The African Union Commission chairperson urges accelerated action to stop Ebola transmission
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia –01 August 2014:The African Union Commission commends the ongoing continental and global efforts to turn the tide against the Ebola outbreak in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The current epidemic is the biggest and most complex that the West African region has experienced since the first human outbreak occurred in 1976. The current epidemic has killed 729 people out of 1,323 infected since February according to the latest reports.
“The response to the Ebola outbreak needs concerted continental and global action to address the epidemic which poses a threat to global health and development” said Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission.
The Ebola virus epidemic is spreading throughout the Republic of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and one case has since been recorded in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. There is a possibility that the outbreak may spread to other countries in West Africa and beyond if effective measures including community engagement are not put in place. Various mechanisms will need to be put in place to ensure that African countries are prepared to deal with the threat.
Efforts by the African Union Commission to mobilise Member states, partners and the international community to complements the efforts of the affected countries, especially in replenishing the African Public Health Emergency Fund are underway. More resources are needed to meet the needs on the ground including the deployment of several hundred medical personnel in affected countries to ease the strain on overstretched treatment facilities.
Various actions that are needed to stop the epidemic include strengthening surveillance systems and community education. The Ebola outbreakhas further provided the impetus to urgently speed up the establishment of the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention for early detection, preparedness and response.
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