AFRICA – Is Ebola the Beginning of the End of the World? As deaths rise in Monrovia and the sick cluster in gutters outside overcrowded treatment centers, many are turning to God for answers and salvation. All around Monrovia, there are portents and prophecies. The number of suspected probable and confirmed cases of Ebola throughout the whole of Liberia has risen to more than 3,000, with over one third occurring in the capital, according to figures from the country’s Ministry of Health. Predictions of infections and deaths in the broader West African region, ranging from 20,000 cases to hundreds of thousands, have been offered by international experts and virologists. On the ground in Monrovia, needs are growing by the day, even the hour. The infection last week of a foreign nurse with MSF meant that the organization’s 160-bed treatment center was unable to accept patients for two days, according to MSF press officer Sophie-Jane Madden. It has since reopened. Other centers are full, yet every day, ill people show up in taxis and ambulances at the gates of treatment centers. When they are not accepted inside, many go back to their communities, where they could continue to pose a risk to their families and neighbors. Redemption, which saw its first cases of Ebola months ago, has become a potent symbol of crisis and the near-collapse of Liberia’s health-care system. Esther Kesselly, described by her colleagues as a “diligent, caring, and hardworking nurse,” died in the emergency ward in late May. A Ugandan doctor, Samuel Mutoro who treated Kesselly also contracted the virus and became the first doctor in Liberia to die from Ebola. Earlier this month, the Redemption staff came to work to find all of the wards boarded up, with only the outpatient department remaining open. The pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, surgical, and emergency wards are now filled with beds for suspected Ebola cases. More
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