The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) says it has taken note of the extraordinary measures put in place by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to combat the Ebola epidemic, including the 90-day state of emergency and the deployment of the Armed Forces of Liberia to assist with quarantine efforts.
The scope and scale of this disease in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is unprecedented, with over 1,600 cases of confirmed, probable or suspected Ebola now recorded in the three countries. Well over half of the people infected have died. The number of new cases continues to grow, with over 500 confirmed or probable cases now reported in Liberia.
In a statement issued following the declaration of the state of emergency the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General (SRSG) for Liberia, Karin Landgren, noted that stopping Ebola requires Liberians to work together as one community. Washing and disinfecting, caring safely for the sick, tracing all contacts, and making burials safer are all collective actions.
She said UNMIL is committed to doing all it can to help stop Ebola in Liberia. The mission is working in support of crisis logistics, with many partners: thirty-five United Nations staff are now providing logistical support to the Ebola response, and the state of emergency will not affect our operations.
She added that UNMIL field offices in every county are working closely with Superintendents and County Health Teams on county-specific needs, noting, “ I have seen some very good work at county level.”
The statement pointed out that UNMIL Police and Force continue to provide back-up security to the Liberia National Police; and I would like to express special appreciation to those nations contributing troop and police personnel to UNMIL.
UNMIL Radio continues to inform all Liberians, spreading facts and dispelling rumors. The dissemination of Information on Ebola prevention and response is critical.
With the World Health Organization (WHO) at the forefront, the statement said the UN family and international partners in Liberia are working tirelessly to support the Government-led response, including support for surveillance and contact tracing, medical expertise, and material resources.
It noted that in direct support to the clinical response, WHO has lent support to case management and UNICEF has provided materials for isolation units.
I recognize the exemplary contribution of NGOs, many of whom are on the frontlines of the epidemic. To keep us working, my top priority is the health of all UN staff, Liberian and international, the UN Secretary General Representative said..
Concluding, the SRSG emphatically said “Ebola can be defeated if all Liberians unite to make it end. UNMIL remains committed to working for continued stability and development in Liberia and the region. Ebola must be rolled back for Liberia to continue on its path of peace, stability and development. I am confident that Ebola can be ended in Liberia, something which will also keep the rest of the world safer. The United Nations will give this our steadfast support.”