UN demands robust contact tracing to kick Ebola out

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, has urged that the “promising result” that is seen in Liberia in the Ebola fight “must be shown regionally to avoid retransmission” of the virus.

In a Press Stake-out with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Monrovia Friday, 19 December, Mr. Ki-Moon called for more robust contact tracing because the number of cases was still high, except for Liberia which he said has a “bit slow” cases.

The UN chief described as tremendous, the working relationship of the international community with the affected countries, and stressed the need to re-establish basic social services, including health and economic activities.

He pledged the UN’s readiness to help the Liberian government in this regard, and further appealed to the international community to “stay engaged.”

He also pleaded with national stakeholders to work together to preserve Liberia’s hard won peace, while urging all Liberians to do their part in ensuring that the special senatorial election is peaceful and objective.The Secretary General then reminded Liberians to keep observing all public health care guidelines against the Ebola Virus Disease.

Prior to the Press Stake-out with President Sirleaf on Friday, Mr. Ki-Moon held meetings with officials of the Liberian government, national and international partners, and civil society organizations battling against the Ebola outbreak here. He reminded the Government and its people that the UN has stood with the country in its challenging times before and it was committed to standing with Liberia now in the war against Ebola.

“We will be with you until the outbreak is under control and the country has recovered,” he pledged, as he expressed confidence that the terrible outbreak can be defeated. Above all he paid tribute to the “dedication and commitment” of Liberians, saying “our response strategy is working.”

He said more people were getting access to treatment, more contacts were being traced, burials becoming safer and communities were mobilizing to contact themselves. However, he sees a long way to go in achieving the zero cases in Liberia and the entire region which he suggested must be everyone’s support.

Concluding, the UN boss thanked President Sirleaf for her strong leadership, saying that his visit to Liberia was to demonstrate the UN’s strong partnership and solidarity… for the government and people of Liberia for the Ebola outbreak.

He also thanked the thousands of national and international responders here for making life saving contributions on the frontlines, including the United States of America, which he said has sent so many of its civilians and military personnel to join the fight against the Ebola outbreak.

Earlier, President Sirleaf praised Mr. Ki-Moon’s leadership that she said recognized the Ebola epidemic and its effect on Liberia, and how his response against the outbreak has enabled such a success in Liberia today. The Liberian leader recognized the Secretary General’s global leadership exhibited over the years, recalling that Mr. Ki-Moon did come to Liberia on a very short stay in March 2013.

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