Guinea

IFRC pays tribute to the life-saving role of Red Cross volunteers as WHO declares end of Ebola virus transmission in Guinea

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Geneva, 29 December 2015 – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Red Cross Society of Guinea welcome today’s announcement of the end of Ebola virus transmission in the Republic of Guinea.

This marks an important milestone in efforts to stamp out the deadly disease, two years after the epidemic started in the country.

“This achievement is in large part thanks to the commitment of local health and aid workers, including the dedicated and courageous volunteers and staff of the Red Cross Society of Guinea,” said Mr Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the IFRC.

Since March 2014, partners across the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement have supported Red Cross volunteers and staff to carry out over 26,000 safe and dignified burials; dangerous and highly sensitive work that has been critical in stopping the outbreak. The Red Cross volunteers have also reached more than 2.3 million people in Guinea through community engagement activities including contact tracing and surveillance, awareness outreach, and psychosocial support.

“We are very proud of the dedication and courage of the staff and volunteers who have been steadfast in the fight against Ebola, risking their lives to save the lives of others,” said Mr Sy. “Today, we pay tribute to all the volunteers, humanitarian personnel, health care workers and partners such as MSF who have been at the forefront of the response to Ebola. They continue to inspire us.”

However, the IFRC cautioned that vigilance is required in the coming months to avoid the return of the disease and to ensure that people who have been affected by this crisis are able to recover.

Mr Alasan Senghore, the IFRC’s Regional Director for Africa, said: “We need to do more than stop Ebola in its tracks. The epidemic has weakened health systems and economies, and increased the vulnerability of communities. We must increase community engagement in Guinea and ensure a more resilient health system.”

“The Red Cross was present in Guinea before the Ebola outbreak and we will continue to be here after the outbreak,” said Mr Sy. “Our dedicated volunteers will continue to support communities as they recover and become better equipped to deal with health and humanitarian challenges, such as measles, malaria and waterborne diseases.”

The Red Cross Society of Guinea will work alongside the government and partner organizations to ensure health care systems are strengthened and appropriate response mechanisms exist to cope with any future epidemics.

For further information, please contact:

Geneva
Reeni Amin Chua, IFRC Communications Officer, Geneva
Mobile: +41 79 708 6273 +41 79 708 6273, E-mail: reeni.aminchua@ifrc.org

Guinea
Mirabelle Enaka, IFRC Communications Delegate Guinea
Mobile : +224 624 196 530, Email: mirabelle.enaka@ifrc.org

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through its 190 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.