Nigeria: ECOWAS salutes Nigeria, Senegal over Ebola success

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The ECOWAS Commission has congratulated Nigeria and Senegal for their ''exemplary response'' to the Ebola outbreak, which has resulted in the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring the two ECOWAS Member States free of the disease.

Senegal was the first to be given a clean bill of health on 17 Oct. by the world health agency after reporting one solitary case in August 2014.

Nigeria’s case is most remarkable with the WHO declaring the country Ebola-free on 20 Oct. for having successfully broken the chain of transmission after reporting eight deaths and some 20 confirmed cases of the disease that has claimed 4,868 lives, mostly in the West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The ECOWAS Commission Friday quoted Commission President Kadré Desire Ouédraogo, in a message of solidarity, as commending the two ECOWAS Member States for their success, saying their initiatives and experiences will serve as a model to the rest of the world in dealing with Ebola and similar outbreaks in the future.

He lauded the governments and health authorities in both countries for rising to the big occasion, pointing out that the feat is a demonstration that internal solutions to humanitarian emergencies such as Ebola are possible within the ECOWAS region with the support and collaboration of the international community.

The ECOWAS chief, however, called for sustained vigilance and international support and solidarity to rid the world, particularly the three most affected countries in the region – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – of the disease.

While acknowledging the need for critical behavior change in combating the outbreak, he reiterated that prevention through strict observance of public and personal hygiene remains the only available cure for now.

The President also explained that panic, stigmatisation, closing of borders or similar extreme measures that impinge on free movement of persons could be counter-productive.

ECOWAS, in collaboration with Member States, partners and the international community, including the UN Systems, has rolled out a number of response initiatives and interventions to combat the latest Ebola outbreak, the worst in recorded history.

PANA reports that the measures include the establishment of a Solidarity Fund.
-0- PANA SEG 24Oct2014

24 october 2014 16:43:43

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