Ebola – The “Brussels Appeal” of the African Ambassadors
Saturday, 18 October 2014
On Friday, ambassadors of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia launched the “Brussels Appeal “at the end of a symposium organized by the ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) on the Ebola outbreak. ”We hope that this symposium will provide the basis of the international conference that we want,” stated ambassadors Ousmane Sylla (Guinea), Jarjar Kamara (Liberia) and Ibrahim Sorie (Sierra Leone). The objective of this conference is to bring together humanitarian, scientific, media, diplomatic, and economic sectors as soon as possible in order to develop a comprehensive strategy against the Ebola virus.
“So far, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are working hand in hand,” continued the ambassadors. “We are getting a lot of financial, logistical and human support from both Western and developing countries.”
Given the urgency of the situation, the ambassadors are looking to receive “direct net aid” and “avoid lengthy processes” so that patients can be diagnosed and treated as soon as possible.
“It should not be a pledging conference”, said the diplomat. “We need to raise awareness and fight against stigma. Currently, we see extreme cases, such as the case of the Zaventem baggage handlers who refuse to touch bags that come from a country affected by Ebola.”
At this point, the only way to fight against the disease is prevention and education, concluded the symposium. A vaccine is expected in the coming months. “No need to test,” said the ambassador of Guinea, Ousmane Sylla. “As soon as it is ready, it should be sent to the patients as soon as possible.”
The ambassadors confirmed that they could quickly implement a vaccination campaign, “as we did in 2009 against polio, in collaboration with Doctors without Borders, the Red Cross, WHO and UNICEF.”