On the Ground Report of the Situation in West Africa

Created on Monday, 12 January 2015

EU Ebola Coordinator, Christos Stylianides, and EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis, travelled to Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea, in November to assess the actual situation in West Africa regarding the spread of the Ebola virus. They met with treatment centres and health workers on the ground, as well as relief workers and authorities, to draw up a comprehensive report of the situation, which has now been published.

According to the report, there is still a desperate need to mobilise more medical teams. It is necessary also to adapt to the spread of the virus, as some countries have already successfully almost eliminated it, while new cases become present elsewhere in West Africa. Commissioner Stylianides advises the creation of small, mobile teams to respond quickly to smaller, more dispersed outbreaks. This is especially crucial due to the fact that, as identified by the EU officials during their visit, there is hardly any regional cooperation between the African countries in tackling the crisis. Each of them approach it with a different set of partners and address it solely within their own borders.

Commissioner Stylianides also states that much more can be done to support health workers, such as boosting resources and capacity. Due credit also needs to be given to the individuals who risk their lives daily for the benefit of both the patients and humanity as a whole.

Along with an on the ground assessment of the situation, the report also includes an outline of the EU’s collective efforts to help tackle the spread of the Ebola virus and identifies the areas where critical gaps remain that urgently need to be addressed.

The full report is available here.