2014-10-22 15:57:00

CAFOD: West Africa will need help after Ebola

(Vatican Radio) Over fifty doctors and nurses from Cuba arrived in Liberia on Wednesday to help treat victims of Ebola.

The country’s actions were praised by the United States, which is sending 3,000 military engineers, medical personnel and other troops to the region to build Ebola Treatment Units and help train local medical staff to use them.

This year's outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever is the worst on record, having killed more than 4,500 people, mostly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Neil Casey, the Head of Humanitarian for the Catholic aid agency CAFOD, said much has to be done to stop the disease, but the effects of the crisis will be felt for a long time after the epidemic is ended.

Listen to the Vatican Radio interview with Neil Casey:

“The focus now is on healthcare and prevention, but because of the measures we need to introduce – the issues around quarantine and around restricting people’s movements – what we are finding is that people are not able to work, they are not able to get out into the fields,” he said.

Casey told Vatican Radio food production is slowing down and the health system completely overstretched. 

“The consequences of Ebola will be felt across the region for the medium to long term,” he said. “As such, agencies like CAFOD, the humanitarian sector, and obviously the Caritas network and the Catholic Church, need to commit itself to long-term engagement in the region to rebuild west Africa after Ebola.”

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