Abuja - The stigma emanating from the recent Ebola outbreak in Nigeria and neighbouring countries will affect the growth of local economies, a senior United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) said.
“In Africa we are dealing with a stigma that is growing by the day and this is going to affect economies that have nothing to do with Ebola,”said Carlos Lopes, the ECA Executive Secretary.
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He was speaking on Monday ahead of a new ECA report that explores the impact of the 13 241 cases identified and 4 950 deaths reported in the region since the outbreak earlier this year.
While the Ebola outbreaks in both Nigeria and Senegal officially ended in October 2014 and both countries declared free of Ebola, the disease is raging in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
The ECA report raises the alarm on the risk of a rise in mortality of diseases not related to Ebola and also points out the wider impacts of the virus on the livelihoods of those affected.
Educational systems, rising social stigma, unemployment, and decreased food security are some of the big issues that Ebola-affected countries must deal with, according to the report.
Despite the alarm, Carlos called for a careful and cautious approach to the response.
- CAJ News