UN sends out "rescue call" for response to Ebola outbreak

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre right) addresses the press. Pictured with Mr. Ban (from left): Jan Eliasson; Margaret Chan; and David Nabarro .UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The United Nations has sent what has been called "an international rescue" call to respond to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The UN Secretary-General on Friday conferred with senior UN officials and experts to discuss the next steps in managing the disease which has killed more than 1, 500 people.

According to the UN there are now more than 3, 500 confirmed cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Ban Ki-moon urged the international community to support the World Health Organization's Roadmap and to provide $600 million for supplies in West Africa.

"We are mobilizing in every possible way. We are together today to send out an international rescue call. The number of cases is rising exponentially. The disease is spreading far faster than the response. People are increasingly frustrated that it is not being controlled. What began as a public health emergency is evolving into a social and economic challenge for millions." (29")

The Secretary-General said the international community needs better awareness and understanding about what it is facing.

He urged airlines and shipping companies not to cancel flights and docking to the affected countries.

Mr. Ban warned that banning flights and shipping services will not keep Ebola from spreading but it will keep medical teams from reaching people most in need.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’29″

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