Tags: Health | Ebola | WAfrica | UN

New UN Ebola Chief Vows Swift Response to Crisis

Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 01:26 PM

The new head of the UN Ebola response team vowed Tuesday to take swift action on the crisis, saying ambitious targets need to be met to prevent the spread of the virus worldwide.

"We don't know how long it will take. We hope to do it as fast as possible and to close the UNMEER mission (UN Mission on Ebola Emergency Response) as quickly as possible," said Anthony Banbury.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon set up UNMEER earlier this month in response to criticism of the world body's response to the outbreak, which has killed more than 3,000 people in West Africa this year.

An advance team from the newly established body arrived in Ghana's capital, Accra, on Monday, amid growing concern at the spread of the virus, particularly in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The death toll from the world's worst Ebola epidemic has claimed 3,091 lives in five West African countries out of 6,574 infected, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The international mobilisation against the disease includes a planned 3,000-strong US military contingent to Liberia, while Britain is to set up a medical centre in Sierra Leone.

Some 150 US troops arrived in Liberia at the weekend with a 25-bed field hospital delivered by three C-17 cargo aircraft, Pentagon spokesman Colonel Steven Warren said on Monday.

The field hospital will be set up for health workers infected by the Ebola virus, he added.

Banbury said an advance party from UNMEER was also on the ground in Ebola-hit nations, without specifying numbers of locations, adding that the world was now helping to confront the disease.

"If UNMEER was never created, if the world was not responding, the number of cases would go from whatever they are now, we don't know for sure, maybe around 20,000 to 1.4 million," he told reporters.

"Then every country in the world would be at risk."

UNMEER's plan, coordinated from Accra, is based on WHO recommendations to treat 70 percent of infected people and conduct 70 percent of burials safely to turn a corner on the spread.

"In 60 days we're going to do everything possible to achieve it. It's an extremely extremely extremely extremely ambitious target," he told a news conference.

"Within 30 days we need to put in place almost all the material resources necessary.... Those are very very ambitious targets but we have no choice but to pursue them."

 

© AFP 2017

   
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The new head of the UN Ebola response team vowed Tuesday to take swift action on the crisis, saying ambitious targets need to be met to prevent the spread of the virus worldwide. We don't know how long it will take. We hope to do it as fast as possible and to close the...
Health, Ebola, WAfrica, UN
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2014-26-30
Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 01:26 PM
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