East Africa: Ebola Preparedness Emergency Plan of Action Operations Update n° 3 (MDR64007)

A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster

An Ebola epidemic that started in March 2014 in Guinea has relentlessly continued to claim lives and to spread to other countries in West Africa. The current Ebola outbreak is the largest in history and the first to affect multiple countries simultaneously. There have been over 24,000 reported confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of EVD in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (table 1), with almost 10,000 reported deaths (outcomes for many cases are unknown). A total of 58 new confirmed cases were reported in Guinea, 0 in Liberia, and 58 in Sierra Leone in the 7 days to 8 March (4 days to 5 March for Liberia). Many experts believe that the official numbers substantially understate the size of the outbreak because of families' widespread reluctance to report cases. Because of the fluidity of movement of people between West Africa and several countries in the East African countries, especially Kenya and Ethiopia (who in turn have extensive interaction with other countries in the region in terms of human movement), the risk of an outbreak of Ebola in East Africa is as eminent as in any of the countries bordering the affected countries.

The IFRC regional office intends to support National Societies to raise their Ebola preparedness and response capacity through training, technical support in planning and implementation of Ebola related activities, and coordination both within and outside the movement.