President Koroma Thanks ECOWAS Chairman Over Ebola Support in Sierra Leone
President Koroma has thanked chairman of the Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) who is Ghanaian President Mahama for the leadership role played by Mahama in making sure that Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea have come this far in the struggle to extinguish Ebola from the Mano River Union basin of West Africa.
This is according to news reports filed from Ghana. The Sierra Leone President was speaking to Ghanaian pressmen on Saturday evening 9th May 2015, when he stopped over at the Kotoka international Airport in Ghana. The Vice-President of Ghana, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur had gone to the airport to offer diplomatic courtesies to the Sierra Leone leader who had flown in from Zambia.
President Koroma stated that he was in Ghana for a brief stopover in order to do refueling after attending an African Union summit of Committee of Ten on the UN Security Council Reform (C-10) in Zambia.
The Sierra Leone leader who is also the African Union’s Chairman of the C-10, is tasked with promoting and canvassing the African Union common position in the UN Security Council reform negotiations. He said it was an African Union initiative to accelerate United Nations Reform especially at the Security Council. He told journalists that they would report and brief the AU plenary of the outcome of the Summit. This, he said, would be done at the next African Union meeting. Further to this, the Sierra Leone leader said the AU’s position will be championed at the United Nations General Assembly meeting this year during the 70 years celebrations of the formation of the UN.
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On the issue of Ebola cases in Sierra Leone, he said they have made substantial progress in the fight and are currently recording zero cases compared to the figures that they were recording some few months ago. He expressed cautious optimism saying that those results are now encouraging but they would have to wait for the 42 days grace period from the time the last Ebola patient is either cured or buried. If nothing happens, then the World Health Organisation will declare Sierra Leone as being Ebola-free.
President Koroma further thanked ECOWAS and President Mahama for not only resources but for the support that has motivated the afflicted countries to emerge as capable of being on top of the situation. He said ECOWAS and countries and donor support all helped in the fight to stem the virus.
The Sierra Leone leader said there are many lessons to be learnt out of the Outbreak but his country was making progress. He however said, taking a look at a country like Sierra Leone that came out of a civil war with a devastated health infrastructure only to be hit by Ebola strikes, there was a need to have strong support to rebuild the country. He said a permanent sub regional health system was needed to be put in place to collaborate to help build a resilient heath system in the region.
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In his remarks, Vice President, Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, has stated the Chairman of Ecowas, President Mahama and the people of Ghana are committed in the continuing process of putting their resources together to help all countries that are in distress, especially brothers and sisters who are in the Ebola stricken countries in the sub region, so that they all will become Ebola free.