AU sends 187 Ethiopian health workers to Ebola-hit West Africa

DECEMBER 17, 2014

The African Union (AU) has announced that 187 Ethiopian health workers have left Addis Ababa to join the AU Support to Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The health workers will join others who have been fighting the disease in the three countries most affected by Ebola  namely Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.The Ethiopian contingent comprises field epidemiologists, nurses, medical officers, public health officers, pharmacists and communication officers.

To mark their departure, a special dinner was organized by the Ethiopian government on Monday attended by Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen, African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson Erastus Mwencha, African Union Commissioner of Social Affairs Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, and Ethiopian Minister of Health Kesete-Birhan Admasu.

 The private sector across the continent has worked with the AU to raise the resources needed to support the deployments of health workers.

“The corporations have come together to fight back. The telecoms sector for example, has contributed US$30 million and has made it possible for individuals to contribute $1,” the AU said on Tuesday.

Under the resource mobilisation drive launched by the telecommunications sector, it was now possible for anyone in participating countries to contribute US$1 by sending STOP EBOLA to a specified country code.

The codes in operation are: 7979 for Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, 40797 in South Africa, 6969 in Chad and 1919 in Senegal. Donations may also be made via the website www.africaagainstebola.org.

The AU said by donating, each person will be helping to win the fight against Ebola. The continental body aims to send 1000 health workers to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. SAnews.gov.za