Defence chiefs explore ways of curbing Ebola

LAGOS: THE Economic Community of West African States Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS) are meeting in Ghana at an Extraordinary Session to articulate military contributions to strengthen regional response against the Ebola outbreak.

The bloc confirmed the meeting from its headquarters in Abuja. The meeting in Accra is at the instance of regional leaders, who at their Extraordinary Summit on Ebola in the Ghanaian capital last month, urged Member States to contribute military personnel and logistics to enhance response capacities, support the medical staff on the field and participate in the construction of additional treatment centres and ensure security.

The defence chiefs are discussing the range of contributions including pledges by Member States and deployment of military personnel to the most affected countries – Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – in compliance with the decision of the regional leaders.

The CCDS Accra meeting follows the deployment last week of the first batch of ECOWAS volunteer health workers to the three countries after training in Accra. Of these, 250 were from Nigeria.

West Africa has been the worst hit by the deadliest outbreak in history. It has claimed some 7 000 lives since the beginning of the year. Nigeria has since been declared free of the virus.