France scaling up help to combat Ebola virus
Ebola virus/sending of French healthcare reinforcements to Guinea – Joint statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights
Paris, 4 September 2014
In response to the appeal by the World Health Organization (WHO), Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights, are scaling up France’s assistance in the fight against the Ebola epidemic by sending a contingent of healthcare and medical experts to Guinea.
Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, will travel to Guinea in the next few days to express France’s commitment to the fight against the epidemic.
The French government is therefore mobilizing around 20 reserve personnel from the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Agency (epidemiologists, intensive care specialists, infectious disease specialists, public health doctors), who will work on a rotating basis over the next three months in Guinea to provide support to the local authorities and health teams. Five French experts will leave for Conakry tomorrow. These volunteers will build on the budgetary contribution, announced at the Council of Ministers on 27 August, to the needs expressed by the WHO.
Since the start of the epidemic, France has been strongly mobilized to combat the Ebola virus in West Africa, through its research institutes (notably INSERM and the Pasteur Institute, which identified the epidemic as soon as it appeared and are actively contributing to the diagnosis and monitoring of the disease) and its medical experts (who are supporting patient care, the control of the epidemic and the training of personnel, alongside local, French and international humanitarian organizations).
Laurent Fabius and Marisol Touraine pay tribute to the commitment of the French healthcare professionals, researchers and relief workers who have been fighting every day for many months now to treat those infected by the virus and curb the Ebola epidemic. The ministers remain particularly mindful of the working conditions of the NGOs on the ground.