President visits area bordering Guinea to assess Ebola preparedness

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The president of the landlocked West African nation of Mali travelled to his country’s border with neighbouring Guinea to see first hand the measures being taken to control the spread of Ebola.
Talking to residents of Kouremale, a town located 126 kilometres (78 miles) southwest of the capital Bamako, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita said he was personally commanding the country’s response to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
For nearly a year, Mali was spared the virus, now blamed for killing over 5,000 people in West Africa.
But with two outbreaks reported in less than a month, Mali is now at the front lines of the battle against the killer disease.
Keita stressed that “no one must cross this frontier without undergoing a health check and washing their hands.”
Over the weekend the US announced that travellers from Mali will now be subject to the same screening and monitoring that was ordered for people arriving from three other Ebola-affected countries in West Africa.
Federal officials are growing increasingly alarmed about a new cluster of seven illnesses in Mali that have left health public health workers scrambling to track and monitor at least 450 other people who may have had contact with the seven people and may be at risk.
France and America are dispatching epidemiologists to help Mali tackle the spread.
West Africa is currently suffering the worst Ebola epidemic in world history, with at least 14,000 illnesses and more than 5,100 deaths so far.
Nearly all of the cases have been in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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