Sierra Leone: Head of UN Ebola body hails journos

Freetown, Sierra Leone (PANA) - The new head of the UN Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) in Sierra Leone, Mr. Peter Graaff,  has commended the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) for its grassroots approach towards ending the Ebola epidemic in the country.

Graaff told journalists in the capital city of Freetown Thursday that SLAJ's efforts to tackle the disease were timely and effective

"As you spread awareness about Ebola prevention measures, I appeal to you to advocate for survivors who are being stigmatized instead of being given the respect and compassion for what they have gone through," said Graaff.

The UNMEER boss said although the region still faces many challenges in overcoming the epidemic, indications are that the right path towards eradication has been chosen

Already, he said, Liberia has been declared Ebola-free while the disease was slowing significantly in Sierra Leone and Guinea. The three countries were the epidemic of a disease that has claimed over 11,000 lives.

Mr. Graaff said the countdown to zero only begins when the last patient is discharged and no new infections occur, and called on both Guinea and Sierra Leone to reach and stay zero before the rainy season

"We stand as much chance of succeeding as failing if every single case is not traced and surveillance capacities maintained in all three countries particularly in border areas between Sierra Leone and Guinea," he said.

PANA reports that SLAJ's Yellow Ribbon campaign is aimed at constantly reminding people about Ebola and how to eradicate it
-0- PANA SBA/SEG 14May2015

14 may 2015 15:18:34




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