UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for concentrated efforts to enhance the health system of the West African countries hardest hit by the outbreak of the Ebola virus.

"We must think carefully about how to strengthen the healthcare systems of the countries in the region to withstand future outbreak of infectious diseases," Ban told a joint news conference with Ghanaian President John Mahama in Accra late Thursday.

"The UN will stand with the people in region until such time that we make sure that there is no such cases," he vowed. "We must make sure that the last case of Ebola should be identified and treated and eliminated. "

Ban urged leaders of other African countries to join the UN in the crusade to help restore the healthcare system of the Ebola-hit countries.

He expressed satisfaction with efforts exerted by the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) to help contain the outbreak.

The UN chief made a brief stop in Accra before visiting Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Mali to assess the Ebola situation.

In recent months, Ebola – a contagious disease for which there is no known treatment or cure – has killed 6,915 people, mostly in West Africa, according to the World Health Organization.

The deadly virus has claimed 3,290 lives in Liberia, 2,085 in Sierra Leone and 1,525 in Guinea.


WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, who is accompanying the UN chief in his regional tour, reaffirmed resolve to assist both affected and unaffected countries.

"We are also equally mindful of countries that have not yet been affected like in the case of Ghana and we will support you to make sure you are prepared," she said.

Ghana, which has not recorded any Ebola case, is currently hosting the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER).

It serves as a control and command station for the deployment and monitoring of the situation in the affected West African neighbors.

President Mahama, for his part, reiterated his call for countries of the world to sh un stigmatization of West Africans due to theEbola epidemic.

He commended airlines that have restored flights to the hitherto isolated countries.

"Air Ivoire is flying regular flights into the three countries now and many airlines have resumed [their flights]," said Mahama, who is also the current chairman of ECOWAS.

"I think that with the assistance of UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and the national governments, they have put in stronger screening procedures and so it makes it possible for airlines to feel confident that they can fly into these countries without any fear," he noted.

Anadolu Agency