Ebola outbreak raises "hard lessons" about health systems

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A woman uses a UNICEF poster to share information on the best ways to prevent Ebola. © UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo

The outbreak of the deadly Ebola disease has raised what have been described as "hard lessons" about the adequacy of health systems in West Africa.

More than 6000 people have died after catching the virus, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Speaking to the Economic and Social Commission at the United Nations on Friday, the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon said development efforts should focus on providing communities with access to healthcare.

"Ebola has brought hard lessons – including the importance of functioning health systems and universal quality health coverage. These must be critical elements of the post-2015 development agenda. Development can only be lasting when societies provide fundamental public services such as healthcare."  (24″)

The UN has said the global response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been effective.

But it warned that to reach the target of zero new infections a more "nimble and flexible" approach will be needed.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration:  1’14″

 

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