Benin postpones Africa health meet over Ebola

AFP
People read a poster bearing informations for travellers arriving in or departing from areas affected by the Ebola virus, on August 8, 2014 at the national public health institute in Abidjan
People read a poster bearing informations for travellers arriving in or departing from areas affected by the Ebola virus, on August 8, 2014 at the national public health institute in Abidjan (AFP Photo/Issouf Sanogo)

Cotonou (AFP) - A meeting of African health ministers scheduled for early September in Benin has been postponed because of the Ebola epidemic, an official said Sunday.

The tiny west African nation had planned to host the 64th session of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) committee of African health ministers from September 1 to September 5.

“This important meeting… has been postponed after consultations with (WHO) authorities,” Benin’s Foreign Minister Nassirou Arifari Bako said.

The decision was made “to express full solidarity with the countries affected by Ebola,” Bako added.

The foreign minister said delegations from more than 40 African countries had been expected.

Benin has not yet recorded an Ebola case, but sees a huge inflow of commercial traffic each day from Lagos, the economic capital of neighbouring Nigeria, which has registered 14 cases, including five deaths.

The worst-ever outbreak of the tropical disease has killed more than 1,400 people since the start of the year in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.