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    Tedros opens WHO meeting in Togo amid reports of new Ebola case

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    African health ministers and government officials gathered in Togo on Monday for the Regional Committee on Africa meeting, headed by the World Health Organization with WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus delivering the keynote remarks.

    The meeting, hosted in Lomé by President Faure Gnassingbé, centers on issues faced by African nations fighting infectious disease, working to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and meeting the challenge of the rising incidence of chronic illness.

    It began as authorities in Democratic Republic of the Congo confirmed a new case of Ebola in Beni, a community in the North Kivu conflict zone that’s been hard hit by Ebola outbreaks in the past.

    Tedros acknowledged the progress made on fighting COVID-19 and expanding vaccination coverage, while lamenting the rise in confirmed polio cases, and the spread of monkeypox and other diseases.

    “Many member states are working hard to restore many essential health services, which were severely disrupted by the pandemic,” Tedros said. In particular, immunization coverage has been badly affected, leaving 11 million infants unvaccinated or under-vaccinated in the region. We are now witnessing disturbingly large measles outbreaks in many member states.”

    He also noted WHO’s concern over the crisis in the Horn of Africa, where conflict and climate change have left millions of people facing starvation.

    “We have to also focus on the Sahel region, Central Africa, and also South Sudan,” said Tedros. “The overwhelming crises in the Greater Horn of Africa highlight the complex and diverse range of challenges faced by all member states in the region, and which are reflected by your agenda this week.”

    Image: WHO

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