Dr Landry Mayigane, an ASEOWA medical epidemiologist, training community health workers on contact tracing.
Photo: ASEOWA

05.01.2016

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The mandate of the African Union Support to Ebola in West Africa (ASEOWA) ends on the 31st December 2015. Dr Olawale Maiyegun, Director of the Department of Social Affairs of the African Union Commission, on experiences gained, lessons learnt and strategies needed.

Rural 21: Dr Maiyegun, the African Union has played a key role in Ebola response right from the start. What are the most important experiences from this period – also with a view to future crisis management?
Dr Olawale Maiyegun: A speedy response and deployment for the urgently needed human resources for health was paramount. The African Union Support to Ebola in West Africa (ASEOWA) was established following the Peace & Security Mandate of August 19th 2015 and deployed to Liberia by September 15th. By October, ASEOWA had been deployed to all three affected countries. This is unprecedented. Once a surge was decided in November 2014 to increase the number of ASEOWA volunteers from the initial 100, it took less than a month to have close to 855 volunteers working in all three affected countries. The African Union Commission (AUC) moved rapidly from Lagos through Addis Ababa, Kinshasa and Nairobi to mobilise health workers, all within a month, to recruit and deploy volunteers from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya.

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