IMPACT
09/02/2014 04:21 pm ET Updated Nov 03, 2014

UN: To End Ebola, Every Country Needs To Think 'What Can We Do To Help'

DOLO TOWN, LIBERIA - AUGUST 24:  A Liberian Ministry of Health worker checks people for Ebola symptoms at a checkpoint near t
DOLO TOWN, LIBERIA - AUGUST 24: A Liberian Ministry of Health worker checks people for Ebola symptoms at a checkpoint near the international airport on August 24, 2014 near Dolo Town, Liberia. The government has been slow to deliver sufficient food aid to the town of some 15,000 people, following an August 20 quarantine to stop the Ebola epidemic from spreading from the community of some 15,000 people, located near Liberia's international airport. The military is stopping residents from leaving the area. Local Ministry of Health personnel say they have sent 20 sick people in the previous days to the Doctors Without Borders (MSF), treatment center for to be tested for Ebola. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(Changes dateline to United Nations from New York, adds U.N. and WHO comments)

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 2 (Reuters) - The worst ever outbreak of the Ebola virus will not be halted unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams to West Africa to stop its spread, the head of medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres said on Tuesday.

"Six months into the worst Ebola epidemic in history, the world is losing the battle to contain it," MSF President Joanne Liu said in a speech to United Nations member states. She said aid charities and West African governments did not have the capacity to stem the outbreak and needed intervention by foreign states. The organization is known in the United States as Doctors Without Borders.

The United Nations and its World Health Organization have also appealed for more global help to stop the deadly disease.

Deputy U.N. Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said an international response with more involvement of U.N. member states may be needed, and referenced operations after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the Haiti earthquake in 2010.

David Nabarro, senior U.N. coordinator for the outbreak, said more health workers and treatment beds were needed, along with food, money, equipment, materials, vehicles, training, information systems support and communications guidance.

"The way to deal with Ebola is well known; it's just a question of putting it into practice," Nabarro said. "The outbreak is advancing ahead of us, it's accelerating ahead, and we in our control efforts, collectively, are falling behind."

"Every country in the world needs to be thinking 'what can we do to help?' Because if we don't get on top of this outbreak as a global community then this could effect all of us in unexpected ways," he warned.

Governments and aid organizations are scrambling to contain the disease, which has killed more than 1,500 since early this year.

WHO director-general Margaret Chan said the outbreak was the largest, most severe and complex ever seen in the 40-year history of the disease.

"The outbreak will get worse before it gets better and it requires a well coordinated, big surge and huge scale up of outbreak response urgently," she told the U.N. briefing. "The whole world is responsible and accountable to bring the Ebola threat under control." (Writing by Daniel Flynn and Michelle Nichols; Editing by Bate Felix, Toni Reinhold)

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