AU, WHO work closely to contain Ebola virus
Posted on Aug 14 2014 | IANS
Addis Ababa, Aug 14 : A pan-African organisation and UN's health agency have been working closely to address the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus which has killed more than 1,000 people since earlier this year.
Speaking in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa Wednesday, the officials from the African Union (AU) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the two organisations have forged excellent collaboration to respond to Ebola virus outbreak, which has so far affected Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, Xinhua reported.
AU said there is a possibility that the outbreak may spread to other countries in West Africa and beyond if effective measures including community engagement are not put in place.
The pan-African organisation underlined the need of various mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that African countries are prepared to deal with the threat and also other nations across West Africa remain on high alert.
The current epidemic is the biggest and most complex that the West African region has experienced since the first outbreak of the virus in 1976.
AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko noted that Ebola epidemic is an African problem about which AU is highly concerned.
The first time, AU directly addressed the problem was during the joint conference of WHO and AU ministers of health held in Luanda, Angola in April, where a strong communique was issued towards what Africa should be doing about the Ebola epidemic, the Commissioner said.
"Right from that time, the first issue we address was that African countries that had experience in handling this epidemic should all put their hands together and assist their brothers in Liberia, Serra Leone, and Guinea," Kaloko added.