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 UN hails Ellen’s leadership in Ebola fight

The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has expressed gratitude and appreciation to the leadership of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in the global response to the Ebola virus disease in the sub-region.

“I congratulate Liberia on being declared Ebola-free. This is with great credit to your personal leadership in uniting the country, and to the determination and resilience of the Liberian people in staying the course to reach this important milestone,” Mr. Ban said.

An Executive Mansion release says the commendation was contained in a personal letter to the Liberian Chief Executive. Mr. Ban said the success of Liberia in getting to zero, as well as in transitioning the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response functions flawlessly to the United Nations country team, serves as a model to be emulated in other countries.

He also commended President Sirleaf’s efforts of continued vigilance to prevent any risk of reoccurrence. He said the strong stance by the leadership of the three countries worse affected by the disease represent a clear commitment to standing together as one in the fight against the terrible scourge until the sub-region has been declared Ebola-free.

“This spirit of regional solidarity has defined this response from the onset,” Mr. Ban said. Moving forward, he urged that all must think carefully about what lessons to draw from this crisis to strengthen public health infrastructure and crisis response mechanisms to withstand future outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The UN boss warned that while the Ebola outbreak was not over, the sub-region must continue to persevere until it gets to and stay to zero cases. The UN Secretary-General hoped that the Liberian leader will join him and others at the upcoming International Ebola Recovery Conference scheduled to convene in New York on July 10, 2015.

“The post-Ebola period will be critical for Liberia,” he noted and encouraged President Sirleaf’s efforts to lead a collective process of national healing and recovery now that the emergency phase is over.

Liberia however reported one new case Tuesday in Margibi County, outside Montserrado County, involving a 17-year-old boy, who reportedly died on June 24th, and has been safely buried, according to deputy health minister, Tolbert Nyenswah.

The authorities here say fill investigation has been launched to establish the source of the single infection. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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