The Liberian health sector is still battling to contain the Ebola Virus Disease that has claimed over 4,400 lives in West Africa, making a request for assistance in procurement of additional 85,000 body bags in the next six months.
- Liberia anticipates more Ebola deaths
- Request for more body bags made on Thursday
- At least 4,493 deaths have been recorded since outbreak began in March
- Liberia also lacks protective suits, face masks, gloves, goggles and other items
- WHO says there could be up to 10,000 new Ebola cases per week in the three hardest-hit nations by the end of the year
Items in six months forecast
Boxes of gloves
Needed: 2.4 million
Needed: 1.2 million
Needed: 1.7 million
It is the worst Ebola outbreak in history and the Liberian government is having a hard nut to crack, as the Health Ministry declared a shortage of body bags on Thursday, which health workers say are crucial to preventing the spread of the deadly virus.
Liberia, one of three countries most affected by the outbreak, said it has 4,900 body bags nationwide and gave a six month forecast of what it will need to contain the deadly virus disease.
The health Ministry said in a statement that it needed 85,000 more body bags in the next six months.
The CNN reports that a grim inventory of supplies shows body bags were not the only items lacking.
Other supplies needed are; protective suits, face masks, gloves and goggles.
A projected figure of 2.4 million boxes of gloves are also needed in the next six months. Only 18,000 boxes are available. Each box has 100 pairs.
It also needs about 1.2 million hooded overalls within the same time frame, but it has only 165,000.
These shortfalls in supplies are seen as huge setback in Liberia’s fight against Ebola, which has killed at least 2,458 people in the nation.
This week, health workers in the nation went on strike to demand higher pay, leaving some clinics unattended.
Things will get worse
Since the outbreak started in March, about 9,000 Ebola cases and 4,493 deaths have been reported, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization. More than half of the deaths have been in Liberia.
The demand for more body bags shows the numbers are expected to skyrocket.
There could be up to 10,000 new Ebola cases per week in the three hardest-hit nations by the end of the year, the World Health Organization said. It warned that things will get worse before they get better.
Liberia has some supplies arriving in the next week, but it says they are still insufficient. Body bags are not included in the items expected by the nation.
In addition to the three nations, a handful of Ebola cases have also been reported in Senegal, Nigeria, Spain and the United States.
The US President, Barack Obama had called for more global efforts in tackling the disease in West Africa, as an age of frequent travel had made it possible for the disease to spread globally.