The World Bank (WB) and the African Union (AU) have outlined four key areas that must form the focus of the emergency response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
They named the four areas as support to health workers; rapid deployment of more health workers and laboratories, clinics and testing equipment; more effective communication in communities; and building stronger health systems.
The two institutions made the statement in a message signed by WB president Jim Yong Kim and AU Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma published in Liberian dailies Monday.
“Firstly, we must support health workers who are the front line in fighting this epidemic. They have paid too great a price thus far with close to 100 workers having lost their lives attending to the sick,” they said.
The two bodies said there was a need to deliver proper protective equipment, provide access to necessary supplies, pay workers commensurate with their” heroic work” and make available high quality care should they fall ill.
The second pillar, the WB and AU said, requires the quick deployment of more health workers and to provide more mobile laboratories, clinics and rapid testing equipment.
Under the third approach, the two institutions said the affected countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea – and their international partners need to communicate about Ebola much more effectively to communities.
The fourth focus, according to the WB and AU. is building stronger health systems so that when another outbreak of an infectious disease occurs, the affected countries would be able to respond more effectively.
The two expressed confidence that the Ebola virus disease response plan, led by the affected countries and World Health Organization can contain the outbreak and “in a matter of months, extinguish it.”