Health ministers from 11 African countries are meeting in the Ghanaian capital, Accra, to plan “drastic action” against the worst Ebola outbreak in history as dozens of new cases continue to emerge.
This comes as just a day after a Ugandan Medical doctor, Sam Muhumuza Mutoro, succumbed to the virus. Until his death on Tuesday at JFK Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, Dr Mutoro was working in Redemption Hospital, Monrovia, under the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW).
At least 467 people have died as of Wednesday. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says there have close to 800 confirmed or suspected cases of the haemorrhagic fever in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The new death toll represented a rise of 129 – or 38 percent WHO’s last update a week ago. This makes the ongoing Ebola outbreak the largest in terms of the number of cases and deaths as well as geographical spread, says WHO in a statement.
WHO has described the current Ebola epidemic as one of the most challenging since the virus was first identified in 1976 in the current Democratic Republic of Congo.
In a related development, the Red Cross in Guinea said on Wednesday it had been forced to suspend anti-Ebola operations in the southeast of the country after staff there were threatened by a group of men armed with knives. The incident happened on Tuesday in Gueckedou, about 650km southeast of the capital Conakry.
Medical charity Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said last week that the spread of the Ebola virus was out of control, with more than 60 outbreak hotspots.