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Ebola beds prevented 40,000 deaths

The global response to the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone helped avert 40,000 deaths but if aid had been offered sooner, thousands more lives there might have been saved, say researchers.

Britain’s donations of more than £100m in the summer of 2014 helped to set up nearly 3,000 hospital beds.

This vital provision, researchers estimate, prevented 56,000 Ebola cases.

But a further 12,500 cases could have been averted if the beds been available even a month earlier, they calculate.

The UK government insists that it did act swiftly and says the international community as a whole could have done more.

It’s not the first time the government’s response to Ebola has come under scrutiny.

In February, the Public Accounts Committee said funds had not been released quickly enough to deal with the crisis.

In the months following the Ebola outbreak, the World Health Organization was also heavily criticised for being slow to act.

Care and quarantine

The work from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, published in the journal PNAS, details how much of an impact a delay in international aid may have had.

Researchers used a mathematical model to estimate how many cases of Ebola were averted thanks to foreign aid efforts that set up treatment READ MORE HERE

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