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The World Health Organization said Saturday it could not meet a request from Sierra Leone to evacuate a doctor who contracted the deadly Ebola disease — and who would have been the first doctor from one of the Ebola-ravaged countries to receive treatment abroad.
Dr. Olivet Buck, a citizen of Sierra Leone, is the fourth doctor from that country to come down with Ebola, which has been blamed for 2,400 deaths in West Africa, according to the WHO. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have recorded the vast majority of cases. The other three Sierra Leone doctors died in the country.
Sierra Leone requested funds from the World Health Organization to evacuate the doctor to Germany on Friday, and said a Hamburg hospital was ready to receive her. But a WHO spokesman said Saturday it could not comply with the request and instead would work to give Buck "the best care possible" in Sierra Leone, including access to experimental drugs.
"WHO is unable to organize evacuation of this doctor to (Germany) but is exploring all options on how to ensure best care," WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said. Health care workers are at particular risk and 144 have died so far the three countries, exacerbating a shortage of medical staff.