ECA official says strong leadership imperative to eradicate Ebola virus from Africa

Source: Xinhua| 2019-02-22 00:39:45|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- Eradicating the Ebola Virus Disease from Africa requires bold leadership at different tiers of government and society, Deputy Executive Director of the UN Economic Commission for Africa's (ECA), Giovani Biha, said on Thursday.

Biha made the remarks during a high-level meeting that brought together officials of the African Union (AU), the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO) to share information with African countries on the Ebola virus disease preparedness, vaccines and therapeutics.

The ECA deputy chief said a committed political leadership, institutional strengthening, investments in health systems, community health and awareness are all crucial to the eradication of the disease from the continent.

Biha said Africa can not build strong and resilient health systems without adequately investing in hard and soft health infrastructure, including provision of right numbers of health personnel both in urban and rural areas.

Africa needs to mobilize adequate resources for strong and resilient health systems, Biha stressed.

"Strategic partnerships, including the role of the private sector, are also critical for a coordinated multi-sectoral response to health challenges in Africa," Biha said.

She also reiterated the ECA's commitment to healthcare in Africa within the broad framework of economic and social development.

"As a premier knowledge institution, we are building on our unique position and privilege to bring global solutions to Africa's challenges, including Ebola and taking local solutions to the continent," the deputy executive director said.

The two-day high-level gathering, underway at the AU headquarters with the theme "Facts not Fear," is aimed to share experience in Ebola virus disease preparedness and response plans.

The meeting also discusses the latest development on Ebola virus disease vaccines and drugs, as well as the provision of information about research and development of new Ebola virus disease and other outbreak vaccines and drugs.