Ghana: World Bank President Kim lauds Ghana's role in Ebola fight

Accra, Ghana (PANA) - The World Bank on Thursday commended Ghana for playing an important role in the fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease, especially by hosting the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and helping to set up a humanitarian bridge to assist the three countries worst hit by the epidemic.

The Ghana News Agency (GNA) said World Bank Group President, Dr Jim Yong Kim, told a news conference in Accra with Ghana's vice president Kwesi Amissah-Arthur that history would record the importance of Ghana's role in keeping open an important link to Guinea, Sierra Lone and Liberia, the three countries being ravaged by Ebola, at a time when many countries around the world had closed their borders.

He said current estimates by the UN indicated that about 5,000 international medical, training and support personnel were needed in the three countries over the coming months to respond to the Ebola outbreak. Ebola has killed more than 4,922 people in the three countries.

Dr Kim said health workers were needed to treat and care for patients, boost local health capacity, manage Ebola treatment centres and resume essential health services for non-Ebola conditions.  

He said the African Union (AU) had indicated it would deploy 2,000 trained health workers from African countries to the affected nations.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had also announced that 600 health workers in that country had volunteered to work in the affected areas, Dr Kim said.

Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur said Ghana had become the focal point for the UN effort for the Ebola emergency because Ghanaians had felt since independence that "we do not just seek the welfare of the people of the country (Ghana) but to use our position to look for the well-being of the African people”.

He said it was in this spirit that President John Dramani Mahama offered the country’s territory to the UN for the Ebola emergency response.

The World Bank Group announced on Thursday that it would provide US$100 million extra-funding to Ebola crisis response to speed up deployment of foreign health workers to the three worst-affected countries in West Africa.

The new funding brings to US$500 million, the Bank's contribution to the fight against Ebola outbreak in the last three months in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

West African leaders have been appealing for coordinated reinforcement of international health teams to the three countries to contain the epidemic.

The health workers are needed to treat and care for patients, boost local health capacity, manage Ebola treatment centres, and resume essential health services for non-Ebola conditions.
-0- PANA MA 30Oct2014

30 october 2014 20:10:25

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