Sat | Dec 10, 2016

Liberia hopes to be free of Ebola

Published:Tuesday | November 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM
On the outskirts of the city of Monrovia, Liberia, health workers walk around medical tents that form part of a new American clinic to be used for the treatment of people suffering from the Ebola virus. - AP PHOTOS

LIBERIA, MONROVIA (AP):

Liberia's president yesterday urged her countrymen to double their efforts to reach the government's goal of having zero new Ebola cases by December 25, a target some experts have described as highly ambitious.

"We've set a pretty tough target. But when you set a target it means that you stay focused on that target and on that goal and then you double your efforts," Sirleaf said during a ceremony marking the docking of a Dutch aid ship in the capital, Monrovia.

"When you're running a race, as you get closer and closer to the finish line, you pick up the speed because you want to make sure that, that last mile, you will give it your best bet," Sirleaf added.

Liberia has recorded nearly 3,000 confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola deaths since the outbreak began, far more than any other country, according to the latest World Health Organization figures.

The number of new cases in Liberia has declined recently, however, prompting the US to scale back the size and number of treatment facilities it is building.

Still, officials have warned against complacency. Anthony Banbury, who heads the UN fight against Ebola in West Africa, said that while achieving a decline in cases is difficult, reaching the point of zero cases in the region will be "much, much harder."