Heads of States meeting at the 47th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS are cautioning Liberia against celebrating too soon to the eradication of the deadly Ebola virus disease out of the country given the prevailing situation in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone.
Liberia- formally certificated as an Ebola-free nation on May 11 by the World Health Organization or WHO, had been recorded to have had the highest deaths among the three worst-hit West African states, including Sierra Leone and Guinea, before successfully achieving the zero new case 42-day benchmark set by the WHO.
The Chairman of the ECOWAS Commission, Mr. Kadre Desire Quedeago and United Nations Secretary General Special Representative for West Africa, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, in separate remarks, lauded Liberia’s milestone achievement, but cautioned that it was too soon to celebrate, given the prevailing situation in Guinea and Sierra Leone.
A dispatch from Accra, Ghana however disclosed that Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, hailed President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf’s “extraordinary leadership and commitment demonstrated in the aggressive fight against the Ebola disease, culminating into the World Health Organization’s announcement declaring Liberia Ebola-free.”
The dispatch dated May 19, noted that Dr. Mahama, who chairs the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Governments, commended President Sirleaf in his opening address at the start of the 47thOrdinary Session of ECOWAS being held at the Accra International Conference Center.
The Ghanaian President also praised the government and good people of Liberia for their resilience and determination in rallying around President Sirleaf’s administration to rid Liberia of the deadly disease.
He said though challenged by the obtaining circumstances in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone, it was imperative for the world to stand by Liberia and the sub-region towards building a resilient post-Ebola health system.
The Ghanaian President expressed gratitude to the international community and friendly nations for the outpouring support and assistance to the region.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan received tremendous applause for his courage and maturity in leading Nigeria through an unhindered transition.
On May 29, Nigeria is expected to inaugurate its newly elected President, General Muhammadu Buhari, who will officially take over from President Jonathan after this year’s presidential election that disfavored him.