More than 500 doctors and 1,000 health care workers are needed to combat the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, where the spread of the deadly disease is outpacing the scale of the response, the World Health Organization said Friday.
“Countries are truly, truly committed, and they want to understand exactly what it is needed from the countries so they can provide the support,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said at a news conference. “I am confident and optimistic that countries will provide the support.”
The remarks came as the organization announced that it had confirmed more than 4,700 cases of Ebola and 2,400 deaths. The WHO has 500 health care workers focused on the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but they don’t remain there at all the times, Chan said.
The organization also announced Friday that Cuba has agreed to send 165 health workers to Sierra Leone to combat Ebola.
“Cuba is world-famous for its ability to train outstanding doctors and nurses and for its generosity in helping fellow countries on the route to progress,” Chan said in a statement.
Continued support from countries around the world is essential to fighting the disease, Chan said. The United Kingdom announced earlier this week that it would send experts to the country to construct an Ebola treatment center, and Chan said she expected more countries to announce their own efforts to combat Ebola soon.