Ebola outbreak a ‘global security threat’ – says Obama

Ebola outbreak a ‘global security threat’ – says Obama

Ebola outbreak a ‘global security threat’ – says Obama

Written by Staff Writer

17 Sep, 2014 | 7:29 am

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.

The announcement comes as UN officials have called the outbreak a health crisis “unparalleled in modern times”.

The spread of the disease means the funds needed to fight the outbreak have increased 10-fold in the past month, the UN’s Ebola co-ordinator said, saying it needs $1bn (£614m) to fight the outbreak.

Among the measures announced by Mr Obama on Tuesday:

  1. Building 17 healthcare facilities, each with 100 beds and isolation spaces, in Liberia
  2. Training as many as 500 health care workers a week
  3. Developing an air bridge to get supplies into affected countries faster
  4. Provide home health care kits to hundreds of thousands of households, including 50,000 that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will deliver to Liberia this week.
Ebola 1

The WHO says more than 200,000 people could potentially be affected as the virus advances

Ebola 2

Ebola survivor Dr Kent Brantly (centre) testified at a hearing in front of Senate panel on Tuesday


Ebola only spreads in close contact but there is no cure and no vaccine. The outbreak began in Guinea before spreading to its neighbours Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Mr Obama said the outbreak had reached epidemic proportions in West Africa, as the disease “completely overwhelmed” hospitals and clinics and people were “literally dying on the streets”.

He called on other countries to step up their response, as a worsening outbreak would lead to “profound political, economic and security implications for all of us”.

There’s a “potential threat to global security if these countries break down”, he said, which would impact on everyone.

“The world knows how to fight this disease. We know if we take the proper steps we can save lives. But we have to to work fast,” Mr Obama said.

Source: BBC

Latest News

Are you interested in advertising on our website or video channel
Please contact us at [email protected]