It has killed more than 10,000 and on Monday Ebola celebrated a grim anniversary. It is one year since the disease was first recognised in Guinea before the virus exploded across borders and into the worst affected countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia
“By the time Ebola struck in Kailahun, in Guinea, in Liberia, the government and the citizens were weak, were not prepared, did not have the resources, the personnel. Of the number of doctors that we have, only one doctor was trained in viral disease.”
And still it kills. Liberia recorded its first case in more than two weeks on Friday while in Guinea cases are on the rise again.
One UN official has admitted mistakes handling the crisis and sometimes acting, “arrogantly”. A report, published to coincide with the anniversary pointed the finger at a variety of international agencies and the lack of global health rapid response capacity for the spread.
“This was clearly an international epidemic. And it’s really a shame that somehow WHO (The World Health Organisation) and the international community only woke up when westerners were infected,” said Christopher Stokes, General Director Doctors Without Borders.
Case numbers are falling but the charity says the outbreak is not yet over and warned that cases have not significantly declined since January.
Some analysts believe when a wave of the virus passes and the number of cases decrease medical personnel let their guard down which can prompt a spike in cases.