UN chief seeks more support for Ebola-hit nations

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Thursday said current efforts from the international community to curb the deadly virus Ebola are well short of the disease's rapid spread.

United Nations: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Thursday said current efforts from the international community to curb the deadly virus Ebola are well short of the disease's rapid spread.

"We come together today in solidarity with the people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone as they face the largest and most deadly Ebola outbreak the world has ever seen," Xinhua quoted the UN chief as saying at a High-Level Event on Ebola during the ongoing 69th session of the UN General Assembly.

Ebola is raging, killing more than 200 people a day, two thirds of them being women, he said, adding that despite the valiant efforts of local communities, health systems are buckling under the strain.

The UN secretary-general said some self-preservation measures taken by many countries trying to shut out the virus by closing their borders or grounding flights serving the three countries only make the situation worse, isolating countries when they need help most.

The presidents of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have asked for UN's help.

"We salute the efforts of our partners," said Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma at a video teleconference Thursday, while emphasizing that containing this outbreak requires greater international support.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf also made remarks on the issue via a video conference.

Dozens of countries and organisations are making life-saving contributions, but these are falling significantly short of the 20- fold surge that is required, the UN chief added.

According to the UN chief, the crisis has highlighted the need to strengthen early identification systems and early action. "We should consider whether the world needs a standby corps of medical professionals, backed by the expertise of WHO (World Health Organisation) and the logistical capacity of the United Nations."

"Now is the time for a robust and united effort to stop the outbreak," he said.

 

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