‘Ebola, threat to human survival’

A Gambian lawmaker has described as “threat to human survival” the deadly Ebola virus that has been plaguing some West African nations since February 2014.

Hon. Mam Cherno Jallow, National Assembly member for Upper Niumi expressed the concern Monday during a parliamentary session in Banjul.

There is no known cure for Ebola, which has infected at least 1,779 people since the outbreak was first reported in Guinea in February.

Initial flu-like symptoms can lead to external haemorrhaging from areas like eyes and gums, and internal bleeding which can lead to organ failure; patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared it a global health emergency and is hosting a meeting of medical experts in Geneva to discuss the ethics of using experimental drugs on patients. 

The disease has hit Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria. The Gambia remains a free Ebola zone, but authorities have since strengthened preventive mechanisms to stop its spread over to the country.

Hon. Jallow suggested for the ECOWAS Parliament to convene an extra ordinary session in an effort to contain the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.“ This is a very serious issue that already affected Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea and now it is in Nigeria, the latest to be effected in West Africa,” he said.

He acknowledged that some affected states have already declared state of emergency and Ebola victims have since been quarantined in some certain areas. 

Hon. Lamin Jadama, also commenting on the deadly disease, told the Assembly that recently they convened an extra ordinary and emergency meeting in Ghana just to discuss strategies and measures to contain the disease.  “The first step is to raise some funds and ECOWAS as a community has actually contributed some amounts,” he revealed. 

“ECOWAS as a community is very much concerned and practical steps have been taken and the next ordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament is due next month,” he informed.