Friday, the United Nations secretary-general said that he will open a branch of the U.N. mission against Ebola in Mali. There have been six fatal cases of the virus in Mali in recent weeks.
Ban Ki-moon had a conversation in Washington with the chief of the World Health Organization and head of the World Bank about the deadly Ebola virus.
Ban said that even though there has been progress of fighting the disease in West Africa, results have been erratic and the recent cases in Mali are of concern.
He also announced he has spoken to the president in Mali and that the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response would establish an office as soon as possible in Mali. Chief of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé and head of the World Health Organization, Dr. Margaret Chan have been immediately dispatched by Ban Ki-moon to Bamako in discuss how the United Nations system can stop the Ebola outbreak in Mali.
Dr. Margaret Chan said:
“Yes, we are seeing some early signals of hope, cases are stabilizing, but as Mr. Secretary-General was saying, we are also seeing some new areas where they are reporting new cases. So the answer is we must maintain our vigilance. Complacency would be our enemy,”
Ban said that if the United Nations continues to accelerate its response in Ebola outbreaks, the disease could be contained and the outbreak could come to an end by the middle of the next year.
During a briefing to the United Nations Security Council on the Ebola response in New York, Dr. David Nabarro, the United Nations system coordinator for Ebola said the U.N. is short $600 million of the $1.5 billion needed through March 2015 to cover the effort of the response.
“I think we are pretty confident that the 70 percent safe burials is probably, in most places now, being achieved. The 70 percent of people with Ebola under treatment — we are moving rapidly in that direction; I can’t say at this stage whether or not we will reach it. So, confident, no, but very pleased with the way in which things have advanced on access to treatment, yes.”