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West Africa needs $200m to fight Ebola

Updated: 2014-10-16 08:58

The health mission is called the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), 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.

UNMEER was set up also on the ground that Ebola constitutes a threat to international peace and security.

To combat the virus, more education and advocacy on Ebola is needed, he said.

To stop the spread of Ebola, education and behavioral changes about washing hands and keeping them away from your mouth and face is very important, Chopra said. This will stop the spread of the virus, he said.

In connection with this effort, the agency is working with thousands of volunteers, community workers and educators to go door to door and talk about Ebola, Chopra said.

Aside form this, the agency is working with TV stations, radio networks, DJs, singers and music artists, he said.

"We're trying to look at all the different ways ... to really get the message out as to what the virus is (and) that it's real," he said. "So it's a big mobilization effort."

"Thousands of people are being mobilized ... and we're looking at survivors and working with (them)," Chopra said. "So they ... can give the message that this is not a death sentence."

"(Ebola) can be prevented," he said, adding that at present, Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone are educating people and helping children.

"In Sierra Leone, we're recruiting 2,500 survivors," he said. " If you have had the virus and survived it, you're now immune, so you ... can touch and care for children."

So using survivors is one way to overcome the barrier in caring for children, speaking to families and educating the community, he said.

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