UNMEER SRSG Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed visits Kambia and Port Loko districts in northern Sierra Leone.
Campaign of sensitization and early detection of EVD cases is ongoing in Forécariah, Guinea.
Schools in Sierra Leone re-opened yesterday, about nine months since they were closed following the EVD outbreak.
Key Political and Economic Developments
Response Efforts and Health
2 In total, 26,611 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of EVD have been reported in the three most affected countries. There have been 10,611 reported deaths.
3 UNMEER SRSG Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, WHO’s Assistant Director-General Dr. Bruce Aylward and the ECM for Sierra Leone Bintou Keita yesterday visited Kambia and Port Loko districts in northern Sierra Leone. In Kambia, they were informed by the District Ebola Response Centre (DERC) that remaining challenges include: the difficulty of surveillance due to porous borders; the reluctance of some family members to divulge information regarding sick relatives; the remoteness of some of the villages and towns where there is still transmission; and panic and trauma when sick loved ones are taken to treatment centres. Real-time cross-border exchange of epidemiological information was progressing and a treatment centre has been established at the border which will ensure quicker EVD testing. The DERC also highlighted the need for increased social mobilization and support from Chiefs and other influential community leaders. In Port Loko DERC said that broader and more robust community engagement had helped drive EVD cases lower.
4 Despite the overall decrease in the number of cases in recent weeks, the National Ebola Response Cente (NERC) in Sierra Leone is deploying more national case investigation teams to support districtlevel case investigations, contact tracing and geo-coding of all confirmed cases.
5 The campaign of sensitization and early detection of EVD cases is ongoing in Forécariah, Guinea.
Following training, 253 teams composed of four persons each began their door-to-door activities in the afternoon of 12 April. No major problems have been reported, although there were some logistic problems related to the arrival of soap to some of the sub-prefectures. Prefectural and national authorities are spreading messages through radio stations to support the campaign. 17 alert cases were found on the first day of the campaign. WHO supervisors have been deployed from other areas to reinforce and support the campaign.
6 UNMEER Liberia and UNMIL visited Ganta border post on 10 April. The border was open on the Guinean side with a trickle of vehicles and people reportedly crossing daily since last week. Numbers were expected to increase as more people become aware of the re-opening. Infection prevention and control (IPC) protocols were being practiced as all people crossing the border including motorized travellers were going through the screening processes on both sides of the border. The Yekepa border post is also reportedly open. With the re-opening of the borders on the Guinean side, UNMEER/UNMIL and the County Health Teams (CHT) will conduct closer border monitoring to ensure that IPC protocols are being followed.
7 Three checkpoint surveillance officers working with the CHT received motorbikes from UNMEER Liberia, as part of its Quick Impact Projects (QIP). The motorbikes are to support effective and efficient EVD monitoring and reporting on 42 checkpoints in Lofa County. During an UNMEER field visit to the border town of Kondadou, the checkpoint health staff and Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization (BIN) officials were actively engaged in temperature taking, recording and documentation and ensuring the use of IPC materials by travellers between Liberia and Guinea.
8 UNICEF have distributed more than 90,000 hygiene kits to households in the Guinean prefectures of Macenta and Guéckédou. 8,000 kits are to be distributed in Koyama (Macenta Prefecture), by UNICEF’s partner PLAN Guinée.
9 Also in Guinea, UNICEF and its partner Centre Africain de Formation pour le Developpement (CENAFOD) donated 590 mobile phones to the Prefectural Coordination of Forécariah on 9 April. The aim of the donation is to help the Comites de Veille Villageois (CVV) in communication with health centres and the prefectural coordination.