Mr Aboubacry TALL, West Africa Regional Director of OXFAM international, an international Non-Governmental Organization, has underscored the importance of strong health systems in the fight against the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Addressing a news conference in Accra, last week, the OXFAM West Africa Regional Director, who was in Ghana to consult on the development of the next three-year strategy for OXFAM, said Ebola was devastating communities in West Africa and had already killed almost half of the people it had infected.
Mr TALL described Guinea, Liberia and Senegal as particularly vulnerable because of the weak health systems of these countries, adding that the disease could be contained with reasonably good health systems.
He, however, cited Sierra Leone and Liberia as being on the way to recovery, but was quick to add that the crisis was not yet over and called on the governments of those countries as well as individual persons to remain vigilante.
He said OXFAM was stepping up its response to the disease to try to slow down the spread of infection, adding that public education and awareness remained critical tools in efforts to contain the spread of EVD, if not eradicate it West Africa.
He disclosed that OXFAM had raised a total of 28 million Pounds Sterling for its activities in Liberia and Sierra Leone, out of which amount a small amount was used for its activities in Mali.
Mr TALL said a multi-million dollar post-Ebola ‘Marshall Plan’ was required to put the three West African countries hit by the crisis back on their feet.
The OXFAM West Africa region includes 8 countries in the Sahel and coastal belts.
Oxfam is determined to change the world by mobilizing the power of people against poverty and works to help women and girls speak out and demand justice, and to assert their leadership.
OXFAM also helps people caught up in natural disasters and conflict by providing clean water, food and sanitation in disaster zones, strives to ensure that civilians are protected too and seeks to reduce the risk to poor people of future disasters by continuing to work with them long after the immediate crisis is over.
Furthermore, OXFAM lobbies governments, international organizations and corporations for fairer land policies and action on climate change as well as works to secure global food supplies so that people always have enough to eat.
Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)