EU commits N107million to stop Ebola outbreak in W/Africa
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.