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Head of UN Ebola mission arrives in Ghana

Updated: 2014-09-30 10:47

UNITED NATIONS - The head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) on Monday arrived in Accra, capital of Ghana, for the official opening of the mission's headquarters there, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters here Monday.

"The Head of UNMEER, Anthony Banbury, landed in Accra, Ghana, just a few hours ago for the official opening of the Headquarters of the Mission, which as you know will be based in Accra," Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here. "Over the week, he will travel to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea to open all three regional offices for the Mission."

Upon his arrival in Ghana, Banbury joined an advance team deployed in Accra to ensure the rapid, effective and coherent action necessary to stop the outbreak, treat the infected, ensure essential services, preserve stability and prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

The advance team has been on the ground for the past week to support the initial assessment and establishment of the Mission in all of the three hard-hit countries, namely Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea by Ebola virus, which has sickened more than 6,500 people and killed more than 3,000 others.

Established just more than a week ago by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNMEER is the first-ever UN health emergency response mission. It will harness the capabilities and competencies of all the relevant UN actors under a unified operational structure to ensure a rapid, effective, efficient and coherent response to the crisis.

Banbury is scheduled to give a press conference in Accra Tuesday, UN officials said here.

On Thursday, the secretary-general will be briefed by the Ebola outbreak response operations team when he visits the Strategic Health Operations Centre at the Geneva headquarters of the World Health Organization (WHO).

At UN Headquarters in New York, Ban on Monday met with the Sierra Leonean foreign minister, Samura Kamara, and the two discussed the effects of the Ebola outbreak on the West African country and as for how the UN would work with Sierra Leone to combat the outbreak of the deadly virus and mitigate its adverse effects.

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