INTERVIEW: UN System Coordinator on Ebola dispels myths, pledges support for West Africa’s efforts to halt outbreak

20 August 2014 – As the World Health Organization (WHO) ramps up its response to the unprecedented outbreak of the Ebola virus disease in West Africa, the wider United Nations, led by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, has launched a system-wide coordination initiative to assist Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone in their efforts to halt the spread of the virus, which has left more than 1,000 people dead and is now affecting more than 1 million people throughout the region.

The Organization’s efforts got a major boost with the appointment of Dr. David Nabarro, British physician and public health expert, as Senior UN System Coordinator for Ebola, in support of the work done by WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan and her team to counter the outbreak of the virus.

Speaking to the UN News Centre before heading out on his first mission to West Africa, Dr. Nabarro, tasked with ensuring that the UN system makes an effective, coordinated contribution to the global effort to control the outbreak, touched on some critical issues – strengthening the health sectors in the affected countries, ensuring protection for frontline health workers, and tackling fear and stigma associated with Ebola – that the region’s Governments, with the support of the United Nations family, will be grappling with in the coming days and weeks.

Please read the full interview transcript or listen to his press briefing which was held on August 19.