APA – Lagos (Nigeria)
The ECOWAS Commission has called on the defence forces of its member states to lend their professional support towards defeating the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) which has claimed more than 2,000 lives from almost 4,000 cases reported in the region from March 2014.
The Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Mrs. Salamatu Hussaini Suleiman, told the 34th Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS), which opened in Accra, Ghana that the disease “if not adequately addressed would have far reaching devastating consequences for the development of the region”.
A statement issued by the ECOWAS Commission on Wednesday in Abuja said that the commissioner called for “collective efforts in assisting and supporting member states whose populations are facing the menace of this dangerous disease,” and the contribution of the CCDS in battling the heath crisis.
The Commissioner outlined various intervention measures taken by the Commission in combating the disease, including the setting up of a Solidarity Fund coupled with multi-stakeholder collaborations to beat the health emergency with socio-economic development implications.
She noted that the region had in the past two years witnessed challenging crises in Mali and Guinea Bissau as well as terrorism, piracy and other criminal acts in the Gulf of Guinea.
She paid tribute to the out-going CCDS Chairman General Soumaila Bakayoko of Cote d’Ivoire “who played a critical role in guiding ECOWAS interventions towards resolving these crises.”
The Commissioner also welcomed the incoming CCDS Chairman Admiral Mathew Quashie of Ghana.