UN: Denial of medical care on ships from West Africa draws UN concern

New York, US (PANA) - UN and other leading international transport, trade and tourism organisations have expressed concern about the reported denial of medical care to ill seafarers on board ships that had previously called at ports in Ebola-affected countries.

In a statement obtained by PANA in New York on Tuesday, the Travel and Transport Task Force called for international cooperation of governments and the transport sector in following the recommendations of the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee on Ebola, convened by the UN World Health Organisation (WHO).

The Travel and Transport Task Force was set up in August 2014 to support global efforts to contain the spread of Ebola and provide a coordinated international response for the travel, trade and tourism sector.

The Task Force said it also stood firmly with WHO against general bans on travel and trade, as well as restrictions that include general quarantine of travellers from Ebola-affected countries.

"Such measures can create a false impression of control and may have a detrimental impact on the number of health care workers volunteering to assist Ebola control or prevention efforts in the affected countries,'' it said, adding that it may also adversely reduce essential trade, including supplies of food, fuel and medical equipment to the affected countries, contributing to their humanitarian and economic hardship.

"The best protective measures for non-affected countries are adequate levels of preparedness, including heightened surveillance to detect and diagnose cases early and well prepared staff and operational planning to ensure that suspect cases of Ebola are managed safely and in ways to minimize further spread," the Task Force said.

-0- PANA AA/SEG 11Nov2014

11 november 2014 08:06:24

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