ByÂ Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”THE Parliament of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS Parliament) has expressed concern over the increasing rate of brain drain, diseases and poverty among African countries, saying these worrisome developmentÂ require urgent intervention by its leaders to reverse the trend.
The body also identified lack of financial resources, inadequate structures, inadequate trained personnel and lack of political-will as major problems in the sub-region.
The Chairman, Committee on Health and Social Services of ECOWAS Parliament, Yahaya Sandari, who made this known at the opening of its localized meeting in Enugu,Â said thatÂ the increasing cases of AIDS, malaria, tuberculosisÂ and poliomyelitis were seriously drawing back the economic growth of members countries, thus compromising the performance of public services and rendering millions of families poorer.
He said, â€œas members of parliament, representatives of ECOWAS communities, we have a moral duty toward our governments, who have real difficulties managing certain epidemics alone, while they refuse to recognise the gravity of such epidemics. We need to address all that because diseases do not know borders. They spread in an accelerated and uncontrollable manner across the Community.”
â€œThe world health organisation estimated that Africa bears 24% of health burden and the same Africa only has 3 % of medical staff on its territory. How are we going to treat our patients if all the medical doctors that we are training with our meager resources are crossing to western countries in search of a better life that they could not find at home?