GENEVA, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The Director-General of the World Health Organization(WHO) and presidents of West African countries impacted by the Ebola virus Disease outbreak will meet on Friday in Guinea to launch a new 100 million U.S. dollars response plan.
"The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level, and this will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a statement.
"The countries have identified what they need, and the WHO is reaching out to the international community to drive the response plan forward," she noted.
The Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response Plan in West Africa identified the need for several hundred more personnel to be deployed in affected countries to supplement overstretched treatment facilities.
Hundreds of international aid workers, as well as more than 120 WHO staff, are already supporting national and regional response efforts.
WHO noted the greatest needs are clinical doctors and nurses, epidemiologists, social mobilization experts and data managers.
WHO and affected and neighboring countries will renew efforts to mobilize communities and strengthen communication so that people know how to avoid infection and what to do if they fear they may have come into contact with the virus.
The plan also emphasized the importance of surveillance, particularly in border areas, of risk assessments and of laboratory-based diagnostic testing of suspected cases. It also highlighted the need to improve ways to protect health workers, a scarce resource in all three countries, from infection.
According to WHO, the scale of the ongoing outbreak is unprecedented, with approximately 1323 confirmed and suspected cases reported, and 729 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since March 2014.