Senegal: Ebola Virus Disease outbreak, Emergency Plan of Action Final Report (MDRSN010)


Summary of response

Overview of Host National Society

As soon as the imported case was confirmed, SRCS became involved in the following 7 committees of the Ministry of Health:

  • Social and behavioural intervention;

  • Investigation and epidemiological surveillance;

  • Case management and infection control;

  • Water Sanitation and Hygiene;

  • Logistics;

  • Media or communication; and

  • Mobile response team.

through the involvement and commitment of the National Society in these committees, SRCS was able to better implement its response plan against the Ebola virus. A team of 24 volunteers supervised by six supervisors were involved in the monitoring of the 74 contacts in Dakar. These monitoring activities included monitoring the contacts’ temperature twice a day, sensitization, and distribution of food kits as well as Psychosocial Support. In addition, SRCS mobilized its logistics capacity to support the distribution of hygiene kits countrywide. A team of 6 volunteers were deployed in Fann Hospital to provide support to the health team in the Ebola Treatment Centre.

As a result of these concerted efforts, no more Ebola cases were registered and on 13 October 2014, WHO declared Ebola over in Senegal. However Ebola was not over in Guinea and the Senegalese Government reopened its borders with Guinea. That situation constituted a continued threat of transmission across Senegal’s borders. There was a need to further strengthen preparedness and community disease surveillance along the borders. The cross-border exchanges therefore encouraged more robust sensitization and surveillance activities to prevent any outbreak into Senegal.

The response activities of the National Society then focused on information and communication, education, awareness raising, and Social Mobilization, surveillance, case identification and contact management, Psychosocial Support, and regional collaboration. SRCS mobilized its Red Cross volunteers who reached a total of 1,103,520 beneficiaries (7.9% of the total population in Senegal) through public awareness activities including caravans, group discussions, home visits, school visits and Social Mobilisation during religious events. The balance that was left over will be moved to the project to be used for the envisaged Ebola Lessons Learned Workshop with the SRCS.

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

The Senegalese Red Cross Society has strong experience in community epidemics management with well-trained people {National Disaster Response Team, (NDRT) Health members}. However, it was the first time the country was experiencing Ebola, and strong support was needed to conduct effective staff and volunteers training to enable them to cope with the virus. As part of its response to the Ebola outbreak, the Red Cross Movement together with the National Society was committed to support the Ministry of Health through its various committees. The French Red Cross contributed to the duplication of Ebola sensitizing posters and preventive measures.

The trainer who facilitated the Epidemic Control for Volunteers (ECV) training of trainers had been trained as a Regional Disaster Response Team (RDRT) Health by the IFRC during his tenure as SRCS Health Coordinator. The Luxembourg Red Cross supported the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), isolation tents and the organization of simulation activities held in Fann hospital (that was located next to the ETC). The British Red Cross also supported the design of sensitization tools such as T-shirts, banners as well as the production of a video. The Spanish Red Cross developed a large epidemiological surveillance program of sensitization in the Southern region of Senegal (Casamance) bordering Guinea.

Senegalese Red Cross volunteers sensitizing the community in the Southern region of Senegal.
Photo: IFRC The National Society was also supported by the IFRC through its regional office in the Sahel, as well as by the ICRC, Danish Red Cross, Spanish Red Cross and French Red Cross. Regular Movement Coordination meetings and joint activities were put in place with partners to monitor the development of the EVD spreading situation. SRCS kept all Movement actors informed of activities carried out in response to the EVD.

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country As a result of the imported Ebola case, a Senegal National Crisis Committee for EVD was set up. This committee included the Ministry of Health, WHO, MSF, Institut Pasteur and UNICEF, SRCS amongst others partners. The recommendations that arose from the committee regarding the Ebola combat focused on response activities, community monitoring, sensitization and contact tracing. MSF organized a monitoring of contacts and case management training. It was followed by UNICEF whose training focused on Psychosocial techniques and stress management regarding an outbreak of Ebola virus. SRCS volunteers and technical people benefited from both trainings prior to their deployment to the field.