Journalists and reporters from three Chadian media organizations gathered at the U.S. Embassy on September 3 to participate in an international telephonic press conference with Dr. Tom Kenyon, Director of the Center for Global Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Development and Democracy at the National Security Council. The telecom’s subject was the U.S. Government’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Outlining American efforts to assist in the world’s response to the Ebola outbreak, Dr. Kenyon and Ms. Smith described how U.S. health officials and offices are working with African counterparts to help regional public health ministries and agencies prevent, detect, and stop the spread of Ebola. Our Chadian journalists joined counterparts from all over Africa during the 40 minute conference, which was also interpreted into French and Portuguese.
President Obama’s September 2 message on the Ebola outbreak was certainly timely and on target. Our invitees saw his emphasis on the importance of a well-informed public being the first step in fighting Ebola as a call to action for the media, one they wanted to join. They also appreciated the sensitivity he showed in affirming that those who are ill can be treated with respect and dignity, and those dead with honor and love.
Public Affairs staff members distributed additional background notes on the Ebola disease as well as a summary of international efforts taken so far to contain and combat the contagion.