The Red Cross is scaling up Ebola assistance in Guinea, West African, and seven neighboring countries, the aid organization announced on Monday. The Red Cross is concerned about the possible spread of the recent Ebola virus outbreak in Guinea to countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast.
The Red Cross provides mobile assistance and education in Nzérékoré, Guinea’s second largest city. Aid workers from the organization recently helped with safe funerals for two deceased Ebola patients.
According to Red Cross spokesperson Naomi Nolte, there are “great risks” that the extremely deadly Ebola virus will spread across borders due to intensive traffic between countries. “We are working hard in Guinea and all seven neighboring countries to inform as many people as possible about how best to protect themselves against the virus.”
Nolte says that funerals are especially risky in Ebola outbreaks. “When you die, there is a lot of physical contact, such as washing and hugging.” The remains of Ebola patients are highly contagious.
Nzérékoré was also the epicenter of the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014, which severely hit Liberia and Sierra Leone in addition to Guinea. About eleven thousand people were killed.
More difficult due to corona
Efforts to control the current Ebola outbreak are hampered by the other major health crisis of the moment, the corona pandemic.
“Just like in the Netherlands, the people in Guinea are under great pressure from the corona pandemic,” said Nolte. The Red Cross warns that many people in West Africa are particularly vulnerable and is concerned about possible food shortages.
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