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Thursday, April 02, 2015

Ebola Crisis Quote from H.E. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan


Madam Chair, Esteemed Colleagues,

Lest we forget, up until 1976 our continent or mankind in general did not know or experience anything called Ebola. Also up until the 1980’s mankind did not know or experience anything called HIV/AIDS. Again until December 2013 when a different strand of the Ebola virus emerged from the jungle and began to infect people in the remote parts of Guinea, the widely held belief was that Ebola was a Central or East African problem. So although we pray against the outbreak of new virus diseases or the re-occurrence of old virus diseases in the future, we cannot rule out this possibility 100%, as we do not know when or where next our continent could face another major public health challenge.

Therefore, if we allow hysteria and paranoia to underpin our reactions to this Ebola outbreak, we would create a legacy of blanket stigmatization and unnecessary restrictions, which would be tantamount to unwittingly writing a dangerous prescription for how countries on our continent should be treated whenever they get afflicted with any public health challenge in the future. It is this grim possibility that we all, as African nations, must avoid by revisiting all measures that are not consistent with expert advice but only fly in the face of African solidarity and integration.

Thank You.

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