DECLARATION OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT OF
The Heads of State and Government of Member States of the Mano River Union (Sierra Leone, Liberia Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire) and development partners including the World Health organization’s Director General, Madam Margaret Chan, met on August 1, 2014 in Conakry, Republic of Guinea, to review the status of the Ebola epidemic and adopt common strategies to eradicate Ebola from the sub-region.
Considering that the Ebola epidemic was confirmed in the three of four Member States of the Union (Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea) and cognizant of the high number of affected persons including health personnel;
Considering that the individual Member States do not have sufficient capacity to stop this epidemic without concerted intervention;
Considering the cross-border nature of the epidemic and the risk of its spread beyond the Member States of the Mano River Union borders if drastic measures are not taken;
Considering the Guinean experience in terms of management of the epidemic, in particular the monitoring, the contact tracing, and community participation in taking care of the cases and dealing with the resistance ;
Acknowledging the specificity of each country that may warrant country specific actions;
Cognizant of the socio economic impact of the epidemic on the development of the three Member States sharing the same borders;
Acknowledging that the Ebola epidemic is a threat to health security at the national, sub-regional, regional and global levels;
Recognizing all the efforts made by the various Member States with the support of the development partners;
Taking note of recommendations made at cross-border meetings of Ministers of Health of the Mano River Union held on 20th of June 2014 in Conakry and that of Ministers of Health of West Africa on the Ebola epidemic from the 2nd to the 3rd July 2014 in Accra;
Considering key challenges faced by the Member States of the sub-region such as human resource, health systems, medical supplies etc;
At today’s meeting 1st August 2014, we have decided to take the following measures”
1. We, the Heads of State and Government of the Mano River Union, commit to take actions to stop the Ebola outbreak in our Member States. We would like to
express our appreciation to all our health personnel and experts in our respective countries who have been supporting us in the fight against Ebola.
2. We have agreed to take important and extraordinary actions at the inter country level to focus on cross-border regions that have more than 70 percent of the epidemic. These areas will be isolated by police and the military. The people in these areas being isolated will be provided with material support. The health care service in these zones will be strengthened for treatment, testing and contact tracing to be done effectively. Burials will be done in accordance with national health regulations.
3. We agree to provide our health personnel incentives, treatment and protection so they could come back to work. We shall ensure the security and safety of all national and international personnel supporting the fight against Ebola.
4. Member States may consider restriction of movement and prohibiting mass gatherings as appropriate.
5. Ebola is an international problem that requires an international response, Accordingly, we the Heads of State commit to do our part to bring the Ebola outbreak to an end as soon as possible. To this end, the International Community shall support Member States to build capacity for surveillance, contact tracing, case management and laboratory capacity.
6. We the Heads of State want to assure the international community that the disease is not being exported. We assure the International Community that we have instituted measures at international ports of entry and the information will be provided to each Member State so these people will not be able to travel outside of their respective countries until surveillance has been lifted.
7. We also appreciate the support of international organizations and NGOs but ask that they work within the framework of our national plans. Communication shall be transparent and coordinated using the structures that have been established within each Member State. We the Member States shall be transparent in how we use your resources to achieve results and we request that all partners shall be transparent and accountable.
The extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the Mano River Union also commit the following additional measures:
1. Mobilize private and public sectors (communities, local, religious and political authorities, etc.) to work in synergy and increase sensitization efforts to enable communities to understand the Ebola disease for effective and efficient eradication;
2. Involve all sectors in the immediate implementation of interventions indicated in the national response plans for the eradication of the epidemic;
3. Harmonize and coordinate measures by Member States to fight the disease;
4. Consult with each other before major decisions and declarations related to Ebola are made;
5. Deploy national and international human resources with appropriate skills to strengthen the fight;
6. Mobilize and allocate appropriate financial resources to stop the epidemic;
7. Strengthen the surveillance of cross border movement through information sharing on screening of passengers;
8. Build Capacity of Member States for surveillance, active case search, contact tracing as well as information sharing on the Ebola epidemic with WHO, CDC, MSF, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, IFRC, and other partners in a timely manner;
9. Inform communities on issues related to the Ebola epidemic in order to strengthen sensitization and to promote community participation taking into account the cultural contexts;
10. Improve infection prevention and control in all health facilities to prevent health personnel from dying on case there is a recurrence;
11. Put in place a monitoring and evaluation system of regional strategies and conduct research around the disease;
12. Share expertise and resources within the sub-region.
To the Partners:
Provide technical, financial and material assistance needed to support interventions for the eradication of the Ebola epidemic from affected Member States and the preparation of activities in Member States facing the risk;
The Heads of State and Government mandated Professor Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea and Chairman of the Union to convey the message of the Union related to the Ebola to the US – Africa Leaders Summit which will be held o Washington from 5th to 6th August 2014.
The Heads of State and Government sincerely thank the Development Partners and the International Community for their continued support in the control of the disease;
The Heads of State and Government thank the Director General of WHO and the Africa Regional Director of WHO for their support to efforts made by the Governments of the Union;
The Heads of State and Government congratulate, commend and encourage the Secretary General of the Mano River Union, Ambassador Dr. Kaba Hadja Saran DARABA and her team, for their continued efforts in the fight against the disease;
Finally, the Heads of State and Government thank His Excellency Professor Alpha CONTE, President of the Republic of Guinea, His Government and the People of Guinea for the warm and brotherly welcome accorded to the guests during the meeting.
H E Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
President of the Republic of Liberia
H E Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma
President of the Republic of Sierra Leone
Dr. Raymonde Goudou Coffie
Minister of Health and in charge of the Fight Against AIDS
Representative of H E Mr. Alassane Ouattara
President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire
H E Professor Alpha Conde
President of the Republic of Guinea
Done at Conakry on the 1st of August 2014