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WASHINGTON, DC – L’épidémie d’Ebola survenue l’an dernier en Guinée, en Sierra Leone et au Liberia, trois des quatre pays composant l’Union du fleuve Mano, constitue la plus grave jamais observée depuis le tout premier diagnostic de cette maladie en Centrafrique, en 1976. L’impact de cette épidémie s’est révélé dévastateur, remettant en question les progrès socio-économiques considérables accomplis par nos trois pays à l’issue de dizaines d’années de conflits et d’instabilité.

La région a enregistré à ce jour un total de 25 791 cas et 10 689 décès – soit presque dix fois le nombre de décès survenus dans le cadre de toutes les autres épidémies d’Ebola cumulées. Pour 2014, les prévisions de taux de croissance de nos trois pays s’élevaient entre 4,5 % et 11,3 %. Ces prévisions ont désormais été réduites à 2,2 % tout au plus. En l’absence de mesures d’atténuation des risques, une récession apparaît inévitable.

La propagation non contrôlée de la maladie a mis en lumière les défaillances de nos systèmes nationaux de santé, de même que la faible capacité de coordination et de réponse efficace des institutions régionales et internationales. En bref, nous étions piètrement équipés pour faire face à une épidémie d’une telle ampleur, et encore moins pour l’éviter.

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