UN Ebola mission head wants progress in 60 days
At least 3,091 people have died from Ebola since the West African outbreak was first reported.
ACCRA - The United Nations mission for Ebola wants to achieve significant progress in combatting the deadly disease within 60 days, including ensuring that 70 percent of cases receive treatment, its new head Tony Banbury said on Tuesday.
At least 3,091 people have died from Ebola since the West African outbreak was first reported in the remote southeast forest region of Guinea in March. The other two most affected countries are Sierra Leone and Liberia.
The outbreak has overwhelmed health systems in one of the world's poorest regions, prompting the United Nations, international organisations and foreign governments to step up support for the affected countries.
"Seventy percent of infected people need to be under treatment, 70 percent of burials need to be done in a safe way in order to turn this around and we need to do it in 60 days," Banbury said in the capital of Ghana, the headquarters of the new U.N. mission.
"It's an extremely ... ambitious target and the only way it will be achieved is through this international effort," he said.
Banbury described the crisis as "very grave" but said that the political will, resources and action being shown on the ground were tangible signs of progress being made towards tackling it.
Most of the mission's work will take place in the countries most affected by Ebola and Ghana will act as a headquarters focused on logistics, policy and expertise, said Banbury.