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West African healthcare systems reel as Ebola toll hits 932

Published on Aug 7, 2014 9:32 AM
A health worker, wearing personal protection gear, offers water to a woman with Ebola at a treatment centre for infected persons in Kenema Government Hospital, in Kenema, Eastern Province, Sierra Leone in this handout photo provided by Unicef on Aug 6, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

MONROVIA/DAKAR (REUTERS) - Health workers in West Africa are appealing for urgent help in controlling the world's worst Ebola outbreak as the death toll climbed to 932 and Liberia declared a state of emergency.

"The government and people of Liberia require extraordinary measures for the very survival of our state and for the protection of the lives of our people," Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf said in an official statement. The state of emergency was for 90 days, effective Wednesday.

Liberia also shut a major hospital where several staff were infected, including a Spanish priest.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said it would ask medical ethics experts to explore emergency use of experimental treatments to tackle the highly contagious disease after a trial drug was given to two US charity workers infected in Liberia.

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