Jean-Jacques Cornish

SA to help in fight against Ebola

South Africa’s sending a mobile laboratory to West Africa to help fight the worst outbreak of Ebola virus on record that World Health Organisation’s calling a public health emergency of international concern.

Health ministers from Southern Africa met outside Johannesburg yesterday (Wednesday) and set up an emergency fund to combat the killer disease should it cross into the region.

Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi says South Africa has so far been spared from the deadly haemorrhagic disease that’s taken nearly 950 lives in West Africa.

It can help by being a centre of excellence in laboratory diagnosis of Ebola.

Health ministers from the 14-nation Southern African Development Community decided at their meeting in Kempton Park yesterday to take special measures to prevent Ebola crossing the borders into any of their countries.

They will increase cross-border collaboration and they’ve warned their populations to be specially vigilant.

Health departments in the region will increase their surveillance for early detection of Ebola.

They’ll increase training of community health workers on how best to treat Ebola patients.

Motsoaledi says South Africa’s already selected at least one hospital in each of its nine provinces to deal with Ebola patients should the need arise.

The public has been urged to educate itself about the virus.



Enquire about availability for radio, podcasts, reporting or opinion pieces.

Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.