GENEVA, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- The new chief of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) on Friday called for coordinated efforts to contain the spread of Ebola virus disease.
Effective response to the epidemic required the coordination of all parties, Elhadj As Sy, the Secretary General of IFRC who took office earlier this month, said after his latest visit in his new role to Guinea and Sierra Leone, two of the most affected countries by the Ebola outbreak.
The senior humanitarian official called on governments of affected countries to engage with regional and international institutions to scale up and sustain the momentum of the ongoing response operations.
"The Ebola outbreak is revealing the fragility of the health systems in the affected countries, which will require long-term engagement from all parties in making sure that we build or rebuild the capacities to respond and anticipate this kind of crisis," said Sy in a statement.
He drew attention to three fundamental and essential elements that need to be applied for an effective response: fast reaction, clear results and accountability at every level.
Based on this, Sy decided to establish a regional coordination platform to be based in Conakry, Guinea, which would coordinate efforts at a regional level, align responses in all countries and work on preparedness measures in surrounding countries, with an aim of leaving no one behind.
He also highlighted the importance of volunteers of National Red Cross Societies in contributing to stemming the spread of the disease within the communities.
In response to the Ebola outbreak, over 1,500 volunteers, mobilized by National Red Cross Societies in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia and supported by IFRC, have been actively engaged in numerous activities at community level such as social mobilization, dead body management and contact tracing, as it was introduced.
World Health Organization (WHO) declared last Friday that the Ebola outbreak raging in West Africa constitutes an international public health emergency and provided advice to countries to help contain the current Ebola outbreak and prevent it from spreading further.
According to WHO statistics released on Thursday, the cumulative number of cases attributed to Ebola virus disease in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone stands at 1,975, including 1,069 deaths.