Ethiopia on Tuesday announced that it will be deploying about 210 volunteers to Ebola-hit West African countries in two weeks.Responding to the call of the African Union (AU) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in the country’s commitment to the African solidarity, Ethiopia earlier pledged to provide support to the Ebola-affected West African countries by deploying health professionals, said Ahmed Imano, Director of Public Relations and Communication at the Ministry of Health. Ahmed said the East African country had also pledged to provide financial support amounting half a million U.S. dollars to support the intervention in addressing the epidemic.
To implement the pledge, Ethiopia has recruited the 210 volunteers out of the 1,100 registered volunteers, according to the director, who was speaking to the press in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. The volunteers would be deployed in the three most affected countries — Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea. “As a member country to WHO and African Union, we prepared volunteers, preventive measure takers to these affected countries. We already recruited 210 volunteers from 1,100 registered volunteers totally and we are trying to send them,” said Ahmed.
The Ethiopia’s mission comprises doctors, public health officers, nurses, field epidemiologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, laboratory and health education experts among others. In addition to their assistance in addressing Ebola, the volunteers will share Ethiopia’s best practices in public health development towards community. mobilization to halt the spread of the virus within shortest time possible in the mission countries, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.
The director also reiterated that Ethiopia has been undertaking various activities and preventive measures since the news of the Ebola outbreak was heard. Screening is being undertaken at Bole Airport in Addis Ababa, he said, adding training and awareness raising activities are being carried out throughout the country by varied means. “We tried to establish national committee to prevent Ebola virus from Ethiopia, and we also established technical taskforce to plan and implement preventive measures within the country,” he said.