UN will scale up its intervention to stop Ebola, David Nabarro

The UN System Senior Coordinator for Ebola, Dr David Nabarro said that the whole UN system in Sierra Leone will scale up its operation to help the Government of Sierra Leone stop the spread of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). At the end of a UN high-delegation visit to Sierra Leone from 23-25 August 2014, Dr. Nabarro told the press that the EVD outbreak is still advancing in many parts of the country and the Government and its partners including the UN are working hard to stop the outbreak. The Senior Coordinator assured Sierra Leone that the UN will upgrade its Ebola response to meet the required need. “Our partnership with Sierra Leone to end the Ebola outbreak means upgrading all the UN is doing to get the scale-up required.” Dr Nabarro underlined that responding to this outbreak demands a global partnership in which nations including Sierra Leone take full responsibility, and all working together, being efficient and organized on all levels, and focusing on what is being achieved. In the coming days, the delegation will continue working with the UN team and the government in Sierra Leone to develop the details of the upgraded response approach.
On the other hand, Dr. Nabarro said that even if the flight ban put on EVD affected countries is understandable, this has only complicated the fight against the outbreak. The UN Resident Coordinator for Sierra Leone, David McLachlan-Karr shared this view. “The reduction in airlines flying into Freetown places a huge impact on our ability to bring in staff and supplies for this Ebola response,” said David McLachlan-Karr. He added, “We can suspend other programmes for several months to focus solely on Ebola; but we also need to bring in the surge. This is only possible if the flights return.”
According to Dr Keiji Fukuda, Assistant Director-General for global health security at the World Health Organization, the situation remains challenging but there is a need to stop Ebola. “We will do all we can to get ahead of the outbreak, then we can stop it and help the country get back to normal.”
The UN delegation discussed on the outbreak of Ebola and the response with H.E. President Ernest Bai Koroma, the Minister of Health and Sanitation, and other senior Government officials, staff of the Ebola Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), and representatives of development partners and NGOs involved in the fight against Ebola.
The delegation visited the EOC, an EVD transit isolation facility at Connaught Hospital, a newly established EVD isolation treatment centre and a mobile laboratory facility at Lakka. The high delegation led by the UN System Senior Coordinator for Ebola includes Dr Keiji Fukuda, WHO Assistant Director General and other senior officials from WHO, WFP, OCHA and UNICEF.
Although Sierra Leone is the last of the Mano River Union countries to be affected by EVD, it has now the most cases, as of 24 August, with 904 confirmed cases of Ebola and 369 deaths. IMG_0595