EBOLA: UN Running Behind Schedule

The rising number of Ebola cases in Sierra Leone have brought the United Nations Ebola Emergency Response Mission to declare that it would not be able to meet the initial December 1 deadline for curtailing the deadly virus.

This was confirmed by Anthony Banbury, the head of the Mission.

In September, UNMEER had projected that by December 1, 70% of Ebola patients will be undergoing treatment and 70% of the Ebola Viral Disease, EVD, victims would have been safely buried.

But now, Banbury said that the mission will not meet the deadline, however, he cited the progress in Liberia as a place where the target was still feasible.

“We are going to exceed the December 1 target in some areas. But we are almost certainly going to fall short in others. In both those cases, we will adjust to what the circumstances are on the ground,” Banbury said as the mission refused to fix a new deadline.

The World Health Organization, WHO, forecasted in October that death tolls could rise to as many as 10,000 new cases per week by December with most of the cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Banbury identified rural parts of Sierra Leone, the city of Makeni also Port Loko in the northwest and the capital Freetown as areas of great concern.

He said the missions require more resources to combat the spread of Ebola quickly to execute its mission.

The UNMEER is to come up with policy and logistics and to coordinate processes rather than treat patients, he said.

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