WHO has published Emergency Ministerial Meeting on Ebola opens in Accra, Ghana. Excerpt:
Accra, 2 July 2014 - The WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis Gomes Sambo, has today re-iterated his call for urgent, collective cross-border, multi-sectoral concrete actions to bring an end to the on-going Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.
Speaking at the opening session of the Emergency Ministerial meeting on Ebola Virus Disease in Accra, Ghana, the Regional Director urged Health Ministers of the affected countries to leave no stone unturned in their efforts to contain the outbreak.
He said: “Your leadership is critical in ensuring that preventive and containment measures are effectively implemented in your countries. To this end, I would like to stress the need to redeploy human resources and reallocate funds to facilitate operations in affected communities”.
The Regional Director observed that the continuing spread of the Ebola virus during this outbreak is to a great extent associated with some cultural practices and traditional beliefs which are contrary to recommended public health preventive measures. In addition, the extensive movement of people within and across borders has facilitated rapid spread of the infection across and within the three countries.
He underscored the critical need to inform, involve and engage community, religious and opinion leaders to be at the forefront of the response efforts as well as improved communication between the Governments, partners and communities in order to generate reliable evidence for implementation of effective and relevant actions.
Dr Sambo called also on the research community to address the research gap on Ebola disease prevention and control. He appealed to the leadership of the President of the Republic of Ghana, the current President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to mobilise financial resources to support communities and countries affected by the Ebola virus disease.
Addressing the delegates, Dr Sherry Ayittey, the Minister of Health of Ghana said: “We are here to make a real difference… a difference that will be felt beyond this room for millions of people in dire need for solutions. We have a small window of opportunity to prevent the outbreak of Ebola from spreading further.”
Health Ministers mostly from eleven West African countries, high ranking health officials and international partners are attending the two-day meeting which aims to agree on the best way to interrupt the transmission of the Ebola Virus to reduce the socio-economic impact of the disease and prevent future outbreaks.