African Union discusses governmental response to Ebola outbreak

Round table participants discussed the varied responses to the Ebola virus.
Round table participants discussed the varied responses to the Ebola virus. | File photo
The African Union Department of Social Affairs recently held a high-level round table on governance issues in the various responses to the Ebola virus, focusing on the lessons learned and the best practices for resilient health systems moving forward.

“The continental response to the Ebola epidemic included high-level advocacy, mobilization of financial resources and the deployment of health workers and other personnel to the affected countries by member states and the private sector,” Commissioner of Social Affairs Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko said. “The ASEOWA mission deployed 855 volunteers between September 2014 and February 2015.”

In his remarks, Kaloko emphasized the impact of governance issues in responding to the disease, such as accountability, delivery of public services and trust between the state and society.

“There is no doubt that governance issues had a significant impact on the fight against Ebola," he said. "For example, why did the health workers in the affected countries initially have difficulties in mobilizing an immediate and adequate response to the Ebola?”

Round table participants discussed the varied responses to the virus and the lessons that can be learned from them, including the need for early-warning systems and actions and remedial containment measures. They also cooperated on determining how the various stakeholders can promote health systems that will not be overwhelmed by shocks.

The round table was run in partnership with the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University, the African Peace Building Network Program of the Social Science Research Council, the Oxfam International Liaison Office with the African Union, and the United Nations.

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African Union Commission

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