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Wednesday, 15 October 2014 14:23

Ebola -The UN Report

14 October 2014 – The Ebola outbreak is “winning the race” against attempts to contain it, the head of the United Nations mission working to stop the deadly virus warned the Security Council today as he urged the international community to help expand on-the-ground efforts across the affected nations in West Africa.

In his briefing, Anthony Banbury, head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), told the 15-nation Council that he is “deeply worried” that the steps implemented by the international community are “not nearly enough” to halt the advance of the fatal disease.

“Ebola got a head start on us,” he said. “It is far ahead of us, it is running faster than us, and it is winning the race. If Ebola wins, we the peoples of the United Nations lose so very much…,” he said.

“We either stop Ebola now or we face an entirely unprecedented situation for which we do not have a plan,” Mr. Banbury told the Council via video link from the operation’s headquarters in Ghana.

In its most recent situation report on the disease, the UN World Health Organization (WHO), which is leading the wider UN response, reported 8,376 cases and 4,024 deaths from Ebola based on information provided by the Ministries of Health of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, whose UN delegations were represented at today’s Security Council briefing.

The agency notes that the upward epidemic trend continues in Sierra Leone and most probably also in Liberia. By contrast, the situation in Guinea appears to be more stable, though, in the context of an Ebola outbreak, a stable pattern of transmission is still of a very grave concern, and could change quickly.

“With every day that passes, the number of sick people increases,” continued Mr. Banbury. “Time is our biggest enemy. We must use every minute of every day to our advantage and that is what UNMEER is doing.

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