US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power has flown to West Africa to encourage international support for the fight against Ebola. Power traveled through Guinea on Sunday and landed on Monday in Sierra Leone. She also plans to visit Liberia before flying to Brussels in Belgium, meeting health care workers, volunteers and public officials at every stop.
According to NBC, more foreign medical workers will need to travel to West Africa in order to beat the disease, but restrictions in the US have made some health care workers think twice about helping the efforts to stop Ebola. “The last thing we want is to stigmatize people. There is a category of people that we need to be effective in persuading to come, who are kind of hanging back and wondering,” said Power.
Power is currently checking out the situation in West Africa so that she can drum up more international support for the fight against Ebola. “In visiting the three affected countries and getting a detailed grasp of the gaps I hope to use my knowledge of those gaps to shake the trees and really push other countries to do more,” Power said. She also plans to make a stop in Ghana to visit the United Nations Ebola response mission, which is coordinating global efforts to stop Ebola.
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Powers revealed that many countries who expressed support for the fight against Ebola and commended the US for its role in it have yet to send their own contingents of medical workers to help out in West Africa. “You have countries at the UN where I work every day who are signing on to resolutions and praising the good work that the US and the UK and others are doing, but they themselves haven't taken the responsibility yet to send docs, to send beds, to send the reasonable amount of money,” she said.
The fact that Power was sent to these countries even if she was a member of the US President’s cabinet means that people who want to help shouldn’t be afraid, she added.