Ethiopian health workers arrive in Liberia to help fight Ebola

Health workers enter an Ebola treatment center in Monrovia

Scores of Ethiopian health workers arrived in Liberia on Tuesday to bolster the response to an Ebola outbreak that the government says it wants to stamp out before Christmas.

The 87 doctors and nurses will join an African Union (AU) mission against the worst Ebola outbreak on record, which has killed more than 6,800 people in Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea.

They will join more than 175 Nigerian medics deployed to Liberia and Sierra Leone earlier this month.

“The aim of the AU is to support the government on the progress so far made. We want to expand on it, to make sure that the community also supports it,” said Major-General Julius Oketta, who head’s the AU Ebola mission.

The bulk of the African Union’s efforts in Liberia focus on Montserrado County, which is home to the country’s capital and largest city Monrovia.

Once the country hardest hit by the disease, Liberia has seen a sharp decline in new infections, spawning optimism that the outbreak there may be coming to an end.

“The campaign, getting to zero before Christmas, continues,” said Liberia’s assistant health minister Tolbert Nyenswah. “We are still having between five to 10 cases per day in Liberia, and that is huge.”