African Union to host emergency meeting over Ebola

Addis Ababa, Sep 4 (IANS) The African Union (AU) Wednesday said that it would host an emergency meeting to consolidate collective continental efforts against Ebola.

The emergency meeting of the executive council will be held in the Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa Sep 8.

AU Executive Council will meet to adopt a common position and define appropriate strategies to enable Africa to effectively combat the Ebola epidemic, Xinhua quoted an AU statement as saying.

The Council’s emergency meeting has been necessitated by the need to have a common understanding of the Ebola Virus Disease and current status of the response and to come up with a collective continental approach, the statement added.

The AU Permanent Representatives Committee met July 31 ahead of the Executive Council meeting, and discussed various issues in preparation of the meeting, that included direct assistance to member states affected by Ebola and the need to accelerate efforts towards the establishment of an African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Ebola has largely affected countries in West Africa and there are concerns not only over the fatality rate, but also on the consequences of the disease on the affected countries, many of whom are trying to grow their economies after emerging from conflict.

The AU Peace and Security Council decided last month to authorise the immediate deployment of an AU-led Joint Military and Civil Medical Mission against Ebola, comprising of medical doctors, nurses and other medical and paramedical personnel, as well as military medical personnel.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the deadly virus for which there is no treatment or vaccine, has claimed 1,552 lives out of 3,069 reported cases, including 694 in Liberia, 430 in Guinea, 422 in Sierra Leone and six in Nigeria.

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