Dr. Kaberuka (left), President Sirleaf (middle) and Dr. Samba (right) at a brief press conference speaking against travel ban on Ebola-affected countries:
The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) along with the Regional Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) have taken exception to decisions by some countries to cancel flights and other investment activities with countries affected by the Ebola virus.
Dr. Donald Kaberuka of the AfDB and Dr. Luis Gomez Sambo of the WHO both articulated their concerns during a visit with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Wednesday, August 27, at the Foreign Ministry in Monrovia.
With some African countries and international airlines withdrawing their people and cancelling flights to Liberia, Dr. Kaberuka stressed that the withdrawal actions by those countries concerned do not have scientific backing.
He said such actions only help to worsen the situation in Liberia and other affected countries and not to help the situation.
He added that the actions by these countries would further stall the economies of the affected countries and lead to other problems.
He called on investors to reconsider their decisions to remain consistent with their plan and not to take actions that will create a stigma for people in Ebola-affected countries.
Dr. Kaberuka asserted that besides the US$60 million AfDB has contributed to fight Ebola in affected countries, the institution still plans to commit more resources to fight and defeat the virus.
Dr. Luis Gomez Samba of WHO also made it clear that the travel ban by some airlines and countries is not endorsed by the WHO.
Such an action compromises efforts by international experts to come to the aid of the affected countries to provide the technical expertise needed in helping to eradicate the disease, he declared.
He assured the Liberian government that WHO would use the US$60 million donated by AfDB to combat the disease until it is eradicated.
Meanwhile, the travel ban and restrictions by some international airlines and African countries had earlier claimed the attention of Foreign Minister, Augustine K. Ngafuan.
In his latest comment, Minister Ngafuan took exception to what he termed as “exaggerated actions” by some African countries to restrict their people from coming to Liberia or staying in Liberia.
One African country to take such decision was South Africa that withdrew its citizens from Liberia and cautioned those wanting to come not to do so because of the Ebola outbreak in the Mano River Union sub-region.
Already neighboring Ivory Coast had taken the lead in stopping Liberians from entering its territorial confines and halting ships from Liberia entering there, or stopping ships docking there from entering Liberia.
Of late, Guinea where the Ebola outbreak began and subsequently spread by Guineans traveling to Liberia, also shut its borders with the country.
Credit: Daily Observer