West Africa prepares to mark end of Ebola transmission

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Ebola burial teams in Sierra Leone are still performing hundreds of precautionary burials each week, even though there haven't been any cases in a few weeks. Photo: Aurelie Marrier d'Unienville/IRIN

Countries in West Africa are marking a major milestone – the end of the spread of the Ebola virus.

As of Thursday, all known chains of transmission of Ebola will have been stopped, according to the UN.

More than 11,000 people died from the virus in West Africa in 2014 and 2015.

Veronica Reeves has more.

The government of Sierra Leone declared the end of the Ebola transmission in its country on 7 November. Guinea made a similar declaration on 29 December.

Now, with Liberia following suit on Thursday, the spread of Ebola has effectively come to an end in West Africa.

Nevertheless, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that continued support is needed in the region, particularly for those that fell sick with Ebola, but survived.

"More than 10,000 people in the West African region survived Ebola infection. They will need comprehensive support for their health and well-being. We must ensure care for survivors, for widows, orphans and other vulnerable populations."

The Secretary-General noted that Liberia's announcement comes following a recent flare-up in that country.

He warned that other flare-ups are possible and that governments will need resources to help prevent and detect potential cases.

Veronica Reeves, United Nations.

Duration: 56″

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