Keywords: Ebola

Though Ebola has faded from the news headlines, the epidemic in West Africa continues to claim lives today. Infection rates are down from the peak of the crisis last year and progress has been made in the fight against Ebola. Ongoing infections in the capital of Conakry, and deaths from Ebola still found too late in the community, remain of high concern.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a partner in three studies in Guinea aiming to gain further understanding of the virus, and testing new treatments, diagnostic tests and vaccines: the GeneXpert feasibility study, the VSV vaccine clinical trial and plasma trial.

More on MSF's work on Ebola.

Activities  2014 International Activity Report

On 22 March 2014, what was to become the largest recorded outbreak of Ebola was officially declared in Guinea.

It is believed that the outbreak originated in the Guinée Forestière region in December 2013. Previous outbreaks of Ebola had mostly erupted in remote villages in central and eastern Africa, where they could be more easily contained. This time, however, Ebola broke out at the junction of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where people regularly move across the porous borders. The deficiencies of the public health system in Guinea and the fact that early symptoms of Ebola are similar to malaria – a salient health threat in the country – led to misdiagnosis of infections early in the epidemic and allowed for the spread of the disease.

 MSF was collaborating with the Guinean health ministry on a malaria-focused project in the hospital in Guéckédou and 20 community locations in Guinée Forestière when Ebola was suspected. On 18 March a reinforcement team with viral haemorrhagic fever specialists arrived in Guéckédou and started an exploratory intervention, supporting the health ministry in collecting samples for analysis. Once the Ebola epidemic was declared, the malaria programme was put on hold as staff were reassigned to help the MSF emergency team build the first Ebola management centre (EMC) in Guéckédou. The malaria programme closed in August.

Read more about MSF's activities in Guinea in 2014.

Year MSF first worked in the country: 1984.

2014 Key figures
Patients admitted to Ebola Management Centres 3,100
     of which confirmed as having Ebola 1,700
Patients recovered from Ebola and discharged 800
No. staff in 2014 545
2014 Expenditure €18.7 million

Figures from 2014 International Activity Report
and 2014 International Financial Report