ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- The African Union (AU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working closely to address the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus which has killed more than 1, 000 people since earlier this year.
Officials from the AU and the WHO told the press Wednesday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that the two organizations have forged excellent collaboration to respond to Ebola virus outbreak, which has so far affected Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria.
AU said there is a possibility that the outbreak may spread to other countries in West Africa and beyond if effective measures including community engagement are not put in place.
The Pan-African organization underlined on the need of various mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that African countries are prepared to deal with the threat and also other nations across West Africa remain on high alert.
The current epidemic is the biggest and most complex that the West African region has experienced since the first outbreak of the virus in 1976.
Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, noted that Ebola epidemic is an African problem about which AU is highly concerned.
The First time, AU directly addressed the problem was during the joint conference of WHO and AU ministers of health held in Luanda, Angola in April, where a strong communiqué was issued towards what Africa should be doing about the Ebola epidemic, recalled the Commissioner.
"Right from that time, the first issue we address was that African countries that had experience in handling this epidemic should all put their hands together and assist their brothers in Liberia, Serra Leone, and Guinea," he said.
In this regard, according to the Commissioner, significant responses have been made from countries like Uganda, Gabon, Congo and other countries, which sent experts to West Africa to assist with the epidemic.
Opening Ebola coordination center in Guniea, AU has also been providing support to the affected member countries, he said.
The Commissioner also stated that AU is also looking at financial and other support that it is giving to the affected countries.
He also stated about plan of holding a pledging conference, which he said was originally planned to be held at the margins of the Ouagadougou 2004+10 Conference in Burkina Faso early September.
NAIROBI, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- Kenya Airways said Wednesday it will issue a statement Thursday on the future of its operations to the Ebola-hit West African countries amid increased pressure to halt its operations to the region.
Kenya Airways CEO Titus Naikuni said the airline's senior management has been reviewing facts and advise from International Air Transport Association (IATA), World Health Organization (WHO) and Kenya's health ministry regarding operations into the area.Full Story
FREETOWN, Aug. 13 (Xinhua) -- A World Health Organization (WHO) official on Wednesday applauded China's emergency material assistance to Sierra Leone, where more than 300 people have died of the dreaded Ebola virus.
Jacob Mufunda, who has worked in Sierra Leone, made the comment while meeting with Chinese medical workers who are currently working with the country's medical staff to tame the deadly Ebola virus.Full Story