World Health Organization
Ebola has become one of the most infamous diseases around the world. Known for its quick chain-reaction effect and high risk exposure, Ebola is one of the most unstoppable diseases. The disease has mainly affected West African communities. Ebola has the power to break apart many communities because of a lack of infrastructure many communities suffer. Many countries do not have the organizational power to maintain quarantines which result in the spread of Ebola.
In 2014, France created Ebola surveillance after the major outbreak in West Africa from 2014-2016. Their method was to have international travelers who traveled to an affected country have to report to the national emergency healthcare hotline. This is also known as the SAMU, which can be easily contacted and have nearly 100 centers in France. If patients report at-risk exposures and a fever during the first 21 days after leaving the affected country they are defined as possible cases. They are then hospitalized in isolation and tested by a polymerase chain reaction. Returning travelers with no symptoms but have reported at-risk exposures, are considered as contact and are included in a follow-up protocol until 21 days after their last at-risk exposure. The result from this protocol from March 2014 to January 2016, included 1087 patients who were involved. 1053 were immediately excluded because they did not have at-risk exposures, and 34 possible cases were tested and then excluded because of the negative test result. Two confirmed cases diagnosed in West Africa were evacuated to France under strict isolation conditions. No imported case of EVD was detected in France. Concluding that France is confident that its surveillance system was able to classify patients properly during the outbreak period.
France has also launched research programs in the Aviesan Institute of Microbiology and Infectious diseases. Also, in light of the Ebola virus epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, France is determined to increase its international efforts. More efforts have been made to combat Ebola by the World Health Organization (WHO), on November 12, 2019 they prequalified an Ebola vaccine for the first time. This is a critical step to speed up the distribution of the vaccine to high-risk countries. Prequalification means that the vaccine meets WHO’s standards for health and safety. The vaccine is named, “Ervebo” and is injectable. Due to the urgent need for a vaccine, WHO accelerated prequalification for the vaccine by reviewing safety and efficacy data as they became available.
France believes that in order to combat and ultimately eradicate Ebola, the first step is to educate affected nations. There needs to be a stronger emphasis placed on the importance of having a secure quarantine to affected patients and to have foolproof protocol. France would also like to insure the partnership between community leaders and informing its citizens. Next, there needs to be an expansion of preventative centers in heavily affected countries to begin to distribute the new Ervebo vaccine. Along with the continuation of funding towards research and NGO’s.
- Blaise Gourley