MANILA – The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday has tagged the recent Ebola outbreak as “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times” but also said that proper information education can help prevent economic disruptions.
Margaret Chan, WHO director-general, noted that figures from World Bank show that 90 percent of economic costs of any outbreak “come from irrational and disorganized efforts of the public to avoid infection.”
“We are seeing, right now, how this virus can disrupt economies and societies around the world,” she said.
Chan added that educating the public is a “good defense strategy” and would pave way for governments to curb economic disruptions.
She praised the country as well for having the initiative to put up an anti-Ebola summit last week.
Aside from preparing to combat Ebola, Chan also reminded health officials to continue focusing on major health threats especially non-communicable diseases.
In September, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged leaders in Ebola-stricken countries to build special centers that will isolated infected people from the public in a bit to prevent outbreak.
Ban also pleaded for international airlines and shipping companies to continue their services especially in countries affected by Ebola in order to continue delivery of humanitarian and medical assistance.
To date, WHO figures show that Ebola has killed more than 4,000 people in West African regions including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.