The outgoing head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Anthony Banbury, said that West Africa still has a long way to go to beat Ebola. Banbury, an American, would be leaving West Africa this weekend to take up a new UN position. He will be succeeded by Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, a Mauritanian diplomat who has held various top UN development posts.
During the press conference in Ghana on the eve of his departure for New York, Banbury said, "I am confident that the number of Ebola cases would start to fall in the early part of 2015. I think the response has been successful but we have a long way to go."
Branbury added, "But two cases here and three there presents a grave threat to any community or country." He warned of an 'epic battle' still ahead to control the spread of Ebola virus and urged the world not to turn its attention from the outbreak until it was completely over.
UNMEER, based in Accra, Ghana, is leading international efforts to beat back the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. The latest figures from the World Health Organization put the death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, at 7,890 out of 20,171 cases.