Guinea urged to strengthen health system as Ebola outbreak ends

The World Health Organization urged Guinea to strengthen its health system in order to prevent a new Ebola virus epidemic, as the West Africa nation was declared free of the disease.

“The epidemic of Ebola virus in Guinea has ended,” Mohamed Belhocine, the WHO country representative in Guinea, told reporters in the capital, Conakry on Tuesday. The organization declared the country free of Ebola 42 days after it released the last positive registered case, a two-week old child.

“We are saying the end of Ebola. We are not saying the end of the possibility of sporadic cases,” Belhocine said, citing Sierra Leone and Liberia where some cases have been registered after the declaration of the end of Ebola. “The acquired experience must not be lost. We know that the virus is formidable and capable of resurgence.”

Guinea was among three West African countries hardest hit by the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola. More than 2,500 people have died since the first victim was identified in a densely forested area of the country in late 2013.

 – Bloomberg