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PH to send resources, not manpower, to West Africa

 In this Oct. 21, 2014 file photo health workers show the proper way to don an "Ebola suit" during a media tour of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine facility to show the government's readiness in dealing with the still Ebola-free country at Alabang, Muntinlupa city, south of Manila, Philippines. AP FILE PHOTO

In this Oct. 21, 2014 file photo health workers show the proper way to don an “Ebola suit” during a media tour of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine facility to show the government’s readiness in dealing with the still Ebola-free country at Alabang, Muntinlupa city, south of Manila, Philippines. AP FILE PHOTO

BEIJING—The Philippines will send resources to West Africa and not people in helping it battle the deadly Ebola virus.

President Aquino said on Tuesday night that this would be the response of his administration to the commitment of all 21 leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) members to help stop the spread of the disease.

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Ebola has so far claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people in three West African states.

Aquino acknowledged that the Ebola outbreak in West Africa had put “severe pressures” on the health system of the region.

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This has prompted superpowers like the United States, China and Japan to send both people and resources to the region to help battle the disease.

“In our case, I think we will just send resources—medical kits, medical supplies and so on and so forth,” he told reporters in a coffee meeting at the Philippine Embassy shortly before he left for Burma (Myanmar) for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Leaders’ Meeting.

He said the Philippines would share experiences and best practices with authorities in keeping similar deadly diseases, like SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) out of the country.

“Ebola is a serious problem. It needs coordinated action throughout the world,” the President said.

He said countries with the most resources and knowledge on how to deal with Ebola had made the most formal and public commitments to help stop the spread of the disease.

In the Apec leaders’ declaration at the conclusion of the summit here on Tuesday, they vowed to intensify “cooperation and work shoulder to shoulder with African nations to help them effectively end this epidemic and prevent, detect, manage and respond to future outbreaks.”

“We will continue to assist people in affected areas to overcome this crisis and build back their economy so we can win the battle against the disease,” the Apec leaders said.

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TAGS: battling Ebola, Benigno Aquino III, Diseases, Ebola, Philippine response, Philippines, West Africa
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