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Health professionals to be deployed to Ebola countries

Accra, Nov. 24, GNA – A five-day training and deployment of different voluntary health professionals to three highly affected Ebola Disease countries began in Accra on Monday.

Accra, Nov. 24, GNA – A five-day training and deployment of different voluntary health professionals to three highly affected Ebola Disease countries began in Accra on Monday.

About 200  health professionals, comprising doctors, nurses and sanitation experts were drawn from Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cote d’ Ivoire, Mali and Niger and would be deployed to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. 

     The training exercise was a fulfillment of one of the core recommendations of the Extra-ordinary ECOWAS Health Ministers Summit held Accra in August this year.

     It is being organised by West African Health Organisation in collaboration with the African Union and African Development Bank.

     Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, Minister of Health, asked the participants to serve as good ambassadors for their various countries, show compassion and affection and treat patients like their own family members as have been demonstrated by other health professionals in the past.

     He said although quarantine and isolation seemed the most effective strategies in containing and eliminating the disease, however, these methods appear to be conflicting with “our social and community practices”, especially when nursing the sick is concerned.

    “But we need to do our best to avoid stigmatisation and improve our information sharing and public education to deal with the disease especially where our cultural beliefs and practices pose a challenge to access to healthcare services.

    ” You should develop innovative ways of handling the patients to feel more comfortable…bear in mind that preventive efforts and strategies remain supreme. You should adopt standard measures like early detection and isolation of cases, contact-tracing and monitoring,” he added.

     He said those measures should be their first line of defense and attack in combating the deadly Ebola disease.

     Dr Agyemang-Mensah announced that Ghana had not detected any case of Ebola, but have committed significant resources for scaling-up the prevention strategies as well as acquiring the needed medical facilities to tackle the disease if the unfortunate situation happens.

    He said medical equipment have been acquired and intensified public education and campaign in collaboration with stakeholders and awareness creation are on-going and pledged Ghana’s commitment to work and provide all the necessary support to fight the disease.

    “We must not isolate the affected countries,”

    President of ECOWAS Commission, Kadre Desire Ouedraogo, said the exercise confirmed the special importance the commission has attached to the success of the common fight against the Ebola Virus Disease prevailing for several months in some countries of the region.

   He said the additional health workers at country level would add to the tremendous efforts made by the national authorities and the international community in the field.

    Mr Ouedraogo said the major priority now is to promptly contain, prevent the spread of Ebola Virus Disease to other countries and eradicate it as soon as possible.

     “Encouraging reports are coming from Liberia, Guinea and some part of Sierra Leone and the situation in Mali remained under close monitoring to ensure that the transmission chain is broken speedily,” he added.

     He noted that the success Nigeria and Senegal gives ECOWAS  the  great hope that West Africa would again be and remain Ebola free.

     The African Development Bank has allocated 7.5 million dollars to the support of the training exercise and Cuba has also deployed 250 highly qualified health professionals to compliment the efforts of other organisations to fight the Ebola Virus Disease.

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