Abuja - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has called for regional solidarity against the outbreak of Ebola virus in the bloc.
Vice President of the regional body, Dr Toga Gayewea McIntosh, described the Ebola outbreak in West Africa as, not only a health emergency, but a “destructive element” in the region’s ideals towards socio-economic development.
“This is a community challenge that can only be faced through solidarity, working together and integrating our responses," the officials said at a forum organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja to brief the international community on the Nigerian Government’s response to the epidemic.
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McIntosh used the opportunity to convey the condolences of the commission to families of deceased community citizens and the affected Member States.
He congratulated the Nigerian government for its vigorous response to the outbreak.
The disease has claimed more than 900 lives since its outbreak in the region in March, with most of the deaths reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, and at least two in Nigeria.
“We are saddened and grieved by the loss of lives from the outbreak and stand by any action taken by the Federal Government of Nigeria in response to the outbreak,” said McIntosh.
He informed the gathering that a Solidarity Fund had been set up to enable the region combat the outbreak and expressed optimism that development partners would contribute.
Also read: 10 cases of Ebola confirmed in Nigeria
The ECOWAS executive said as precautionary and preventive measures, the commission had suspended its meetings involving officials from member states while its Lagos Liaison Office had been disinfected.
He said the commission had also set up an inter-institutional taskforce to coordinate its internal responses with various measures also put in place to protect staff.
- CAJ News
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