NEW YORK, 19th November, 2015 (WAM) — Transmission of Ebola has been halted in Liberia and Sierra Leone, while Guinea is now treating a baby believed to be its last case, the United Nations Special Envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro, has reported, underscoring that his top priority is to make sure the thousands of survivors and their families across West Africa have access to the support they need.
“More than 15,000 people who had Ebola that survived still face a lot of challenges,” Dr. Nabarro told a press conference at UN Headquarters. “There are risks that they face, there are risks that their families face. And there are risks that they might unwittingly pose to other people.”
Saying “They have a tough time because they’re distressed and not trusted, as well as being “a subject of a lot of stigma,” Dr. Nabarro said he wants to be sure that every person who survived Ebola can access a comprehensive package of care that helps them, and that help their communities.
“That means that all those who survived, need to be helped to maintain hygiene,” he said. “They need eye care because we know that vision can suffer after Ebola. They need medical support. Often they have terrible joint pains. They need psychosocial support. Sometimes they need economic support.”
“And, they really need to be treated as the heroes of the outbreak which killed more than 11,300 people,” he said. “So, trying to make sure that survivors and their families can access the support they need is my priority number one.
“My priority number two is that I want to be sure that in all the affected countries, there is capacity to protect, to detect and to respond in place, so that if there is any resurgence, and any report of suspected new cases, the response is there and that we don’t get caught unawares,” the envoy said. “So, together with my colleagues, I’ll be checking up to see and to ensure that rapid response capacity is in place.”
Dr. Nabarro went on to explain that his third priority is to honour those who have been affected by this outbreak and to make sure that the world can deal with this kind of problem for the better in the future.