President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedrago
ECOWAS Rates Ebola Eradication Top Priority
MONROVIA, November 29 (LINA) – The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) says it is employing a three-pronged strategy of prevention, containment and eventual elimination in its response to the Ebola outbreak in the region.
The Ebola virus has claimed 5,444 lives in three Member States of the Community, namely Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedrago, made the statement in a speech at the opening of a five-day training workshop for 150 volunteer health officers from seven of the region’s 15 Member States.
He said the three strategies were designed to respond to the various dimensions of the outbreak and urged the officers to see themselves as soldiers in this regional fight against the disease.
An ECOWAS release issued in Monrovia said the officers who are from Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal, are being trained ahead of their deployment to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to reinforce ongoing national, regional and international efforts to deal with the outbreak in those countries.
The President acknowledged the “remarkable solidarity demonstrated by ECOWAS Member States” since the outbreak in March 2014 and paid tribute to the memories of thousands of those that have fallen victims, including local and foreign health workers who paid the ultimate price in helping the region confront the epidemic.
Speaking at the forum taking place in Accra, Ghana’s Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, whose country currently chairs the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, highlighted the grim statistics associated with the outbreak which has affected some 14,000 persons with Liberia alone accounting for more than 2,800 of the fatalities.