World Health Organization
Republic of Senegal
Fishers High School
The Ebola virus has claimed countless lives since it was first identified in 1976, the most significant instance being the 2014-2016 outbreak in West Africa, with 28652 total cases (of which 15261 were confirmed) and 11325 deaths (“2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa”). This outbreak was of the Zaire ebolavirus strain, the deadliest of the four Ebola strains. Senegal, which resides in West Africa, had one case during this particular outbreak (Senegal has had no other cases to date). The case was confirmed August 29th of 2014 in a young man who was traveling to Dakar from Guinea (“The Outbreak of Ebola in Senegal is Over”). Senegal was quick to take action and had had a comprehensive plan in place since March 2014. A National Crisis Committee was set into action and coordinated local funding with international partners. The World Health Organization, the Ministry of Health, Doctors without Borders, and US Centers for Disease Control all worked together to contain the disease (“The Outbreak of Ebola in Senegal is Over”). The plan included sending SMS messages through the WHO “mDiabetes” platform. The government of Senegal sent out over 4 million SMS messages instructing people on how to avoid the disease and to report any symptoms to a toll free number. The messages were sent in conjunction with radio announcements, flyers, and messages on government supported websites (“Government of Senegal Boosts Ebola Awareness Through SMS Campaign”). The government also made efforts to keep a humanitarian corridor open into Dakar. This ensured that necessary goods such as medicines and foods would still be transported in and out of the country regardless of the state of emergency (“The Outbreak of Ebola in Senegal is Over”). The patient that was treated for Ebola recovered and returned home to Guinea
Today the Ebola outbreak has ended in Western Africa but still exists in parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. As of November 5th 2019 there were a total 3285 cases (of which 3167 were confirmed) and 2191 deaths in this outbreak (“Ebola Virus Disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo”). This current outbreak differs from the outbreak in Senegal because of security risks (“Ebola Virus Disease – Democratic Republic of the Congo”). Senegal believes that improvements in security in communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda are vital to solving the Ebola Outbreak there. Furthermore, implementation of a similar plan of action in these areas as the one in Senegal and increasing funding for disease fighting and prevention.
- Caroline Adams