ECOWAS Chairman and Ghana's president John Mahama is calling for a change in strategy to fighting the Ebola scourge which has claimed over 1,400 lives in the West African sub-region.

He said the new strategy must revolve around ways of containing the disease and not necessarily to isolate countries that have recorded cases of Ebola.

Speaking at a conference in Accra to devise strategies to contain the disease, President Mahama said Ghana cannot look on while its neighbours perish. 

"We must implement containment measures but we must not implement measures that isolate and ostracise the affected countries.

"Excessive restriction of travel and border closure will adversely affect the economies of affected countries," he emphasised.

According to the president some health ministers in the West African sub-region were unable to attend the conference because of the unavailability of flights.

"An African proverb says when your neighbour's house is on fire you must go and help him to quench it because, after it has consumed his house it will spread to yours," the president indicated.

He has therefore charged the Ghana Armed Forces to cooperate with WHO to provide the staging post from which the health supplies to the affected countries will be distributed.

Nigeria, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have all recorded cases of Ebola with more than 2000 people said to have been affected.