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Updated On: Monday, 22 July 2019

Ebola "Most serious health crisis" UN Has Ever Faced, Leader Say

Content by: South-South News

2 September 2014, New York, USA | Shari Nijman - The United Nations gave the press an overview of the situation and response to the accelerating Ebola virus today, naming the outbreak critically serious and deeply worrying.

“This is the largest and the most severe and most complex outbreak of Ebola ever seen in the nearly 40-year history of the disease,” Dr. Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization said.

The Ebola Crisis is the one of the most serious health challenges the UN has ever faced, and it is becoming both a humanitarian and security emergency, that requires mobilization of the entire UN system and its member states 

“This is going to be a test of the national capacities of these countries. Their health systems are very strained and so is their infrastructure,” Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson said. “But its also going to be a test of multilateralism, a test of international solidarity for people in dire need right now.” 

Margaret Chan emphasized that Ebola has become a global threat that required global efforts in solidarity with affected countries. “The national authorities should take the lead,” she further said.

There are currently 3500 cases of Ebola confirmed, most of those concentrated in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, but cases have also been reported in Nigeria, democratic republic of the Congo, and since last week, Senegal. Supporting those countries with enough supplies, protective equipment, food and security is now a top priority, as well as the need to improve understanding of the disease on the ground.

“Those who work with the citizens and governments of the affected countries need to be able to display a great deal of understanding of some of the challenges they face,” David Nabarro, Senior UN System Coordinator for Ebola Virus Disease said.

Since the outbreak of the first cases, the UN has remained its position that Ebola will be stopped, and despite the growing panic around the world, that notion hasn't changed.

“We simply cannot accept to loose this battle, we have to do everything we can now,” Eliasson stressed. “It is a huge task.”

“We may be in a situation where things get worse, for a while,” Eliasson continued, warning the world with cautious optimism. “The crisis, this epidemic, is manageable, if we do the right things.”

Margaret Chan drew a positive message from her organizations history of fighting Ebola. “The UN system will leave no stone unturned, “ she said. But with the support of all governments, supporting the affected countries, I think we can do it. And we will do it. And in the past we did it.”


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