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EBOLA cases are stretching Guinea’s fragile health system as the death toll continues to rise in the West African state, warns children’s charity Plan International.
At least 112 people have died from the virus in Guinea with another 13 across the border in Liberia.
Authorities are investigating suspected cases in Sierra Leone but none have been confirmed so far.
Plan is calling for a co-ordinated emergency response across the region to contain the deadly virus.
Plan is working in some of the worst affected areas of Guinea, including Gueckedou, Conakry and Macenta, training health workers and providing disinfectants to local authorities.
“Guinea has some of the least developed health, sanitation and hygiene systems in the world,” says Ibrahima Touré, Plan’s Country Director in Guinea.
“The Ebola virus is threatening to overwhelm their already fragile coping systems,” he adds.
Plan is a member of Guinea’s Crisis Co-ordination Committee and is supporting efforts to share vital public health information to stop the disease spreading.
“Prevention is the key to stopping the spread of the disease,” says Mr Touré.
“Plan is actively involved in the public health information campaign to make people aware of preventative measures, particularly targeting children and schools.
“These have now started producing good effects, with some communities that had been hiding Ebola cases now bringing them forward. This shows the need to continue those efforts,” he adds.
Plan has been working in Guinea since 1989, helping poor children access their rights to education, health, sanitation and protection.
The organization has 34,000 sponsored children in 65 communities across the country.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org