Ebola : the response of France [fr]
On April 10, 2015, the inter-ministerial Task Force highlights the undertaken action by France to bring an appropriate respond to this crisis since the beginning of March, 2014. French research institutes (Institut Pasteur, foundator of the Task Force and the French Institute of Health and Medical Research - INSERM) established that the virus was present in the forest region of Guinea.
After the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International
Concern (PHEIC) on 8 August 2014, France was the first European country to take action in Guinea to show solidarity and call for the affected countries not to be isolated.
Today, France is adapting its plan to respond appropriately as the epidemic develops. It is pursuing three main objectives: controlling and eradicating the epidemic, tackling other health emergencies that are not related to Ebola and anticipating future crises.
This response to Ebola for the period 2014-2015 is developed into four components:
• Supporting guinea: To facilitate the hiring of international and local health-care workers in the countries affected by the epidemic, France has opened two training centres, one in France for expatriate health-care and non-health-care workers, and one in Guinea for workers from Guinea and the sub-region. Moreover, The Agence Française de Développement (French Development Agency - AFD) is providing €4 million for the creation of an Institut Pasteur in Conakry. To complement this, the French Government is funding the Institut Pasteur and Fondation Mérieux to build laboratory capacities in Guinea.
• Building capacities to combat ebola in the subregion: France has committed, by financial contribution, to provide support for the fight against Ebola in Cote d’Ivoire, in Cameroun and in Liberia. Likewise, France has provided support for training of health-care workers and the new public health pharmacy (purchase of personal protective equipment and other items in Mali and Guinea.
• Multilateral action: France is contributing to the European mechanism for treatment of international humanitarian workers.
• Medical research: Thanks to INSERM and the Institut Pasteur, France has been working actively since the start of the epidemic in March 2014 to diagnose the presence of the virus in initial samples from the forest region of Guinea. France and its research institutes are contributing to research on Ebola in West Africa and the training of African researchers. On an operational level, seven laboratories have already been set up in Guinea with France’s help.
Over the course of 2014 and 2015, France has mobilized over €200 million to combat Ebola, including almost €160 million from the State budget.
It should be noted that on May 07, 2015, The WHO has declared a clear decrease of the number of cases of Ebola in Guinea and Sierra Leone. Finally, Liberia, which has counted the greatest number of deaths (more than 4 700), is predicting to declare the end of the epidemic on May 09, 2015.
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