A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster
Cote d’Ivoire with a population of approximately 22 million shares borders with many countries including Guinea and Liberia, which have been especially affected by the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak. In February 2014, there was an outbreak of the virus in Guinea, which has since spread to Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone and causing untold hardship; and hundreds of deaths in these countries. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), an outbreak of the EVD has also been reported, but is considered of a different origin than that which has affected West Africa. As of 22 October 2014, a total of 9,895 cases, and 4,871 deaths had been recorded, which were attributed to the EVD. A suspected case of EVD was reported in a Liberian village, which borders Cote d’Ivoire, thus triggering the Red Cross of Cote d’Ivoire (RCCI) to initiate a preparedness operation, which was supported by this DREF.
Due to the very high risk of EVD spreading to the Ivorian territory, the Ministry of Health (MoH) adopted a policy on prevention and is asking the general population particularly in border villages to remain extremely vigilant and report to the emergency services any evocative signs of EVD such as fever, vomiting, headache and bleeding. In addition to the enormous and tragic loss of human life in West Africa, the EVD epidemic is having devastating effects on economies in a variety of essential sectors by halting trade, hurting agriculture and scaring investors of both affected and neighbouring countries. To halt the spread of the virus, the countries most affected by EVD have implemented quarantines in areas where risk of infection is high while neighbouring countries such as Cote d’Ivoire have imposed restrictions on the movement of people and goods, including border closures. These measures, in turn, have reduced internal and regional trade, transport and tourism.
The pressure remains on Cote d’Ivoire to scale-up preparedness activities, particularly in the border villages following the deteriorating situation in EVD affected neighbouring countries, specifically Guinea and Liberia.
Although the RCCI has concluded activities planned under this DREF operation (MDRCI006), more still needs to be done to contain the disease, including strengthening the capacity of volunteers and coordination networks through training on social mobilisation and logistics, as well as the prepositioning of personal protective equipment (PPE). In this regard, the IFRC West Coast regional representation supported the RCCI develop a plan of action that may culminate into an emergency operation. Key recommendations as a result of this operation included:
• To revitalize local committees and strengthen capacity to fight against EVD epidemics (in case it spreads into Cote d’Ivoire.
• To strengthen the capacity and mobility of health workers in the field.
• To ensure regular monitoring (weekly) of health centres along the Ivorian-Liberian and Ivorian-Guinea borders.
• To revitalize and strengthen health coordination of the various local committees.
• Develop and disseminate the RCCI contingency plan on epidemics
• Extend the DREF in the case of continued spreading of EVD in neighbouring countries,
• To support evaluation of the first awareness campaign;
• To increase training on the use of PPE, contact tracing and dead body management,
• To support the RCCI in developing a plan of action on epidemic preparedness.
Netherlands Red Cross and Spanish Red Cross replenished this DREF. A balance of CHF 1,031 will be returned to the DREF. The IFRC, on behalf of the Red Cross of Cote d’Ivoire would like to extend thanks to all partners for their generous contributions.