UN: New UN special envoy on Ebola response makes first visit to Sierra Leone

New York, US (PANA) - The new Special Representative for UN Ebola Response, Mr. Peter Graff,
has visited Freetown, Sierra Leone, where he was informed of a continued transmission epicentre on the border between Guinea and Sierra Leone.

A UN statement late Wednesday said Mr. Graff was accompanied on the visit by the outgoing
Special Representative Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and the UN Special Envoy on Ebola David
Nabarro, during which they were briefed by the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) on efforts to achieve zero transmission.

The statement said the UN officials were informed that Kambia District was still a transmission
epicentre due in part to its neighbouring Forecariah in Guinea, which continues to record a high
number of Ebola cases.

It also said the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) reported that efforts were
underway to strengthen collaboration with Guinea in different areas, including sharing information as well as making using of the laboratory in Kambia for Ebola testing of suspected cases in Guinean border towns.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that surveillance and community
engagement still require improvement in some areas of Guinea and Sierra Leone, where new
cases continued to surface

WHO, in its weekly update on Wednesday, said 33 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease (EVD) were reported in West Africa in the week that ended on 26 April, noting that two areas - Forecariah in Guinea and Kambia in Sierra Leone - accounted for 25 or 76 per cent of all confirmed cases reported.

"In both Guinea and Sierra Leone, the fact that cases continue to be identified after post-mortem testing, together with the fact that around half of all cases arise in people not identified as contacts of previous cases, suggest that surveillance and community engagement still require improvement in some areas," it said.

WHO also said Liberia reported no confirmed cases for the fifth consecutive week.

To date, more than 26,000 people have been affected by Ebola in West Africa, including
more than 10,000 deaths.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 30April2015

30 april 2015 10:16:49

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