Ghana’s Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, has lauded progress in regional and international response to the fight against Ebola, with Nigeria and Senegal recently declared free of the disease, but cautioned against letting down the guard on the outbreak that has claimed more than 5,000 lives with over 13,000 persons infected mainly in the West African region.
He told the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Ministerial Coordination Group meeting in Accra, Ghana, that, “The good news only shows that we can contain this disease and eventually free our sub-region and the global community of this scourge sooner than later, but the price we have had to pay may never be fully known.”
Consequently, the minister counselled that response “must not only focus on the immediate challenges, but must also look forward to the reconstruction of our countries in revamping the health infrastructure and the health system.”
“As we discuss the status of our response, it is important that we approach the next stage of the fight with responses that are informed by fact and not fear; responses that seek to protect the human rights of our people,” said the minister.
He also reaffirmed Ghana’s commitment to playing a major role as the regional hub for the coordination of collective efforts in addressing the Ebola menace.
In his message read by the Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender, Fatimata Dia Sow, the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Kadré Desire Ouédraogo, said the Ministerial session and the summit would provide opportunities to review the regional response, challenges and the way forward in tackling the disease, using concerted, multi-sectoral and coordinated approaches.