Jul 312014

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Director-General of the World Health Organization and presidents of west African nations impacted by the Ebola Virus Disease outbreak will meet Friday in Guinea to launch a new joint US$100 million response plan as part of an intensified international, regional and national campaign to bring the outbreak under control.

“The scale of the Ebola outbreak, and the persistent threat it poses, requires WHO and Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone to take the response to a new level, and this will require increased resources, in-country medical expertise, regional preparedness and coordination,” says Dr Chan. “The countries have identified what they need, and WHO is reaching out to the international community to drive the response plan forward.”

The Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak Response Plan in West Africa identifies the need for several hundred more personnel to be deployed in affected countries to supplement overstretched treatment facilities. Hundreds of international aid workers, as well as 120-plus WHO staff, are already supporting national and regional response efforts. But more are urgently required. Of greatest need are clinical doctors and nurses, epidemiologists, social mobilization experts, logisticians and data managers. The plan also outlines the need to increase preparedness systems in neighbouring nations and strengthen global capacities.

Key elements of the new plan, which draws on lessons learnt from other outbreaks, include strategies to:

- Stop transmission of Ebola Virus Disease in the affected countries through scaling up effective, evidence-based outbreak control measures.

- Prevent the spread of Ebola Virus Disease to the neighbouring at-risk countries through strengthening epidemic preparedness and response measures.

WHO and affected and neighbouring countries will renew efforts to mobilize communities and strengthen communication so that people know how to avoid infection and what to do if they fear they may have come into contact with the virus.

Improving prevention, detecting and reporting suspected cases, referring people infected with the disease for medical care, as well as psychosocial support, are key. The plan also emphasizes the importance of surveillance, particularly in border areas, of risk assessments and of laboratory-based diagnostic testing of suspected cases. Also highlighted is the need to improve ways to protect health workers, a scarce resource in all three countries, from infection.

Finally, reinforcing coordination of the overall health response is critical. In particular, this includes strengthening capacities of the WHO-run Sub-regional Outbreak Coordination Centre, which was opened this month in Conakry, Guinea, to consolidate and streamline support to West African countries by all major partners and assist in resource mobilization.

The scale of the ongoing outbreak is unprecedented, with approximately 1323 confirmed and suspected cases reported, and 729 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since March 2014.

Source: APO

Jul 312014
Food insecurity continues to deepen in South Sudan as funds dry up / Urgent assistance needed for life-saving support to farmers, fishers and pastoralists

ROME, Italy, July 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Continued efforts to provide farmers, fishers and pastoralists in South Sudan with life-saving emergency livelihood kits are at risk due to a funding shortfall, aggravating the risk of famine in some areas of the country, FAO warned today. The Organization has so far received $42 million [...]

Jul 312014
U.S., partner nations gather in Malawi for Exercise Southern Accord 14

LILONGWE, Malawi, July 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Civilian and military personnel from Malawi Defense Force, the U.S. and other partner nations have gathered in Lilongwe, Malawi to participate in the U.S. Africa Command-sponsored Exercise Southern Accord 14, July 14-31. Comprising approximately 200 participants from ten countries, SA14 combines academics and team building into [...]

Jul 312014

GENEVA, Switzerland, July 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Thousands of displaced South Sudanese living in congested camps with poor hygiene and sanitation are at high risk of contracting cholera. Since the beginning of July this year, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams in Upper Nile State have treated over 904 patients for cholera [...]

Jul 312014
Remarks by the First Lady Before a Roundtable with Young African Leaders

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Omni Shoreham Hotel Washington, D.C. 11:41 A.M. EDT MRS. OBAMA: I don’t want to do too much talking because I just talked in there. You heard my thoughts. But I’m really interested in hearing from you. As I’ve said — as you’ve heard, as Tina has [...]

Jul 312014
Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice “Africa and America: Partners in a Shared Future”

WASHINGTON, July 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice “Africa and America: Partners in a Shared Future” at the United State Institute of Peace, Washington, DC Wednesday, July 30, 2014 As Delivered Good morning, everyone. Thank you Kristin for that very generous introduction. And thank you all for [...]

Jul 312014

NEW YORK, July 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Major General Martin Chomu Tumenta ( Cameroon) as the Force Commander of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). Major General Tumenta will commence his appointment mid-September 2014 at the [...]

Jul 312014
The African Union makes a pressing appeal for an immediate end to violence and dialogue in Libya / The AU urges the international community to lend its full support to the efforts of the region through the High-Level Ministerial Group on Libya

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 31, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, is following, with dismay and concern, the evolution of the situation in Libya, which is marked by the escalation of the armed confrontation between armed groups and militias, particularly in Benghazi and [...]

Jul 302014
UN Representative for Somalia welcomes agreement of intent to form new administration in central Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia, July 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia (SRSG), Nicholas Kay, welcomed today’s agreement in principle to form a regional administration in central Somalia. Under the leadership of the Federal Government, representatives from the region signed a document in which they stated that they would [...]

Jul 302014
Mozambique Unveils Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Plans at USAFRICOM Sponsored Event

MAPUTO, Mozambique, July 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The Government of Mozambique in partnership with the United States Africa Command (USAFRICOM) Disaster Preparedness Program (DPP), successfully concluded day one of the Cabinet Simulation Exercise on Disaster Preparedness and Response in Maputo, 28 July 2014. More than 140 representatives of Mozambique’s government, military, national media, [...]

Jul 302014
Swaziland / Singapore

SINGAPORE, Singapore, July 30, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Swaziland presented its credentials to President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana today: The High Commissioner of the Kingdom of Swaziland His Excellency Sotja Mphucuko Dlamini HE SOTJA MPHUCUKO DLAMINI HIGH COMMISSIONER TO THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE [...]