Liberians celebrated a day of Thanksgiving on Monday (11 May), just days after the country was declared free from Ebola.

The government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) marked 42 days without a new case of the virus, which killed more than 4,700 people there during a year-long epidemic.

It is a tribute to the government and people of Liberia that the determination to defeat Ebola never waived, courage never faulted. Doctors and nurses continued to treat patients even when supplies of personal protective equipment and training in safe use was inadequate, World Health Organization country representative, Alex Gassasira said.

Local volunteers who work in treatment centres or on burial teams or as ambulance drivers were driven by the sense of community, responsibility and patriotic duty to end Ebola and bring hope to the countries people, Gassasira said.

But Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has urged vigilance until the worst outbreak of the disease ever recorded was also extinguished in neighbouring Guinea and Sierra Leone.

A total of 11,005 people have died from Ebola in the three West African neighbours since the outbreak began in December 2013, according to the WHO.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who toured Ebola treatment units in the capital Monrovia over the weekend, said that, while Liberia could take pride in winning the battle against the disease, work was not finished.

Now comes the challenge. The challenge of working with our two neighbouring countries. To make sure they reach the same level of progress that we have reached, she said.

And already we have commenced the process, taking the regional approach, reaching across borders to share information, to share experiences, to share challenge. We are going to intensify the effort because we know that until they are free, totally free, we are not free.

Liberia was recording hundreds of new cases a week at the peak of the outbreak between August and October, causing international alarm.

According to the WHO, a total of 868 health workers have caught the virus in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone since the start of the outbreak, of whom 507 died.