INTERVENTION BY TURKEY "Ebola virus disease outbreak & Follow-up to the EBSS on Ebola"
We are very pleased with the Interim Assessment Panel’s First Report. In January, we achieved to adopt a very important resolution on Ebola outbreak. Indeed, this resolution has paved the way forward not only for reaching zero target in Ebola cases, but also realizing the very needed reforms at WHO.
We, member states can achieve the strengthening of WHO’s capacity in emergencies and outbreaks, including human resources, financing, partnerships and communications capabilities. We believe that lessons learnt from this unfortunate outbreak resonate in WHO’s efforts for a more enhanced coordination between headquarters, regional offices and country offices.
We would like to commend the efforts of three affected countries in responding this unprecedented outbreak. We achieved a lot. However, we must stay vigilant and work towards getting to zero Ebola cases.
Indeed, preparedness and resilience are key elements in responding emergencies. This recent outbreak once again showed us that to close the gaps in these vital capacity components, a full-fledged mobilization of resources is needed. Therefore, we welcome the Global Health Emergency Workforce and the Contingency Fund.
Furthermore, we should focus on building resilient health systems, strengthening primary health care and universal health coverage in order to tackle crises of this nature and prevent any further human suffering. We should also support the capacity building efforts in fragile countries by strong, effective and sustainable partnerships. We have to exert efforts for enhancing International Health Regulations (IHR) implementation, particularly in the fields of preparedness and surveillance.
We are now entering an important phase of response: Post-Ebola recovery period. We should be vigilant but also action-oriented. We should work on long term plans and help the affected countries re-establish and strengthen their capacities.
Furthermore, we believe that fear and stigmatization should not be cultivated in the affected countries. These countries should neither economically nor socially be isolated. In this vein, in accordance with the recommendations of the Emergency Committee under the IHR, Turkish Airlines has never stopped its flights to West African destinations.
Since the start of the ebola virus outbreak, Turkey has been extending its support and assistance for the struggle against the epidemic through bilateral and multilateral channels.
In January, medical supplies with a total value of 1.2 million USD were delivered to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. The Contribution Agreement on Turkey’s grant of 1 million US Dollars to the mechanism established by the African Union to support the fight against the Ebola virus epidemic (ASEOWA) was signed last month.
We should keep the focus without being caught up in “Ebola fatigue” and join our efforts to continue assisting the societies and economies of the affected countries. Turkey, undoubtedly, will carry on its support to fight this outbreak and overcome its negative consequences on mid- and long-term development efforts of the region within the spirit of international solidarity. In line with this, we support the draft decision before us.
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