West Africa lost $7bn, 12,000 lives to Ebola

The Director General of the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), Prof Stanley Okolo, says the sub-region lost 12,000 lives to the Ebola

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The Director General of the West Africa Health Organisation (WAHO), Prof Stanley Okolo, says the sub-region lost 12,000 lives to the Ebola Virus Disease in 2014 with nearly 12,000 lives also lost “in terms of lost productivity, lost income, lost tourism and aid.”

He said 3,000 frontline epidemiologists, 12 supra regional laboratories for human reference analysis and two veterinary laboratories across the region were working to prevent epidemic outbreaks in the region.

In a chat with newsmen at the third regional steering committee meeting of the regional disease surveillance system enhancement (REDISSE) in Lagos yesterday, Okolo said the meeting was organised to ensure the existence of robust and resilient surveillance systems across the region, capable of preventing future epidemics, or where appropriate, providing an effective and timely response.

“The framework for outbreak control and management must be determined by the Surveillance, laboratory capacity, epidemic preparedness and human resources,” he said.

On efforts by Nigeria towards reducing outbreak of disease, the REDISSE project coordinator for Nigeria, Olubunmi Ojo said: “We are trying to improve on our surveillance, laboratory and awareness. We are making the masses understand what they need to know to avoid outbreaks.”

The World Bank Coordinator, REDISSE project in West Africa region, John Paul Clark, said the recommendations at the meeting would be used to further provide support and technical assistance and would help the bank streamline the procedures to assess funds.

 

Daily Trust

 

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