Thursday, November 27, 2014 8:10 am
Sierra Leone appealed to the United States on Wednesday to send military aid to help it battle Ebola as it falls behind its West African neighbours Guinea and Liberia in the fight against the virus.
The worst recorded Ebola outbreak has killed at least 5,689 people, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, as the virus has overwhelmed African countries with weak infrastructure and healthcare systems.
While the outbreak appears to be coming under control in Liberia, thanks partly to a health operation run by U.S. troops, infection rates have accelerated in Sierra Leone.
The total number of cases reported in Sierra Leone since the outbreak began will soon eclipse the number reported from Liberia,” it said. The former British colony has reported 6,599 cases against 7,168 in Liberia.
The rate of transmission is also beginning to slow in neighbouring Guinea, the first country to report an Ebola case, although case numbers are rising in Mali.
“I believe now that the cases are reducing in Liberia, he (President Barack Obama) will ask the Department of Defense and the State Department also to turn attention to helping the efforts in Sierra Leone,” said Alpha Kanu, Sierra Leone’s minister of information and communication.
He also appealed to the United States to help Guinea, and urged Britain to provide more assistance to Sierra Leone.