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Libyan Newswire

The fight against Ebola is far from over, UN chief warns

9 Nov 2014

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A team trained to bury the bodies of Ebola victims at work in Liberia

Now is no time for the international community to let its guard down in the fight against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, according to the United Nations Secretary-General.

In an article published in the Washington Post, in the United States on Sunday, Ban Ki-moon points out that the rate of new Ebola cases is showing encouraging signs of slowing in some of the hardest-hit parts of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Mr. Ban says “the full scale international strategy to attack Ebola through safe burials, treatment facilities and community mobilization is paying dividends.”

However, the Secretary-General cautions against what he says is declaring “mission accomplished” too soon.

Mr. Ban points out that the outbreak remains active with people dying every day and new infections continuing and “no one can say with certainty what the coming weeks might bring.”

He stresses that the most effective way to neutralize the threat of Ebola is to end the outbreak at its source.

The Secretary-General says the short term goal is clear, to rapidly isolate and treat 70 per cent of new cases and ensure that at least 70 per cent of burials are safe.

The long term goal, Mr. Ban adds, is equally clear: zero cases in all countries and getting there will require sustained hard work, resources and a commitment to address the underlying causes of the epidemic, most notably by strengthening health systems.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.

Duration: 1’47″