WHO's contribution to the Ebola response

December 2014

WHO has been working in Ebola-affected countries to help the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) achieve their 70-70-60 goals. The goals aim to get 70% of the cases isolated and treated, 70% of the deceased safely buried within 60 days starting from 01 October to 01 December. The following examples illustrate WHO's work in countries.

WHO-led training on Ebola infection control, Sierra Leone
WHO/N. Alexander

Training burial teams and frontline workers to protect themselves while caring for patients

WHO has been:

  • providing curricula for multiple partners on trainings in the field on case management, contact tracing, safe and dignified burials and social mobilization;
  • providing trainings on contact tracing;
  • working with partners (the Governments of France, United Kingdom, USA) to train thousands in the classroom and in simulation.

To date, the following workers have been trained under WHO’s guidance.

Guinea: 75 doctors have been trained to supervise health-care workers conducting contact tracing; 50 doctors have been previously trained and deployed. The goal is to have 6 doctors in each of the active 17 prefectures.

Liberia: Working with the Ministry of Health (MOH), WHO has trained around 100 participants in the hot zone (phase 3) and is expanding its hot-zone training capacity. WHO will deliver in-clinic training to 40 national and international personnel per week over 2 training sessions. Nearly 1000 Ebola treatment unit personnel have been trained in cold case management due to the collective efforts of WHO, MOH and the US Department of Defence.

Sierra Leone: The Government of United Kingdom and WHO have trained about 4115 health-care workers, hygienists and trainers in basic personal protective equipment, infection prevention and control, and site layout. The UK and WHO will shortly be opening other treatment centres in other areas. WHO is currently starting up hot-zone training with 5 experienced clinicians.

WHO and CDC staff visit a remote village in Liberia to raise awareness on Ebola.
WHO/R. Sorensen

Working with communities

WHO had been helping engage with communities. This enables communities to recognize the symptoms of Ebola early and move their family members to care so they do not infect others in the family or community.

Building Ebola treatment centres

WHO has been working with partners to build Ebola treatment centres (ETCs) and community care centres (CCCs) so that patients can be given care to increase their chances of survival.

Two of the 3 countries – Liberia and Guinea – are currently treating more than 70% of reported cases in an ETC or CCC. In Sierra Leone, the 70% target should be met in the coming weeks, especially in the western part of the country, as additional bed capacity opens.

In the past 60 days, the total number of beds to provide care has more than doubled in Sierra Leone (267 to more than 650) and in Liberia (from 480 to nearly 1000). In Guinea, the overall capacity has remained relatively stable (approximately 200 beds).

Providing epidemiological data

WHO has been providing regular situation reports on the Ebola response roadmap that contains a review of the epidemiological situation and an assessment of the response measured against the core Roadmap indicators, where available. Updates have been provided for the following countries:

  • those with widespread and intense transmission;
  • those with or that have had an initial case or cases, or with localized transmission;
  • those countries that neighbour or have strong trade ties with areas of active transmission.