Member States of African Union have been mandated Member States of the African Union (AU) have been called upon to urgently lift all travel bans and restrictions related to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak to respect the principle of free movement, and to ensure that all restrictions are in line with recommendations from the relevant international organisations.
This was revealed in the communique released after the of the Union’s Executive Council held at the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa to craft a united, comprehensive and collective response to the Ebola outbreak, agreed that any travel related measures should be in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommendations, in particular the recommendation for proper screening.
The Council noted that the economic and financial activities in the continent should not be unnecessarily restricted given the recognized heavy negative socio- economic impact and unproven effectiveness of reactive restrictive measures that has been taken on dreaded disease.
The Council stressed further that the commission should prepare a list of recommended economic and financial measures which are to be adopted and implemented at national, regional and continental levels in solidarity with the directly affected countries as well as economic and financial measures the international community and institutions at large are called upon to consider and apply.
Appropriate measures must be put in place for monitoring mechanism to support urgent disbursement of pledged support to EVD outbreak response; facilitating the expansion of the mandate of the AU Special Emergency Assistance Fund for Drought and Famine in Africa to include public health emergencies and other calamities; ensuring the replenishment of the exhausted AU Special Emergency Assistance Fund for Drought and Famine in Africa to continue to provide support to Member States and elaborate specific criteria for the Fund operations
Others include voluntary contributions member states to the Special Emergency Assistance Fund for Drought and Famine in Africa whose resources are dwindling by the day to explore possibility of convening a pledging Conference in favour of that Fund
The commission urged the member states to share the list of infected persons with epidemiological surveillance services (especially neighbouring countries and those affected by the epidemic) so as to facilitate the contribution of these countries and different regions to the monitoring of infected persons, their identification if missing and early medical care for them; to strengthen screening measures at the entry and exit of these countries, and the immediate use of mobile screening laboratories.
It also encouraged ongoing scientific researches on the use of serums and vaccines and to work closely with Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), international and regional Organizations, Africa’s partners, public sector and other relevant actors on the ground, with a view to mobilizing adequate resources to respond to the EVD crisis, in the spirit of Africa solidarity and global approach and in a very well-coordinated and transparent manner, including the sharing of information on commitments and contributions of the various partners; and to engage with media and advocacy groups, local communities, civil society organizations, social networks and other relevant actors on the ground to ensure proper communications about EVD to the general population and the international community at large.
Story Written by: SEYE Joseph