Bamako and Accra, 10 Dec – In response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in West Africa, MapAction has deployed two further skilled volunteers to the region – bringing the total deployed since September to 13.
Following on from an earlier mission, a MapAction volunteer has deployed to Ghana to support the regional response being coordinated by United Nations’ Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). UNMEER is the first ever UN mission for a public health emergency and has the stated aims of stopping the spread of the disease, treating infected patients, ensuring essential services, preserving stability, and preventing the spread of Ebola to unaffected countries. Although progress has been made in establishing treatment centres and tracing transmission routes, it remains a priority to establish the information flows and data management structure which is where MapAction’s expertise will be of particular benefit.
A second volunteer has deployed to Mali to help government authorities prepare for the risk of a future Ebola outbreak. Although 8 cases have already been reported in Mali, thus far they have been successfully contained. This mission is therefore to provide expertise in data preparedness and emergency mapping skills so that authorities can establish an Emergency Operations Centre and are prepared to respond if a more significant outbreak ensues.
According to the World Health Organization, 17,145 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases have been reported within this current Ebola outbreak up to the end of 30 November 2014. There have been 6,070 reported deaths.
Jonny Douch, MapAction’s Operations Director, commented: “I am incredibly proud that, as most of the UK busies itself with preparing for Christmas, two MapAction volunteers are stepping up to help in the ongoing battle against Ebola. Both missions will be strategically important. The role within UNMEER will be pivotal in getting to grips with the current outbreak, and the Mali deployment is an exciting opportunity to put measures in place before the situation in-country escalates. In both cases, I am sure that MapAction’s volunteers will make an important difference in helping to tackle this devastating health emergency.”