World Health Organization’s chief Dr. Margaret Chan says poor health infrastructure aids Ebola spread
Alarmed by the looming and fast moving Ebola crisis in a number of African countries, the United African Congress (UAC) and Give Them a Hand Foundation, in collaboration with Africa Writes Inc. and with the cooperation of the Permanent Missions of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia to the United Nations are having an urgent forum at the UN on August 27th, 2014 from 4-6pm in the ECOSOC CHAMBER.
The forum seeks to create awareness, mobilize regional, continental and international resources to stem the tide of the disease and, raise funds to help provide badly needed protective gear and other necessities.
UAC, an organization that represents over 3.5 million African immigrants residing in the United States, has assembled prominent health professionals, among whom will be Dr. Tomislav Prvulovich, a pioneer in Ebola research in DRC in the first epidemic and a Nobel Prize for medicine nominee to lead a panel discussion that will result in creating an active task force aimed at Prevention, Information and Training (PIT).
The task force will be charged with implementing measures aimed at massive public health training and education campaigns to disseminate information about the disease and measures to prevent its spread and to make available necessary protective gear to health workers and all those likely to come in contact with an infected person.
Reports of a deadly mysterious illness started coming out of Guinea in March of this year. It was subsequently identified as Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever, a disease unknown to the region. The epidemic has raged unchecked spreading to the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, transported to Nigeria by an infected person and now a new outbreak has been reported in Congo.
The response to the crisis was lackadaisical and took the World Health Organization 5 months and over a 1,000 deaths before it declared a global health emergency.
Ebola has killed more than 1,400 people in West Africa so far.
“The forum is a public call to the African Union, European Union, and WHO (World Health Organization) to establish a Rapid Emergency Response Agency to address similar global health emergencies in the future – allocating adequate financial and human resources to implement measures in a coordinated and collaborative manner,” says Mohammed A Nurhussein MD, Chairman United African Congress.
Margaret Chan, director-general of the World Health Organization, says in the New England Journal that the Ebola outbreak has “allowed the world to see what can happen when a lethal and deadly dreaded virus takes root in a setting of extreme poverty and dysfunctional health systems.”
Speaking at the forum will be the Ambassadors to the UN of the three most-affected countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Other collaborating partners including the Black Star News; Carib News, United States Sierra Leone Association, Mandym Dyama, Amuloma Foundation, the Reverend Dr. Luonne Rouse of the Methodist Church of Long Island and Siren – Protectors of the Rainforests, have joined the UAC’s efforts in calling for the creation of the EBOLA Task Force.
“We all have the capacity to help shape the future if we carve, cut or chip using our unique skills to sculpt our societal marble stone,” says Steven Scragg, SEIU, 1199 Hazmat Training Program.
UAC hopes to achieve just that with this forum on Wednesday. Although this event is open to the general public, for security clearance, all guest must rsvp at [email protected] or call 917-294-8823 by noon on Tuesday, August 26th, 2014.