Ethiopia: Ban speaks out against 'selfish response' to Ebola

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has warned against “selfish response” to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, as he kick-started his anti-poverty visit to East Africa.

Ban also warned against the stigmatisation of health workers who have tested negative to Ebola, saying countries should not isolate citizens of the states affected by Ebola, but should focus on individual cases.

“It is clear we need to isolate cases, not countries,” Ban said after holding talks with his host, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, to discuss an East African response to Ebola.

For his part, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, traveling with the UN Chief, along with officials drawn from international and regional financial institutions, said Ebola should not be used to “punish Africa”.

“Africa is still open to business. We must make sure Africa is not punished for Ebola,” Kim said at a joint news conference with the UN Chief, also attended by ministers from East African countries.

Ban and his entourage are visiting East Africa to launch a project focusing on regional instability and economic cooperation through trade enhancement.

In their response to the Ebola crisis, which has claimed over 4,800 lives mostly in the West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone the heads of the UN, the African Union and the European Union (EU) said addressing the shortage of health workers in West Africa was critical to stopping the spread of the disease from West Africa to other parts of the continent.

Ban particularly cautioned against the stigmatisation of health workers, who have tested positive for Ebola-virus, saying their cases represented hope for a solution to the disease itself.

The UN Chief spoke a day after a nurse who treated Liberian David Duncan, who died in the US of Ebola, was declared free of the virus after treatment.

Ban said the World Bank was taking a lead in offering the much-needed funding to combat the disease, but emphasised the need for additional funding to bolster the worldwide response.

He said he held talks with leaders in East Africa, including Prime Minister Hailemariam, on the contribution of additional health workers to West Africa.
-0- PANA AO/SEG 28Oct2014

28 october 2014 07:45:50

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