Empty Ebola ward in Nigeria
Empty Ebola ward in Nigeria

A high-level United Nations delegation Saturday called on President John Dramani Mahama to thank him for his leadership in the fight against ebola and also discuss ways of ending the outbreak quickly.

Empty Ebola ward in Nigeria
Empty Ebola ward

The delegation was made up of the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr Margaret Chan, the Chief of Staff for the UN Secretary-General, Ms Susana Malcorra, the Executive Director of the World Food Programme, (WFP), Ms. Eartharin Cousin; the UN System Coordinator on Ebola, Dr David Nabarro, the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Luis Gomes Sambo, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Ms. Susan Namondo Ngongi; and the Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER), Mr. Anthony Banbury.

Ms Malcorra conveyed to President Mahama, the Secretary-General?s gratitude and appreciation for his decision and leadership in having Accra to serve as a UN logistics hub that opens a vital corridor to the affected nations of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

President Mahama whilst thanking the international community and donors for the support being provided to the affected nations urged the delegation to help ensure that governments and relevant government institutions in the affected nations receive the direct and timely support they need, in terms of resources, logistics and personnel.

He made a special appeal for equal assistance and support for the people of Guinea, who seem to be further left behind.

The Ghanaian leader also called on the UN to do more to ensure food security for the vulnerable populations since the Ebola outbreak has badly affected farming and food production in the three West African nations.

He further stressed the need for Health Care Workers (HCWs) to be given extra financial incentives, insurances and training to motivate and empower them to tackle the disease better. President Mahama expressed the hope that, with the hard work, vigilance and concerted efforts of the international community to complement the initiatives of West Africa, it should be possible to avoid the worst?case scenario and defeat ebola in much quicker time.

The UN officials thanked the Government and people of Ghana for their generosity and good neighbourliness and pledged their readiness to follow all preventive and protective measures and health protocols in their operations from the Accra hub.

They also discussed the importance of involving the leaders of local communities, faith groups and opinion leaders as well as the training of local staff in dealing with the disease.

President Mahama and the UN delegation further exchanged views on how valuable expertise and lessons from Ebola outbreaks in Uganda, DR Congo and Gabon could be used to help end the current outbreak in a shorter time.

The President mentioned his visit on Friday 17th October to Abuja where he held discussions with his Nigerian brother, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on a range of issues, with much focus on the best way to tackle the Ebola outbreak.

President Mahama announced plans to hold a one-day, one-item, ECOWAS emergency meeting on Ebola in Accra in the first week of November.

Present at the meeting was the Chief of Staff to the President Mr. Prosper Bani, the Head of Communications and Presidential Spokesperson, Ben Dotsei Malor and the Director of State Protocol, Ambassador Kwame Tenkorang.

Source Daily Graphic

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