Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish.
Posted at 8:58 PM, Sep 21, 2014

On Saturday, charity organization DirectRelief sent 100 tons of medical supplies to West Africa to provide some much needed support in combating the deadly Ebola outbreak. 

The $6 million shipment will supply gloves, masks, goggles, antibiotics and much more to facilities where equipment is in short supply.

USA Today quotes a DirectRelief spokesman saying, "We must do all we can to reduce further the human tragedy caused by this deadly outbreak and help communities avoid an even deeper setback than has occurred already."

The aid shipment comes as more and more aid workers are criticizing world governments for not doing enough to stem the outbreak.

Dr. Kent Brantley, one of the only two Americans to be infected with the disease, spoke to a Senate committee on the issue last week.

Kent Brantley via NBC: "The response to date however has remained sluggish and unacceptably out of step with the scope and the size of the problem that is now before us."

That response includes a United Nations declaration that Ebola poses a "threat to world security," and a pledged emergency mission to stem the crisis.

President Obama announced a plan to combat the outbreak that will cost $750 million over the next four months and place 3,000 U.S. troops on the ground in West Africa. 

Russia sent dozens of virologists to the Republic of Guinea back in August to establish a virus research laboratory; the country claims the team is developing a vaccine that was looking promising in early trials. 

And Germany has stationed military planes in the area to help establish a mobile clinic. 

The list of efforts from both governments and private organizations to stop the deadly outbreak could go on and on, but the critics are saying it all could be too little too late.

Bloomberg quotes an ambassador from Sierra Leone who said if this kind of aid rolled out two months ago, the spread of the Ebola virus could have been stopped.

One health expert told the International Business Times last week that "we wouldn't even be talking about an epidemic today" if governments had responded to the outbreak back in March. She also said of Obama's efforts, "My overriding concern is that it is coming awfully late in the game."

More than 2,500 people have died from the current Ebola outbreak so far. 

This video includes images from Getty Images.