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Ebola outbreak: Liberia's health workers face tough choices

As the Ebola outbreak continues to claim lives, health-care workers in places like Liberia's capital Monrovia are facing increasingly difficult choices, CBC's Adrienne Arsenault reports.

CBC's Adrienne Arsenault reports from Monrovia

Ebola cases in Liberia are overwhelming the country's already-crumbling health care system, Adrienne Arsenault reports 2:11

As the Ebola outbreak continues to claim lives, health-care workers in places like Liberia's capital Monrovia are facing increasingly difficult choices, CBC's Adrienne Arsenault reports. Volunteer ambulance driver LaureneWesseh told Arsenault she's honoured to be able do her work but knows it's a risky job.

"Today it is another person, tomorrow it could be me," she said.

More than 3,000 people have died in West Africa since this Ebola outbreak began, and Liberia's health system is facing enormous pressure as the disease spreads. 

Before the Ebola outbreak, the West African nation had not nearly enough doctors for more than four million people, Arsenault reports, and a chronically underfunded health system. As the outbreak grows, Liberia has to deal with insufficient numbers of doctors, nurses and other health professionals, as well as an acute shortage of resources and supplies. 

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      "To give you a sense of what Liberians are up against, there was no fresh water for the new patients at the hospital — someone had to run to the store." Arsenault said from Monrovia. "There's infected medical waste everywhere, and even when the staff tried to treat these patients, they didn't seem to have the equipment to protect their own faces. They're just running out of everything." 

      More help is needed, Arsenault said, not just to deal with Ebola but to support an overburdened health system that is struggling to keep up.