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Jan 16, 2015

West African leaders mull new force to fight Boko Haram insurgents

ACCRA, Jan 16 (Reuters) – West African leaders will seek
authority next week from the African Union to create a
multi-national force to fight Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist
insurgents, Ghanaian President John Mahama told Reuters on
Friday.

Any such force would represent the most robust international
response yet to the militants who have killed thousands over the
last year in their campaign for an Islamic caliphate and have
also launched cross border attacks into Niger and Cameroon.

Jan 16, 2015

From palm wine to burgers, Ghana eateries cater to expanding middle class

ACCRA, Jan 16 (Reuters) – As the boss of one of Ghana’s
busiest restaurants, Afua Asante has a lot on her plate, from
managing a team of 40 to ensuring each dish is cooked just so.
This week she has an extra headache: her palm wine supplier may
be trying to cheat her.

Asante sources the wine from the town of Adawso in eastern
Ghana, several hours drive from Accra, but it ferments quickly
and the customers who order it by the calabash will not take
kindly to wine that’s not fresh.

Dec 24, 2014

Medical detective work is next phase in Ebola fight

ACCRA, Dec 24 (Reuters) – Medical detective work will be the
next big phase in the fight against Ebola when the United
Nations deploys hundreds of health workers to identify chains of
infection as the virus passes from person to person, top U.N.
health workers said.

The health teams will travel to each district and region of
Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, the three countries at the
centre of the epidemic, to trace who each infected person has
potentially contacted.

Dec 20, 2014

U.N.’s Ebola mission should be closed once battle won – Ban

BAMAKO, Dec 20 (Reuters) – The United Nations mission to
fight Ebola should be wound down quickly once the battle is won,
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday during his
first tour of countries stricken with the virus.

The U.N. emergency Ebola response mission, or UNMEER, was
set up in September to coordinate policy and logistics for a
campaign that includes governments, charities and healthcare
workers from affected countries.

Dec 20, 2014

UN’s Ban urges end to discrimination against Ebola workers

CONAKRY (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Saturday urged countries affected by the Ebola virus to avoid discriminating against healthcare workers fighting to end the disease.

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic.

Dec 20, 2014

U.N. chief praises Ebola nurses, pledges support during visit

HASTINGS, Sierra Leone (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised healthcare workers fighting the Ebola virus as he paid his first visit to Liberia and Sierra Leone following an outbreak that has killed nearly 7,000 people.

Ban paid tribute to local workers and the United Nations, but he singled out medics from the three countries at the heart of the epidemic who have fallen sick while treating patients.

Dec 19, 2014

UN chief, visiting Ebola region, urges respect for health rules

MONROVIA, Dec 19 (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary General Ban
Ki-moon, starting a visit to Ebola-hit states in West Africa on
Friday, urged their people to set aside traditional practices
like washing the dead by hand so as to help end an epidemic that
has killed nearly 7,000 people.

Ban said he hoped to use his two-day tour of the region -
his first since the outbreak was detected in March – to raise
the profile of the fight against the disease and to thank the
thousands of health workers who have participated.

Dec 19, 2014

U.N. chief, visiting Ebola countries, urges respect for health rules

MONROVIA (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, starting a visit to Ebola-hit countries in West Africa, urged local communities to strictly follow health regulations in the face of signs that traditional funerals are still spreading the disease.

Ban arrived in Liberia on Friday at the start of a two-day tour of four nations struck by the worst ever outbreak of the deadly hemorrhagic fever, including Sierra Leone, Guinea and Mali.

Dec 16, 2014

Ghana must cut “ghost workers” from payroll before aid resumes -EU

ACCRA, Dec 16 (Reuters) – Ghana must remove “ghost workers”
from its public sector payroll before the European Union resumes
budget support suspended a year ago, the EU ambassador to the
West African country, William Hanna, said on Tuesday.

EU grants worth up to 200 million euros ($250.14 million)
could be crucial as Ghana seeks to recover from a fiscal crisis
that has slowed the rapid GDP growth the country enjoyed for
years due to its exports of gold, cocoa and oil.

Nov 24, 2014

U.N. to miss Dec 1 Ebola target due to rising Sierra Leone cases

ACCRA (Reuters) – The U.N. Ebola Emergency Response Mission will not fully meet its Dec. 1 target for containing the virus due to escalating numbers of cases in Sierra Leone, Anthony Banbury, the head of UNMEER, said on Monday.

The mission set the goal in September of having 70 percent of Ebola patients under treatment and 70 percent of victims safely buried. That target will be achieved in some areas, Banbury told Reuters, citing progress in Liberia.