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Health News of Friday, 11 July 2014

Source: myjoyonline.com

ECOWAS leaders set up fund to deal with the Ebola

West African leaders, at the end of the 45th ECOWAS Summit of Heads of State and Government in Accra on Thursday, have set up a fund to deal with the spread of the Ebola Virus Disease in the sub-region.

"Some immediate commitments were made. One million dollars have gone into the fund, but Nigeria also made some direct commitments to the nations affected [Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea-Bissau] totaling about three million dollars," announced ECOWAS Chairman, President John Mahama.

President John Mahama also disclosed the money would go into education logistics and technical support towards curbing the spread of the virus in the sub-region.

More than 500 people have died from the disease in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea-Bissau since the outbreak of the deadly virus in February.

Ghana has not recorded any case. The disease is known to kill 90 percent of who get infected within days.

"I believe that the fund will help because so far one of the major reasons for being unable to stop the spread has been the lack of resources, especially protective clothing," President Mahama stated.

The leaders also agreed in principle to abolish resident permits, which would see the introduction of new biometric identity cards for all ECOWAS citizens for easy identification across borders

However, the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) is worried the process may cause problems for Ghana if adequate infrastructure is not put in place.

Francis Palmdeti, GIS Head of Public Affairs, told Joy News, the abolition of resident permits could cause an influx of citizens from other ECOWAS countries into Ghana.

"We must have the resources and structures to regulate the movement of people and know who is on our country…but as I speak those structures are not in place," Palmdeti said.

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