U.N.: 'Complacency' would squander any ground gained against Ebola

U.N. official John Ging briefs journalists after his trip to Ebola-ravaged West African countries. | Courtesy of the United Nations

John Ging, operations director of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said on Friday, after visiting Ebola-ravaged West African countries, that he was confident that the virus could be eliminated from these countries.

Ging addressed reporters on Friday after his visit and said the scale of the outbreak was “unprecedented,” with 22,000 people affected in the three countries and 9,000 deaths.

“Now, what has impressed me is the degree of community mobilization in the face of this massive tragedy,” Ging said. “It’s been incredible to see how communities have faced this fear and actually overcome it.”

Ging also commended U.S. and United Kingdom efforts to send  medical workers to these nations to help treat those infected with the virus.

However, despite the progress made, Ging said there is “no room for complacency” right now.

Ging said the global fight against Ebola has been going on for more than a year, with the first case of this outbreak occurring in Guinea in December 2013.

“There’s exhaustion mentally and also physically at the community level,” Ging said. “They wish it was over; they wish they could get back to their normal lives. There’s exhaustion also among aid workers, who have been on the front lines for so long. But we have to make sure that we are giving the international support needed to conclude this fight because if there is any complacency now, then this virus will come back very quickly.”

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