Ghana: ECOWAS member states to deploy military personnel to fight Ebola

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - ECOWAS Member States have pledged to deploy, over the next six months, some 192 military medical personnel to strengthen the fight against the Ebola epidemic in the region’s most affected countries.

Rising from their extraordinary meeting of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS) in Accra, Ghana, on Monday, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo pledged to contribute eight military personnel each, including two medical doctors and six other health officers to be rotated every two months.

The pledges translate to 24 medical personnel per country and 192 in total, the CCDS indicated.

For effective and timely deployment, the Committee urged ECOWAS to put in place necessary financial and logistics support.

During the meeting, the regional defence chiefs were updated on the ECOWAS response initiatives against Ebola. They also listened to presentations by the West African Health Organization (WAHO), which highlighted the security and socio-economic impacts of the epidemic on the region, and discussed the ECOWAS Plan for the deployment of military medical personnel to the most affected countries.

In discussions that followed the presentations, the defence chiefs underscored the need for ECOWAS and Member States to own the process of the fight against the Ebola outbreak in the region; solidarity with affected countries; the need for the military to join the global fight against Ebola through deployment of military medical personnel as well as respect and compliance with existing coordinating structures and mechanisms in the affected Member States

Closing the meeting, the CCDS Chairman and Ghana’s Chief of Defence Staff, Vice Admiral Matthew Quashie, expressed appreciation to Member States and encouraged them to redeem their pledges.

Also addressing the session, the ECOWAS Commission President, Kadré Desire Ouédraogo, said that the Commission had already disbursed over US$ 4.5 million to the affected Member States and through the WAHO, the ECOWAS specialized health agency, in collaboration with the AU and the African Development Bank, deployed 116 trained civilian health workers to the most affected countries.

The CCDS meeting was called at the instance of regional leaders who at their 6 November, 2014, Extraordinary session in Accra urged Member States to contribute military personnel and logistics to enhance response capacities, support medical staff in the field and participate in the construction of additional treatment centres and ensure security.
-0- PANA VAO 9Dec2014

09 december 2014 06:09:23




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