Geneva – The recent generous contributions of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other donors, public and private, to the emergency efforts to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa are critical. However, additional resources are urgently required so that the countries affected by the outbreak have the means to control and reverse the deadly progress of the disease.
The rapid deployment of facilities and expertise to the countries affected is essential to prevent the virus from spreading. The current capacities available in West Africa to deal with the outbreak are stretched beyond breaking point.
Special units for handling highly contagious diseases should be made available by partner countries, including from military resources. Other countries in the region should follow Ghana’s example and facilitate air bridges to ferry personnel and medical supplies to the countries in need.
The virulent and devastating nature of the Ebola outbreak demands rapid and exceptional measures, which I urge governments and organizations in the region and beyond to implement without delay. Such measures must include effective coordination of the aid that is being mobilized to ensure that it has maximum impact.
Kofi Annan, Chair of the Kofi Annan Foundation.