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The deadly Ebola virus ravaging Sierra Leone and Liberia has pushed already weak healthcare systems into intensive care.While global efforts have been focused on Ebola, many people have failed to receive treatment for other diseases such as malaria and measles, and this has led to even more deaths, experts say. The BBC's Jonathan Paye-Layleh in the Liberian capital, Monrovia, says that while statistics are not available, suspicion exists that some of the deaths attributed to Ebola have been caused by cholera, malaria, typhoid and other illnesses, as people either did not go to hospitals or were turned away by medical workers who feared that they carried the deadly virus.
Tune in to the BBC World Service at 19:00 GMT on Friday 26 September to listen to The Africa Debate: Do failed health systems in Africa make global epidemics inevitable?
Mr Sisay says the fact that many African leaders go abroad to receive treatment shows they do not have confidence in the health systems of their own countries. Senior Getty Images photographer John Moore documents the fight against the Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia.
Health officials were combing the area that is home to at least 50,000 people to try to stop the virus from spreading further in a country where more than 400 people already have died.In the photo above, a security guard looks over the impoverished neighborhood on Aug. During the raid, 37 patients who might have Ebola left, many returning to their own communities, said government Information Minister Lewis Brown.
But he said the disease could "flare up" again, pointing to Guinea, where the number of cases is rising again despite two significant lulls.For the disease to be contained, Mr Stokes added, it needed to be tackled in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone at once.
Of the West African countries hit by the 11-month outbreak, Liberia has seen the most deaths. Usain Bolt completes another Olympic sprint double as Jade Jones takes Team GB's gold-medal tally to 22 with taekwondo success.
Tests have ruled out fears that an Angolan trader died of the deadly Ebola virus in Zimbabwe, the World Health Organisation has said. Samples taken to the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases were negative, WHO spokesman Dr Welile Shashas said. Health officials had said the man, who died in the resort town of Victoria Falls, had signs of the disease.
The negative results were confirmed by both Zimbabwe's and South Africa's health ministries. There is no known cure for Ebola, which causes high fever, diarrhoea and bleeding from the nose and gums, and can induce massive internal haemorrhages.
It is spread through direct contact with body fluids of an infected person and is thought to be contracted by humans when they eat the flesh of infected animals.
A recent outbreak of the disease left 29 dead in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which borders Angola. The first large-scale trials of two experimental vaccines against Ebola have begun in Liberia.


But the number of Ebola cases in Liberia has been steadily decreasing, with only four confirmed cases in the week leading up to 25 January.According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the epidemic has entered a "second phase" with the focus shifting to ending the epidemic. The trial, which began on Monday, involves injecting 12 volunteers with a vaccine that contains a small, harmless fragment of the Ebola virus.
He says with the rainy season under way, the government has in recent weeks taken steps to prevent a cholera outbreak by chlorinating wells in Monrovia. It has been far more effective in containing the outbreak because it has more resources and a "more resilient" health system, Mr Sisay says. Commenting on why they do not face a public backlash from voters, he replies: "Why do people accept gutters overflowing with rubbish? The World Health Organization on Monday urged Liberia and other Ebola-affected countries to screen all passengers leaving international airports, sea ports and major ground crossings. Hanah Siafa lies with her daughter Josephine, 10, while hoping to enter the new Doctors Without Borders, Ebola treatment center on Aug.
A man lies in a newly-opened Ebola isolation center set up by the Liberian health ministry in a closed school on Aug.
Children stand in a newly-opened Ebola isolation center set up in a school closed due to the epidemic on Aug.
Local residents tell patients in an Ebola isolation ward to come out, as a mob overran the facility in the West Point slum on Aug.
So far, 20 have been brought back to two hospitals in the capital and authorities are still looking for the others, he said. A Liberian health worker disinfects a corpse after the man died in a classroom now used as Ebola isolation ward. Korpo Klay watches as a Liberian health department burial team prepares to enter the home of her deceased cousin Kormassa Kaba, who was suspected of dying of Ebola.
Liberian Foreign Affairs Minister Augustine Ngafuan hand-carries boxes of the experimental Ebola-fighting drug ZMapp on a Delta Airlines flight from New York's JFK airport to Monrovia on Aug.
A burial team from the Liberian health department prays before entering a house to remove the body of a woman suspected of dying of the Ebola virus.
Parts of the largest Ebola treatment centre in the world, on the edge of Monrovia, are being knocked down, our correspondent says. The situation became more dire when 17 people fled an Ebola medical center over the weekend when it was attacked by looters who stole blood-stained sheets and mattresses and took them into Monrovia’s West Point, an enormous slum. Ebola is spread through direct contact with bodily fluids, and there is no licensed treatment.


Teams of undertakers wearing protective clothing are retreiving bodies from all over the capital of Monrovia. Chris Stokes, the head of MSF's Ebola response, told the BBC that the decrease in the number of cases in Liberia presented an opportunity for health workers to step up their work. Painting a similar picture about Liberia, the UN children's agency Unicef says Ebola has severely disrupted health services for children, caused schools to close and left thousands of children without a parent. The facility initially has 120 beds, making it the largest such center for Ebola treatment and isolation in history.
People suspected of contracting the Ebola virus are being sent to such centers in the capital Monrovia where the spread of the highly contagious and deadly Ebola virus has been called catastrophic.
A crowd of several hundred people, chanting, "No Ebola in West Point," crashed through the gates and took out the patients, saying that the Ebola epidemic is a hoax. Poor sanitation and close living quarters have contributed to the spead of the Ebola virus, which is transmitted through bodily fluids. The only way to contain the disease is to isolate the sick and closely watch those they have come into contact with for signs of infection. Doctors Without Borders reports that an outbreak continues to rage virtually unchecked in this city of approximately one million people, far exceeding the capacity of the few medical facilities accepting Ebola patients.
Authorities have struggled to contain the spread of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.The disease has killed 1,145 of the more than 2,000 people sickened in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. The Liberian government says the drug is meant to be used to treat Liberian doctors infected by the deadly virus.The disease has taken a heavy toll on health workers in the region, with some 170 infected, of whom more than 80 have died. Expressing a similar view, Mr Sisay says Liberia and Sierra Leone have hit "rock-bottom" since the Ebola outbreak - and a concerted effort will have to be made by their governments and foreign donors to ensure they are better-placed to cope with any future crisis. The Ebola epidemic has killed more than 1,000 people in four African countries, and Liberia now has had more deaths than any other country. More volunteers will be immunised as the trial progresses.However, it is not yet clear whether the trial vaccines will offer protection against the disease.



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