On Friday, François Hollande visits Guinea, one of the three most affected countries by the Ebola virus, and a former French colony. Hollande is the first Western president that ever visited a country ravaged by the virus. The President of France wants to show his solidarity with this country in its relentless fight against the Ebola outbreak.
President Hollande’s staff will also include France’s minister for health and social affairs, Mrs Marisol Touraine, and the vice-president of the French Red Cross. During his visit Mr Hollande hopes to send a “message of solidarity,” to Western African Ebola survivors, reassuring them that the world does not stigmatizes them in any way.
On Wednesday, World Health Organization (WHO) had some good news for Guinea – the Ebola outbreak situation is now stable in the region, and a new type of tests, currently on trial, will give diagnosis results 6 times faster than its predecessors.
“Case incidence is stable in Guinea, stable or declining in Liberia, but may still be increasing in Sierra Leone,”
the WHO report shows.
In Guinea, on the official records there are more than 1.200 deaths caused by Ebola out of 2.134 suspected to be caused by Ebola. In October, the French promised to help fight the outbreak and donate 100 million Euros for new diagnosis and treatment facilities, more health personnel, and 200 additional beds.
Meanwhile, François Hollande said two more health facilities would be built, and two training centers for health assistants would be soon open in Guinea’s capital, Conakry.
On his visit, the French President will meet the country’s officials, hold round-table discussions with health specialists, and visit several health centers. He will also talk to the French medical staff that helped fight the outbreak and risk their lives on a daily basis.
On Saturday, François Hollande will go to Senegal and take part in the yearly Francophonie summit.
With its 1.260 recorded deaths out of the 2134 reported cases, Guinea is not the worst stricken country by the Ebola virus. Liberia reported 7.168 cases and 3016 deaths, while Sierra Leone reported 6.599 recorded cases and 1.398 deaths. All in all, 5.689 people were reported to have died from Ebola out of 15.935 confirmed cases in 8 countries.
On Wednesday, WHO has also said that many of the Ebola deaths and cases were still under-reported. So, in Guinea the situation might be worse, since many health workers reported they were denied access to villages because people didn’t believe Ebola was a real threat.