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Ebola emergency ministerial meeting yields action plan

The World Health Organization established a coordination center in Conakry, Guinea, on Tuesday to assist with resource mobilization as west African countries respond to an Ebola outbreak.
By JC Finley   |   July 15, 2014 at 4:55 PM   |   Comments

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CONAKRY, Guinea, July 15 (UPI) -- Following an Emergency Ministerial meeting in Accra in early July concerning the outbreak of Ebola in western Africa, the World Health Organization has announced an action plan.

Beginning Tuesday, WHO African Region plans to activate a coordination center in Conakry, Guinea.

"The center will act as a control and coordination platform, consolidating and harmonizing the technical support to the West African countries including assisting in resource mobilization," WHO announced on its website.

The personnel at the coordination center will comprise a direction, regional advisers, epidemiologists, communications experts, social mobilization specialists, data managers, administrative officers, and other support staff.

WHO also noted that the three countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak -- Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone -- are reviewing and updating their Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) national response plans.

Prioritized national operational plans, WHO observed, "will clearly highlight priority interventions and map out the required resources (human, financial, and logistics) for effective implementation of the outbreak containment measures. In addition, these documents will be vital for mobilization of the additional resources."

Another aspect of the action plan includes WHO-supported efforts to strengthen contact tracing, deemed "one of the most effective outbreak containment measures." By screening individuals for contact with confirmed or suspected cases of Ebola, countries can interrupt secondary transmission by promptly isolating exposed persons.

Officials from WHO, as well as health ministers from 11 African nations, convened July 2 in the Ghanaian capital of Accra as part of an emergency meeting to discuss how to prevent the continent's frightening Ebola outbreak from spreading further.

As of July 12, WHO reported a total of 603 deaths and 964 cases from confirmed, probable and suspected Ebola in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

The Ebola virus is spread by close contact and kills up to 90 percent of its victims. There is no known cure or antivirus.

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