UN: UN envoy on Ebola in Guinea-Bissau to assess new cases on Guinea border

New York, US (PANA) - Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) Peter Graaff has begun a visit to take stock of prevention and preparedness efforts in Guinea Bissau, which remains at high risk given its proximity to Guinea where new cases of the virus were reported in an urban area bordering the two countries.

To date, no confirmed cases of Ebola disease has been reported in Guinea-Bissau.

According to the UN, Mr. Graaff met with Guinea-Bissau’s Prime Minister Domingo Simoes Pereira on Wednesday and also with Minister of Health Valentina Mendes to discuss preparedness measures.

The UN envoy is on a two-day official visit “to take stock of the current Ebola Virus Disease
(EVD) prevention and preparedness efforts in the country and see with government how the UN can further mobilize support''.

In addition to meeting with top Guinea-Bissau officials and partners, the UN envoy plans to visit
the EVD isolation and treatment site at the Simao Mendes National Hospital in Bissau.

He will also travel to Contabane border post with Guinea Conakry.

Guinea-Bissau remains at high risk given its proximity to Guinea and the recent new cases in the Guinean Prefecture of Boke, bordering Guinea-Bissau.

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) latest update, there were 20 confirmed cases of Ebola virus disease reported in the week to 21 June, compared with 24 cases the
previous week.

"Weekly case incidence has stalled at between 20 and 27 cases since the end of May, whilst cases continue to arise from unknown sources of infection, and to be detected only after post-mortem testing of community deaths.

"Although cases have been reported from the same four prefectures in Guinea for the past 3 weeks, the area of active transmission within those prefectures has changed, and in several instances has expanded," it said

Compared with Guinea, WHO said the transmission in Sierra Leone has been more geographically confined over the past three weeks.

In Guinea-Bissau, UN agencies have joined hands with international and national partners to strongly advocate and support leadership, coordination and action for rapid establishment of the necessary national EVD preparedness and response components.

There have been 27,443 confirmed cases of Ebola in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone with 11,207 reported deaths, according to WHO.

Liberia was declared Ebola-free on 9 May.
-0- PANA AA/SEG 25June215

25 june 2015 08:02:33

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