Health workers from six Economic Communities of West African States Member Countries on Monday, commenced training in Accra, Ghana, ahead of their deployment in the three countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak in the region. The health workers from Benin, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Mali will after a five-day training  work with personnel of  health ministries in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, in coordinated response efforts to defeat the Ebola scourge, which has claimed more than 5,000 lives mainly in the three affected countries.

A statement by the ECOWAS Commission in Monday in Abuja, said the joint training and deployment initiative by the African Union and ECOWAS through the Organization of West African Health Organization, its specialized agency, will involve some 150 health workers  who would be deployed for three months. It stated that it is part of the regional response plan adopted by the last Assembly of ECOWAS Health Ministers aimed at providing substantial support in human resources to strengthen the health system of the affected countries in their efforts to contain the epidemic.

The support by the health workers will include identification of cases, contact tracing, case management, handling of corpses and strengthening of preventive measures, while revitalizing the health system of the affected countries. The opening ceremony of the training at the Kofi Annan International Peace keeping Training Centre, which is supported by the African Development Bank, will feature speeches by Ghana’s Minister of Health, President of the ECOWAS Commission, and representatives of the African Union and the AfDB.

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