Via allAfrica, a report from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa: West Africa: A Call for Appointment of ECOWAS Special Envoy on Ebola. Excerpt:
The challenge of the current epidemic calls for urgent, unified and concerted efforts by ECOWAS and the international community. Since regional collaboration and coordination have been the main impediments in the management of this epidemic, we particularly appreciate and welcome the decision of ECOWAS to put in place a regional monitoring mechanism composed of two entities: the ministerial coordination group chaired by the Ghanaian health minister and a technical monitoring workgroup with members such as WHO Afro and the West African Health Organization (WAHO).
The work of this monitoring mechanism should continue even in the post-Ebola period given the negative impact that the epidemic is having on health systems, on economies, and on social ties and community relations.
For these reasons, we urge the appointment of the ECOWAS Special Envoy on Ebola. Such an envoy will complement the efforts of WHO’s envoy Dr David Nabarro, help draw attention to the public health and humanitarian challenges posed by Ebola and become a regional voice and leader for a regional response plan led by African and international contributors.
The Envoy could also be the voice calling for effective management and coordination of cross-border transportation and logistics. The challenge we face is extraordinary and ECOWAS needs to create a specialized platform to address this.
We urge all ECOWAS member States to push for this resolution and to develop a concrete plan for operationalizing effective coordination. We call on the international community to provide needed assistance in ensuring that the response to Ebola in the region is effective, humane and sustainable.
We acknowledge that the efforts of ECOWAS and the international community can only yield results if residents of the region do their part. Hence, we also urge the populations and all civil society organizations to show more solidarity by providing support to populations that are affected by EVD and be cautious by observing the preventive and protective measures identified by the WHO.
The statement is signed by 101 West African civil society organizations