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Ivory Coast (2015)

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The activities of the EFFO project, financed by the German Federal Ministry of Health (BMG), focused on Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) and other viral hemorrhagic fevers. The added value of the knowledge and skills imparted and acquired as part of the project extend well beyond EVD and directly interlinks with existing projects carried out by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Ivory Coast.

Among other things, the EFFO project seeks to train clinical staff on the topics of Ebola, standard precautions, and personal protective equipment. The EFFO is one of several projects that forms part of a targeted and comprehensive approach. Even though identifying and managing suspected EVD cases and other infectious patients in the emergency ward, implementing reliable laboratory diagnostics, and a well-functioning monitoring system are all important elements, these are aspects that are specifically addressed in different projects. Procedures for each of these projects are harmonized with the relevant existing national regulations.

Ivory Coast shares borders with Guinea and Liberia, two countries particularly affected by the EVD outbreak of 2014 and 2015. Due to this direct proximity, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Ivory Coast as a high-risk country in terms of EVD importation.

The imminence of the “EVD threat” was also the rationale for the Robert Koch Institute's last-minute support provided as part of the German Partnership Program for Excellence in Biological and Health Security. A training laboratory was established in Bouaké, where laboratory staff were trained until the end of 2015. The project was financed by the German Federal Foreign Office.

The ANDEMIA Network was initiated in West Africa independently from the EVD outbreak. ANDEMIA stands for “African Network for Improvements in Diagnostics, Epidemiology and Management of Common Diseases”. The health research network funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) focuses on examining common, transnational illnesses, like fevers of unknown causes, and uses new findings to develop targeted measures to combat infectious diseases. ANDEMIA specifically prioritizes interactions between veterinary and human medicine (One Health), by considering the zoonotic potential of relevant pathogens, and providing data on managing potential animal reservoirs. This issue also plays a critical role in EVD epidemics.

Date: 01.09.2015

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