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Don’t leave us alone against Ebola, Sirleaf begs ‘all nations’

Don’t leave us alone against Ebola, Sirleaf begs ‘all nations’
October 19
17:13 2014

Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia, has called on countries across the world to reach out to the West African nations that are presently under the scourge of the highly contagious Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

Admitting that the inefficiency in the health sector of the affected countries is the cause of the alarming spread, Sirleaf described the disease as “having no respect for borders”, adding that the whole world is at risk.

“There is no coincidence Ebola has taken hold in three fragile states – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – all battling to overcome the effects of interconnected wars,” she said in an open letter.

“The virus has been able to spread so rapidly because of the insufficient strength of the emergency, medical and military services that remain under-resourced and without the preparedness to confront such a challenge.

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“This disease respects no borders. The damage it is causing in West Africa, whether in public health, the economy or within communities – is already reverberating throughout the region and across the world.”

Noting that the battle to contain the virus should not be seen as a responsibility of the affected countries alone, the first female African president appealed to the world to unite against the disease.

“It is the duty of all of us, as global citizens, to send a message that we will not leave millions of West Africans to fend for themselves against an enemy that they do not know, and against whom they have little defence,” she said.

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“This fight requires a commitment from every nation that has the capacity to help – whether that is with emergency funds, medical supplies or clinical expertise.”

Sirleaf expressed optimism that the disease had not gone out of control, saying that with the support of other countries, it would become a thing of the past.

“History has shown that when a people are at their darkest hour, humanity has an enviable ability to act with bravery, compassion and selflessness for the benefit of those most in need,” she said.

“I have every faith in our resilience as Liberians, and our capacity as global citizens, to face down this disease, beat it and rebuild.

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Since its outbreak in February, over 8,000 people have contracted the virus and an estimated 4, 500 people have died, with Liberia recording the highest casualty.

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