Health Ministers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have begun a three day ministerial meeting on the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Accra, Ghana.
The meeting, which is the second to be held in Ghana, is under the chairmanship of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, H. E John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana.
The special meeting of the Assembly of Health Ministers taking place at the Miklin Hotel, East Legon, on August 28, 2014, is preceded by health experts meeting at the same venue on August 26-27.
This was contained in a press release issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and signed by the Public Relations Officer, Dan Osman Mwin.
The Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa, notably in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and recently in Nigeria is a threat to regional and global public health safety as well as the economic and social security of the affected countries.
The disease is, therefore, considered one of the most frightening ever experienced since the outbreak of Ebola more than 40 years ago.
Despite the progress made â€‹â€‹in the implementation of actions to prevent and contain the Ebola virus, many challenges remain to curb the spread and containment of the epidemic.
Given this situation and acting on the instruction of the Chairman of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government, H. E. John Mahama, has invited all ECOWAS health ministers and partners involved in the Ebola virus disease control to an important and extraordinary meeting of the Assembly of Health Ministers on August 28, 2014 in Accra.
The overall objective of the extraordinary meeting under the auspices of the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO) is to beef up implementation of strategies to contain the Ebola virus disease outbreak in the ECOWAS sub-region.
First Ebola Meeting
It would be recalled that several inter-country meetings with various partners in attendance have been held on the subject. Health authorities in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been brought together through regular cross-border meetings.
An emergency ministerial meeting was convened on July 2-3 in Accra, Ghana, on the issue and that resulted in a communiquÃ© with recommendations addressed to each stakeholder.
The Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS who met in Accra on July 10-11, 2014 approved the recommendations proposed â€‹â€‹by the Director General of the West African Health Organisation (WAHO) regarding actions to be taken under this epidemic situation.
A meeting was also held in Conakry on July 20, 2014 with the health ministers of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and CÃ´te d’Ivoire, still looking for the ways and means of implementing appropriate strategies to curb this epidemic.
‘It is significant to note that the expected outcomes of the meeting will include update on Ebola outbreak in the ECOWAS sub- region; review of the implementation of recommendations from the various meetings held on the epidemic; identify difficulties at each level of the control of epidemic and identify as well as estimate appropriate strategies and resources needed to curb the epidemic,’ the statement said.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri
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