Mr. Mahama, Chairman of ECOWAS, left Accra on Monday for Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, to discuss with the leadership of those countries on available interventions to support the regional body to contain the disease.
President John Mahama responded to criticisms over his decision to visit three countries in West Africa hit hardest by the outbreak of the Ebola virus.
Some Ghanaians have described as high risk, the president’s trip to the countries that have recorded over 1,400 deaths from the world’s deadliest virus, which is mostly transmitted through body contacts.
But speaking in an interview in reaction to the fears of people, the president said the concerns were untenable.
“You came along with me and you have seen the procedures. You wash your hands when you come in, and very strict standards of hygiene are being used, and they are doing all the screening.
“They have the temperature guns and everything, and I don’t think it is risky at all. After all, there are people living here,” he observed.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mahama is worried over the delay on the part of donor organisations to redeem their pledges to support governments of affected countries to fight the spread of the virus.
“There are a few things that I think need to come to the attention of the international organisations. A lot of money has been pledged, but most of it is not on the ground yet and being put into effect. We need to speed up the roll out of all these pledges.
“The processes in terms of budgeting, in terms of putting in the procurement are quite cumbersome and so if we can speed that up, it will help greatly.”
He also observed the apparent reluctance of international organisations to deal directly with governments is making it difficult to prosecute the agenda to bring the disease under control.
“Aside from that, most of the international organisations that have pledged assistance are using proxy organisations, non-governmental organisations and reluctant to put the money in the hands of government itself. But we should always remember that government bares the primary responsibility in the fight against Ebola.
“So, even though there are non-governmental organisations and international humanitarian organisations working on the ground, I think that the governments need some resources to carry out the public education, to be able to mobilise the taskforces that do the burials and generally finance the country’s response to the disease.”
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