Even though favorable reports are coming from the three Ebola affected countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone with Liberia having no confirmed case for the past 26 or more days, President Barack Obama has stressed that the United States cannot be complacent as this deadly disease is “unpredictable.”
President Obama made the assertion in the cabinet room at the White House in Washington, D.C. while meeting with the three West African leaders, Presidents Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Alpha Conde, and Ernest Bai Koroma of the Ebola affected countries.
Against this backdrop, Obama said the international community needs to remain fully engaged in partnership with the three countries, expressing the need for rebuilding of their health systemas to meet daily needs.
“We have to be vigilant, and the international community has to remain fully engaged in a partnership with these three countries until there are no cases of Ebola in these countries.
Health systems also have to be rebuilt to meet daily needs — vaccines for measles, delivering babies safely, treating HIV/AIDS and malaria. And with our Global Health Security Agenda, we intend to do more to prevent future epidemics,” the President stressed.
The economic breakdown caused by the Ebola crisis in the three countries also matters to President Obama as the international community helps to eradicate the disease.
In this vein, President Obama said, “So the Ebola epidemic has been also an economic crisis. That’s part of the reason why these three presidents are here.
“They’re going to be meeting with a number of the multilateral institutions — the IMF and World Bank here in Washington. Theirs is the challenge of restoring markets and agricultural growth, promoting investment and development.”
He assured the three West African leaders that as they meet with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank to strategize in bringing economic recovery to their respective countries, he was also looking forward to hearing from them on how the United States can assist in the recovery process.
“So I’m going to be looking forward to hearing from them on how the United States can stand shoulder to shoulder with them to work hard to take this crisis and turn it into an opportunity to rebuild even stronger than before: To strengthen administrative systems, public health systems, to continue the work that they’ve done in rooting out corruption, reinforcing democratic institutions — all of which will be the foundation stones for long-term progress and prosperity.”
He, however, expressed that with just 40 cases now in both Guinea and Sierra Leone with Liberia having zero case, it is a great progress in fighting the disease and he commended the leaders for their efforts.
He also acknowledged the US role in leading the global fight against the disease and extended condolences on behalf of the people of the United States and in his own name.