UN system-wide support operation needed to fight Ebola

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Dr. David Nabarro of the United Kingdom, the UN System Coordinator for Ebola (UN Photo)

A comprehensive support operation involving all the different assets, tools and capacities in the UN system is necessary to fight the Ebola epidemic.

That's what the UN System Coordinator for Ebola, Dr David Nabarro, told the press in New York on Tuesday.

The Ebola disease is affecting societies, economies and has humanitarian as well as security consequences, he underscored.

Over 2,000 people are affected with the virus and over 1,000 have died in the four impacted countries, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Another key role of the UN is to make sure the disease does not spread to other parts of the world, Dr Nabarro added.

"There are a number of potential treatments and also vaccines of Ebola virus vaccines that are being looked at. And so I am very pleased indeed that WHO is looking at ways in which access can be fast-tracked, that of course has got to be done in a way that does not short cut the proper procedures that does not cut the proper procedures for developing new therapies and vaccines but clearly this is super important and I am committed to what WHO is doing."

People who have recovered from the disease should be welcomed and not shunned by their communities, Dr Nabarro insisted.

The Ebola virus is only transmitted through contact with bodily fluids from an infected person, he recalled.

Meanwhile, WHO and the World Food Programme (WFP) are regularly distributing food and other non-medical supplies to people in the quarantine zones.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’43”

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