It Takes a Village: A Community Approach to Stopping Outbreaks in Guinea
The Bottom Line
THE CHALLENGE: To prevent another epidemic like Ebola, Guinea needed to strengthen its ability to stop outbreaks early and close to the source.
THE SOLUTION: Guinea is working with CDC and RTI International on a five-year program to prevent the spread of potentially deadly outbreaks by involving local communities in monitoring for diseases and offering critical training to keep patients safe.
Three years ago, Ebola in a remote area in Guinea spread and grew into the world’s first epidemic of the virus. We quickly saw that the most effective way to stop infectious diseases from spreading was to involve the whole community. Now Guinea is applying lessons from the Ebola response, including engaging in community outreach, building triage centers at healthcare facilities to better detect the next outbreak, and training healthcare workers to stop future outbreaks from turning into epidemics.
Our three-part series delves into the work of Epi-détecte, a five-year surveillance and health information system strengthening project that engages local health workers and the community in protecting everyone from potentially deadly diseases like Ebola. The project focuses on gaining the trust of the community and keeping them safe from the spread of disease.
This important work, led by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and RTI International, will help Guinea reach the goals of the Global Health Security Agenda by improving the country’s ability to rapidly detect, respond to, and control infectious disease threats.