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article image150 ECOWAS's medical personnel groomed for African Ebola crisis

By Nancy Houser     Dec 8, 2014 in Health
One-hundred-fifty medical personnel from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been medically trained for an upcoming Ebola crisis response team. With no cure today, the higher the chance that the Ebola virus will soon mutate.
The five-day Ebola training is for deployment to the most affected countries in West Africa at the time, with additional mobilization of funding and human resources that still remain vital to containing the Ebola virus disease.The medical personnel consist of doctors, nurses, and hygiene specialists. They will be deployed to the Ebola-affected countries of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Togo when their five-day training is completed.
According to a Nov. 24, 2014, EIN Presswire from Accra, Ghana, on that day there was a very impressive ceremony that marked the beginning of the five-day Ebola training, taking place at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center (KAIPTC).
The ceremony was a follow-up to the US 7.5 million Grant Protocol agreement that was signed a little under a month ago in Abuja by the ECOWAS Commission and the African Development Bank (AfDB). The purpose is to bring together an Ebola Crisis Response Project in the region.
Dr. Laurant Assogba  Deputy-Director of the West African Health Organization (WAHO)
Dr. Laurant Assogba, Deputy-Director of the West African Health Organization (WAHO)
Africa/UNFPA
Dr. Laurant Assogba is the Deputy Director of the West African Health Organization (WAHO), and accredits the spirit of of solidarity that is demonstrated by these 150 medical personnel in joining together to fight the Ebola epidemic,
He told the medics that " your task is noble and I have to thank you and congratulate you for this choice you have made. "
Dr. Assogba instructed the medical personnel to discern Ebola with a zero tolerance by following strict medical procedures. He also requested they treat ill patients with dignity and respect while in the field treating the disease. With a commitment to safety by ECOWAS, he stated, "fear not because ECOWAS has the duty to protect you and support you to work peacefully and safely to your respective families."
Sanitized gloves and boots hang to dry as a burial team collects Ebola victims from a Ministry of He...
Sanitized gloves and boots hang to dry as a burial team collects Ebola victims from a Ministry of Health treatment center for cremation on Oct. 2 in Monrovia, Liberia.
LA Times
Location of ebola outbreak
Location of ebola outbreak
Samaritan's Purse
Screengrab from a video of an Ebola patient in Liberia being accosted and chased by an angry & fearf...
Screengrab from a video of an Ebola patient in Liberia being accosted and chased by an angry & fearful crowd.
YouTube
Liberian Red Cross health workers at the ELWA 2 Ebola management center in Monrovia on October 23  2...
Liberian Red Cross health workers at the ELWA 2 Ebola management center in Monrovia on October 23, 2014 shovel sand which will be used to absorb fluids emitted from the bodies of Ebola victims
Zoom Dosso, AFP
The Redemption hospital  shown June 23  2014 in Monrovia  Liberia  where seven people have died from...
The Redemption hospital, shown June 23, 2014 in Monrovia, Liberia, where seven people have died from Ebola, is about to be shutdown by authorities as workers have abandoned the hospital for fear of more deaths from the deadly Ebola virus
Zoum Dosso, AFP
A Liberian health worker holds a baby infected with the Ebola virus on October 18  2014 at an Ebola ...
A Liberian health worker holds a baby infected with the Ebola virus on October 18, 2014 at an Ebola treatment centre in Monrovia
Zoom Dosso, AFP
Kadré Desiré Ouedraogo, President of the ECOWAS Commission, stated that the success in Nigeria and Senegal in removing Ebola is a source of inspiration for other countries to follow. Nigeria is now monitoring 198 people and has 10 confirmed Ebola virus cases.
Deploying 150 medical personnel to Africa is dangerous, yet necessary. Many Ebola medical personnel have been attacked and killed by the villagers for simple things, like spraying disinfectant in public areas to prevent the virus from spreading.
According to the LA Times, in Guinea, eight Ebola workers and journalists were killed last September while 21 people were injured... "Villagers destroyed a bridge to keep police or the military out, according to national radio."
“It's very sad and hard to believe, but they were killed in cold blood by the villagers,” government spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said, according to Agence France-Presse.
A local police officer, Richard Haba, said the villagers believed that Ebola “is nothing more than an invention of white people to kill black people.”
The desperation behind the current Ebola epidemic in Africa has caused Sierra Leone to enforce the jailing of entire families if Ebola victims who appeared to have been washed after death were discovered in their homes. In other situations, two people were killed in a riot in Koidu when health workers attempted to draw blood from an elderly woman.
Several days later, an ambulance was overturned by a mob and pelted with stones. The attacks by Africans on medical personnel who are trying to help the people, many dying in the process, make this a very stressful environment to anyone in the medical field working with Ebola patients and their families.
More about Ecowas, Ebola crisis response, Economic Community of West African States
 
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