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WHO: World Needs $1 Billion to Tackle Ebola

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos, center, and World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director General Bruce Aylward, left, listen to Dr. David Nabarro, senior U.N. coordinator for Ebola, speak during a news conference on Ebola at the United Nations

Pressure is mounting on the international community to deploy more resources to combat the spread of Ebola which has claimed more than 2,500 people, half of the more than 5,000 people infected by the virus, and the toll has doubled in the last month.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the outbreak will require one billion dollars, calling the health crisis “unparalled in modern times.”

Responding to the outbreak on Tuesday, U.S president Barack Obama announced that Washington will deploy more than 3,000 troops to Monrovia, Liberia. The U.S has also committed more than $100 million in the effort to combat Ebola.

U.N secretary general Ban Ki Moon will launch a global response coalition in New York on Thursday.

In the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, only the Democratic Republic of Congo has so far been affected. Zimbabwe Health Minister Dr. David Parirenyatwa has been coordinating efforts to combat the spread of Ebola in his capacity as the regional health chairperson.

Zimbabwe is the current SADC chair. Dr. Parirenyatwa told VOA Studio 1 that regional ministers are vigilant.

Meanwhile, a researcher at the Oxford University’s Department of Zoology, Nick Golding has predicted that 15 countries in Africa are at risk of animal to human transmission of Ebola by virtue of their geographic location as animals carrying the virus are being eaten in these countries.

The countries are Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Angola, Togo, United Republic of Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Madagascar and Malawi.

The university made the revelation in a model published in the Journal Elife which takes a look at the most likely explanation – that Ebola’s animal reservoir, fruit bats, could spread the disease in the animal kingdom and to humans through the dense forest that spans 22 countries.