EU com­mits N107mil­lion to stop Ebola out­break in W/Africa

Daily Trust - - HEALTH - By Romoke W. Ah­mad

Fol­low­ing the re­cent out­break of Ebola in West Africa, the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is giv­ing N107 mil­lion ( €500 000) to help con­tain the spread of the deadly virus in Guinea and neigh­bour­ing coun­tries.

The com­mis­sion has also sent a health ex­pert to Guinea to help as­sess the sit­u­a­tion and li­aise with the lo­cal au­thor­i­ties.

A state­ment from the Euro­pean Union Mis­sion in Nigeria, quot­ing EU Com­mis­sioner for In­ter­na­tional Co­op­er­a­tion,Hu­man­i­tar­ian Aid and Cri­sis Re­sponse, Kristalina Ge­orgieva, said “We are deeply con­cerned about the spread of this vir­u­lent dis­ease and our sup­port will help en­sure im­me­di­ate health as­sis­tance to those af­fected by it.”

Ge­orgieva added that “It’s vi­tal that we act swiftly to pre­vent the out­break from spread­ing, par­tic­u­larly to neigh­bour­ing coun­tries.”

The state­ment how­ever said the fund­ing will be used by the com­mis­sion’s hu­man­i­tar­ian part­ner or­ga­ni­za­tion Médecins Sans Fron­tières for clin­i­cal man­age­ment, in­clud­ing the isolation of pa­tients and psy­choso­cial sup­port, the trac­ing of sus­pected cases as well as the train­ing and sup­ply of per­sonal pro­tec­tive equip­ment for health work­ers.

The EU said there will also be com­mu­ni­ty­based aware­ness rais­ing ini­tia­tives so as to help di­min­ish the risk of the fur­ther spread of the virus.

The EU is fol­low­ing closely how the sit­u­a­tion de­vel­ops with its Cen­tre for Dis­ease Preven­tion and Con­trol (ECDC). It is also work­ing with in­ter­na­tional part­ners, like the World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO), to track the out­break.

Ebola was first dis­cov­ered in DR Congo and Sudan in 1976, sev­eral out­breaks of this vi­ral haem­or­rhagic fever have been re­ported in East and Cen­tral Africa, but not in West Africa. This is the first Ebola virus out­break reg­is­tered in the re­gion. To date, 103 sus­pected and con­firmed cases and 78 deaths have been re­ported in Guinea, eight sus­pected cases in Liberia in­clud­ing six deaths, as well as six sus­pected cases in Sierra Leone in­clud­ing five deaths. The EU said in­ves­ti­ga­tions on these are un­der way.

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