WHO Calls Emergency Sub-regional Ministerial Meeting To Tackle Ebola Outbreak In West Africa.
In an effort to interrupt further spread of the Ebola virus in the shortest possible time, the World Health Organization is convening a special meeting of Ministers of Health of eleven (11) countries and partners involved in the Ebola outbreak response in Accra, Ghana from 2-3 July 2014 to discuss the best way of tackling the crisis collectively as well as develop a comprehensive inter country operational response plan.
The deadly virus outbreak that has been spreading in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since March 2014 prompting an inter-governmental approach towards dealing with it.
According to a statement released by the WHO, there will be 2 sessions which will focus on the situation, risk assessment, testimonials from Ebola survivors, a summary of technical discussions and a declaration of the operational plan.
Ministers of Health from Cote d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Uganda as well as partners involved in the outbreak, extractive industry from the affected countries, UN Agencies, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , the Department for International Development (DFID), the European Union (EU), the European Community Humanitarian aid Office (ECHO), Institute Pasteur,International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Medicin San Frontier (MSF),United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Arabian Horse Organization (WAHO) are expected to attend.
The meeting will be held at the La Palm Golden Beach Hotel in Accra, Ghana.
The statement said the emergence of the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa threatens regional and global public health security. The World Health Organization has so far provided technical assistance through the deployment of over 150 multidisciplinary team of experts involved in a range of outbreak response activities such as surveillance, communication and social mobilization, infection control, logistics, data management.
Despite this, there has been significant increase in the number of daily reported cases and deaths of Ebola as well as newly affected districts over the last three weeks. As of 23 June 2014, the total cumulative number of cases reported was 635 out of which 399 died. This makes the on-going Ebola outbreak, the largest in terms of the number of cases and deaths as well as geographical spread.
Decisions taken at this meeting will be critical in addressing the current and future outbreaks.