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Ebola: Sierra Leone in better position today – UN

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By Asmau Ahmad with Agency Report

The United Nation Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Mr Ismail Cheikh, said Sierra Leone is in a better position today in its fight against Ebola virus.

Cheikh made the remark while briefing newsmen in Freetown, Sierra Leone on Saturday.

“We are now looking at one future response package at the second phase of the disease control and coordination.

“I am left with the optimism that Sierra Leone can make it but it will need a lot of effort from all of us,” he said.

He reminded Sierra Leoneans not to be complacent as the situation was still bad because of the number of cases. He expressed hope that people now had a better understanding of the data.

It will be recalled that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had on Wednesday in a release said the Sierra Leone had nearly 250 new confirmed cases in the past week, saying the spread of the virus there may be slowing.

It added that there were signs that case incidence may have leveled off in Sierra Leone, although with 250 new confirmed cases reported in the week to Jan. 4 2015, it remains by far the worst-affected country at present.

Sierra Leone is one of the three West African countries worst affected by Ebola after Liberia and Guinea. The epidemic has taken 8,235 lives out of 20,747 known cases worldwide over the past year

The new UN mission chief said “ we will only be satisfied when we begin to register zero cases.”

WHO special envoy, David Nabarro, said the UN had been able to mobilise enough funds to fight and eradicate the disease. Nabarro disclosed that originally the UN appealed for more than a billion dollars in September which was revised to 1.4 billion dollars in October.

According to him, about 1.1 billion dollars have been received, a gesture he described as “a good response.” He said they expected the rate of infection to drop considerably in a few weeks to come.

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