Togo: Ebola Virus Disease Preparedness - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) n° MDRTG005

A. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster

Since February 2014, when first cases were reported in Guinea, the virus of Ebola continues to spread dangerously in the countries of West Africa despite the ongoing efforts undertaken by the authorities to stop the disease from spreading. As of 18 August, WHO has recorded a total of 2473 cases attributed to the disease Ebola, with 1350 death detailed for each country as follow: Guinea 579 cases with 396 deaths, Liberia 972 cases with 576 deaths, Nigeria 15 cases with 4 deaths, Sierra Leone 907 cases with 374 deaths.

For the moment the response of humanitarian organizations does not seem to be able to curb the spread of the virus in West Africa, and WHO is concerned on the work that needs to be done to be able to control the spread of the disease and to succeed in reversing the trend. It remains difficult to reach people for support, or to convince them to seek for treatment. There is still perplexity over the existence of the disease among the community. To date, all West African countries are on alert; some have closed their land borders and stopped air flights to/from the affected countries. It is the first time Togo prepares for Ebola. Its population as its health facilities have limited knowledge of the mode of transmission measurements and prevention.

The risk of spread of the disease Ebola in Togo is high; transit of people and goods is frequent to Nigeria and the nearby countries. It is therefore necessary to conduct prevention activities at the community level to reduce the risk of spreading the disease. The Togo Red Cross, as auxiliary to the public authorities, has expertise in preparedness and response to epidemics in coordination with the Ministry of Health and has initiated several measures to prevent the occurrence and prepare the response to a potential epidemic.

Summary of the current response
Overview of the Host National Society

Prevention and response to epidemics are among the priorities of the Togo Red Cross in accordance with its strategic plan for the period 2012-2016.

The Togo Red Cross Society, as auxiliary to public authorities under the coordination of the Ministry of Health, has experience in epidemic prevention and response activities. Below are the health activities carried out in support of the Ministry of Health in the past years:

  • cholera outbreaks: in 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013;

  • yellow fever epidemic in 2008;

  • meningitis epidemic;

  • outbreak of scabies in prison in 2012 Atakpamé (in coordination with ICRC).

Since April 2014, the Togo Red Cross Society has established a crisis committee for the preparation and response to a possible outbreak of Ebola in Togo. With the support of the 5 regional coordination centres and more than 13,000 active volunteers, the Togo Red Cross Society coordinates the development of this committee and of a national plan for prevention and response to Ebola highlighting community, accurate and effective actions in a context of scarce resources. This crisis committee is constituted of 4 commissions including:

  • Supervision - National Operational Coordination;

  • Regional Operational Coordination;

  • Prefectural Operational Coordination;

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

Togo Red Cross regularly exchanges information with the IFRC Regional Office based in Abidjan, to provide updated information on the evolution of the epidemiological situation, on the actions taken in country and also on the support needed in preparing for a potential outbreak of the disease.

Coordination within the Movement

Togo Red Cross Society has close contact with ICRC, Swiss RC, Danish RC and German RC in country to exchange updated information on the evolution of the epidemic.

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country

A National Response Committee on Ebola virus has been created in the country; along the Togo Red Cross it also includes key ministries and government structures involved in disaster management, donors agencies including United Nations agencies (WHO, UNICEF), and NGOs such as Plan Togo. The National Society contributes in activities such as alert, logistics, awareness and prevention.