A member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) puts on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital, on July 23, 2014 in Conakry, Guinea
A member of Doctors Without Borders (MSF) puts on protective gear at the isolation ward of the Donka Hospital, on July 23, 2014 in Conakry, Guinea AFP PHOTO - Cellou Binani

Health agencies call for bigger Australian response to Ebola

AUSTRALIA'S "lagging response" to the growing international Ebola crisis has sparked a call to arms from health agencies.

The Public Health Association of Australia and the Australian Healthcare Hospitals Association have urged the Commonwealth to step up its game.

"The Australian Government's response has been the provision of an initial $1 million to the World Health Organisation in the early stages of the outbreak, followed by an additional $7 million last week," PHAA chief Michael Moore said.

"While this investment is welcomed, it is a drop in the bucket compared to the $750 million from the US (as well as military personnel) and £100 million from the UK."

Mr Moore called for a military presence, civilian volunteers and the Australian Medical Assistance team to be immediately deployed to the African outbreak zones.

AHHA chief executive officer Alison Verhoeven said about 29,000 people could be infected in Sierra Leone and Liberia by September 30 if current trends continued.

"While the Australian Government has committed some support, we have not done nearly enough to address this major humanitarian crisis," she said.

"We do not want to see over a million people infected by January."

- APN NEWSDESK



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