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MRU countries recommend information sharing

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The four Mano River Union or MRU countries – Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Ivory Coast have issued a joint communiqué in Monrovia, calling for information sharing, experiences and good practices during and after health emergencies in order to collaborate and network with local and international partners in the sub-region.

In a just ended conference here on the Ebola Virus Disease or EVD, the MRU countries also advanced several recommendations. Delegates from the four countries recommended in the communiqué a need to develop a harmonized framework for adherence to ethical standards during health disasters with appropriate and approved mechanisms for vaccines, therapeutic agents and testing methods.

Three of the MRU countries –Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone were highly hit by the Ebola Virus Disease in 2014, but Liberia has been formally declared Ebola freed by the World Health Organization, while the remaining two countries are recovering from the virus with enormous consequences.

The communiqué also called for developing a platform to conduct additional rigorous clinical trials of vaccines, therapeutic agents and diagnostics in eradicating Ebola and to identify a harmonized cross-country strategic framework that would build capacity in the areas of ethics, regulatory affairs, research and infrastructure.

The delegates want governments of the sub-region to muster political will in supporting and implementing the recommendations. The communiqué acknowledged the contributions of the international community and organizations towards the fight against Ebola in the three affected countries, and hoped those assistance would continue until Ebola is completely eradicated from the MUR basin.

The two-day conference, which was held at the Monrovia City Hall, brought together over 80 participants from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Guinea and the United States of America, among others.

According to WHO’s August 26 Situation Report, three confirmed cases of Ebola were reported in the week up to August 23, all of which came from Guinea. The reports said all of the cases were identified in the capital, Conakry, and have generated a substantial number of high-risk contacts.

It continued that on August 24, 2015, Sierra Leone discharged its last known Ebola patient with from the Makheni Ebola Treatment Unit. “Sierra Leone will be considered free of Ebola virus transmission after 42 days have passed with no new confirmed cases,” the WHO report noted.

By Ben P. Wesee -Editing by Jonathan Browne

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