Commonwealth response to the Ebola virus outbreak
“The Ebola virus is an unparalleled challenge to the social fabric and wellbeing of affected countries. It is a medical calamity which is taking an enormous toll at the personal and national level.”
Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma made the remarks in a briefing to High Commissioners in London this week, after speaking again to Sierra Leone’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon Dr Kamura Samara, about appropriate Commonwealth support.
Mr Sharma pledged further Commonwealth technical assistance to support the national public health service in response to a request from the Government.
“A Commonwealth-funded expert has been working in Sierra Leone assisting the government to prepare Ebola response plans at local government level. We will now explore further assistance, including the national public health service so that it is better equipped to respond,” Mr Sharma said.
The Secretary-General was represented at the recent ‘Defeating Ebola in Sierra Leone’ conference in London, which brought together governments, non-governmental organisations and donors. The summit was well attended by Commonwealth member countries.
“We first called publicly for an urgent and strong international response to the Ebola outbreak as long ago as August. We are pleased that the international community is now accelerating and increasing its assistance, and express thanks in particular for the many valuable contributions being made by many Commonwealth countries,” the Secretary-General said.
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