The World Health Organization (WHO) warned Wednesday that persistent outbreaks across Africa show the urgent need for every country to strengthen its healthcare systems.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO, stated that the appeal comes amid Marburg and M-pox epidemics, more than 10,000 COVID-19 deaths recorded weekly, and the ongoing emergency response to the deadly earthquake in Syria and Turkey.
In a recent visit to Syria, he stated that more than a decade of warfare has rendered the country’s health system incapable of dealing with the aftermath of the recent earthquake, with the town after town being demolished as a demonstration of the legacy of war.
Recent outbreaks, he added, serve as a sharp reminder of the critical need to strengthen healthcare systems.
World health officials are racing against the clock to create a vaccine for a virus that is a deadlier form of Ebola and is spreading in Central Africa.
Fear is spreading over the Marburg virus, which can first appear as a cold before exploding with horrible symptoms such as organ failure and bleeding from various orifices.
After nine deaths and 16 probable cases, Equatorial Guinea declared an epidemic of the very lethal virus, which kills up to nine out of ten victims.
On Wednesday night, neighboring Cameroon declared two probable infections in two teens who had no travel links to Equatorial Guinea, indicating that the disease is more prevalent than official case figures show.
Marburg virus causes a hemorrhagic disease comparable to Ebola. Following several days, if not weeks, of incubation in the bloodstream, it causes a terrible eruption of inflammation and blood clotting throughout the body, causing organs to stop working.
To handle the latest epidemic in Equatorial Guinea, WHO is collaborating with authorities to quickly identify any suspected cases of Marburg, a rare Ebola-like virus with an 88% fatality rate.
To date, nine people have died, with no documented cases in neighboring Cameroon or Gabon.
Vaccines are being produced, and Equatorial Guinea will be engaged in any clinic trial choices.