As concerns over the spread of the Ebola virus continue to grow to the peak in Liberia, President Goodluck Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has provide US$500,000 to aid the fight against the deadly virus that has claimed over 40 lives.
President Goodluck Jonathan’s donation on July 10 in the Ghanaian capital, Accra at the 45th Ordinary Session of ECOWAS is in response to the launch of fund drive against Ebola announced by the Chairperson of ECOWAS, Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama.
Ebola broke out in Guinea a few months ago and subsequently spread to Liberia and then Sierra Leone. The disease has claimed 518 lives in the three countries with more suspected cases standing.
President Jonathan then made separate donations to Guinea and Sierra Leone, West African Health Organization (WHAO) and the ECOWAS Pool Fund Against Ebola, bringing to the total of US$3.5 million.
Heads of State of ECOWAS made the decision to launch the pool fund against Ebola following a report to the Summit by the Director General of the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) Dr. Xavier Crespin.
In his report, the WAHO Director General informed the leaders about the threat the Ebola epidemic is posing to the sub-region especially the three affected countries including Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
He informed the Summit that 844 cases linked to Ebola have been reported in the three countries out of which 518 deaths have occurred so far. He disclosed about 15 million United States Dollars will be needed to fight Ebola given the scale of the crisis in the three countries and to prevent the virus from spreading to other West African nations.
Giving an update on the scale of the Ebola situation in Liberia during the summit, Vice President Joseph Boakai disclosed that 87 deaths have been reported while there are 131 suspected and confirmed cases of the virus in Liberia.
Vice President Boakai spoke of efforts by the Liberian Government to step up the fight and awareness against the disease. While calling for more support, the Liberian Vice President commended the West African Health Organization for an earlier donation of 250 thousand United States Dollars to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone as part of efforts to combat Ebola.
Sixty-six thousand (Sixty-Six thousand Dollars) of the amount went to the Government of Liberia through its Ministry of Health.
He also extended gratitude to WAHO and other members of the international donor community for their assistance so far to Liberia and then lifted praises to Nigerian President Jonathan for what he described as a truly brotherly donation.
Meanwhile, Ghanaian President Mahama has called on other member states of ECOWAS to join the fight against Ebola by following the footsteps of Nigeria contributed to the ECOWAS Fund to Combat Ebola.
Vice President Boakai led the Liberian Government delegation to the ECOWAS Summit in Accra, Ghana, which include Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan along with a host of other Liberian Government Officials.