Health authorities have responded to last week’s Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) flare-up in Guinea by working with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies to identify people who have been in contact with the recent victims. Additionally, campaigns to increase public awareness are again under way as health authorities ramp up their response to the new threat. Ebola education and awareness was one effective tool in the fight to end the EVD outbreak last year, which was the largest Ebola outbreak in history.
On 23 March the Red Cross reported that 961 contacts had been identified, and 120 of those people are at high risk. That is an increase of 145 contacts from what WHO had reported just one day earlier.
Last week’s new cases are the first in Guinea since the WHO declaration that the outbreak was over on 29 December 2015. So far, this flare-up has resulted in as many as five deaths, two of which are confirmed to have been caused by EVD. This flare-up is a reminder that we need to remain diligent in the fight to stop Ebola. Norbert Allale, head of Ebola relations for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), is encouraging donors to “return some of their focus to the vulnerable people of West Africa.”
The new flare-up in Guinea was confirmed by WHO on the same day that they declared an end to the January flare-up in Sierra Leone.
How you can help: Throughout the Ebola crisis, Develop Africa has responded by providing educational support, emergency relief, and medical supplies where they are needed most. The best way you can help us continue these efforts is by making a donation. This will give us the flexibility to respond to the changing needs of those on the front lines of this fight.
By James Ramey