ABUJA: THE Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has congratulated the country for its response to the Ebola outbreak. The message was contained in a press statement issued from the headquarters of the regional body in Abuja.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, commended Nigeria and fellow ECOWAS member state, Senegal, for the success, which he said was exemplary. Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the two countries free of the isease.
Ouedraogo lauded the governments and health authorities in both countries for rising to the big occasion pointing out that the feat is a demonstration that internal solutions to humanitarian emergencies such as Ebola are possible within the ECOWAS region with the support and collaboration of the international community.
He said their initiatives and experiences will serve as a model to the rest of the world in dealing with Ebola and similar outbreaks in the future. The ECOWAS chief called for sustained vigilance and international support and solidarity to rid the world, particularly the three most affected countries in the region Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone of the disease.
He acknowledged the need for critical behavior change in combating the outbreak and reiterated that prevention through strict observance of public and personal hygiene remains the only available cure for now.
The ECOWAS leader also explained that panic, stigmatization, closing of borders or similar extreme measures that impinge on free movement of persons could be counterproductive.
The scourge has killed more than 4 000 in West Africa this year in what is the worst outbreak in years.
SOURCE: CAJ NEWS AGENCY