United Nations: The Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury visited Guinea and Sierra Leone (2-3 November 2014), witnessing the challenging dynamics of the Ebola outbreak unfolding in West Africa.

In Guinea, on Sunday (2 November 2014), Banbury, together with Dr. Bruce Aylward from the World Health Organization (WHO) inspected a World Food Programme (WFP) run logistics base and a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) run Ebola treatment unit in Gueckedou among other locations.

In Kenema, Sierra Leone (3 November 2014), he visited a safe burial site and spoke with Ebola survivors.

Banbury said he was ”really pleased to see there in Kenema once again all the elements of a successful strategy to defeat Ebola in place and having an effect – the safe burials, the case management and treatment facilities, the community mobilization – what we have seen in Kenema is a big drop in the case loads.”

He said meeting the survivors “was one of the happiest moments that I’ve had since I started this job more than a month ago ”

Banbury said “men, women, kids, older people, most of the people were in their 30s and 40s it looked like, and it’s just so inspiring to see that number of survivors, knowing that people can survive getting this disease, especially if they get early treatment.”

He said it was “an aspiration now that we have to get more people surviving from this disease by being treated in good facilities early on in the disease.”

The Head of UNMEER said “one of the big problems: we don’t have partners to run the care centres. We need NGOs and others to come in and run these facilities. We’re putting in place the logistics capabilities, we’re building the care centres, and we’re getting the equipment, everything we need to go in them. The patients are there in far too great numbers. What we don’t have are the partners to run the facilities and we need them now.”

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the deadliest in history. Nearly 5,000 people have died since March.

Global Ebola Response Website:
http://www.un.org/ebolaresponse/#&panel1-1

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