Guinea: Measles outbreak Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF Operation n° MDRGN009

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

With a population of 10,628,9992 inhabitants according to the 2014, general population census, the Republic of Guinea is faced with countless challenges including viral and infections disease outbreaks. During the period 2014-2016, the country’s health system underwent Ebola Virus Disease outbreak with disruptive effect on health services along with degrading confidence in health services.

Being nearly overwhelmed by the EVD outbreak the responses, healthcare workers could hardly follow-up and implement surveillance, prevention and management activities for other diseases. The failure to give attention to the diseases resulted into increased upsurge of vacccine preventable diseases outstandingly the miseasles. As a comparison, in the 2014, the countryexperianced a measles outbreak which affected 25 health dictricts.

Surveillance of the disease shows that since early 2016, despite interventions (conduct of indepth investigations and management of cases, response organization in the health Districts, enhanced surveillance, providing health Districts with vaccines and supplies, community awareness in measles), the confirmed cases were continuously reported in several health districts. In 2017, 408 suspected measles cases reported with 122 confirmed. The following prefectures are affected: Nzérékoré, Gueckedou, Matoto, Ratoma, Fria, Dubreka, Kindia, Coyah, Kaloum, Dixinn, Forécariah and Matam. The Prefectures of Siguiri, Labé and Boké are on alert. The Red Cross of Guinea will target 3 of the most affected areas with social mobilization campaign.

It also seeks support from technical and financial partners to rapidly eradicate the measles before the months of execessive heat which leads to the rapid spread of measles.

Summary of the current response

Overview of Host National Society TheMinistry of Health, in collaboration with partners, provides clinical management of the the measles cases reported in health facilities. Given the magnitude of the situation, the Ministry of Health with support of the partners including the Guinean Red Cross plans to:

  • Coordinate and monitor the response activities against the outbreak.

  • Support all suspect and confirmed cases.

  • Vaccinate at least 95% of children aged 6 months to 14 years against measles in the affected health districts.

  • Provide catch up vaccination for at least 50% of unvaccinated or poorly vaccinated children under 23 months in routine EPI.

  • Administer a dose of vitamin A to at least 95% of children aged 6 months to 5 years in each health district.

  • Administer a dose of mebendazole to at least 95% of children aged 12 months to 14 years in each health district affected.

  • Timely detect and report all suspect cases.

  • Provide support to the National Public Health Laboratory (LNSP).

  • Ensure record and management of all cases of Advert Event following Vaccination.

  • Raise awareness among 100% of the populations in the areas to be vaccinated, and - Strengthen the EPI-surveillance.

The Guinean Red Cross has a fully equipped National Headquarter with a qualified personnel. Participation into the response to EVD with the technical support provided by IFRC helped to enhance managerial capacities and strengthen logistic system including warehousing, more than 40 four-wheel-drive Vehicles.

With over estimated 17,000 registred volunteers, the Guinean Red Cross prides itself with volunteers and technical staff with proven experience in response to epidemics.

The Guinean Red Cross supported by IFRC office in Guinea is a member of the outbreak management committee chaired by the Guinea National Agency for Health Safety (ANSS in French accronym). It is composed of volunteers from the affected areas for the upcoming immunization campaign.
The head of Health and Care Department of the National Society participates in partnership meetings with the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, WHO, ALIMA, MSF and other local partners. The meetings aim at discussing mechanisms for prevention, response and information sharing.

In 2014, thanks to their involvement into the response to the measles outbreak (through a DREF of February to April 2014) which recorded approximately 5,000 cases with 3,000 in Conakry, the Guinean Red Cross has a network of well trained Volunteers and technical staff in terms of community mobilization, case reporting and porting cases technique of. A refresher training will be sufficient to help them respond to a new outbreak in the areas previously affected areas. The lessons learned from that operation are as follows:

  • Strong involvement of local authorities and religious leaders is a key success requirement of the campaign.

  • A cristal clear difference between the urban and rural mobilization strategies is crucial for availability of household and commitment of those households into the participation of the vaccination campaign.

  • Daily collection of feedbacks from households pertaining to areas likely to be hostile is necessary; feedback be used to bring them around to adhering the campaign - All these lessons learned will lead us to a successful social mobilization.

In the affected areas, the volunteers of the Guinean Red Cross have already started to refer suspected cases to health centers