The leaders of the four West African countries comprising the Mano River Union http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mano_River_Union (MRU), on Sunday held a one-day summit with the recent Ebola outbreak in the region on the top of the agenda.
Sierra Leone ‘s President, Ernest Bai Koroma http://www.statehouse.gov.sl/ , flew into the Guinean http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=7.53805555556,-8.49722222222&spn=0.01,0.01&q=7.53805555556,-8.49722222222%20(Guinea)&t=h capital, Conakry, early in the morning where he joined his counterparts from Liberia http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=8.48445,-13.23445&spn=10.0,10.0&q=8.48445,-13.23445%20(Sierra%20Leone)&t=h , Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and host Alpha Conde. http://maps.google.com/maps?ll=6.31666666667,-10.8&spn=10.0,10.0&q=6.31666666667,-10.8%20(Liberia)&t=h
The epidemic which began in Guinea early this year, eventually spread into Liberia leaving scores dead.
Sierra Leone has since been on high alert, after identifying several suspected cases.
La CÃ´te d’Ivoire which shares an extensive border with Liberia was represented by Foreign Minister Charles Diby Koffi.
Guinea reported a total of 81 deaths, out of 127 confirmed cases by the end of last week.
Liberia confirmed six cases.
Fears of the virus spreading to other neighbouring countries saw some nations taking stringent measures that restricted the movement of foreign nationals across their respective borders.
Senegal closed its border with Guinea; after it emerged the virus had entered Conakry.
That was followed by Gambia’s banning all airlines flying to Banjul from carrying any citizen from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.
Sierra Leone also banned the movement of corpses from both Guinea and Liberia following reports of the death of a boy suspected to have contracted the virus while on a visit across the border.
According to a statement sent to newsrooms from State House in Freetown, President Koroma cited implementation of the protocols of the MRU to further strengthen co-operation and the on-going restructuring of the bloc as key discussion subjects. But he also talked about collaboration in addressing social issues plaguing the region.
‘Don’t forget that just recently, we had the outbreak of Ebola, and it’s as a result of effective collaboration within member states by using the institutions and the Ministries of Health plus the international partners that we were able to contain the situation, and I think that with collaboration we can achieve a lot more. So we need to build on this collaboration and cooperation,’ the President said.
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone would conduct campaigns to raise awareness of the virus.
Source: African Review
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