Nigeria: ECOWAS leaders differ on Ebola death toll

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - ECOWAS leaders, meeting here, Monday gave different death tolls from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that is ravaging several of the ECOWAS member states, highlighting what critics call gaps in the regional bloc's response to the scourge.

The ECOWAS region has been hardest hit by the disease, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) said has claimed 6,388 lives, mostly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

However, all the speakers at the opening of the ongoing 46th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government here Monday gave different death tolls.

Setting the ball rolling, host President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria said over 7,000 people have died from the epidemic, which has also negatively impacted on the region's economy.

President John Dramani Mahama of Ghana, who is also the Chairman of ECOWAS, gave a different figure, saying the disease has claimed 6,300 lives, in addition to producing 11,256 laboratory confirmed cases.

ECOWAS Commission President Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, who spoke next, did not give a ballpark figure of deaths from the EVD as he detailed the efforts by the regional bloc to tame the pandemic.

But the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for West Africa, Dr. Mohammned Ibn Chambas, gave a death toll of 6,000 during his goodwill message to the summit, on behalf of the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon.

In the most recent information post on its website, the WHO said there have been 17,946 cases of the EVD, out of which 6,388 people have died.
-0- PANA SEG/VAO 15Dec2014

15 december 2014 14:38:15

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