Sierra Leone Current Affairs - 2020

WHO declares Liberia Ebola-free

World Health Organization (WHO), a U.N. health agency has declared Liberia Ebola-free.

WHO has hailed Liberia’s Ebola eradication efforts as an enormous development in the long crisis and monumental achievement as the virus has killed more than 4,716 people in the country alone.

Now, Liberia’s neighbous Guinea and Sierra Leone are only two countries fighting to stop Ebola outbreak since it began in December 2013.

Criteria for declaring a nation Ebola-free

WHO can declare a country Ebola free, if no new cases are reported over two incubation periods of virus i.e. 21 days.

In case of Liberia, no new cases of Ebola were reported in past 42 days i.e. twice the number of days the virus requires to incubate. The last confirmed death in Liberia was reported on 27 March 2015.

Impact of Ebola

The current outbreak is the deadliest in history. It was initially centred on Guinea’s remote south-eastern region of Nzerekore in early 2014 and later had spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Liberia was worst hit among the western African nations in this outbreak.

As per WHO, the number of deaths from the Ebola epidemic till date exceeds 11,000. In Sierra Leone 3,903 have died and 2,386 have died in Guinea.

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Peter Jan Graaff of Netherlands appointed as head of UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response

United Nations (UN) has nominated Peter Jan Graaff of the Netherlands as the new chief of UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).

He will replace Mauritanian diplomat Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed who was recently appointed as special UN envoy for Yemen.

With this appointment, Peter Jan Graaff  will work closely with Special Envoy on Ebola David Nabarro, along with governments in the region.

Since October 2014, Graaff had served as Ebola crisis manager for Liberia, one of the African countries which were affected by the Ebola epidemic along with Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Previously Graaff had worked for the World Health Organisation (WHO) in several African countries, Afghanistan and Haiti. He also had led the Civil Affairs and Development team for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Some facts about Ebola epidemic

  • As per WHO estimates, more than 26,000 people have been infected with Ebola since the outbreak which began late in 2013.
  • In this epidemic more than 10,800 people have died since its outbreak.
  • More than 99 per cent of the death cases were reported in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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