The New Dawn (Monrovia)

24 July 2014

Liberia: UNMIL, UN Commit to Ebola Fight

The Special Representative of the Secretary General to Liberia, Madam Karin Landgren, has told a conference in Monrovia that the United Nations Mission in Liberia and the United Nations country team are fully committed to supporting critical government activities in fighting the deadly Ebola virus.

SRSG Landgren said the Ebola outbreak in the country demands attention at the highest possible level, which she terms as extremely important. According to her, the outbreak is the largest ever in the region since Ebola was identified 40 years ago. She spoke at a press conference organized by the World Health Organization Tuesday in Monrovia.

"And as we heard from Dr. Gwenigale, it's also Liberia's first experience of Ebola. Just as important as the high-level attention is community engagement. Several speakers have referred to that. The situation demands that all Liberians and all of us who work here are all committed to preventing further spread of this disease. The Government continues to play the lead in the response and prevention, but I want to assure everyone that UNMIL and the UN Country Team are fully committed to supporting all these critical Government activities," SRSG Landgren promised.

She said Liberians have heard a great deal about the importance of community engagement and that UNMIL is also committed to using extensive outreach and presence in the counties to support engagement at those levels.

She added that UNMIL and several UN agencies are actively involved in providing support across all the thematic areas in which there is activity and that UNMIL also stands ready to use its logistical capacities to continue providing support.

"I will of course continue to inform the Security Council and other member states of the situation in Liberia, which has as yet fortunately not been hit as hard as its neighbors. Our goal is that Ebola is rolled back, not only in Liberia but across the region. As we've heard it's a highly deadly disease, but it is also a preventable one", the UNMIL boss pointed out.

UNMIL's public information is supporting the Government through radio and community outreach. We have a dedicated daily radio program on Ebola information with Ebola News and interviews throughout the day; UNMIL is rolling out a community outreach plan with the health ministry and other actors," SRSG explain.

SRSG continue that nothing is more urgent than community outreach and all Liberians and partners need to support this activity at community level to persuade any Ebola deniers that are still there and train, and concluded in a simple but effective good practice, more prevention.

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