Executive Mansion Press Release
Monrovia, Liberia: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has acknowledged gains made by Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone on the economic front prior to the Ebola outbreak that hit Southern Guinea and later spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone.
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf as speaking on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 in the Ball Room of the Monrovia City Hall, when she delivered a statement at the closing ceremony of a Three-day Regional and Targeted Actions of countries of the Economic Community of West African States, especially those most affected by Ebola Virus Disease outbreak. The regional meeting was aimed preventing future outbreak of such infectious diseases in the region.
President Sirleaf said the outbreak taught Liberians many lessons, including dealing with the virus, combating it, and prevention. She described Ebola as an enemy that no one could see, touch, feel, let alone fight.
President Sirleaf called Member States of the West African Health Organizations (WAHO) to find a way as to how medical experts can combat, control and prevent the disease in case our future outbreak.
The Liberia leader noted that the outbreak has taught leaders of the region and citizens lessons, ranging from individual to community engagement, strengthening of community and national health facilities.
Referring to health statistics, the President Sirleaf said the Ebola Virus Disease also took the lives of at least 11,300 while 17,000 suspected cases were identified.
She paid tribute to the role of President Faure Gnassingbé of who was appointed by ECOWAS as Regional Coordinator for Ebola Response and Eradication tasked with mobilizing assistance from Member States in the region, the African Union, the World Health Organizations among others. She expressed the hope that the deliberations would help the sub region in combating, controlling and preventing infectious diseases.
Speaking earlier, the Director General of the West African Health Organizations (WAHO), Dr. Xavier Crispin, welcomed the dignitaries on behalf of his colleagues and said the presence of Presidents Sirleaf and Togolese President, Faure Gnassingbé as well as the Special Envoys of Presidents Alpha Conde and Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone was demonstration of commitment to free the region infectious diseases.
The two-day ECOWAS Ministers of Health meeting adopted a five-count resolutions that would allow Member States: (1) “To pay special attentions to the necessary intervention required for post Ebola national health reconstruction; (2) To provide the necessary supports for all the Member States of our community, in particular, for countries which were most affected by the Ebola virus disease (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leon), (3) To actively support all regional strategies and interventions that fall within the priority goal of building capacities in the region and in the country for the early prevention, detection and control of epidemics by paying keen attentions “One Health Approach” To substantially maintain and increase the financial contributions of our respective states to the ECOWAS Regional Solidarity Funds, (5) To work resolutely toward steady increase in the national budget of our states earmarked for health in accordance with the “Abuja Declaration” adopted at the OAU Summit of Heads of States of and Governments on HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and other related infectious disease, held in Abuja, Nigeria from 24th27th April, 2001
Meanwhile, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and her Togolese counterpart paid a special visit to the ongoing ECOWAS Parliamentarian Conference held at the Boulevard Palace Hotel in Monrovia, during which the Liberian leader congratulated the organizing committee of the Delocalized meeting of the ECOWAS Parliament for their deliberations aimed at combating counterfeit drugs in the sub region. President Sirleaf also commended President Gnassingbé for mobilizing resources for Liberia during the Ebola crisis and to date.
In his remarks, the President Faure Gnassingbé praised members of the ECOWAS Parliament for giving him the opportunity to speak during their meeting. He assured them that the Heads of State of ECOWAS will support their efforts. Speaking further, the Togolese leader paid special tribute to the Liberian leader for the level of work she has done, since her ascendency to the leadership of ECOWAS. He said ECOWAS has become more responsible and respected under her leadership.
The ceremony was attended by high-profiled guests, including the President of ECOWAS Commission, Marcel Alan Du Souza, Dr. Abubakar Fofana, Minister of Health and Special Representative of President Ernest Bai Koroma, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Speaker Emmanuel Nuquay of the House of Representatives, Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Mustapha Cisse Lo and Ambassador Abdoulaye Dore, Doyen of the Diplomatic Corps, Liberia’s Health Minister, Dr. Bernice Dahn, amongst others.