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Liberia to be announce Ebola free if no new case in 42 days: WHO

Xinhua | Updated: 2015-04-24 19:17

MONROVIA - Liberia could be declared ebola free in May if no new cases are reported after completing the 42 days period, said the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director Moeti Masthidiso.

Liberia was just days to have been declared Ebola-free by the WHO when a woman came down with the virus in the Caldwell community, a suburb near the capital Monrovia in March.

According to an emailed statement issued Thursday, Masthidiso visited Liberia's ministry of foreign affairs in Monrovia, and said Liberia's success in the ongoing Ebola fight is due to an excellent and strong partnership between the people and government.

Masthidiso said the strong reaction shown by the ordinary people in the face of the epidemic and the actions taken by the political leadership have been exemplary and a model for other countries to follow in future outbreak.

The WHO regional director commended responses of the government and community and adoption to the preventive methods that were able to contain the outbreak.

According to Masthidiso, WHO played a very important role in surveillance, contact tracing, data management for action and also supporting community dialogue and social mobilization in other to help the community understand what was needed to be done.

She said WHO is committed and dedicated to supporting the country's investment plan to build a resilient health system and to advocate to partners for support to this plan.

"WHO recognized the challenges of ineffective human resources and the human capacity available to implement such a plan. If the international community remains committed to financially aiding Liberia, the country will have equitable ways to deliver health services", Masthidiso said.

Masthidiso assured that WHO will continue to work with Liberia in making sure the ebola virus does not come through the borders by ensuring secure borders screening, and borders collaboration.

The WHO official is on a solidarity visit to Liberia to assess the impact of the WHO contributions to the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease that has taken a huge toll on the lives of citizens of Liberia and other countries of the Mano River basin.

She expressed optimism that the country is in an advanced state to ending its long agony due to the Ebola. Liberian Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan said WHO is the most significant partner to Liberia and other hardest hit country in the sub-region in the fight against Ebola.

"As a matter of fact WHO's partnership with Liberia predates the Ebola crisis. In the pre-Ebola period, WHO provided technical assistance for health system strengthening, supported Maternal and Child Health as well as disease prevention and control," Ngafuan said.

Ngafuan said as Liberia is again counting another round of 42 days after which the country expects WHO to declare Liberia an Ebola free country just as it did for other countries in the region that have successfully met the 42-day no new case requirement, Liberia is not relaxing its guard.

He believes that Liberia will surely reach this May 9 target date when hopefully Liberia would be declared Ebola free by WHO.

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