President John Dramani Mahama, today, said although the incidence of the Ebola Virus Disease in some West African Countries was stabilizing, there was the need to take more effective measures to stem its spread.
This, he said, could be done through the increasing of knowledge on the disease, exposing and adoption of effective treatment measures, and establishment of stronger relations among West African countries.
President Mahama said this when he addressed the High Level Coordination meeting of Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS) partners on the fight against the Ebola Disease, in Accra.
The meeting was also attended by Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe, ECOWAS Focal person on the disease, and Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambers, United Nations Special West African Representative. Other partners included the World Health Organization, European Union and the West African Health Organization.
The two-day meeting would, among other things, assess their achievements, so far, in the fight against the disease and to re-strategize against its elimination in the coming days in the Sub-region.
President Mahama said the most effective way of fighting against the disease would, among other activities, be to strengthen the engagement of technical and financial partners to speed up the fight.
He called for the establishment of many smaller treatment Centres to make them more accessible to patients in the endemic countries.
“We also need to engage the private sector and civil society organisations to create more awareness on the disease and treatment measures,” he said.
Dr Chambas, for his part, said it was heartbreaking to witness the spread and toll on the affected West African countries.
He said apart from isolating the affected countries, the Ebola virus had also collapsed most sectors of their economies as the mines in the countries had been closed down, while employment dropped by 50 per cent.
He said while agriculture had been hampered by the disease, health and education systems had been negatively affected also, thus bringing their economies into a state of hopelessness.
He commended the teams working in the affected countries and gave the assurance that the United Nations would continue to support efforts towards the elimination of the disease in the region.
Dr Kadre Desire Quadraogo, President of the ECOWAS Commission, commended President Mahama for his role in the fight against the disease in West Africa, saying his visits to the affected countries and the appointment of President Gnassingbe to oversee the trend of the disease in affected countries were laudable.
He called for more synergies in terms of human and material resources to support the affected countries to come out of the epidemic, which had crippled their industries.