The ONE Campaign responds to Liberia and West Africa certified free of Ebola transmission
Update 15/01/16: A new case of Ebola has been discovered in Sierra Leone, hours after the WHO declared West Africa Ebola free. This is a tragic reminder of the WHO expectation that flare ups are likely to occur. The strengthening of health systems ONE has urged during the outbreak and since cannot wait.
14/01/16: Today WHO declared Liberia and West Africa free from Ebola transmission
Michael Elliott, President and CEO of The ONE Campaign, said:
“Nearly two years since the outbreak began, we are delighted that Liberia and West Africa are now officially certified free of Ebola transmission. This is a hard-earned, but difficult, milestone given the unnecessary loss of so many lives to this disease. We honour the heroism of the many health workers, community leaders, and volunteers from around the world who risked their own lives to bring this outbreak to a close. We are also proud that hundreds of thousands of our ONE members, from Los Angeles to Lagos, took action in support of an urgent global response.
“But we need to remember: the world’s initial response to the Ebola outbreak was woeful – haphazard, uncoordinated, and desperately lacking leadership. That is why today must not be the end of our commitment to West Africa and its citizens—particularly those who survived Ebola or who lost loved ones. The outbreak served as a stark reminder of how important resilient health systems are and why delayed action allows infectious diseases to flourish.
“ONE’s Ebola Response Tracker also highlighted the importance of using data to hold donors to account for their commitments. Even as Ebola fades from the headlines, donors must deliver on their emergency and recovery commitments in full to ensure that Ebola-affected nations can make up for lost ground and make progress in global health. And we must look to future opportunities, from the Global Fund’s 2016 replenishment to annual budget fights, as chances to make good on our promise. It is crucial we learn lessons from the Ebola crisis and strengthen health systems across all developing countries, so we can be ready the next time Ebola, or another disease, breaks out.”
Diane Sheard, UK Director of ONE, added about the UK’s role:
“The UK played a significant role in helping to control the outbreak when others were slow to respond. We must pay tribute to the NHS workers who bravely volunteered to support those in need. The British people should be rightly proud that the UK’s commitment of £427 million saved thousands of lives, averted thousands more Ebola cases, and gave those who died a safe and dignified burial.
“The government must continue to be a world leader in tackling preventable diseases and ensure our lifesaving aid is targeted towards countries least able to fight public health crises. The next opportunity comes with the replenishment of the Global Fund later this year, for which we call on the UK to pledge £1.2 billion as part of a $13 billion international response to the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”
- WHO announced Liberia as free from Ebola transmission http://who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/ebola-zero-liberia/en/
- The Global Fund is an international partnership organisation dedicated to fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria http://www.theglobalfund.org/en/
- ONE’s 2015 World AIDS Day Report highlighted the significance of replenishing the Global Fund to see an end to the AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics by 2030.