Nigeria: ECOWAS to get Centre for Disease Control

Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The establishment of a Regional Centre for Disease Control in the West African sub-region will soon become a reality if the leaders of the region endorse the recommendation of the ECOWAS Council of Ministers who recently met in Abuja, PANA reported Friday.

The recommendation was one of the key decisions reached by the Council during its three-day (9-11 Dec) meeting in the Nigerian capital, preparatory to the ECOWAS Summit scheduled for Monday, also in the city.

The plan to establish the centre stemmed from the need for the region to be better equipped to handle major epidemics, in the wake of the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that has claimed over 6,000 lives mostly in the ECOWAS region.

The Council further recommended that ECOWAS should take relevant measures to assist in the lifting of flight restrictions to Ebola-affected member states.

Many airlines have restricted their flights to the three countries worst hit by the EVD - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone - a development that is affecting the efforts to better tackle the epidemic.

PANA reports that the development forced some of those who came for the Council of Ministers' meeting in Abuja to fly through Morocco, thus spending several days for a trip that should have taken several hours.

The recommendations of the Council are subject to approval by the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government who are due to meet in Abuja on Monday.

Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Council, Hanna, Serwaah Tetteh, has expressed optimism that the EVD epidemic may be loosing its grip on the region, especially in the worst-hit states.

Speaking at the close of the Council meeting, Tetteh - who is Ghana's MInister of Foreign Affairs, said the disease had reached the point ''where we can see the tide is beginning to turn''.
-0- PANA SEG/VAO 12Dec2014

12 december 2014 12:37:13




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