MALI–(ENEWSPF)–24 November 2014. The Ebola virus is continuing to claim lives across West Africa. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are the worst-affected countries, with transmission still widespread. Some 15 300 cases have been reported since the start of the outbreak and more than 5450 people have died. Mali, previously free from the virus, is the latest country to register Ebola cases, six in total, all of which have been fatal.
The Executive Director of UNAIDS, Michel Sidibé was accompanied by the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Margaret Chan, on a recent visit to Mali to support the country in its efforts to curb the spread of Ebola and translate lessons learned from the AIDS epidemic into action on the ground.
Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and Jean-François Delfraissy, of the French National Agency for Research on AIDS and Viral Hepatitis, joined the high-level visit.
Together with the Malian Minister of Health, the delegation visited an Ebola treatment centre in Bamako run by Médecins Sans Frontières, where an Ebola patient is being treated. They later met with civil society representatives, religious leaders and health workers.
The next 15 days are critical for ending Ebola in Mali. The coordination of action and strategic communication are key to success, as are immediate international funding and technical assistance.
While in Mali, Mr Sidibé met with President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta and Prime Minister Moussa Mara and joined First Lady Keïta Aminata Maïga to visit a health centre that works to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.