Conakry, 24 July 2014 – The Prime Minister of the Republic of Guinea, Mr. Mohamed Said Fofana today, launched the activities of the Sub-regional Ebola Outbreak Coordination Centre in Conakry. The WHO Regional Director, Dr Luis G. Sambo was present at the official ceremony, as were several members of the Government, the diplomatic corps and all technical and financial partners.
The Regional Director in his address, began by recalling the epidemiological situation in the countries affected: To date, a total of 1093 cases, including 660 deaths have been reported in the three affected countries: Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The current outbreak is different from all other Ebola outbreaks by the number of countries affected, its trans-border nature, its spread to the capital of the countries, the proliferation of the foci of the disease within the same country, the serious impact on health workers, and the difficulty to understand the underlying socio-anthropological aspects of community behaviours. »
Speaking about the Centre, Dr Luis G. Sambo indicated that « all necessary conditions have been put in place to make the Centre operational. The Centre is a work place where various technical partners, namely CDC/Atlanta, Pasteur Insitute, MSF, Plan International, the Red Cross, and agencies of the United Nations System will be represented. They will all work together to strengthen the international partnership to support the fight against the Ebola outbreak in West Africa ».
For Dr Luis G. Sambo, « this Centre will ensure a rapid response to the outbreak in collaboration with national Ebola outbreak committees and teams deployed to the field. We are facing a public health emergency which calls primarily upon the governments con-cerned and communities », added the WHO Regional Director.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Guinea underlined the efforts made by the government, the people and civil society to combat the outbreak. However, he acknowledged the fact that a lot remains to be done. Mr. Mohamed Said Fofana further seized the opportunity to advocate strongly for the Centre: « I would like to request that the WHO Regional Director for Africa advocates for the Centre to continue beyond the next six months so that we can better and further consolidate the response to the Ebola outbreak and all other outbreaks in West Africa ».
To mark the official launching of the Centre’s activities, the Prime Minister and the WHO Regional Director for Africa unveiled the plaque affixed at the entrance of the Centre and visited the operations room accompanied by all guests and the press. A demonstration of a videoconference between the WHO Headquarters in Geneva and the Regional Office in Brazzaville was carried out. This videoconference showed the possibilities of linking together the technical teams in the different countries for a better coordination of interventions and data sharing in real time.
During the afternoon, there was a teleconference between the WHO Director-General, the Regional Director Dr Luis G. Sambo and representatives of WHO partners to prioritize resource mobilization and technical support for the affected countries.
The WHO Regional Director later held a meeting with the President of the National Assembly, Mr. Claude Kory Kondiano, and the inter-ministerial Ebola Taskforce.
Dr Luis G. Sambo thanked the President of the National Assembly for his involvement in sensitizing communities to adhere to Ebola control activities.
For more information:
Dr René Zitsamelé Coddy, WHO Representative in Guinea
Tel: + 224 622 35 00 44
Dr Georges A. Ki-Zerbo, Coordinator of the Centre (CSCRE)
Tel: +224 621 845 304
Mr. Barry Rodrigue, Communication Officer
Tel: + 224 621 845 551
Mr. Koné Souleymane, Communication Officer
Tel: +224 623 98 27 06
Mr. Issiaga Konaté, Health Promotion and Communication Officer
Tel:+224 622 59 70 42