UN: UN envoy appeals to Liberians to remain vigilant, sustain Ebola response

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro, has commended Liberians for the progress made so far in combating the Ebola virus, but cautioned that, the most dangerous time is actually when it looks as though you are near a point where the disease is coming under control because people relax and stop being vigilant.

Dr. Nabarro, in an interview with UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) radio, in Monrovia, on Wednesday, also congratulated the government of Liberia for the progress made so far as reflected by "clear evidence" that new cases of Ebola were reducing.

He, however, said: "You have to stay alert, vigilant and sustain the response until every last person with Ebola infection is able to be treated and then the virus goes away. That continued alert and vigilance is absolutely essential, otherwise things will get worse again like they were in August and September."

He also urged Liberians to work at county level to continue to find people who were suspected to having Ebola and make sure they were properly assessed and diagnosed, and then treated.

"In all disease control efforts, we see that the most dangerous time is actually when it looks as though you are near a point where the disease is coming under control because people relax and stop being vigilant, and so we need to have the money, commitment and the people until every last case is under treatment," the envoy stated.

Dr. Nabarro further encouraged Liberians to work with other countries in the region so they too can move into direction you have.

During his visit to Liberia, the envoy met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, as well as staff at the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) office in Monrovia and key Ebola response partners in the country.

Meanwhile, World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim, who is also in the region, travelled on Wednesday from Guinea to Sierra Leone, where he pledged his organization would stay until it got to zero Ebola cases, boosting economic development and opening doors for businesses in the West African country.

Mr. Kim told reporters in Conakry, however, that, "the Bank did not need to wait until we get to zero cases to start working on the economic recovery, so our second area of support is agriculture".

"We are concerned that agricultural production has dropped significantly as a result of this Ebola epidemic. We will help farmers recover from this crisis by boosting agriculture productivity, enhancing the skills of workers, as well as by promoting regional trade integration. We must make sure that the Ebola epidemic is not followed by a food security crisis," he noted.

The UN World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday in its latest update said the outbreak, had recorded 17,145 reported cases with 6,070 reported deaths.

WHO also reported that new cases were slightly increasing in Guinea, stable or declining in Liberia, and "may still be increasing in Sierra Leone".

"Response activities in the three intense-transmission countries continue to intensify in line with the UNMEER aim to isolate and treat 70 per cent of cases, and safely bury 70 per cent Ebola-related deaths by 1 December, with the ultimate goal of reaching 100 per cent by 1 January," it said.
-0- PANA AA/MA 4Dec2014

04 december 2014 06:50:44

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