The World Health Organization has declared the end of Ebola in Guinea, commending the people and the government on the achievement.
The African republic will now enter a 90-day “heightened period of surveillance” to ensure that any new cases are identified before they can spread, World Health Organization said.
One of the poorest nations in the world, Guinea leapt to global prominence after becoming the host country for “patient zero” – an infant, Emile Ouamouno, who on December 2013 became the outbreak’s first victim.
The announcement comes 42 days after the last individual in Guinea confirmed with Ebola was tested negative for the second consecutive time.
Ebola killed more than 2,500 people in the West African state, with another 9,000 dying in neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone, which were declared Ebola-free in September and November, respectively – although Liberia experienced new cases since.
Khalil Kaba, deputy chief of staff for Guinea President Alpha Cond, told The Post that there will be “remembrance ceremonies” held across the country, including in all 25 districts that reported Ebola cases. “They were more likely to die if infected”, UNICEF Guinea Representative Mohamed Ag Ayoya said.
The government in Guinea is reportedly planning a celebration in the capital, Conakry. People with Ebola ended up traveling to Europe and North American before being diagnosed, which spread fear of the epidemic around the planet.
Sierra Leone was declared free of Ebola in November this year. These appear to have been due to the re-emergence of a persistent virus from the survivor population.
In its two-year battle against Ebola, Guinea has had to overcome many obstacles. This is what caused the resurgences of the virus in Liberia after it was declared free of Ebola. Over 28,600 cases of Ebola have been reported globally, according to World Health Organization figures, with many residing in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea.
The epidemic devastated the economies of the worst-hit countries, as crops rotted in the fields, mines were abandoned and goods could not get to market. They are traumatized and continue to be stigmatized in their neighbourhoods.
According to the United Nations, 6,220 Guinean children have lost one or both parents to Ebola.