- Sierra Leone: Mudslides - Aug 2017
- Sierra Leone: Floods - Sep 2015
- West Africa: Ebola Outbreak - Mar 2014
- Sierra Leone: Wild Fires - Jan 2013
- Sierra Leone/Guinea: Cholera Outbreak - Feb 2012
- West/Central Africa: Floods - Jun 2010
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2009
- Sierra Leone: Floods and Landslides - Aug 2009
- Sierra Leone: Floods - Sep 2007
- West Africa: Floods - Jul 2007
On 14 August, a hillside collapsed and triggered a mudslide in the mountain town of Regent on the outskirts of Sierra Leone’s capital Freetown after a couple of days of torrential rain. Almost 500 people are reported dead, with an estimated 600 people missing, and 3,000 people left homeless.
African heads of state meet today in Addis Ababa to endorse the emergency catch-up plan led by UNAIDS to accelerate HIV treatment in West and Central Africa.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reiterates its call for a clear roadmap and strong political commitment from affected governments and all international stakeholders, towards removing longstanding barriers and implementing proven simplified strategies that will boost lifesaving treatment for 4.7 million living with HIV not yet accessing antiretroviral therapy (ARV).
More than two and a half years after the Ebola outbreak officially began, MSF is now closing its last projects in West Africa dedicated to caring for people who survived the disease.
Access Campaign: As UN General Assembly starts, MSF urges governments to set medical research policies that align with people’s health needs
New MSF report exposes pharma industry failings and highlights new ways of researching and developing medicines that address public health needs
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa was unprecedented in its sheer scale. The outbreak occurred close to the confluence of the borders between Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where movement of people between countries is regular and often not controlled.
1.1 THE LARGEST EBOLA OUTBREAK IN HISTORY
The objective of this review was to assess the response of OCG, focusing on the Freetown Prince of Wales Ebola Treatment Centre, Sierra Leone (open Dec 2014 to end of Feb 2015) and to reflect on the ability to incorporate “real time lessons learned” during the ongoing management of the outbreak. The evaluation focused on operational infrastructure management (including laboratories), medical & nursing care management, epidemiological control measures, community engagement & mobilisation, capacity building, relationship with other actors and research.
Guinea was declared free of Ebola the 28th of December 2015. MSF is now running an Ebola clinic for survivors in Conakry. In February, there were 126 psychological consultations and 181 medical consultations at the clinic. In addition to this, the MSF team also carries out sensitization activities at the clinic and in the community.
The severity of the West Africa Ebola epidemic saw MSF launch one of the largest emergency operations in its 44-year history.
Between March 2014 and December 2015, MSF responded in the three most affected countries - Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia – and also to the spread of cases to Nigeria, Senegal and Mali. At the peak of the epidemic, MSF employed nearly 4,000 national staff and more than 325 international staff who ran Ebola management centres as well as conducted surveillance, contact tracing, health promotion and provided psychological support.
Outbreaks of Ebola virus were first discovered in the 1970’s in various central African countries, however, the West Africa outbreak that started in December 2013 has been the largest and most devastating to date.
• Liberia: The last patient was declared negative on 4 December. The countdown has started again and should be over 14 January.
• Guinea: Guinea was declared free of Ebola on 28 December. MSF has now opened an Ebola clinic for survivors. Since March 2014 (start of the epidemic), MSF teams treated 10,376 patients in West Africa including 3,804 patients in Guinea. The authorities reported that 110 health workers died from the virus in the country.
14 January, 2016. As Liberia today celebrates 42 days without any new Ebola infections - effectively marking the end of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) calls on the global health community to draw on lessons learnt in order to be better prepared for future similar outbreaks.
After two years of epic struggle, the largest Ebola epidemic in history may finally be coming to an end. On January 15, if no new cases are recorded, Liberia will be the last country to be declared free of the Ebola virus in this epidemic.
Ebola brought with it immeasurable suffering; destroyed the fabric of communities and devastated already-fragile health systems. More than 28,000 people were infected with Ebola, of whom more than 11,000 lost their lives. More than 500 health workers are among the dead, lost to countries where they are desperately needed.
As part of the 2014–2015 Ebola response operation in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Médecins Sans Frontières Switzerland (MSF-CH) started to systematically deploy dedicated Geographic Information Systems (GIS) officers to the field.
Primarily mandated to work in close collaboration with the epidemiologists, the GIS officers were charged with producing general overview maps, as well as topical maps that supported different aspects of the operation.
"The only solution is to leave and we can’t ask for help from other governments, so we choose to go the dangerous way."
"Life in Eritrea is sweet but our government is cruel, the laws are out of control. We have enough food, enough water and enough work but there are no rights, there is no democracy. The only solution is to leave and we can’t ask for help from other governments, so we choose to go the dangerous way. We choose to put ourselves in the hands of God.
The Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone was declared over on 7 November, but in neighbouring Guinea, people are still being infected by a disease which has claimed more than 11,000 lives in West Africa. But despite the unprecedented scale of the epidemic, there is still much that we do not know about Ebola. How long does the virus survive? Could Ebola become endemic in the region? What medical challenges do survivors face? MSF public health specialist Dr Armand Sprecher provides some answers.
Why is Ebola still a danger in West Africa?
Liberia: After first being declared free of Ebola transmission on 9 May, six new cases were confirmed in Liberia at the end of June following the death of a 17-year-old boy. Liberia was again declared free of Ebola virus transmission on 3 September 2015, and has now entered a period of heightened surveillance.
Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) response to the largest Ebola outbreak in history began more than 16 months ago in March 2014 and, despite progress made in the fight against the virus, Ebola stubbornly lives on in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia with more than 27,678 people infected and 11,276 lives lost. For the past eight weeks, the number of cases in the region has stagnated at around 30 new infections per week, a number that would be considered a disaster in normal circumstances.
Though Ebola has faded from the news headlines, the epidemic in West Africa continues to claim lives today. Around 30 people become infected each week in Sierra Leone and Guinea – a number that would be considered a major disaster under normal circumstances – and the outbreak has recently re-emerged in Liberia.
Dr Joanne Liu, MSF International President said:
“MSF has repeatedly raised the alarm on the WHO and global response to Ebola and was also interviewed by the panel. On paper, there are a lot of strong points in the report that reflect many issues MSF is concerned about, but the question how will this translate into real action on the ground in future outbreaks and epidemics and what will Member States do to make sure this really happens?