East Africa to send 600 health workers to fight Ebola
Uganda will send 14 doctors and 21 health workers while Kenya will provide 15 doctors and 300 health workers. Tanzania has already sent 5 doctors while Burundi will provide 250 health workers. Rwanda will send seven doctors and seven health workers.
A man dressed in protective hazmat clothing treats the front porch of an apartment where a second person diagnosed with the Ebola virus resides in Dallas, Texas, on October 12, 2014. The East African Community is mobilising funds to fight the deadly Ebola Virus Disease. PHOTO | AFP
By Zephania Ubwani and Mike Mwaniki | Daily Nation
The East African Community is mobilising funds to fight the deadly Ebola Virus Disease.
The money will be raised from the community’s reserve fund, it was announced in Arusha on Thursday at the end of the ministerial meeting on response to the epidemic which has killed more than 4,400 people in West Africa.
The ministers of health from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda approved the regional plan of action.
“The secretariat was directed to mobilise $750,000 (Sh64.5m) from its reserve fund,” a communique released yesterday said.
Also approved was the establishment of the regional emergency preparedness and response task force on Ebola and other communicable diseases.
The task force will harmonise guidelines for screening passengers on borders and ports of entry.
The states were urged to mobilise about 600 health workers to help contain the disease in West Africa.
Kenya will provide 15 doctors and 300 health workers while Uganda will send 14 doctors and 21 health workers. Tanzania has already sent five doctors while Burundi will provide 250 health workers. Rwanda will send seven doctors and seven health workers.
Those who attended the three-day meeting include Kenya’s ministers of Kenya James Macharia, Uganda’s and Tanzania’s, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye and Mr Rashid Seif Suleiman.
Others were Rwanda’s Permanent Secretary Solange Hakiba and Burundi’s Minister in-charge of East African Affairs Nzeyimana Leontine.
This was the third high level regional meetings which discussed Ebola after others in Entebe in August and in Nairobi last month.
The previous meetings involved civil aviation and national airport authorities as well as ministries responsible for health, transport and immigration.
They resolved that the region must maintain a high level emergency preparedness and response against the disease.
The secretariat will convene a meeting of experts in the next 10 days to provide technical guidance on modalities on logistics, human resource and infrastructure on the preparedness.
Two months ago, fears of an Ebola outbreak led to the drop of hotel bookings in Arusha, the hub of Tanzania’s tourism industry.