AU pledges 1mil USD to Ebola response

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The African Union Commission (AUC)- pledged on Wednesday to support the ongoing continental and global efforts against the Ebola outbreak with 1 million USD from its Humanitarian Fund.

“The African Union Commission is committed to ensure that measures are put in place to prevent the further spread of the epidemic and that adequate support is provided to the affected communities”, said Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, AUC commissioner for social Affairs in Addis Ababa.

“The Ebola Virus Disease outbreak demonstrates that there is still an urgent need for the African countries to strengthen their health systems and disaster risk management”, said Dr Pierre M’Pele-Kilebou, WHO Representative to Ethiopia.

“The African Union and the World Health Organization are working closely to mobilize African countries and the international community to respond effectively to this public health emergency,” he added.

The Ebola outbreak is providing the impetus to speed up the establishment of the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention for early detection, preparedness and response.

It is expected that by early 2016 at the latest, the centre should be functioning as an institution of the African Union.

The West Africa Ebola Response Plan, developed by WHO in conjunction with the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone requires more than 100 million  USD for additional health personnel, supplies and support to coordinated action.

Surveillance systems and community education needs to be strengthened urgently to stop the epidemic

The current epidemic is the biggest and most complex that the world has experienced since the first human outbreak occurred in 1976.

The present one has a total of 1848 suspected cases with 1013 deaths reported by the WHO as of 9 August 2014.