The United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) Special Representative to the Secretary General (SRSG), Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has called on the Liberian government, as well as other Ebola-affected countries, for regional collaboration to battle the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
The UNMEER SRSG made the call yesterday January 7, 2015 at the James Spriggs Payne Airport in Monrovia while addressing the press following his visit from Grand Cape Mount County.
According to him, Liberia has made great progress in the fight against the deadly virus, but said that a lot needs to be done. He called on health authorities of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three hardest hit Ebola-affected countries in West Africa, to carry on regional collaboration by handling Ebola matters in a unique way that could eradicate the killer virus.
He asserted that his vision is that the governments of the three countries take the eradication of the virus seriously, making it a government-led effort while coordinating with international partners, which could be another means to ensure success in eradicating the killer disease.
The SRSG extended thanks to Liberians from all walks of life, lauding them for their effort and determination in the fight against the virus and urging everyone not to be complacent but to continue the preventive measures as put in place by health authorities.
Also extending personal thanks to the government and citizens of Liberia, was the UNMEER Special Envoy of the SRSG on Ebola, David Nabarro, who highlighted the progress that has so far been made against the disease.
He disclosed that the lives of Ebola survivors have been bad; adding that there is a need to provide more support for survivors in the country.
“It’s time to look for where there is a case to fight against the virus by involving into super engagement because it is very significant and will help to eradicate the virus from Liberia,” he cautioned.
Adding his voice to the press conference, World Health Organization (WHO) Assistant Director General, Bruce Aylward, frowned on the complacency of Liberians in the fight against the EVD, especially following the reduction of cases.
“There is still Ebola in Liberia and people are not acting the way they should, in order to eradicate the virus from the country, they are forgetting to know that the huge progress made cannot get the virus to zero.”
He thanked the government in the fight against the virus, but said that the people of Liberia are no longer going by the preventive measures in the fight against the killer disease, adding that it is the best time to fight because the virus is very dangerous and it takes a single person to destroy the entire the country.
WHO Aylward called on the media to join the fight against the virus, noting that “If the media fails in the fight, the government also fails in eradicating the virus. And so serious action needs to be taken in this fight.”
For his part the Incident Management Director, Tolbert Nyenswah, disclosed that there is no funding for Ebola survivors but that the government is seeking for support from partners in order to maintain Ebola survivors.
He said the government is making efforts to keep the survivors safe and has organized the Survivors Network in order to keep in contact with them and provide more support to through international partners.
“There is no funding for Ebola survivors yet but UNICEF is providing more support for the Ebola affected children in the country,” he added.
Following Tolbert Nyenswah disclosure, UNMEER SRSG said his organization will design a program that will focus on the support and sustenance Ebola survivors.