Health workers carry the body of an Ebola victim to the morgue at the hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone.The death toll from the worst ever Ebola outbreak has risen to 1, 145, the World Health Organization said on Friday, as 76 more cases were reported from August 11 to August 13, 2014. The U.N. health agency said that a total of 152 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of the deadly hemorrhagic fever were reported from countries in West Africa, bringing the total number of cases up to 2127.
Nigeria defenseless- A death sentence? The growing spread of the Ebola virus in Nigeria remains serious enough to keep the nation in an official state of emergency, with thousands concerned that the virus will spread like it has in other West African nations. In what many are calling a massive failure of optics, however, the Nigerian government has chosen to fire up to 16,000 doctors due to an unrelated medical employee strike. In a memorandum to the Nigerian Health Ministry, the Permanent Secretary for Federal Ministry of Health L.N. Awute announced that Nigeria would suspend its medical residency program and terminate the jobs of the resident doctors. The order, which cites President Goodluck Jonathan as its unilateral source, also “asked the management of all public hospitals to take necessary measures to restore full medical services in the hospitals, even without the resident doctors.” The termination follows a month of strikes by doctors of the Nigerian Medical Association, who began striking on July 1st, demanding better wages and hours. The number of doctors affected by President Jonathan’s directive, Sky News reports, is about 16,000. The Premium Times followed up the news with a response from the Nigerian government, which is currently facing significant outrage from citizens frightened of the potential of an Ebola epidemic striking a country that just lost thousands of its doctors. In a statement, the Ministry of Health noted, “For the whole of July 2014, these doctors did not work, yet government, owing to the emergency situation in our country, paid them the July salaries with allowances such as call duty allowance, teaching allowance, hazard allowance, etc., believing that this magnanimity of government would appeal to reason for NMA to call off the strike.” More