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Leaders express solidarity with Ebola-torn West Africa

02 September 2014, 20:34

Lagos - Former Heads of State, leaders from civil society and business have launched a petition call for more solidarity and a more coordinated approach to deal with the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

High profile leaders such as former President Benjamin Mkapa of Tanzania and Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria have signed the petition, as well as Graca Machel, civil society leader and wife of the late South African President Nelson Mandela, the singer and former Minister Youssour N' Dour and a number of prominent leaders and personalities from music, media and business have signed the petition.

This call for action, which through a petition is attracting an increasing number of signatories, calls for all citizens to play their role and demands a coordinated and rational response from African governments and international institutions.

"As the Ebola virus becomes an overwhelming human catastrophe affecting public health, social institutions and economic well-being in Africa, we stand in solidarity with our fellow citizens in the countries victimized by this deadly disease," read part of the letter.

"We call on the broad private sector, the pharmaceutical industry, and the research community, in particular, to fund, facilitate and make immediately available access to all known methods of prevention and treatment of this menacing threat to our global well-being."

Petitioners thanked the local and international health workers who were risking their lives daily, intervening on the ground to eradicate the scourge of Ebola, often without access to protective supplies.

"We acknowledge and applaud the decision of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) health ministers to call for the lifting of travel bans to Ebola affected countries, which are hampering the fight against Ebola and restricting the arrival of essential expertise and equipment, as well as fuel to provide electricity, medications to treat other deadly diseases such as malaria and food to prevent famine."

More than 1 500 people have died from the virus in the region.

- CAJ News

Also read: MSF slams world leaders' handling of Ebola


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