The Ebola outbreak has slowed across West Africa but every new infection continues to threaten millions of lives. This fatal disease claimed 7 000 lives by the end of 2014 in just Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Lione. Overcoming this complex emergency challenged governments and international aid organisations and brought fear to the rest of the world.
This inspiring story of a girl in Sierra Leone who loses her parents to Ebola visualises the truly devastating effect of the disease, but also the courage of everyday heroes who help fight the outbreak.
Last month, Liberia was finally declared Ebola-free. However, the deadly virus will not truly disappear until there is no longer active transmission in affected neighbouring countries.
Sheldon Yett, Unicef‘s representative in Liberia, cautioned that the region could not afford to let its guard down. “Having achieved zero cases is the first step, now the challenge is to remain at zero. The threat won’t be over until there are no more cases in neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea.” He also added, “In the longer-run there is a need to rebuild a better health system, with the capacity to identify and respond to any future outbreaks, be it Ebola, measles or pertussis,” said Yett.
Getting to zero is now a reality as long as we see a sustained commitment throughout 2015 in the fight against Ebola. Liberia is now clear. Now it’s time for Guinea and Sierra Leone to #GetToZero.