The European Union (EU) has set aside one billion euros to fight the Ebola viral disease in West Africa.
An additional 280 million euros has been made available to cover research on Ebola.
It is the single biggest financial package provided to battle the disease that has infected about 14,000 and killed nearly 5,000 in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
The Managing Director-in-charge of Africa at the European External Action Service, Mr Nicholas Westcott, made this known in a paper he presented at the extraordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on Ebola in Accra yesterday.
He said the EU was committed to playing a key part to bring the disease under control.
Giving details of the package later in an interview, Mr Westcott said the EU response to Ebola was focused on five areas.
These include solidarising with the people of the affected West African countries. “West Africa problems are EU problems," he said.
He also mentioned the appointment of an Ebola coordinator to oversee the EU operations in the affected countries.
Besides, Mr Westcott said the EU wanted to encourage more international volunteers to come to West Africa to support the Ebola fight.
“Once Ebola had negative impact on education, agriculture, economy and other sectors of national life, nothing would be left to chance to bring the outbreak under control,” he said.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation ( WHO) has said that two Ebola viral disease vaccines that will be on the market early next year will be expensive.
The Deputy Director General of WHO, Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, said it would cost not less than $100 for a dose.
In a presentation at the summit yesterday, Dr Asamoa-Baah warned that unless governments subsidised the drugs, many people in the Ebola-hit countries would not be able to afford the vaccines.
According to the Ghanaian public health expert, the vaccines had been tested and the results were promising.
By April next year, about 250,000 of the vaccines wil be made available, and the number will be increased to between two and three million by the end of the year.
But, he said two or three million vaccines would not be enough for the entire world.
“That was because of the rate at which the disease was spreading,” he said.
Consequently, priority would be given to the three West African countries - Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.
“Even then that would not be enough”, he said, but, he explained it would make some positive breakthrough in the fight.
Notwithstanding the positive future in the quest to secure an acceptable vaccine, Dr Asamoa-Baah said, "We are not there yet”.
"We have instances where case vaccines gave hope but proved negative later," he said
Source: Daily Graphic
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