Health Ministers from ECOWAS-member states have proposed the deployment of health personnel to countries affected by Ebola to help in the containment of the disease.
According to them, the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea had stretched the human resource base of those countries to the limit and highlighted the deficiencies in the healthcare systems of the affected countries.
The call formed part of a communique issued at the end of the Fifth Extraordinary Meeting of the ECOWAS Assembly of Health Ministers on the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) held in Accra last Thursday.
The ministers issued the communique after the health experts who had met earlier deliberated on the way forward and presented their report to the health ministers.
The meeting was organised by the West African Health Organisation (WAHO).
The ministers, who also recommended the provision of materials and equipment to the affected countries, appealed to member states which had closed their borders to reconsider their decision, saying it was not in line with regional co-operation.
They advised countries which needed to close their borders at all cost to do that in consultation with WAHO, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the affected countries.
The ministers also appealed to airlines not to deepen the woes of the affected countries by placing a ‘no-fly’ ban on them.
According to the ministers, the countries affected by Ebola needed to get regular medical supplies and receive medical experts from other countries to help in their containment of the disease.
The ministers acknowledged that the disease was a threat to the whole sub-region and beyond and said it was having a negative impact on the economies and security of the ECOWAS members.
They called on non-affected countries to strengthen their epidemiological surveillance at the entry and exit points and encourage their people to use hand sanitisers.
They also called for information sharing among member-countries, as well as the strengthening of health facilities at country level, through capacity building and the establishment of treatment and isolation centres.