Mali: Mali winning fight against Ebola disease

Bamako, Mali (PANA) – Health authorities in Mali confirmed Wednesday that the Ebola disease outbreak in the country has died down, but the West African nation must wait for three weeks without a new case before it can be declared free of the deadly disease in accordance with regulations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

No new case has been reported of late and all contacts who were placed under quarantine have been discharged, Mali's Health and Public Hygiene Minister Ousmane Koné said at a news briefing, which was attended by Mali's Coordinator for the Emergency Operational Centre, Professor Samba Sow, and WHO Resident Representative in Mali, Dr Ibrahima Socé Fall.

Though the epidemic was under control, Koné stressed that vigilance remains essential in order to avert a resurgence of the disease in the country.

According to the minister, Mali recorded two cases of the disease, the first being a two-year-old girl who got infected in Guinea and the second was a Guinean patient.

The girl died in Kayes while the second case was admitted to Pasteur private hospital on 25 October and died two days later.

Urging vigilance of the population in order to avoid risks of infection, Koné underlined the need for strong preventive measures, including notification to health authorities about any suspected case of Ebola disease.

Professor Sow said that control remains the main challenge in view of the long border between Mali and Guinea. "We must make sure that suspected cases from that country are stopped by the surveillance teams at the Malian side of the border," he said.

According to Sow, it is possible to eradicate Ebola in Africa but the task is complicated by the virus's reserve in wild animals.

Meanwhile, the WHO representative praised the commitment of the Malian government and all teams working on the ground which led to encouraging results in containing the epidemic.

Dr Fall noted that the factors of success in the fight against Ebola in Mali were the quickness in preparation and adoption of a contingency plan since the outbreak of the disease on 22 March.

-0- PANA GT/BEH/MSA/AR 17Dec2014

17 december 2014 18:10:55

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