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Fight is against virus and fear, says UNICEF Ebola coordinator

Fight is against virus and fear, says UNICEF Ebola coordinator

Posted November. 05, 2014 06:41,   


"This is a twin epidemic. It is the epidemic of a virus, but also an epidemic of global fear and ignorance. We must tackle both epidemics to be successful," Dr. Peter Salama, Global Ebola Emergency Coordinator for UNICEF, told reporters at a press conference Monday at the U.N. headquarters in New York.

In returning after examining the state in three West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, he said, "And with fear and ignorance, sadly comes stigma and discrimination...The fear of course manifests itself in travel bans and various restrictions all around the world and is also present at the local level."

He said that even nurses and medical staff who contracted Ebola in the West African countries are suffering humiliation beyond discrimination, and unable to get a job even after they were cured. He added that due to customs, people dead from Ebola are not buried safely or those infected are resisting to be treated in isolation. Dr. Salama said religious and regional community leaders should be educated well to block fear and ignorance that makes difficult responding to Ebola.