UN: Ban commends African nations for Ebola repsonse

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday commended some African nations, namely Ethiopia, Burundi and Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), for deploying medical personnel to assist Ebola victims that have claimed nearly 5,000 lives in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

"I am particularly encouraged by the decision of Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to deploy medical personnel, and of Senegal to serve as a logistics hub for the response, following success in containing their own outbreaks," Ban said in a statement issued in New York.

The UN chief said he was in constant contact with world leaders to "help us create dedicated medical facilities for in-country treatment of responders and to put in place medical evacuation

"We have a long way ahead to contain and curb the Ebola outbreak and to help the affected countries rebuild their health systems to better withstand future shocks," he said.

He noted that the UN continued to work with its partners to ramp up efforts to tackle all aspects of the outbreak, stating: "Ebola is a major global crisis that demands a massive and immediate global response. No country or organization can defeat Ebola alone. We all have a role to play."

Meanwhile, UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) on Tuesday said that its Chinese peacekeeping
contingent would assist in the construction of an Ebola Quarantine and Control Centre in the
Liberian capital, Monrovia.

UNMIL said that the project was expected to take 21 days to complete.

In another development, World Health Organisation (WHO) spokesperson, Mr. Tarik Jasarevic, said the the agency had 176 health personnel on the ground in Liberia, while 700 had been deployed and rotated since the beginning of the outbreak.

At any given time, he said, there were about 200 people on the ground. In addition, medical teams from other organizations including medical teams from Cuba, China, and other countries were also present.

Mr. Jasarevic stated that 230 more burial teams were needed, to ensure 70 per cent of safe burials and eight to 10 people were needed for one burial team.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) on its part, said that the spread of Ebola was disrupting food trade and markets in the three affected countries.

WFP spokesperson, Ms. Elisabeth Byrs, said that in Sierra Leone, local weekly markets were banned, while in Monrovia, the price of cassava flour had more than doubled after the closure of the border with Sierra Leone, while the prices for imported rice had continued to increase.

Ms. Byrs added: "Should the Ebola epidemic last another four to five months when farmers would begin to prepare their lands, there would be a real concern that planting for the 2015 harvest could be affected."

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the number of confirmed, probable and suspected cases of the disease is now 10,141 with 4,922 fatalities. Most of the cases are in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Senegal and Nigeria were recently declared by WHO as Ebola-free.
-0- PANA AA/MA 28Oct2014

28 october 2014 21:50:18

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