Ebola: African Union charged to combat outbreak

An Ebola patient being attended to
An Ebola patient being attended to

The African Union, AU, has been charged to develop strategic action and implementation plans to combat the outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in Africa.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AHF, in a letter addressed to the AU chairperson, outlined four strategic interventions to the EVD outbreak ravaging the region. Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea are the worst hit by the virus that also spread to Nigeria and Senegal.

The urgent call for action coincides with the emergency meeting of the African Union, AU, Executive Council.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation, AHF, is the largest non-profit HIV/AIDS healthcare provider in the USA. AHF currently provides medical care and services to more than 340,000 individuals in 34 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia.

In the letter, AHF’s Africa Bureau Chief, Penninah Amor, stated that averting the outbreak would need to be an African priority, requiring both political and technical leadership on Ebola as the global response was totally inadequate.
“The AU can and should do more to avert the Ebola epidemic in West Africa,” she said.

“We are currently in the 9th month of this outbreak and we hope that in the spirit of the African Union, the AU is finally prioritising this matter so that we as a continent can support the countries ravaged by this epidemic and show the rest of the World the power of rallying together to bring this epidemic under control.”

Her sentiments were echoed by chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Zuma, who called upon African countries to show solidarity.

“We are gathered to show our solidarity, and to develop a collective, comprehensive, and coordinated strategy, so that our sisters and brothers, and the leadership of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and other affected countries know that they are part of a broader, caring African and global family.”

The solidarity called for by Ms. Zuma has been notably absent as only Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Malawi, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda have contributed funds to tackle the disease.
Several countries have simply closed their borders to affected countries, serving only to deepen stigma and hamper an effective humanitarian and medical response.


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