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Guinea Ebola patients discharged

Médecins Sans Frontières says number of people sent home after treatment for virus that has killed 95 people in Guinea.

Last updated: 07 Apr 2014 19:25
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Ebola has so far killed at least 95 people in Guinea and spread to several neighbouring countries [AFP]

Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders) has said it has discharged a number of people in the West African nation of Guinea who have been receiving treatment for the Ebola virus, which has recently killed at least 95 people.

In a statement, MSF also said on Monday that its emergency teams were facing challenges in tackling the epidemic, with work currently suspended in one of its three Ebola treatment centres.

The charity is supporting the Ministry of Health in its attempts to stem the outbreak, which has seen 151 suspected cases to date, according to Guinean health officials.

In Macenta, in southeast Guinea, MSF said it had suspended its activities there after an incident where local people threw stones at buildings and vehicles, under the mistaken impression that the disease had been brought into the country by MSF.

None of the MSF team was injured in the incident, the charity said.

"Of course we understand that the local population is concerned," said Henry Gray, MSF emergency coordinator.

'Patient awareness teams' 

"We have seen similar reactions in other countries in the past. In these situations, ensuring that local people have a good understanding of the disease and its associated risks is key.

"In Macenta, we had patient awareness teams in place, but it is very difficult to try and inform people in their own language about the virus, and at the same time do everything that is needed to stop the outbreak."

MSF said two Ebola patients in the treatment centre in Macenta remained there under the care of a Ministry of Health doctor.

The doctor has received training from the MSF team over the past 10 days in caring for Ebola victims, it said.

The charity has some 60 international staff currently working in Guinea, and has flown in more than 40 tonnes of supplies to tackle the epidemic.

After Ebola cases were reported in neighbouring Liberia, MSF sent an Ebola specialist to provide training and improve the small isolation unit set up by the country's health ministry.

On Sunday MSF flew in medical supplies and isolation materials from Brussels to the capital, Monrovia, while an MSF team will be on the ground on 7 April to provide further support.

Meanwhile, blood tests have shown that a 12-year-old girl in Ghana who died of viral fever with bleeding did not have Ebola, Health Minister Sherry Ayittey said on Monday, according to the Reuters news agency.

The girl was the first suspected case in Ghana of Ebola, which has killed more than 90 people in Guinea and Liberia.
Another suspected case has been reported in Mali.

Samples from the girl, who has not been identified, were brought to the capital Accra from the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana's second-largest city.

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Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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