Anthony Banbury, the outgoing head of the UN team fighting Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa has said that the deadly Ebola outbreak will end in 2015.
He said the number of Ebola cases would be brought down to zero by the close of this year, but admitted that the end was “not close.”
“We are engaged in an epic battle,” he said.
The virus has killed nearly 8,000 people, mostly in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, where the disease started in December 2013.
Banbury admitted that his three month mission had failed to hit its target of 100 per cent safe burials and treatment of 70 per cent of infected people.
But he praised international efforts and insisted “the global response to the Ebola crisis has been extremely successful”.
He added that, “Going forward it’s going to be extremely hard for us to bring it down to zero, but that is what we will do.”
“I believe we will end Ebola in 2015,” he said.
The WHO said more than a third of the 20,000 cases in West Africa were in Sierra Leone, which has become the worst-hit country.