AU calls for more support of human resources in fight against Ebola in West Africa



The African Union (AU) has called for more support in human resources from its member states and partners for its fight against Ebola in West Africa.

During a press conference on Thursday at AU Headquarters in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the AU Commission, said infrastructure and human resources are among the pressing challenges facing the pan-African bloc in its response to the Ebola epidemic.

Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea are the most affected West African countries by Ebola. The AU said the problem is overwhelming in the three countries.

"The challenge with Ebola is mainly two or three areas. The first area is that we need infrastructure, treatment centers, hospitals in almost all the three countries," said Dlamini-Zuma.

According to the chairperson, processes and programs have been put in place to take care of the infrastructure in the three countries following the commitment by the international community at the recent UN meeting.

The Chairperson said human resource is the big challenge to respond to the epidemic.

She underlined the need to do more to mobilize more human resources to the three countries, where the challenge is serious.

"The second challenge is human resource. When the international community is pledging, not many countries pledged human resources and yet if the infrastructure is built, it will need human beings, health workers to work in those hospitals and treatment centers," said Dlamini-Zuma.

"We have about 100 volunteers up to now. We are looking for more. We are looking for more volunteers because that is going to be a big challenge to augment the human resources existing in the three countries," she said.

The chairperson also stated that the AU is requesting its member states if each could provide support with about 10-20 volunteers.

"We have also written to our member states, to our heads of states to see if each country can give us not a lot, may be 10-20 each," she noted.

She also said the AU is talking to other countries outside the continent seeking support in human resource.

In its effort to address the epidemic, the AU has deployed volunteers to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Enditem