USAID donates motorcycles and trains health workers to facilitate Ebola Contact tracing in N’Zérékoré

Speeches Shim

Wednesday, June 16, 2021
USAID provided funds to the World Health Organization for the purchase of 34 motorcycles to facilitate contact training in N’Zérékoré.
Ousmane Condé, USAID Guinea

Following confirmation by the Guinean Government of the resurgence of Ebola in the N'zérékoré region in South-East Guinea, near the Liberia and Côte d'Ivoire borders in February 2021, USAID and other partners began working closely with health authorities to provide technical and logistical support to urgently respond to the outbreak.

One of the challenges international partners including USAID encountered after the new Ebola outbreak in N’Zérékoré was how to identify, assess, and manage people who have been exposed to the Ebola virus through contact with the diagnosed cases.  There was an urgent need to follow-up with these contacts for the maximum incubation period of 21 days so that any symptomatic person can be detected and managed at the earliest sign of infection, and therefore any possibility of subsequent transmission of the virus can be neutralized.

To address this challenge, USAID is using contact tracing, one of the multi-strategies in its emergency Ebola response plan, in coordination with the Regional Directorate of Health of N’Zérékoré to control the further spread of the Ebola Virus Disease.  To promptly implement this strategy, USAID funded the training of 43 health workers in health facilities in Nzérékoré on the standard operating procedures of active contact tracing and established an active contact tracing system at the health facilities to reinforce the surveillance system.  In addition, USAID funded the purchase of 34 motorcycles for the Nzérékoré Region Directorate of Health to facilitate contact tracing and case investigation.  Thanks to this logistic and training support, health workers who were deployed in 17 health structures to provide technical support in active contact tracing have helped to significantly increase the number of reported alerts, as well as the number of alerts investigated. Since the establishment of the alerts system on 4 March, the numbers have gone from an average of seven alerts per day to more than 45 alerts per day on 26 April.

“We had problem listing, and subsequently following-up contact cases effectively because of the lack of logistic support.  But since USAID donated motorbikes, our specified follow-up teams have access to the most remote areas in N’Zérékoré to carry out daily visits to contacts and they are not only reporting on time, but the number of reported alerts has increased,” says Dr. Adama Kaba, Regional Director of Health of N’Zérékoré.

 

Last updated: July 23, 2021

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