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Updated On: Monday, 22 July 2019

Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia open up about Ebola

Content by: South-South News

28 August, 2014, New York, USA | Shari Nijman - The virus that is holding the world in its fearful grip brought prominent physicians, policymakers, and faith leaders to the United Nations...for an update on Ebola from the countries battling the epidemic. “As long as there is one case of Ebola in our sub-region, Guinea is not free from this dangerous virus, Mamadi Toure, Ambassador of Guinea to the UN said.

Permanent Observer of the African Union, Tete Antonio explained that the epidemic hit Western Africa right on the cusp of a possible economic lunge forward, crippling a budding flower of prosperity. “This epidemic strikes when africa has registered good economic progress,” he said. “And it is said to take off, to attain even higher heights.”

The epidemic in West Africa has been the largest outbreak of Ebola to date, with the death toll breaking 1500 this week. And the virus is still accelerating, making more victims every day.

It's an epidemic that's worse and deadlier than all previous outbreaks combined,” Doctor Mohammed Nurhussein, physician and Chairman of the United African Congress stressed, calling the global response to Ebola “ woefully inadequate”

We feel the need for an urgent forum to create awareness of the gravity and urgency of the situation to mobilize, local, regional and global recourses, to stop the further spread of this deadly disease,” Nurhussein added.

The largest groups of people dying from Ebola - as is common with infectious diseases in developing countries - have been health workers, mainly due to a lack of necessary protective gear.

Vandi Minah, Sierra Leone Ambassador to the UN urged all those in the fight against Ebola to remain united, illustrating the indiscriminate nature of the epidemic. “Ebola has no limitations, It does not respect creed, religion, national boundaries, political allegiances, or religious affiliations. It strikes the young, the old , the innocent and the guilty, all together,” Minah said.

Despite the bleak outlook on its future death toll, prominent health professionals have been adamant to remind the world that this epidemic can be beaten....but only with the right strategies and tools.

Beyond the numbers of our compatriots who have died, a growing number has survived through treatment,” Marjon Kamara, Liberia Ambassador to the UN relayed. “It is these survivors who give us the strongest encouragement to persevere and the greatest hope that this virus will ultimately be brought under control.”

If Ebola is not stopped, the number of infected people could go up to 20,000 before the epidemic slows down. Going forward, it will be all hands on deck for Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea Bissau, who together with an army of physicians, nurses, funeral workers religious leaders and volunteers will continue to fight against this deadly virus until the last patient has recovered.

What we face is not an existential crisis, it is an epidemic, a virus that can be beaten,” Minah, Sierra Leone's Ambassador reminded the room. “In Sierra Leone we went through almost eleven years of civil strive. This epidemic will also come to pass.”

 

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