In February 2014, West Africa was hit by an epidemic of the Ebola virus. In Sierra Leone, the number of casualties quickly rose as a result of dangerous burial practices and dilapidated health facilities. On 24 December 2014, 9,004 people in Sierra Leone were recorded as being infected with the Ebola virus, and over 2,582 people had died from the disease (WHO).
For SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL, responding to the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone was one of their priorities. To rise to this challenge, a committee dedicated to the Ebola crisis was set up at headquarters.
In November 2014, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL joined forces with Médecins du Monde Spain to manage an Ebola clinic in the town of Moyamba. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL sent eight international staff, including six water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) experts. 360 national staff were also recruited and provided with the training and equipment necessary to respond to this emergency situation. Responsible for WASH issues, our teams contributed their expertise by overseeing disinfection, decontamination, drinking water provision, chlorination, waste management, laundry and the handling of the bodies of patients who had died at the centre.
From September 2016, the emergency team and technical experts helped monitor the three countries affected by the Ebola epidemic in West Africa: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL supported the Global WASH Cluster in particular with funding for all the essential documents relating to Ebola, helped implement a technical platform for those responding to the crisis, and assisted in the creation of WASH guidelines for Ebola response in West Africa.
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