UN calls for global response to contain Ebola Virus

IANS| Updated: Aug 13, 2014, 09:13 AM IST
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United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Tuesday called for a coordinated international response to the Ebola outbreak and appointed Britain's David Nabarro as the world body's coordinator in its fight against the deadly disease.

Ban spoke about urgent steps in combating the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which its specialised agency, World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared a public health emergency of international concern, Xinhua reported.

The Secretary-General urged the international community to respond urgently to the shortage of doctors, nurses and equipment to address the severe lack of capacity in the most severely affected countries.

The UN chief stressed that he has designated Nabarro as Senior United Nations System Coordinator for Ebola Virus in close coordination with Margaret Chan of WHO, as "a coordinated international response is essential".

According to Ban, Nabarro would be responsible for ensuring that the United Nations system makes an effective and coordinated contribution to the global effort to control the outbreak of Ebola.

Warning against panic and fear, Ban said, "Ebola can be prevented with resources, knowledge, early action and will, people can survive the disease."

The largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded began in Guinea in December 2013 and spread to Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, where a total of 1,848 cases have been reported, including 1,013 deaths, according to the latest WHO figures.

Born in London, Nabarro was qualified as a physician in 1973.

In September 2005, he joined the office of the UN Secretary General as Senior Coordinator for Avian and Pandemic Influenza.