ishn globalCDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. reported on his visits last week to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and called for immediate steps across nations to accelerate response to the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, according to a press release issued September 2 by the CDC.

According to the press statement:

What's needed

“Dr. Frieden described a daunting situation and called for speed, flexibility and work on the front lines to take precedence.

“What I saw was a continuing need to strengthen the health care system by increasing the number of treatment centers, providers, access to supplies; as well as a need to improve clinical management by handwashing, infection control, and other methods,” said Dr. Frieden.

Frieden called on all the world’s nations to join the United States in meeting the World Health Organization appeal for $490 million in support.

More than any one nation can do

“I wish every world leader could see what I have seen. Stopping this outbreak is more than any one nation can do,” Dr. Frieden says. “The sooner the world comes together to help West Africans the safer we all will be.”

The official case count and death toll in the current outbreak exceeds cases and deaths from all previous Ebola outbreaks combined. Yet these official numbers greatly underestimate the actual numbers of cases and deaths and do not adequately describe the outbreak’s toll in human lives, health care and societal disruption, and economic loss.

“The window of opportunity to stop Ebola from spreading widely throughout Africa and becoming a global threat for years to come is closing, but it is not yet closed,” Dr. Frieden continued.  “If the world takes the immediate steps– which are direct requests from the front lines of the outbreak and the Presidents of each country – we can still turn this around.”