Elsewhere online
October 30, 2014

Medical Charities Scramble to Line Up Ebola Volunteers

Aid groups on the front lines of the Ebola fight in West Africa continue to struggle to attract health-care workers in numbers to go to virus-riven regions in West Africa, writes The Boston Globe. With Ebola work requiring extensive pre-travel training, a minimum six-week assignment, and the increasing likelihood of a 21-day quarantine upon return, many would-be volunteers are unable to commit to months away from their jobs and families, charity officials said.

The World Health Organization estimates 1,000 international health professionals and 20,000 local workers are needed to staff planned Ebola treatment centers in Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. Partners in Health has hired about 100 short-term clinicians but will need at least 500 more in the coming months. Doctors Without Borders, with 3,200 people in West Africa, 300 from outside the region, says it has enough staff for current programs but could be hamstrung if the epidemic continues to spread.

On Wednesday, California became the latest state to go beyond federal guidelines and impose a three-week home quarantine for aid workers and others who have had contact with Ebola patients in West Africa, but it will allow county health agencies to tailor quarantine terms on a case-by-case basis, reports the Los Angeles Times.