Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) admitted nine patients today into its newly constructed ELWA 3 Ebola Management Center in Monrovia, Liberia, beginning a process of scaling up operations at the 120-bed facility.
Despite the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration that the largest-recorded Ebola hemorrhagic fever epidemic is an “international health emergency,” the global effort to stem the outbreak is dangerously inadequate.
The number of deaths and cases is continuing to increase dramatically in Liberia and Sierra Leone, precipitating a public health crisis in the two West African countries. Meanwhile, the outbreak is continuing to affect people in Guinea, where it originated in March, with new suspected cases continuing to be admitted to medical facilities.
Following heavy fighting between Islamic State forces and Kurdish forces in Sinjar in northwestern Iraq, as well as in other areas west of Kurdistan, more than 200,000 people are reported to have fled the area. Many Iraqis fleeing their homes have now moved into Kurdistan, where authorities have opened their borders to them. MSF has been working in Kurdistan for two years and is trying to respond to the needs of people forced to flee their homes, some experiencing displacement for the second or third time.
In the eleven days after militants from the Islamic State (IS) group stormed the district of Sinjar in Iraq’s Ninewa governorate, a constant stream of thousands of exhausted people has been flowing into Syria. They are heading to the relative safety of the northern border between Syria and Iraq.
In late 2013, MSF sent teams to MSF projects in Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan on the same day to record the work we are doing with Syrians, to experience the situation through the eyes of staff members trying to provide desperately needed assistance.