Laying Foundations to Prevent Another Outbreak
With a commitment to achieve a zero occurrence cases of ebola virus, the United States of America revealed the important lessons learned from the ebola outbreak in Africa that took 11,200 lives.
In her remarks in New York, US Permanent Representative to the UN, Samantha Power, amid the successful recovery efforts in the countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak, the international community must also lay the foundations to prevent the next one.
According to Ms. Power, one of the most painful lessons of the outbreak is that Ebola thrives in places with fragile and under-resourced public health systems, and in particular on the poorest people who live in these places.
Another lesson is that such vulnerabilities not only pose a risk to the communities where outbreaks begin, but to all communities all over the world.
The Importance of Collective Effort to End the Outbreak
According to Ms. Power, zero occurrence of new cases is not yet achieved. But the recent detection of new cases in Liberia shows how a swift, transparent, and competent response by communities and governments which are crucial to prevent new outbreaks from spreading.
“Moving from bending Ebola’s deadly curve to ending it will require a similar mix of vigilance, professionalism, and persistence.” – Ms. Power
In addition, it is essential for all countries to do their fair share in addressing chronic vulnerabilities, not only today, but in the months and years ahead.
In parts of the affected countries where Ebola ravaged health infrastructure and other public services, Ms. Power underlined the importance of rebuilding them with a stronger foundation.
US Pledges $2billion for Ebola Response and Recovery Effort
Ms. Power said the United States will continue to do its part to address both immediate and long-term needs, as was done when President Obama deployed more than 3,000 U.S. civilian and military personnel to aid in the emergency response.
“The pledge we have announced today brings the U.S. commitments to the Ebola response and recovery effort to over $2 billion.” – Ms. Power
She underscored that the United States will continue to find ways to support long-term recovery efforts and address chronic vulnerabilities.
134 Nations Respond To The Call
With the ebola scare making headlines around the world and threatening the lives of many, more than 134 nations came together to pass a resolution pledging to tackle the deadly outbreak with urgency and vigor.
Nations around the world responded to the ebola epidemic with brave efforts and aid.
Cuba for one sent 165 health professionals to the region and plans to send nearly 300 more. In addition, Timor-Leste pledged $2 million to the effort – what Prime Minister Gusmao called an act of “Fragile-to-Fragile” cooperation, from one conflict-affected country to others.
Also, 24 countries pledged $1 million or more to the effort.
Ebola is a hemorrhagic fever with symptoms similar to that of extreme radiation exposure. Hemorrhagic refers to blood and a hemorrhagic disease is one which essentially breaks down the blood vessels and blood leaks into the body, lungs, and intestines.
According to the UN, ebola killed 2,300 people in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia out of 4,269 cases.
The countries bearing the brunt of the epidemic are among the world’s poorest. Liberia has been by far the hardest hit by the epidemic.