Date
20 September 2017
President Barack Obama announces a dramatic expansion of Washington's role in the fight against Ebola, Seated with him is Tom Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo: Reuters
President Barack Obama announces a dramatic expansion of Washington's role in the fight against Ebola, Seated with him is Tom Frieden, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Photo: Reuters

US sending 3,000 troops in fight against Ebola

West African officials and international aid groups are hailing a major expansion of United States involvement in the fight against Ebola after President Barack Obama announced a plan to send 3,000 troops.

The initiative also includes a US regional command and control center, according to Reuters.

Obama called the Ebola outbreak a threat to global security that is “going to get worse before it gets better”.

He announced a plan to dramatically expand Washington’s initial response last week including deployment of soldiers, engineers and medical personnel and a regional control center in Liberia, the worst hit country.

The US will build 17 treatment facilities with 100 beds each, train thousands of health workers and establish a military command center to coordinate relief efforts, the report said.

The World Health Organization praised the move, along with leaders in West Africa and aid workers who have been trying to contain the worst Ebola outbreak that has already killed 2,500 people. The virus was first identified in 1976.

However, health experts said ongoing efforts are still not enough to stop the epidemic which is quickly growing and has severely strained healthcare systems in the affected countries – Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal.

Washington said the focus of the US military deployment would be Liberia, a nation founded by freed American slaves.

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CG/RA

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