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Ban Ki-moon reassures Salone of massive support to end Ebola

DECEMBER 22, 2014 By Mohamed Massaquoi

The United Nations Secretary General has assured President Ernest Bai Koroma and the people of Sierra Leone of the UN’s continued support to put an end to the Ebola outbreak in the country, noting that Sierra Leone was strongly recognized by the international community for its rapid economic growth, peace and security and good governance, among others, but most of these achievements have been eroded as a result of the virulent disease.

Ban Ki-moon was speaking during a joint press conference with President Koroma at State House in Freetown on Friday night where he disclosed to newsmen that the purpose of his visit this time around was to show solidarity with Sierra Leoneans and to reaffirm the United Nations’ continued support in combating the virus, and to discuss post-Ebola recovery strategy so that most of the economic and social activities that have been affected as a result of the outbreak could now be seriously focused on for the general good of the people.

“I am very pleased to come to Sierra Leone for the third time,” said the UN scribe. “I have been monitoring the economic and social growth of Sierra Leone, which has been grossly affected. We are here to demonstrate our commitment in fighting this deadly pandemic. The United Nations will stand by Sierra Leone to fight this disease. That is why I want to give my outstanding support to the ‘Western Area Operation Surge’.”

Mr. Ban said with the support of global partners, significant steps had been taken [by the government] in some parts of the country, saying he was happy that the President himself has taken the lead in the social mobilization campaign to end the virus.

“We want traditional leaders and healers, communities and other stakeholders to take ownership of this process. UN will continue to play its part, we must scale up our efforts in this fight,” he said and commended health personnel who have sacrificed their lives to provide healthcare services for those infected by the disease.

President Koroma, on his part, said there has been tremendous improvement in the Ebola fight, noting that the country has got six laboratories, 10 treatment centers and much more collaboration among those taking the lead in the fight.

“We have put a plan together that consolidates our efforts because our economy is almost at a halt. We look forward to a good working relationship in the post-Ebola recovery drive,” he said, adding that his government has increased the operations to respond to the deadly disease.

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