The World Health Organisation raises the alarm over a rapid jump in fatalities as Cuba become the largest contributor of doctors to Ebola crisis
Almost 2,500 people have now been killed in the deadliest ever outbreak of Ebola, the UN has said as Cuba becomes the largest contributor of foreign doctors to the west African pandemic.
The virus has continued to spread in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, claiming hundreds more lives in the last few weeks despite attempts to limit contamination, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.
"In the three hardest-hit countries, the number is moving faster than the capacity to manage them," Margaret Chan, head of WHO, said on Friday.
The UN health chief added that the number of reported cases had jumped to 4,784 in all affected countries, with more than 2,400 deaths - a rise of around 100 since the WHO's previous toll on Tuesday.
The deadly disease began spreading at the beginning of the year through contact with infected blood or bodily fluids and now presents a risk to human populations across a vast area of west and central Africa.
Ms Chan said an additional 500 foreign health professionals and around 1,000 local doctors and nurses are still needed to stop Ebola spreading with recent predictions placing 22 additional countries at risk.
"The thing we need most of all is people," she said after Cuba had pledged to send 165 health workers for six months to Sierra Leone, one of the worst affected areas.
The 62 doctors and 103 nurses have all "previously participated in post-catastrophe situations” and volunteered for the mission, Cuban Health Minister Roberto Morales Ojeda said.
The UN added that its peacekeepers will not abandon nearby Liberia, whose war-ravaged health services were on the slow road to recovery when the Ebola outbreak began.
"We are here to stay the course and to help the people of Liberia and its neighbours to get through this terrible crisis," UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous told AFP.
"One has to recognise that a peacekeeping mission is not a public health operator," he added. "But at the same time, we are there to support the country... to solve the root causes of a very long crisis."
This article originally appeared in The Telegraph