The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the 3 nations most affected by the Ebola outbreak - Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone need a further $696 million in donor funding to rebuild their battered health services over the next two years.
Countries struck with disease need $696 million to rebuild healthcare system
Over 500 healthcare staff are among the over 11,200 people killed during the deadly Ebola outbreak in West Africa which started in Guinea in December, 2013.
According to WHO Assistant Director General for Health Systems and Innovation Marie-Paule Kieny, donors had pledged $1.4 billion of an estimated $2.1 billion required by the three countries before December 2017.
In a call with journalists, Kieny added that "full recovery in the three countries will not happen if we don't strengthen the health system," adding that additional funding would also be required after 2017.
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will host an international Ebola recovery conference in New York on Friday to raise additional funds for reconstruction.
Officials say even before Ebola struck, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone had some of the poorest healthcare systems in the world, but the damage inflicted by the outbreak has left them more vulnerable than ever.
Reuters reports that in Guinea, WHO officials have reported a drastic increase in deaths from malaria and measles.
But before the crisis, the country's annual healthcare spending stood at just $7 (about N1,300) per person in 2013, one of the lowest rates in the world.
In Liberia and Sierra Leone, before the Ebola outbreak, health expenditure was little better at $14 (about N2,700) and $11 (about N2,300) per person respectively, well below the WHO's recommended minimum of $84 (about N16,000) per person per year.
In the meantime, the European Union yesterday(Monday) approved 1.15 billion euros in aid for West Africa through to 2020, nearly doubling its previous commitment.
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