Fight against Ebola needs more speed – and cash

The official death toll from Ebola in Liberia is now around 1,500 people. However, the FT thinks that even these grim figures are “certainly a significant underestimate”, since the condition “is spreading outside the medical surveillance systems that have been put in place”.

The FT says “this is the most severe crisis to have hit Liberia and Sierra Leone since the civil wars in both countries drew to an end just over a decade ago”. As a result, “the world should be standing with the people of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea and helping their governments to establish the requisite controls to staunch the spread of Ebola”.

Although “some of the reactions have been tinged with hysteria”, The Washington Post warns, “either the world gets this right or the outbreak will spread”. This means “more personnel, material, money and speed than has been applied in the past six months”.

Sadly, “there won’t be any magic bullet in a new drug or vaccine to save the day”. Instead, “the only way Ebola can be stopped is by control measures that are labour and resource intensive: finding and isolating those infected”.

In the long run, Liberia needs better government, argues Robtel Neajai Pailey in The Guardian. “Contrary to what has been reported, Liberia is not poor; it is poorly managed.”

In particular, “Liberia must strengthen its health-care infrastructure by increasing the percentage of the national budget allotted to health”.

The Daily Telegraph thinks the crisis shows the worth of aid workers, such as William Pooley, who is being treated in the UK after being infected with the virus. Aid workers “voluntarily put themselves in harm’s way, motivated not by the desire to be well known, but by selfless sacrifice”.

Sadly, “last year was the most dangerous on record for humanitarian workers, with 155 killed, 171 seriously wounded and 134 kidnapped”.

• Stay up to date with MoneyWeek: Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Google+

MoneyWeek magazine

Latest issue:

Magazine cover
Party's over for Putin

The only portfolio safe from Russia's rout

The UK's best-selling financial magazine. Take a FREE trial today.
Claim 4 FREE Issues

Hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry: 'It felt like the sun rose only to humiliate me'

In a series of three short videos, Merryn Somerset-Webb talks to Hugh Hendry, manager of the Eclectica hedge fund, about everything from China to the US, Europe, and Japan.


Which investment platform?

When it comes to buying shares and funds, there are several investment platforms and brokers to choose from. They all offer various fee structures to suit individual investing habits.
Find out which one is best for you.


19 December 1932: BBC World Service begins

The first royal Christmas message by George V gave the fledgling World Service an early boost six days after it was founded in 1932.