The United Nations Special Representative and Head of United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has acknowledged progress made by the government of Liberia in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information regular press briefing in Monrovia today, SRSG Cheikh Ahmed said the progress is “the testament to the president, the government and community leadership; and the commitment of the Liberian people to upkeep public practices and modify social and behavioral change”.
The UN envoy who is visiting the country for the second time this year, said “Liberia is very close to getting to zero infection rate”. “What is sure, is that, Liberia is in the right direction, and that is the resilience of the Liberian people and the leadership to standup against the fight”.
He described the level of improvement he witnessed in the fight against the disease back in January as “first impression,” noting that the country has since made tremendous progress in the battle to raid the country of the viral disease.
He also stressed the need to keep in mind that the fight against Ebola is not only about getting to zero infection rate, but maintaining the required commitment from the government in building up sustained system and capacity for improve health service delivery, as well as health workers practicing infection prevention control and protocols.
Mr. Cheikh Ahmed warned that community leaders and the public should be remindful not to allow complacency to stand in the way of the country’s final push to kick out the deadly disease. He stressed the need for the public to maintain public health practices which have helped to lower infection rate of the virus in the country.
The UN envoy also praised the role of the media in the fight against Ebola, noting that “the media is a major actor in the fight against Ebola in social mobilization and community engagement”.
At the same time, the UNMEER boss has acknowledged the strong leadership of the heads of state and government of the Mano River Union (MRU) in the fight against the Ebola disease.
He praised efforts by Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to collaborate in sharing information and strategies to defeat the disease which has devastated the region and its socioeconomic fabrics.
Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are the worst-affected countries by the disease that has killed about 9,000 people and affected more than 20,000 others according to official sources.