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The Ebola outbreak in Liberia is over, WHO declares

By Moses Owen Browne, Jr.              Ebola patient in Liberia



The World Health Organization has officially declared Liberia free of Ebola virus transmission.

Today marks forty-two-days since the last laboratory-confirmed case was buried on 28 March. “The outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Liberia is over,” WHO declares.

This announcement marks the return to normal life for Liberians after almost 15
months of living with the disease.

Humanitarian organization Plan International is celebrating the announcement, while emphasising that the outbreak is not over until zero case are also reached in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Since the start of the outbreak, a cumulative total of 10,616 probable, suspected
and confirmed Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) cases, and 4,353 deaths, have been reported in Liberia.

Liberia is the first out of the three affected countries to be declared Ebola-free,
but the disease is far from over in Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Plan Liberia has mobilised more than US$ 6 million in response to the outbreak,
supporting health centres, raising awareness at community level, reinforcing child
protection mechanisms and providing psychological support to affected children.

“However, the country has been deeply impacted by the Ebola outbreak, and addressing the multiple consequences will be critical in coming months and years,” said Oumarou.

“Children, survivors and the many response workers may suffer long-lasting
psychological effects.”

Children have been particularly affected by the outbreak, with 4,265 (Government of Liberia) directly affected by the disease and 2,951 (UN) orphaned by it.

A spike in teen pregnancy has also been observed on the ground, and there is an
urgent need to restart and invest in maternal and reproductive health services

Said Oumarou: “While systematic surveillance will remain critical in the coming
months, until Guinea and Sierra Leone reach zero case, supporting children
protection and education as well as building resilient health systems are the
priorities to ensure Liberia will recover from this terrible year. This might take decades, and lot of resources are still needed.”

Moses Owen Browne, Jr.
Media & Communications Coordinator
Plan International Liberia
Cell: +231886493370 / +231770009018 /  +231776859183
Congo Town, Sophie Community Off Tubman Boulevard
Monrovia, Liberia

Category: Editorial, News Headlines

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