The United States has deployed troops and is sending hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the country, which was founded by an American private enterprise in the mid-19th century. Relief efforts include the construction of new hospitals and facilities to treat Ebola patients. But there are concerns the international mission in the country is moving too slowly.
There's also a woeful lack of protective gear for medical workers, at least 95 of whom have already succumbed to the disease. Some 2,425 Liberians have already died of Ebola-like symptoms since the outbreak began earlier this year. At least 60 Liberians died Wednesday. As the graphic above shows, basic, essential items needed to ward against the disease in close areas -- such as hand sprayers, plastic gloves and face masks -- are all in short supply.
My colleague Kevin Sieff wrote movingly from Monrovia on the toll the epidemic is taking on Liberia's small pool of doctors. He met J. Soka Moses, a doctor who had just learned of one of his colleagues contracting the disease:
Moses sat in blue scrubs that afternoon in his makeshift office in a storage room at JFK Hospital, his eyes bloodshot and narrowing with anger. As word spread about the two doctors, three clinicians came to him and quit. Others said they were now afraid to go near patients. He knew he had to close the center, even as demand for treatment soared.His family had always tended Liberians’ wounds — his mother was a nurse, his father a physician. He had dreamed of working in an emergency room or doing internal medicine. But at age 34, he was now trying to keep one of the capital’s few Ebola treatment centers afloat.“What can I do? My staff doesn’t think it’s safe to work here anymore,” he said despairingly. “Soon I’ll be here alone, with patients dying in the ward.”