UN: Deaths of Ebola health workers may raise maternal mortality in West Africa

New York, US (PANA) - The loss of health workers to Ebola could lead to a sharp
increase in maternal mortality in three West African countries, according to a
World Bank report.

A UN statement on the report on Thursday in New York said that an additional 4,000
women in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could die as a result of complications in
pregnancy and childbirth because they would not have access to skilled medical
personnel.

"This means maternal deaths in these countries could rise to rates last seen
two decades ago," it said, noting that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa
could leave a legacy of death and disability beyond that caused by the outbreak of
the disease itself.

It disclosed that, in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, health workers have already
died from Ebola at a higher rate than any other population group, and the impact
was being felt as these countries already had very few trained doctors, nurses and
midwives.

For example, the report said Liberia only had about 50 doctors but has lost about
10 percent of them to Ebola.

To save lives, the report recommended urgent investment in the health systems
in these countries, starting with a "substantial increase" in the number of trained
workers.

Meanwhile, an International Ebola Recovery Conference will be held at the UN
headquarters in New York on Friday, in cooperation with the Presidents of Guinea,
Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The purpose of the conference is to ensure that the Ebola affected countries
receive the support and resources they need to "get to zero, stay at zero and
recover".

The conference is taking place in partnership with the African Union, European
Union, the World Bank and the African Development Bank, while participants at
the high-level event would have an opportunity to pledge support to the National
Recovery Strategies and the Mano River Union sub-regional Programme.  

PANA in New York learned that the conference was expected to secure
international support for the affected countries and the Mano River Union,
comprising Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, as well as concrete
financial commitments for the implementation of national and regional recovery
strategies over a 24-month time frame.

The conference are preceded by technical consultations on 9 July where the
national Recovery Strategies and the Mano River Union sub-regional  Programme
will be presented.

Speakers at the event include UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, who is the current Chair of the
African Union, President  Alpha Conde of Guinea, President  Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf
of Liberia, President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, and
UN Development Progamme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark.

Others are World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Acting Vice President
for Country and Regional Programmes and Policies of the African Development
Bank Janvier Litse, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and
Crisis Management Christos Stylianides and Vice President for Cooperation
and Capacity Development of Islamic Development Bank, Sayed Aqa.

Also addressing the conference will be Dr. David Nabarro, UN Special Envoy
on Ebola, and Ambassador Olaf Skoog (Sweden), Chairperson of the UN
Peacebuilding Commission.
-0-   PANA   AA/AR  9July2015

09 july 2015 18:04:15




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