UN: 'Ebola cases no longer rising in Guinea, Liberia'

New York, US (PANA) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said the number of Ebola cases is no longer increasing nationally in Guinea and Liberia, but is still on the rise in Sierra Leone.

It also said the death toll from the Ebola outbreak has increased to 5,420 from 15,145 cases mostly in the three West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

"In the three countries with widespread and intense transmission, reported case incidence is no longer increasing nationally in Guinea and Liberia, but is still increasing in Sierra Leone,'' WHO said in its most recent update obtained by PANA here Wednesday.

"The outbreaks in Guinea and Liberia now appear to be driven by intense transmission in several key districts, whereas transmission is intense throughout the north and west of Sierra Leone, where the worst affected area remains the capital, Freetown," WHO said.

The report highlights the considerable risk of cases being imported into unaffected countries.

"With adequate levels of preparation, however, such introductions of the disease can be contained before they develop into large outbreaks," it said.

It disclosed that the UN and its partners are accelerating the deployment of preparedness
strengthening teams to help countries build upon their existing work and planning, and
this week, teams have been deployed to Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia and Senegal.

The global health body said preparedness teams have been sent this week to Benin, Burkina Faso, Gambia and Senegal.

WHO identified the 15 countries that have been prioritised for technical assistance on preparedness from specialist WHO teams and partners as: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, and Togo.

Meanwhile, in Mali on Wednesday, the head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency
Response (UNMEER), Mr. Anthony Banbury, explored ways to support the government not
only in its efforts to end the current crisis, but to put in place the necessary capacity to
react quickly should there be any new cases in the future.

To date, there have been 6 reported cases of Ebola with 5 deaths in Mali.

Mr. Banbury met President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and Minister of Health and Public
Hygiene Ousmane Kone, and praised their leadership in managing the crisis, including
through the appointment of a national coordinator, Prof. Samba Sow.

"A strong national leadership is an absolutely essential component of an effective response to the Ebola crisis. The President is playing that role and the United Nations is committed to supporting him and his government in bringing this crisis to a close," Mr. Banbury said
-0- PANA AA/SEG 20Nov2014

20 november 2014 08:03:54

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