US$8 Billion Required to Build Health Systems of Ebola Affected Countries, Says Guinea’s International Cooperation Minister

Maputo, Mozambique, 08.06.2015- About US$8 billion is required to revamp the health systems of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia as a result of the devastating effect of the Ebola epidemic. This was disclosed by Professor Moustapha Koutoub Sano, International Cooperation Minister of Guinea, during a seminar entitled “Critical Lessons from the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD)” held on the occasion of the 40th Annual Meeting of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in Maputo, Mozambique.

Professor Sano stated that the Ebola epidemic has exposed the fragile nature of the health systems of the affected countries which require urgent intervention in order to salvage the health systems of these countries. He stated that this can be done by strengthening human capacity and working as a united front in fighting the disease.

“In order to succeed, our international partners also need to trust our structures. While we thank international partners for their support, only a small percentage of the resources mobilized are managed by the government structures of our countries”, he told the participants of the seminar.

Professor Sano further called attention to the negative impact of media reports on the Ebola Virus which according him, has contributed to leaving negative impacts on the economies of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

The lessons learned in the fight against Ebola, according to Professor Sano, also include the need for robust technical coordination, the need for experts in disease prevention especially epidemiologists, adequate laboratories, community involvement in disease prevention, the need for effective resource mobilization and data collection during the outbreak of diseases.

IDB has mobilized US$51 million in order to support the countries affected by Ebola, including US$35 million donated by the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

In his intervention, Dr Guiliani Rugerro, the medical coordinator for Médecins sans Frontières in Mozambique called for more regional surveillance, health promotion and increased access to healthcare.

Dr. Guiliani who has worked in the Ebola affected countries narrated how his organization lost some of its staff to the epidemic. The seminar was attended by representatives from the health ministries of Mozambique and Ebola-affected countries, World Health Organization and other donor agencies.