Ebola re-emerged in Liberia last week, almost two months after it was declared free of the virus, while neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone are still struggling to eliminate it.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today focused world attention on the “final stretch” of the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, an epidemic that has killed more than 11,000 people, saying: “let us collectively take a deep breath and resolve to finish the job” and put the most affected countries on the path of recovery.
Blood tests are being done on all of those contacts to see if “there are people who had the virus in their bodies without knowing it”, said Dr. Margaret Harris, a spokeswoman for WHO.
Liberia said on June 30 that a 17-year-old died after contracting Ebola and transmitting the virus to two other people in the coastal region of Margibi.
The World Health Organization said the findings shed some light on Liberia’s new flare-up.
How the first patient became infected, however, remains a mystery.
“The numbers of transmission chains have reduced in the last few weeks”.
“This campaign is intended to engage the worldwide community as well as the Sierra Leone Government in ways that will ensure that the recovery efforts meet the imperatives to build back effective, inclusive and resilient institutions and decentralized services”, he said in a statement via face book chat.
Until a second test is conducted to prove the three suspected cases negative, Liberia will only have four confirmed cases in the country rather than seven cases in the Ebola Treatment Unit (ETU), he stated.
“So it’s either (from) a survivor or non-identified transmission in the community”, he added.
The leaders of the countries had appealed for US$3.2 billion to finance their national recovery plans, along with an additional US$4 billion for a regional initiative. Maternal mortality could increase by 38% in Guinea, 74% in Sierra Leone, and 111% in Liberia.
“Outbreaks of contagious diseases can flare up anywhere”, says Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO assistant director-general for health systems and innovation. The GFF will give countries a new model for financing development beyond 2015, aligning and leveraging resources from worldwide donors, the private sector, and domestic resources in innovative ways to accelerate investments in the health of women and children.
The latest promises would bring the total amount of funds to help the three countries rebuild after the killer epidemic to US$5.18 billion, said Helen Clark, head of the United Nations (UN) Development Programme. Germany pledged 196 million euros (US$220 million) and France 150 million euros.