– The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in West Africa is very worrying. It is necessary to strengthen efforts both locally and internationally to bring the outbreak under control and prevent further spread, said Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende.
Since the beginning of February 2014, there has been an outbreak of disease with Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. According to reported numbers, the disease has so far claimed around 730 lives. While the number of new outbreaks in Guinea goes down, there are reports of new cases in Sierra Leone and Liberia, which has implemented strict measures to limit spread.
– Norway is now increasing support of five million to Doctors Without Borders’ work, and ten million to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has a coordinating and advisory role in combating the outbreak, said the Foreign Minister.
Norway has previously granted four million kroner to Doctors Without Borders’ efforts to treat the infection and prevent the spread of Ebola in West Africa.
– Ebola virus has a mortality rate of between 50 and 90 percent. It is very important to achieve a rapid and enhanced coordinated response in the affected areas. Countries have poorly developed health sector and lack healthcare, laboratories, monitoring capacity and treatment. It needed immediately more resources to strengthen the measures. States, the UN and other international organizations play a key role in this effort, says Brende.
The Foreign Ministry is following the situation closely through Norway’s embassies in the region; Accra in Ghana and Abuja in Nigeria. Norwegian health authorities are also monitoring the situation closely.