Ebola in Abidjan: Avoiding Guinea’s Stigma | Africa | dw

“We must act quickly together” to stop any spread of the Ebola virus in Cte d’Ivoire. This is the goal that Conakry and Abidjan are setting themselves in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).

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“Work together quickly”, said Bamba Vasindou of human rights NGO The African Union Club, to avoid all kinds of stigma for Guineans living in Abidjan. For that, we must above all emphasize the dissemination of safe and reliable information to the population:

“We come from the same continent. There are Ivorians living in Guinea and there are Guineas living in Cte d’Ivoire. Therefore, for us, it will be necessary to show greatness of spirit to the population. That it is not engaged in such actions that the communities put into conflict.”

The Guinea case in Dakar in 2014

Avoid conflicts and especially the stigma, such as the one that Guineans in Senegal faced during the first Ebola epidemic that struck Guinea in 2014. At the time, Senegal closed its borders with Guinea, following confirmation of the presence in Dakar of two Guinean students infected with the virus, recalls this Guinean who preferred to remain anonymous:

Vaccination campaign against Ebola virus in Guinea

“When two young Guineans tested positive at the time, Senegalese began to be wary of Guineans living in Senegal. Even worse, some Senegalese laughed at Guineas. They said that Guineans carried Ebola to Senegal. Guineans Markets organized by, like Castor, Guinean traders felt a certain reluctance on the part of Senegalese, who said the Ebola virus came from Guinea.”

The Ivorian authorities have set up a surveillance system to contain the pandemic. Abidjan and Conakry are now trying to control the risk of spreading the disease. Cte d’Ivoire has received 5,000 doses of Ebola vaccine from Guinea and vaccination will begin on Monday (16.08).

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Health workers, close relatives of the victim and his contacts are the first targets.

According to Conakry, for the entry of young Guineas, they were placed in quarantine and benefited from medical surveillance.

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