African Union Commission hosts luncheon to pay tribute to the national, continental and international efforts against Ebola
The African Union Commission on Sunday 31st January 2015, on the side lines of the 26th AU Summit hosted a luncheon in honour of the efforts against Ebola. The luncheon hosted by the Chairperson of the AU Commission featured a variety of traditional African dishes and musical entertainment and was attended by Heads of State and Government, senior government officials, AUC staff, partners and companies that contributed to the African Union Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA). All invited guests who graced the occasion converged together to recognise and acknowledge the role played by different stakeholders, including the governments and people of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone; AU Member states who made financial and other contributions, and seconded health workers; the ASEOWA health workers who risked their lives in solidarity to defeat the epidemic, as well as the African private sector.
On the occasion, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma reflected on the 855 health workers from various countries who risked their lives in an effort to fight the Ebola disease, noting that the luncheon is a great reminder of the end of the Ebola mission in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Dr. Dlamini Zuma commended the spirit of solidarity and support that AUC member states showed towards the affected countries, ranging from financial, technical and human resources, all which came under the banner of the African Union.
The Chairperson of the Commission highlighted the immense role played by the African Union Support to the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (ASEOWA) formed by the Peace and Security Council of the AU. “Strengthening public health is critical to the goal of Agenda 2063 of investing in the African people and reaching sustainable development goals on health,” echoed Dr. Dlamini Zuma.
Dr. Dlamini Zuma also ceased the opportunity to highlight the on-going process to operationalize the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, and the African Centre for Risk Capacity, adding that it will go a long way in capacitating the response to future outbreaks
President Teodoro Obiang Mbasogo President of Equatorial Guinea and current chair of the AU Peace and Security Council highlighted the quick response by the PSC towards the Ebola outbreak, despite the limited capacity that was available to tackle the epidemic. In his conclusion President Teodoro said that despite the positive indications of eradication of the disease, African countries should take this as a lesson learned and put mechanisms in place to tackle any future outbreaks.
Dr. Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, Commissioner for Social Affairs of the AUC thanked the African Union Commission under the leadership of Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, all member states and partners for the support given towards the fight against Ebola
During the luncheon, awards were given to all the volunteers, private sector representatives, partners as well as member states who through their collective efforts helped to put an end to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The awards were handed over by Dr Kaloko and Dr Dlamini Zuma.