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After resurfacing in Guinea in mid-February this year, the Ebola virus epidermic has been declared ‘over’ by the country’s health authorities.
Africa Today News, New York recalls that Guinean health authorities declared the outbreak on 14 February 2021 after three cases were detected in Gouecke, a rural community in the southern N’zerekore prefecture, the same region where the 2014–2016 outbreak first emerged before spreading into neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone and beyond.
A total of 16 confirmed and seven probable cases were reported in Guinea’s latest outbreak in which 11 patients survived and 12 lives were lost.
Shortly after the infections were detected, national health authorities, with support from World Health Organization (WHO) and partners, mounted a swift response, tapping into the expertise gained in fighting recent outbreaks both in Guinea and in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
‘I commend the affected communities, the government and people of Guinea, health workers, partners and everyone else whose dedicated efforts made it possible to contain this Ebola outbreak,’ said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
‘Based on the lessons learned from the 2014–16 outbreak and through rapid, coordinated response efforts, community engagement, effective public health measures and the equitable use of vaccines, Guinea managed to control the outbreak and prevent its spread beyond its borders. Our work in Guinea continues, including supporting survivors to access post-illness care.’
WHO helped ship around 24,000 Ebola vaccine doses and supported the vaccination of nearly 11,000 people at high risk, including over 2,800 frontline workers.
At least 100 WHO experts were on the ground coordinating key aspects of the response such as infection prevention and control, disease surveillance, testing, vaccination, and treatment using new drugs.
Collaboration with communities was also enhanced to raise awareness about the virus and ensure their involvement and ownership of the efforts to curb the disease.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK