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Liberia pleads for coordination of aid in Ebola fight

October 7th, 2014
02:32 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Liberia is in desperate need for someone to take charge of the fight against Ebola, that country’s ambassador to the UK, Rudolf von Ballmoos, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

“We're having help from all over the world, I must say, and for this we are extremely grateful,” he said, adding that the U.S. military, the U.N., Germany, Norway, and others have all stepped in to assist the fledging Liberian ministry of health.

“But what we will need – proper coordination.”

“Who is taking instructions from who? That's something we have to sit and coordinate it properly. That's what Liberia is looking for.”

Liberia has been by the far the worst hit by the Ebola epidemic, with 2,069 deaths, according to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode • Liberia

Pentagon explains deployment to fight Ebola

September 16th, 2014
04:13 PM ET

Pentagon Spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby on Tuesday told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the Ebola outbreak is something that “we’ve been tracking for quite a while.”

“We understand the threat, we understand how dangerous this disease is, and we want to chip in just as much as we can.”

To that end, the American government announced on Tuesday that it was hugely stepping up its efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak, sending about 3,000 military personnel, setting up medical facilities and training local health workers.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode

Ebola doctors welcome U.S. effort, emphasize growing problem

September 16th, 2014
03:22 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The organization that has led the effort to fight Ebola on Tuesday said newly announced American aid is dearly needed, but stressed that the outbreak is far from under control.

“We’ve been calling this outbreak unprecedented for six months, and it’s only in the past few weeks that the international community seems to be beginning to mobilize.” Medicins Sans Frontiers General Director Christopher Stokes told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

With 530 beds across the three countries most affected – Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea – Medicins Sans Frontiers, or Doctors Without Borders, represents 80% of the Ebola-fighting capacity, Stokes said.

“We’ve been denouncing for months the international inaction – we’ve called it a coalition of inaction around Ebola.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode

Are we closer to stopping Ebola?

August 27th, 2014
01:17 PM ET

by Henry Hullah

It has been over five months since the worst outbreak of Ebola in history struck West Africa.

In Liberia, more than 570 people have died from disease.

But the nation's Information Minister Lewis Brown told the program that they are making progress tackling the spread of the virus.

"We believe now that we are better positioned than we've been in a couple of months to be able to get a handle on this and hopefully to eradicate it from our country."

Talking from Liberia's capital, Monrovia, he was hopeful but quite frank about the troubles his country faced when trying to halt the charge of infections.

"The truth of the matter is we're not just fighting a disease in isolation; we're fighting the disease with people we know. We're fighting cultural, long-held cultural practices and beliefs. And certainly we're not the most enlightened society in the world. And we're trying to bring every tool imaginable to bear in helping our communities help themselves."

"It is truly a difficult fight. We need all hands on deck. We need all those expertise to align behind this fight as best as we can."


Filed under:  Africa • Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode • Liberia

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon talks about a world in crisis

August 25th, 2014
04:10 PM ET

By Henry Hullah

A tense stand-off in Ukraine, the biggest Ebola outbreak in history, devastation in Gaza - and all the while, ISIS grows in strength in the heart of the Middle East and racial tensions come to a head in the United States.

A fractured world and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is the man tasked with picking up the pieces.

"The world is confronting multiple crises at this time," Ban Ki-moon told Christiane Amanpour.

"The situation in Iraq, we have a very serious crisis in Ukraine but we still have very serious crises in Libya, South Sudan, Central African Republic. On top of this we are now being hit by Ebola epidemics."

Amanpour first asked him about the increasing threat of ISIS: an extremist militant group whose seized territory across Iraq and Syria has been said to be larger than the United Kingdom. Can the U.N. help those affected and to stop the threat before it spreads even further?

"The United Nations cannot do it alone in addressing international terrorism and extremists. The way they have been terrorizing the international community and its people by kidnapping the women, children and particularly journalists, this is totally unacceptable. These are against the international humanitarian law and against the international human rights law and we saw this horrendous killing of Mr. James Foley, that we have condemned in the strongest possible terms."

Amanpour asked if the horrors of ISIS that he had just described were due to an escalation of the Syrian crisis because, as he had told her in a previous interview, there was no "Plan B".

"That is why I have always been urging, the number one priority should be that that the parties stop the violence unconditionally and return to political dialogue."


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Gaza • Iraq • Latest Episode

Sierra Leone ‘not able to deal’ with Ebola outbreak, says Doctors Without Borders

August 5th, 2014
02:57 PM ET

By Mick Krever and Annabel Archer, CNN

Sierra Leone’s government “is not able to deal with this outbreak” of Ebola, an emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders told CNN’s Fred Pleitgen from the epicenter of the largest-ever outbreak of the virus.

“We need much more help from international organizations – the WHO, the CDC, other organizations – to come to support the government,” Anja Wolz said from Kailahun, Sierra Leone.

There is a desperate need for international organizations “to send more infection control specialists, to send more epidemiologists here in Kailahun District.”


Filed under:  Ebola • Latest Episode • Sierra Leone

Scientist who discovered Ebola: ‘This is unprecedented’

July 2nd, 2014
02:51 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The scientist who discovered the Ebola virus said that a current outbreak of the deadly bug in West Africa, in which 467 people have died, is “unprecedented.”

“One, [this is] the first time in West Africa that we have such an outbreak,” Dr. Peter Piot told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “Secondly, it is the first time that three countries are involved. And thirdly it’s the first time that we have outbreaks in capitals, in capital cities.”

Doctors Without Borders warns that the outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia is now “out of control.” The number of cases is still spiking since it was first observed around the beginning of this year.

“With this strain of Ebola, you’ve got like a ninety percent chance of dying. That’s spectacular by any standard – one of the most lethal viruses that exist.”

And the way victims die is far from pleasant.

“Ebola virus infection starts with something that looks like the flu – headache, fever, maybe diarrhoea. But then you can develop very fast bleeding that’s uncontrollable, and that’s how people die.”

Easy to fight

There is no cure for Ebola, but in theory the disease should be easy to fight, Piot said.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Ebola • Latest Episode • Science
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