When the Ebola Virus Disease reached its peak in Liberia last year in September, the average report of cases per day reached 80 cases and sometimes exceeded that number, however now reports of daily cases are down to less than 5 cases a day. While the deadly Ebola virus has decreased since it first appeared in the country March of 2014, the United Nations system efforts to combat the disease should still remain vigorous.
Speaking yesterday in Liberia during his first stop of a tour through the three most affected countries where the virus has killed over 8,000 people, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Ismil Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that the figures are still too high for the number of cases. The UNMEER Boss said, “One case is too high.”
The UNMEER Boss said further that the mission of UNMEER is mostly driven by the governments of the three countries that EVD is centered on, adding that they are here to support the governments. UNMEER Boss Ahmed stated that coordination is the only way to beat the virus; coordination between all stakeholders, governmental, community, Non-governmental and international response are the only ways to reach the countries to zero new cases a day.
UNMEER Boss Ahmed acknowledged that more support needs to be put on survivors of EVD and that the UN System would work with relevant stakeholders to shift more attention to survivors by ensuring that they are reintegrated into the society. The Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), disclosed further that Liberia has made a level of progress mainly because of the commitment made by the Government of Liberia.
Also speaking during a press conference after the UNMEER’s Boss and delegation’s arrival into the Liberian capital from various parts of the country, the Assistant Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Bruce Aylward said that Liberians should not take the lowering number of cases to be nonchalant, but that they should continue a ferocious effect to ensure that cases go down to zero.
The WHO Assistant Director asserted that people who maintain an indifferent attitude are likely to enable the virus to take advantage of the situation and spread. Mr. Aylward stated that even when a vaccine is developed there’s no telling how things would change. He said because of the time it would take to make enough doses any vaccine he knows that the country would go to zero before that time. He however said that if and when a vaccine is developed it would make the response safer, especially for health workers.
Also speaking during the conference, the Special Envoy of the Secretary General on Ebola, David Nabarro called on the three countries to remain vigilant as the outbreak of the virus has not finished. The United Nations delegation headed by UNMEER Boss Ahmed and his delegates will hereafter also visit the other Ebola-ravaged countries of Guinea and Sierra Leone.