Last Mile Health is closely tracking the reemergence of Ebola in Guinea, after three Ebola cases were confirmed by the national laboratory on February 14, 2021.
The World Health Organization considers the risk of spread in the country as very high, and public health authorities across West Africa, including our partners at the Liberia Ministry of Health, have quickly mobilized to detect, contain, and prevent further outbreaks. No cases have yet been identified in Liberia, but it is highly likely that they will emerge.
We are partnering closely with the Liberia Ministry of Health to support in preparedness efforts. Specifically, we are:
- Supporting the Ministry of Health to plan a coordinated national preparedness strategy to prevent, detect & possibly respond to Ebola: President Weah asked the Ministry of Health to prepare a prevention and preparedness strategy for Ebola, which our Liberia team is already closely engaged with. Our team is focused on supporting programmatic activities that will eliminate transmission from known cases, limit health worker infections, and ensure the continuation of primary health services.
- Leveraging Liberia’s national community health workforce to safely respond: Since the last Ebola outbreak, Liberia invested in a historic national community health worker program to deploy a paid community health worker to every rural and remote community in the country. They have been vital in the fight against COVID-19, while maintaining primary health services, and they will be essential members of the Ebola response team. Our team is currently working with the Ministry of Health to define how community health workers will support the response, including updating training materials on infection, prevention, and control and disease surveillance procedures, as well as ensuring we have sufficient stock of personal protective equipment.
- Closely monitoring the situation in neighboring Sierra Leone: We are also monitoring the situation in Sierra Leone, where we have a small team of Community Health Academy staff. Our team is in close coordination with the Ministry of Health and is considering how we could support national and regional preparedness and response efforts.
We stand in solidarity with Guinean health workers and partners across West Africa who are working to contain the Ebola outbreak after nearly one year of COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. Just as the past twelve months have tested our endurance, they have also underscored the critical importance of our collective work to build and strengthen health systems that can be surged during crises while maintaining life-saving access to primary health services for all patients.