Ebola in Guinea: Red Cross, others call for swift action and funding to stop the spread

EYEAFRICA TV: Conakry, THE GAMBIA:- As the new Ebola outbreak emerge in Guinea, Red Cross and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) have called for swift action and funding to stop the spread.

According to International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC), a network of more than 700 trained Red Cross volunteers has been activated as part of a first wave of response in the rural community of Gouéké in Guinea’s N’Zerekore prefecture.

Drawing from their experience during the 2014–2016 West Africa Ebola outbreak, the Red Cross teams are rushing to contain further spread of the virus, the humanitarian body said.

In a statement, the IRC called for swift action and direct funding to frontline aid agencies to put an end to both outbreaks in Guinea and DRC, where it began last week.

Kate Moger, Regional Vice President for the Great Lakes at the IRC, said, “Another outbreak in North Kivu is a disaster. We cannot stress enough how difficult this will be for the people living in the province. They have faced decades of violence by armed groups and have now, between Ebola and COVID-19, been faced with disease outbreaks for almost three straight years.”

“It is imperative we apply the lessons learned from past outbreaks to stop the spread of Ebola in both the DRC and Guinea.”

Mohammed Mukhier, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) Regional Director for Africa said: “Time is of the essence. The resurgence of the virus in Guinea comes at the worst possible time when the country is already facing the COVID-19 pandemic. 

There are reasons for fear, but there are also reasons for hope. While we are extremely concerned, we are also reassured by the lessons we learned from previous outbreaks, and by recent medical advances.”

“It’s a huge concern to see the resurgence of Ebola in Guinea, a country which has already suffered so much from the disease. However, banking on the expertise and experience built during the previous outbreak, health teams in Guinea are on the move to quickly trace the path of the virus and curb further infections,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa.

During the West Africa Ebola outbreak there were 28 000 cases, including 11 000 deaths. The outbreak started in Guinea and then moved across land borders to Sierra Leone and Liberia.

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