New UNMEER Chief meets President Koroma

8 Jan

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Koroma on Thursday 8 January received the new Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) of the United Nations Mission on Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) Mr Ismail Ould Cheik Ahmed at State House, Freetown.unmeer

President Koroma stated that the United Nations response has increased substantially and there has been a huge improvement in national capacity, particularly in laboratory and bed capacity  across the country albeit concentrated in hot spots.

The focus now is to be more efficient in national coordination and be more vigilant in contact tracing and surveillance activities, the president said. “This is no time to be complacent,’’ he said, adding that he will resume his social mobilization drive across the country for community involvement and ownership in a bid to break the chain of transmission.

Ahmed commended Koroma for his leadership of the national response and more importantly his social mobilization drive for community involvement in the fight against Ebola. “This is extremely important,’’ he stressed. He accentuated the significance of government’s leadership, community involvement and an efficient coordination mechanism in the overall response to the outbreak.

He pledged his commitment in providing technical support, support in terms of treatment centres, labs and effective coordination, and to ensure the health care delivery system is strengthened.The Assistant Director General and Ebola point man of the World Health Organization Mr. Bruce Aylward expressed the need to capitalize on the increased national capacity in halting the spread of the virus. Whilst expressing the behaviour-driven approach to defeat the virus, he emphasized that it is the communities that control the end of the virus backed by extraordinary actions to halt the spread. He urged the president to continue to take the message to religious and traditional leaders across the country in his social mobilization drive, which has turned out to be a game changer so far.

©SHCU 2015

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