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China takes part in WHO Executive Board special session on Ebola

Source:en.nhfpc.gov.cn

By Feng Hui

Updated: 2015-01-28

There has been a World Health Organization Executive Board Special Session on Ebola, in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 25, with around 400 representatives of the executive board’s 34 member countries, along with 73 non-executive board member countries, the World Bank, United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF), European Union (EU), African Union (AU) and Doctors without Borders (MSF) taking part.

Hosting the conference was Mohamed Hussain Shareef, president of the Executive Board special session and director of the Maldives president’s office, with Dr Margaret Chan, director-general of WHO, taking part and addressing the gathering. Chan said that the Ebola outbreak is unprecedented and exposes the weakness of West African countries’ health systems and the WHO’s crisis management deficiencies. And, although the epidemic seems to have taken a turn for the better, new cases are still emerging and Chan appealed to the international community to make a greater effort to end the epidemic as soon as possible by supporting African countries in their health systems and the WHO.

David Nabarro, UN special envoy, explained the efforts that have been made and emphasized the tough task of disease prevention, while, closer to home, Rebecca Johnson, a nurse from Sierra Leone, described her experience was after being affected and successfully cured, as a call for the elimination of discrimination in the case of Ebola-affected people and the orphans caused by Ebola. Chan, Nabarro and Johnson all expressed their gratitude to China and other countries and organizations for the assistance for West African countries.

There were also discussions on Ebola prevention, countermeasures in nations not affected by the disease, ways to ensure that the WHO has the capacity to deal with emerging diseases. The participants passed a draft resolution of an appeal to all parties to make a greater effort at ending the epidemic, supporting the Ebola-affected countries in building better healthcare systems, cooperating in research and drug development, vaccines and diagnostic reagents for Ebola and other new contagious diseases. The draft reiterated the need for the WHO to play a leading role in global health affairs and coordination and cooperation between nations, areas, and WHO headquarters, and in coordinating the deployment of foreign medical teams, setting up contingency funds and global health aid teams, and in communicating with the UN’s Ebola mission to share information and assess the situation.

China's National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), a member of the WHO Executive Board, explained China’s effort in assisting West African countries fight against Ebola and issued an appeal to the international community for further cooperation under the UN and WHO framework to help West Africa conquer Ebola and rebuild its health systems. China supports the draft resolution and took part in drafting and revising it.

Other Chinese offices taking part in the session were NHFPC’s International Cooperation Dept, Health Emergency Response Office, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and the permanent mission in Geneva.

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Link: China's Central Government / World Health Organization / United Nations Population Fund / UNICEF in China

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