Declaration of Dr. Mohammed Belhocine, head of WHO country office, to mark the end of Ebola Outbreak in Guinea.

Conakry, 2015, Décember 29 - Today, the 29th of December, it’s been forty-two days since the newborn and last confirmed case of Ebola, was released cured from the Ebola treatment unit of Nongo, in Conakry. The body of this heroic little girl overcame the disease, helped by the treatment administered thanks to a very dedicated and professional team. 

The criterion established by the World Health Organization to declare the end of any known transmission of Ebola virus is met in Guinea.

The outbreak of Ebola haemorrhagic fever in Guinea is over.

The least one can say is that this epidemic has caused serious disruption of the country’s economic and social life. Almost all sectors were affected. The health sector has suffered serious consequences in terms of use of essential services. It paid a heavy toll in that many professionals died trying to save the lives of their fellow compatriots. Education, aviation, mining, economic trade, pilgrimage to the holy places have suffered the negative effects of this situation.

At the height of the epidemic, in November 2014, the country recorded hundreds of cases per week. The social fabric has been severely tested. Communities, families and individuals have been marked by disbelief, fear, uncertainty about the future, the shock of multiple bereavements in a very short time.

Having managed to interrupt the transmission of the deadly virus in this context, takes on a character of an immense national success.

We must pay tribute to the Government and people of Guinea. In adversity, they managed to come together and fight with courage and self-sacrifice against the epidemic. We must salute also the pioneering and visionary acceptance of clinical trials of a new vaccine and certain treatments.

Health care professionals, social and community mobilization agents, volunteers, civil society, communities and security services have all shown a very high sense of solidarity, responsibility and commitment. The international community has been present with its moral, material, technical and financial support.

The experience gained should not be lost, now that the respite from the end of the epidemic is there.

We know the virus is frightful, and capable of resurgence. Recent history in a neighboring country has come to remind us of that.

Anoteher 90 days of heightened epidemiological surveillance, maintaining a strong investigative capacity, establishing a rapid response plan, managing Ebola survivors and reviving the health system are the best guarantees to prevent new flare ups. The government is keen on it, the international community is committed to supporting it.

The World Health Organization will continue, with its partners, to fulfill its mandate and support these efforts.

Allow me, on behalf of the Director General of WHO, Dr Margaret Chan and the Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, to express our heartfelt congratulations to the people and Government of Guinea for this phenomenal success. 

I thank you.