UN chief says Ebola could be contained by mid-2015

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WASHINGTON: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that there is hope that the Ebola outbreak could be contained by mid-2015 by continuing to scale up the global fight against the disease.

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At a press conference at World Bank headquarters after an UN System Chief meeting for Coordination to counter Ebola, the secretary-general emphasized that results are still uneven, and announced that the organization’s top health officials will head to Mali where the situation is still a cause of “deep concern.”

Saying that “the rate of transmission continues to increase in too many places,” Ban made an urgent appeal for ramped up resources.

“We need more international responders, trained medical teams and volunteer health workers, especially in remote districts,” he said.

As of Nov. 20, there have been six reported cases in Mali, all of whom have died. A total of 327 contacts are being followed up, according to the UN World Health Organization (WHO) Friday.

But Ban noted “some welcome progress,” saying “We are seeing the curve bending in enough places to give us hope.”

“If we continue to accelerate our response, we can contain and end the outbreak by the middle of next year.”

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said on Friday that getting to zero cases of Ebola will be extraordinarily difficult as it is not a disease where you can leave a few cases and say you’ve done enough.

PNA

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