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Published in: 08/08/2014

“The ebola epidemic is a serious public health problem, but it can still be controlled”

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The application of appropriate preventive measures are key to bringing the ebola epidemic under control, says Dr. Luis Gomes Sambo, Director of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, where he leads technical cooperation efforts for 47 Member States.

Since the first case was reported in Guinea in March of this year, the virus has spread to Sierra Leone and Liberia, where 1,369 cases and 759 deaths had been reported as of 1 August 2014. The three countries had never previously experienced ebola, a highly infectious disease that is spread by contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or tissue of infected animals or humans.

Sambo has been leading WHOs regional response to the outbreak, mobilizing experts and resources, and convening emergency meetings of the African countries’ ministers of health to discuss the situation and develop strategies at the national and regional levels to address the epidemic, the largest to affect Africa to date.

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), WHO’s Regional Office for the Americas, interviewed Sambo during his recent visit to Washington, D.C., to attend the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

See the interview here.