President John Mahama
President John Mahama

The Head of the United Nations Mission for Emergency Ebola Response (UNMEER), Peter Graaff, has expressed gratitude to Ghana for hosting the emergency health mission during the outbreak of the disease.


Graaff made the remarks during his meeting with President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday, as the UN mission prepares to officially close its offices in Accra.

Graaff, who is also the Acting Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, commended President Mahama for volunteering to host UNMEER soon after its establishment and stressed the “decisive role” Ghana played in the fight against Ebola.

“By allowing us to set up our headquarter in Accra, President Mahama demonstrated extraordinary leadership and solidarity. He made Ghana the only open gateway to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone thus allowing the movement of thousands of Ebola responders and medical and essential supplies when they were most needed,” Graaff said.

From Accra, UNMEER and its partners, during the Ebola outbreak, shipped personnel, protective equipment, laboratories, ambulances, vehicles, motorbikes, telecommunications equipment, food and medicines by air and by sea.
As a result, all three most-affected countries now have the necessary response capabilities in place to efficiently test, treat and isolate Ebola patients, as well as to activate alert and surveillance systems.
Mahama welcomed the downsizing of UNMEER as a sign of success.

“UNMEER is one of the UN’s most effective missions in terms of how quickly it was deployed, the short and sharp interventions. We are happy to have been part of the success,” said the president.
According to the World Health Organization, there were 25 new Ebola cases in Guinea and Sierra Leone during the week ending May 31.

The UN system has therefore, through UNMEER, reinforced its operational capacities in Guinea and Sierra Leone to intensify efforts to bring the outbreak under control.

UNMEER offices opened in Accra in September 2014 but with the scaling down of operations in the region as the epidemic rolls back, most UNMEER staff and assets have been redeployed to Guinea, and Sierra Leone.
UNMEER is maintaining a small presence in Ghana to continue facilitating air operations until the end of June. Enditem



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