Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continued to respond to malaria and HIV/AIDS – two of the main killers in Guinea – and conducted a selected catch-up vaccination campaign in Conakry.
Guinea is a nation facing multiple diseases and infections, including malaria and HIV/AIDS. Many people don’t have access to medical care or the health system they do have access to isn’t properly equipped to manage their care.
MSF prepares to respond to Ebola outbreak in Guinea
On February 14, 2021, health authorities in Guinea declared an outbreak of Ebola in the rural community of Gouéké in N’Zerekore prefecture after three Ebola cases were confirmed by the national laboratory, according to the World Health Organization. This marks the first time the disease has been reported in the country since the end of the devastating West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2016.
Doctors Without/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is rapidly putting together an Ebola team in Guinea to support the Ministry of Health's Ebola response. We know from past experience that the speed of the response is important, both in order to contain transmission and to provide treatment for people who have caught the disease. We also know that community engagement is vital. We will try to get the right balance between responding quickly and taking steps to make sure the community is a willing and active participant in both prevention and response. Alongside treatment for Ebola, contact tracing and other community-based activities will be absolutely vital.
In 2019, we expanded our community-based child health program to cover the whole Kouroussa prefecture, providing training and logistical support to 152 community health volunteers and 23 health posts and health centers to improve the detection, treatment, and referral systems for patients with malaria, malnutrition, and respiratory infections. Thanks to this approach, 47,927 children were diagnosed with malaria using rapid tests, and more than 38 percent of them were treated directly in the community. Meanwhile, we continued our medical and logistical support to Kouroussa prefectural hospital, where nearly 2,460 children were admitted and treated for severe forms of malaria during the year. As we plan to close the project by the end of 2021, a roundtable with local, regional, and central authorities was organized in order to guarantee continuity and community engagement. Learn how you can best help in Guinea and other countries.
Another focus of MSF activities in Guinea is HIV care. Fewer than half of HIV-positive patients have access to treatment and HIV-related deaths are on the rise. In the capital, Conakry, we continued to support testing, treatment and follow-up services for HIV patients through eight health centers and provide specialized care for advanced-HIV patients in the 31-bed unit at Donka hospital that we rehabilitated in 2019. We also ran public testing campaigns and awareness-raising activities, which led to 4,397 people being tested over the year. Please donate to support our work in Guinea and other countries around the world now.
In addition to running these regular projects, MSF conducted a selected catch-up vaccination campaign in Conakry’s Matoto district, vaccinating nearly 14,800 children with measles, oral polio, and 5-in-1 vaccines (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, and Haemophilus influenzae type B), and treated 1,390 patients for measles.