The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is mobilizing to help stop the resurgence of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Guinea and appealing for USD 8 million to support essential outbreak preparedness and response activities, and critical coordination efforts at the national and prefectural levels and key border crossings.
On 14 February, the Ministry of Health of Guinea declared an EVD cluster in the sub-prefecture of Gouécké, in the southeastern region of N’Zérékoré. This is the first time EVD has been reported in the country since the 2014—2016 outbreak, which spread across land borders into Sierra Leone and Liberia claiming more than 11,300 lives.
Within days, IOM deployed the necessary resources to set up five health screening points around Gouécké, and on the borders with Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia. In addition, three Public Health Emergency Operations Centers were activated with IOM’s support to facilitate coordination and intensive contact tracing efforts.
“Since 2014, IOM has had a strong working relationship with national and local health authorities, communities, and other key stakeholders,” said Maximilian Diaz, IOM Guinea´s Officer in Charge.
“We were able to mobilize our teams immediately and help activate strong disease surveillance measures around the epicentre, but much more is needed to make sure the outbreak is contained as fast as possible.”
IOM’s response strategy will focus on the Gouécké sub-prefecture, the current epicentre, and the surrounding health districts of the N’Zérékoré region which borders Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The Organization carried out preparedness activities in those countries following the 2014 EVD outbreak and is now planning to scale up efforts, including working with public authorities and communities to enhance surveillance at border areas, outreach to inform and engage communities, deployment of additional handwashing stations, and more.