A number of nurses and medical professionals in Liberia went on strike on Monday, demanding better pay and safer working conditions in the fight against Ebola. The World Health Organization, meanwhile, called the outbreak "the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times."
Local journalist Terence Sesay told Al Jazeera on Monday that a number of facilities in the country were "virtually abandoned," with "nurses afraid of touching patients."
"They refuse to take blood samples from patients or even take their temperature because these require them to touch patients," Sesay said. more >>
Christian pastor Rotimi Obajimi has escaped from terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria after nearly 10 months in captivity and has been brought back to his church, reports said.
"We were so amazed to see him because we have been praying earnestly for a long time trusting Jesus that He would surely come back, but lo and behold he was brought to our headquarters in Maiduguri by the military," a pastor at Redeem Church in Maiduguri told SaharaReporters.
Obajimi, who led the church in the rural area of Borno/Yobe province, was kidnapped by Islamic militants on Jan. 6. He was then taken to Sambisa Forest, where he was tied down for months, before being moved to an unknown destination and brought back to Sambisa once again. more >>
The spread of the deadly Ebola outbreak throughout West Africa is leaving hundreds of children orphaned, and a number of them are reportedly marginalized by some tribal communities due to the fear of witchcraft and black magic.
"There's a strong belief in witchcraft that Ebola is contracted through a curse or in some cases that it is a white man's fabrication," said Jamie Bedson, charity Restless Development's Sierra Leone country director, according to The Financial Times.
"There is a mistrust of foreigners, and in one place everyone threw away soap given out by the government because they thought it was poisoned." more >>
Over 35 humanitarian agencies have warned in a major report that close to two million people in South Sudan are facing severe food insecurity in the man-made crisis stemming from in-fighting, unless more aid is delivered to those who urgently need it.
"So far the soft approach of the international community in the peace negotiations has failed to secure a meaningful ceasefire," the report says.
A ceasefire was signed earlier this year between the government of President Salva Kiir and a rebel group linked to former Vice President Riek Machar, but the situation has not stabilized and fighting continues on a large scale throughout the country. more >>
Professor Peter Piot, director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who named Ebola and was part of a team of scientists who discovered the virus in Kinshasa, formerly Zaire, in 1976, says the Ebola outbreak is no longer an epidemic but a "human catastrophe" he never thought "could get this bad."
"It should be clear to all of us: This isn't just an epidemic any more. This is a humanitarian catastrophe. We don't just need care personnel, but also logistics experts, trucks, jeeps and foodstuffs. Such an epidemic can destabilize entire regions. I can only hope that we will be able to get it under control. I really never thought that it could get this bad," said Piot when asked if the world had lost control of the Ebola epidemic in an interview with The Guardian.
"I have always been an optimist and I think that we now have no other choice than to try everything, really everything. It's good that the United States and some other countries are finally beginning to help. But Germany or even Belgium, for example, must do a lot more," he explained. more >>
Militants from terror group Boko Haram reportedly beheaded seven people in revenge attacks on Monday in the remote northeast town of Ngamdu in Nigeria.
Resident Musa Abor said that when Ngamdu locals awoke they found seven people that had been brutally killed. The gunmen "slit their (victims) throats just the way people slaughter goats," the resident added.
The terror group is apparently carrying out revenge attacks against locals who have aided Nigeria's military and have formed vigilante groups that have fought back against Boko Haram's raids. more >>