Monday, 18 January 2021

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An urgent global problem that demands an urgent global response

Fight Against Ebola Guinea - European Commission DG ECHO (Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0)

17 October 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to turn pledges into action and step up its efforts to respond to the Ebola crisis. Meanwhile, WHO and UNFPA warn of a continuously deteriorating situation in the three most affected countries.

Mr. Ban appealed to the international community to provide the $1 billion that will enable the UN and partners to meet the target of reducing the rate of transmission by 1 December.

His call to action echoes the warning issued by Anthony Banbury, head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). Banbury stated the world must move quickly to ensure that at least 70 per cent of all people infected a are getting treatment by 1 December 2014, and that by that date, 70 per cent of all burials occur without contamination.

Additionally, Mr. Ban said he has formed a Global Ebola Response Coalition. “Ebola can be beaten if we work together effectively. We all have a responsibility to act,” he said.

The latest figures from the UN World Health Organization (WHO) indicate a total of 8,997 cases in seven countries and 4,493 deaths. Ebola has taken its toll on healthcare workers as well, with 427 infected and 236 dead.

Meanwhile, WHO warns of a continuously deteriorating situation in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where cases are doubling every four weeks.

Pregnant women face a double threat

The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) also warned that Ebola is wiping out gains in safe motherhood made in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Many pregnant women are afraid to visit or turned away from overstretched health facilities.

“The reality is that pregnant women are facing a double threat – dying from Ebola and from pregnancy or childbirth, due to the devastating impact of Ebola on health workers and health systems”, said UNFPA Executive Director, Babatunde Osotimehin.

He too called for urgent funding, adding that UNFPA needs $64.5 million in the next three months to meet the health needs of these women and mothers.

Of the estimated 800,000 women that should give birth in the next 12 months, more than 120,000 could die of complications of pregnancy and childbirth.

Source: UN News Centre.


Read also UNRIC's…

(W)Rapping up Ebola in Senegal

Combating the most severe outbreak of Ebola in history

…or learn more about the topic in our Library Background Reader on Ebola

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