A. Situation Analysis
Description of the disaster
West Africa is currently facing the first and worst Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak. The outbreak began first in Guinea in December 2013 and it took three months to identify the disease. In May 2014, the virus had spread rapidly through the porous borders of Guinea to Liberia and Sierra Leone affecting and killing thousands of people.
As of March 11, 2015, the total number of cases were 24,282 with 9,976 confirmed deaths and the numbers continue to grow despite some progress in the fight against Ebola. To date, Ebola cases linked to this outbreak were confirmed in six countries in West Africa. While in Sierra Leone and Guinea remains active, Nigeria, Senegal and Mali were declared Ebola free few months ago and Liberia could reach this state in the next weeks. However, the risk of further spread in the region remains high as long as there are still some affected areas, especially in Guinea as the borders between countries are porous and cross-border activities intense.
Côte d'Ivoire has close ties with these affected countries and the citizens of these countries move freely and regularly among them because of ECOWAS conventions. The movement rate of ECOWAS citizens across borders is very high and comes with its advantages and disadvantages as well.
The public health experts call for more efforts and vigilance at this time because it is essential that all operational and humanitarian staff involved on the ground remain vigilant and cautious, and maintains all control measures in place including with the Red Cross volunteers.