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Ebola: Obama announces massive action

Published by Daily Times on Wed, 17 Sep 2014


The United States will ramp up its response to the Ebola crisis inWest Africa with plans to build 17 treatment centers, train thousands ofhealthcare workers and establish a military control center for coordination, U.S.officials said.The plan will be unveiled by President Barack Obamaon Tuesday, senioradministration officials told reporters.Obama, who has called the epidemic a national security crisis, has facedcriticism for not doing more to stem the outbreak, which the World HealthOrganization (WHO) said last week had killed more than 2,400 people out of4,784 cases in West Africa.The president will visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta onTuesdayto show his commitment. The stepped-up effort he will announce is toinclude 3,000 military forces and a joint forces command center in Monrovia,capital of Liberia, to coordinate efforts with the U.S. government and otherinternational partners.The plan will ensure that the entire international response effort is moreeffective and helps to scale up to turn the tide in this crisis, a senioradministration official told reporterson Monday, ahead of the presidents trip.The significant expansion that the president will detailreally represents a setof areas where the U.S. military will bring unique capabilities that we believewill improve the effectiveness of the entire global response, he said.The treatment centers will have 100 beds each and be built as soon aspossible, an official said.The U.S. plan also focuses on training. A site will be established where militarymedical personnel will teach some 500 healthcare workers per week for sixmonths or more how to provide care to Ebola patients, officials said.The WHO estimates that the hardest-hit countriesGuinea, Liberia and SierraLeoneneed at least three to four times the number of medical and publichealth workers currently on the ground, or another 600 doctors to care forpatients and 1,000 workers to track their contacts.
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