SADC calls for urgent Ebola measures

Cape Town - Urgent preventive measures must be put in place across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to ensure there is no outbreak of Ebola, SADC health ministers agreed on Wednesday.

South Africa should also become the "centre of excellence in Ebola laboratory diagnosis" for the region, they said in a statement, following an emergency meeting in Johannesburg.

Also attending were officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the SADC Secretariat.

The SADC meeting comes as WHO health experts meet in Geneva to plan new measures to curb the disease, which has killed more than 900 people in West Africa over the past six months.

The outbreak of the disease is the world's deadliest to date, and is centred on Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with cases also reported in Nigeria.

According to reports on Wednesday, a man suspected to have contracted Ebola has died in Saudi Arabia.

In its statement on Wednesday, SADC said its meeting "provided a forum for the region to share technical experiences on the Ebola virus disease [EVD] so that the region remains vigilant, and comes up with common understanding regarding the containment of EVD in case of an outbreak".

It agreed on a strategy for responding to any outbreak.

To date, there had been no reported cases of Ebola within the community's 15 member states.

Ministers at Wednesday's meeting had agreed that government sectors, as well as community, religious and political leaders, should work together to increase awareness of the Ebola situation in order to ensure optimum preparedness and response.

Further, member states should "identify and commit additional financial resources to support the outbreak preparedness".

They should organise cross-border consultations "to facilitate exchange of information", and agree on joint collaborative actions.

States should strengthen surveillance, case finding and detection, reporting and contact tracing, and share information on Ebola with WHO in a timely manner.

They should identify health facilities to be used in the event of an outbreak, and ensure these are equipped with all appropriate equipment based on WHO guidelines.

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Ayefeli Mudau 2014/08/07 05:11:56 AM
I pray to God Almighty that they get a cure for this deadliest disease
Andrew Terr 2014/08/07 05:19:15 AM
And SAA (South African A-Holes)still want to fly there.
James Kiwalabye 2014/08/07 05:50:28 AM
Do you think the world cares? It's in Africa.Even COASTU is quiet,so is every body
Craig Seaton 2014/08/07 05:57:09 AM
40 murders a day in sa that's about 1200 a month and we get this reaction with 900 deaths over 6 months through 4 countries. Wish the same focus would be paid to crime here as well
Wendy Plath McQueen 2014/08/07 06:18:17 AM
Well said Craig seaton
John Greystoke 2014/08/07 06:56:31 AM
This is nature's way of controlling the human population. God send this disease because humans are overpopulating the earth. God is wiping us out! America etc. don't care, can't blame them!
Mulalo Mullarloh Lalo Oliphant 2014/08/07 07:27:47 AM
ok fine! so we have our own crisises and other countries dont step up to help out,but when they have minor crises we try and play super country?... No! this is unexceptable lets try and balance the we do things here.
Andrew M 2014/08/07 07:56:15 AM
Step one would be for SAA to stop flights to the risk areas,further should also screen any passenger arriving in SA from these areas.
Lynessa Moodley 2014/08/07 09:20:27 AM
From what i heard, airports in SA weren't doing any examinations/checks on passengers flying in from Nigeria. Sadly thats how the ebola guy got to Nigeria from Liberia. Can the people in power in SA make it their duty to protect us and the country, is that ever on the agenda?
Madelyn Jansen van Vuuren 2014/08/08 02:38:06 PM
they should shut down airlines to and from the countries that have the ebola virus. No one must be allowed to leave or enter these countries. to ensure no further people get infected and to ensure that virus doesn't get spread. To other countries. A register must be kept of all the people to make sure everyone is there. The place must get barriers and all the people must be kept inside it.