Lagos - African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Donald Kaberuka, called for the eradication of the root causes of Ebola as well as threatening local health systems as the epidemic continued impacting negatively on economic development.
His sentiments came after his organisation made available more funds to tackle the spread of the Ebola in Nigeria and neighbouring countries.
“In the long term we want to tackle the root causes of the epidemic and strengthen health systems in Africa, because it threatens the economic situation of countries,” he said.
Kaberuka urged stakeholders to look beyond the Ebola but on future challenges.
“The Ebola crisis has shown the weakness of our health systems. When we have vanquished Ebola, there will be other challenges, and we must be better prepared. This concerns us all: Ebola has no passport; it respects no borders. It is a very dynamic epidemic. This is why – on top of this work with the World Health Organisation – the AfDB will invest an additional $150 million to assist its regional member governments through budget support operations in order to pay health workers, equip health centres, and create jobs.”
On Tuesday, Kaberuka, and the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) cementing a US $60 million Bank grant to help strengthen West Africa’s public health systems in response to the Ebola crisis.
The funds, which will be implemented by the WHO, will be used to help recruit and train health workers, purchase equipment and medicine, and ensure that the necessary logistics are in place at the local level to provide emergency health services to Ebola patients.
Since April, the Bank has already disbursed $3 million to support regional Ebola response efforts. It has also made four emergency assistance grants of $ 1 million each to the Governments of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. As the largest donor so far, its total support package is worth some $210 million.
As of this week 2 615 cases of Ebola have been recorded since March, resulting in 1 427 deaths in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
At least five of the deaths have been recorded in Nigeria.
– CAJ News
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