UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon praised efforts by the international community and local actors that helped eradicate the Ebola outbreak in West Africa Wednesday, on the eve of a declaration that the world's worst Ebola outbreak is over.
Liberia was expected to be declared free of Ebola transmissions on Thursday, following earlier announcements of the eradication of the virus in Sierra Leone and Guinea. The three West African countries were the worst affected by the outbreak that killed 11,300 people.
"These achievements could not have happened without the decisive leadership of the presidents and other national authorities of the three affected countries, and the engagement of all communities," Ban said.
Ban called for support for the survivors of the disease and those left widowed and orphaned.
He also warned the world to remain vigilant as Ebola flare-ups were expected in the coming year. He called on governments to build resilient healthcare infrastructures to prevent and quickly stop similar outbreaks in the future.
The outbreak, which was identified in March 2014, infected more than 28,600 people in the region.