When it comes to epidemics, every nation is vulnerable – Mahama

ECOWAS Chairman, John Dramani Mahama, has sent yet another rallying cry to the world to come together and confront the deadly Ebola disease.

The Ghanaian president told West African leaders at an Extra-Ordinary Session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Accra over the disease that the Ebola virus can no longer be left to the worst affected countries alone to deal with.

“The disease has found its way across not only borders but continents,” he stated.

Mr. Mahama said the initial slowness in response by the international community has led to the worst affected countries – Liberia’ Guinea and Sierra Leone – being left to suffer unduly.

“Despite the initial slowness in response, numerous nations have” played significant roles dealing with the disease which has claimed more than 3,000 lives.

But so much more still needs to be done to help the affected countries, he said.

President Mahama said “What is most unfortunate about the occurrence of Ebola epidemic in the three countries that are hardest hit is that these were countries recovering from the effects of conflicts; countries whose infrastructure was already greatly lagging.”

He said the rest of the world has an obligation to not only help the three countries to comprehensively fight the disease but also lift themselves out of the precarious development gaps.

“The discussion of aid must include a plan for the future sustainability of these nations. We cannot and must not leave them as the disease found them,” he said.

The ECOWAS Chairman said leaving the three countries in their vulnerable state, would “make all our efforts and assistance virtually meaningless as it would leave these countries once again vulnerable and defenceless against the threats of future health crises.”

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