In a determined fight to manage the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) which has killed no fewer than 4,400 people, the United Nations atomic agency plans to provide West African countries hit by the disease with a nuclear-related technology to help faster diagnosis.
In a report by Reuters, the specialized equipment is expected to arrive in Sierra Leone and then Liberia and Guinea in the coming weeks.
In a statement on Tuesday, October 14, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano said it was a “small but effective contribution” to efforts to combat the outbreak.
According to the IAEA, the nuclear-derived diagnostic technology known as Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) allows the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) to be detected within a few hours unlike other methods which require growing on a cell culture for several days before a diagnosis is determined.
“Early diagnosis of EVD, if combined with appropriate medical care, increases the victims’ chance of survival and helps curtail the spread of the disease by making it possible to isolate and treat the patients earlier,” the IAEA said.
Sierra Leone and other affected countries are already applying RT-PCR, but their capability is limited due to shortages of diagnostic kits and other materials.
Ebola has been spreading and has killed many mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to brand it “the most severe acute public health emergency in modern times”.
According to WHO, the number of cases in West Africa will exceed 9,000 this week.
Fears over Ebola has continued to spread as the disease is gradually creeping into Western countries like Europe and the United States.
However, the test of Ebola drug has started in the Mali as 3 health workers have been vaccinated.
Source: Talk of Naija
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