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MSF: More resources needed to fight Ebola

Doctors working in the region say their work is severely affected by an underfunded health system.

FILE: Members of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) wear protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital in Conakry on 23 July, 2014. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - As the Ebola death toll continues to rise, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) says governments around the world need to be held accountable for their promises to assist people in the worst affected countries.

Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have been affected the most by the outbreak.

While there are signs that rates of infection are slowing in some of the worst-hit areas, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the disease has now reached more districts, counties and areas than it had a month ago, and said case numbers would continue to rise.

MSF is leading the response to the outbreak.

Four of the group's doctors recently returned from West Africa and have related their experiences.

At least 18 South African doctors have been assigned to work in the region as part of the organisation's international Ebola response.

The organisation says the world owes it to the people of West Africa to join forces and fight the spread of the epidemic.

Doctor Jens Pederson says the challenges facing his colleagues in affected countries are immense.

"We cannot do this alone and we need a lot more support and mobilisation."

Another doctor Juli Switala says hospitals in that region are simply not equipped to handle Ebola.

"I've worked in rural areas but this was really quite tough. We had very very few lab facilities."

Underfunded health systems in West Africa have been crippled by the deadly virus, which has spiraled out of control killing nearly 4,500 people since the beginning of the year.