From Joram Nyathi at the UNITED NATIONS, New York
INTERNATIONAL cooperation is extremely important for the complete eradication of the Ebola virus disease, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has said.
Dr Parirenyatwa, who attended technical presentations at the Ebola recovery conference under way here, is part of the Zimbabwean delegation led by President Mugabe to the high-level conference bringing together Ebola-hit countries of West Africa and technical partners.
African Union chairman President Mugabe, who is leading the African delegation, is scheduled to make a presentation today.
The conference was convened by UN Secretary-General Mr Ban Ki- moon in an effort to mobilise resources and coordinate efforts by the international community to combat the Ebola epidemic which has ravaged several countries in West Africa.
The countries most affected are Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea where in some instances it killed entire families and has impacted negatively on the economic and social fabric of the region.
Dr Parirenyatwa said the presentations by the ministers from the three countries were important as a warning to the those countries in Southern Africa not yet affected.
“This conference is very important because the international community must come together to combat the Ebola scourge,” said Dr Parirenyatwa. “It reminds us that we must not be complacent. There is need for more awareness, more resources and manpower,” he said.
He also called for debt cancellation for countries affected by the latest Ebola outbreak which killed about 10 000 out of nearly 25 000 reported cases.
Dr Parirenyatwa said it was possible to overcome the Ebola virus disease if nations pooled resources and there were continuous awareness campaigns to avoid the spread of the disease or the outbreak of new cases.
He said he was confident the disease could be eradicated if the international community confronted Ebola with a sense of common purpose.
The technical presentations yesterday sought to give a full picture of the impact and extent of the latest Ebola virus which wiped out whole families and has badly hit the economic growth rates of the affected countries.
The presentations showed the need for more financial and human resources for full economic recovery and to prevent future outbreaks.
To that extent, said Dr Parirenyatwa, Southern Africa should not be complacent if it was to avoid the tragedy which hit parts of west Africa.
“It is possible to wipe out the disease,” he said. “We cannot afford to be complacent. There is need for awareness campaigns so that our people are always on the lookout for Ebola signs and symptoms.”