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MSF report: Ebola epidemic not yet over

The report also says that the world’s slow reaction to Ebola resulted in 'horrendous consequences'.

An MSF medical worker feeds an Ebola child victim at an MSF facility in Kailahun, Sierra Leone on 15 August, 2014. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - A new report into the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has warned that the epidemic is not yet over and that the world's slow reaction to it has resulted in 'horrendous consequences'.

A Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF) report titled ' Pushed to the Limit and Beyond' marks the first anniversary of the outbreak and is dedicated to the 500 health workers who died fighting it.

The report says around 10,000 lives have been lost so far from almost 25,000 infections while medical services in affected countries have all but collapsed.

It also reveals that around 500 health workers died battling the epidemic, claiming that the scale of the epidemic was downplayed at first and that those who raised the alarm were accused of trying to fundraise through creating panic.

The report claims the world ignored warnings about the Ebola outbreak until it crossed oceans.

It says this is the first time MSF has been forced to turn away patients on such a scale risking further infections.

Doctors Without Borders' Gille van Cutsem coordinated a large emergency mission in Liberia and says the fight is not over.

"As long as there is one case, the epidemic is not under control."

He says those who fought Ebola have been left deeply traumatised.

"There were so many patients in sight that they could only admit as many patients as the ones that had died the day before, to refill the beds."

van Cutsem says, "In Monrovia I could only open the doors for an hour per day and then the treatment centre was full again."

He says despite warnings, the world only woke up to the true nightmare unfolding when Ebola crossed oceans.

"The international community had then realised that it wasn't only poor people dying in Africa."

Looking to the future, the report calls for more investment, better cooperation and more focus on education and awareness.

The report also raises concerns about the medical services that collapsed in affected countries and says lessons must now be learnt.

Click here to read the full report.

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