Ethiopia: AU sends medical team to boost Ebola response in Guinea

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - The African Union (AU) has stepped up its Ebola response with the deployment of a team of medical workers to Guinea, one of the three countries affected by Ebola.

AU Commission Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said Wednesday the AU was prepared to deliver on its pledge to avail at least 2,000 medical workers to respond to an Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

“We cannot stem out the epidemic without the health workers,” Zuma said when asked by a representative of the medical team leaving for Guinea, to appeal for an end to the isolation and stigmatization of the health workers returning home after a mission to West Africa.

The AU has medical teams in Liberia, Sierra Leone and the latest team to leave for Guinea, brings to 140, the number of doctors and other medical specialists deployed in response to Ebola.

“We are presenting 100 health workers using volunteers. We realized the needs are much bigger and we have been asking for health workers,” Zuma said.

There has been an overwhelming response to an AU plea for more health workers with countries pledging to deploy up to 1,506 medical workers.

A team of 40 medics is set to leave Addis Ababa, Thursday, to help in curbing Ebola in Guinea.

Zuma said the AU was more concerned about the Ebola epidemic and was keen to ensure that none of its teams deployed to the region tests positive to Ebola.

“We are delivering on what we pledged but we have also realized that the needs are much bigger,” Zuma said at a ceremony to dispatch the medical team to Guinea.

The team leaving for Guinea is made up of epidemiologists, whose work would be to study the transmission trends and design strategies to control it from spreading.

There are also doctors whose work would be to help in the management of the disease at the disease treatment centres in Guinea, where a further spread is still feared.

Zuma said the UN was mandated to raise up to US$1 billion to aid the response to the epidemic and the AU would do its part of ensuring that the health workers on the ground help in controlling it.

Zuma said there was hope of defeating Ebola, if all those involved in the response also took extra-precaution to avoid contact with the disease.
-0- PANA AO/VAO 5Nov2014    

05 november 2014 14:27:52

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