John Kerry Stresses Early Response To Disease Outbreaks

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has stressed the need for early intervention at the earliest sign of a major outbreak of any deadly or infectious disease, like the Ebola Virus Disease, in countries.

Kerry noted that the most effective action is preventative action, adding that delay or long wait can make the challenge just that much greater.Speaking Friday at the Department of State when he met with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Kerry emphasized the critical need to upgrade health infrastructure to ensure that countries have the backing that they need for disease outbreaks.

The U.S. Secretary of State also noted that his government has learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa that it is of absolute importance that teamwork is applied in responding to crisis like the Ebola epidemic.

“The State Department, USAID, Centers for Disease Control, Department of Health and Human Services here in America all came together to play critical roles. And our assistance, including our food aid, totaled more than $1 billion. American NGOs were incredibly helpful,” Kerry said.He said in responding to the crisis, the global community was indispensable, pointing out that this was not something any one country was able to do by itself. 

He has described as “remarkable and good news” that new cases in Liberia are down by more than 95 percent, saying, “But the truth is as long as new infections are still being recorded, at even low levels, this cannot be declared over.”

Kerry lauded President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf for being at the forefront of leadership efforts, noting that she “acted with force and determination to educate her people about this disease, to marshal the resources, and to establish the right set of priorities.”LINA

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