) with support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Liberia office yesterday launched a massive Ebola Awareness campaign at the Rally Time Market on UN Drive in Monrovia.
Yesterday’s activities were in collaboration with the youths and marketers, and are expected to include all markets in Monrovia as well as in the counties.
The ABIC Ebola awareness campaign was launched under the theme “Spread the Word, not the Virus.”
The center is run on the basis to unite women to lift the world with the latest intention to stop the Ebola’s denial and to join the fight against the EVD together.