By 22 April 2016, WHO had received over US$ 459 million in direct and in-kind donations from over 60 donors. Most of this funding for Ebola-related activities has come from governments and multilateral organisations.
The largest donors were the United States of America, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the Ebola Multi Partner Trust Fund, and Japan.
Top donors as of 22 April 2016 (amounts in USD, millions)
Reporting to donors
This is the fifth report in the “Resources for Results” series, published by the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy on Ebola. It provides an overview of the funding pledged and disbursed by contributing partners to support Ebola response, recovery and research efforts. The report covers the period 1 September 2014 to 31 October 2015.
Ebola response activities
Regular updates on the main activities undertaken and the progress towards ending the Ebola outbreak can be found in the WHO Ebola situation report. During 2015 the situation report was published on a weekly basis. Effective January 2016 it is issued fortnightly.
WHO has also contributed to reports on the results achieved using funds provided by the Ebola Multi Partner Trust Fund:
Ebola preparedness activities
Since October 2014, the WHO preparedness team in Geneva has deployed preparedness strengthening teams to countries identified as having a high risk of importing Ebola cases. By the end of December 2015, the team had deployed over 341 teams on missions to work with Ministries of Health to identify gaps in national capacity, and support the design and implementation of national preparedness plans. The team also rapidly devised a checklist of core preparedness activities, with most countries showing large improvements between October 2014 and December 2015 in their core capacity to respond to an imported case.
Regular updates on Ebola preparedness activities can be found on the WHO website and in dedicated publications:
Ebola early recovery activities
WHO is working with the Ebola affected countries to develop and strengthen the health services for the future. WHO supported the governments to produce national health recovery plans that were first presented to the international community in March 2015 and further discussed in the international meetings on Ebola that followed culminating in the UN Secretary General’s International Ebola Recovery Conference in July 2015. WHO continues to work to strengthen national capacities to help prevent future outbreaks not just of Ebola but of other infectious diseases.
Regular updates on Ebola early recovery activities can be found on the WHO website and in dedicated publications:
Ebola research and development activities
A critical area of work has been in research and development, resulting in diagnostics and a vaccine being developed in less than 12 months. In July 2015, WHO announced the results of an interim analysis of a Phase III efficacy trial for the Ebola vaccine VSV-EBOV conducted in Guinea. Preliminary results suggest that the vaccine is highly effective. There are now 13 separate diagnostic tests approved by WHO for emergency use, and several therapies that have shown some promise in early trials.
Regular updates on Ebola research and development activities can be found on the WHO website and in dedicated publications:
Ebola survivor activities
Today, there are over 10 000 survivors of Ebola virus disease, many of whom suffer from long-term medical problems including joint pains, visual problems, and depression. In addition, studies have shown that Ebola virus may persist in some body fluids, including semen, in a small proportion of survivors for up to 12 months after the first onset of symptoms. Ebola survivors need comprehensive support for the medical and psychosocial challenges they face. and to Ebola virus transmission. At the same time, obtaining a better understanding of the nature of viral persistence is necessary to fully understand the residual risk of new cases.
Throughout 2016 WHO will work with ministries of health and partners to ensure that survivors have access to the care and support they need.
Regular updates on Ebola survivor activities can be found on the WHO website and in dedicated publications.
The magnitude of the 2014-2015 West Africa Ebola outbreak combined with a dearth of local and international expertise in tackling the disease necessitated training on a mass scale. Over the duration of the epidemic, WHO and partners trained more than 8,000 health professionals from over 80 nations, including the Ebola-affected countries.
The training courses focused on protecting first responders through disease-specific information and safety measures and preparing them for a range of specific Ebola response functions, including treatment of Ebola patients, case tracking, safe burials, epidemiology and infection prevention and control.
To better understand the impact of the trainings, WHO commissioned a review, which was conducted by an independent, external body.
WHO and Ministry of Health teams in Guinea and Liberia have established epidemiological links between new Ebola cases in Liberia and a current flare-up of Ebola in neighbouring Guinea following intensified case investigations and contact tracing.
Door-to-door health monitoring visits are conducted in Koropara, Guinea
WHO Guinea/Lancei Touré
Investigation teams in Guinea had been searching for the wife and three young children of a man who died of Ebola last month in the southern prefecture of Macenta. The family members were considered high-risk contacts. It is now believed that the wife travelled to Liberia with her children after her husband’s death to join relatives who live in the capital, Monrovia. It is there that she reportedly developed symptoms. She initially sought care in local clinics and died en route to a Monrovia hospital on 31 March. Two of her sons, a five-year old and a two-year old, have since tested positive for Ebola and are being treated at an Ebola care facility in Monrovia.
Rapid response in Liberia
Liberian health authorities immediately reactivated the country’s emergency response mechanisms, and with support from WHO, CDC and other partners, set to work identifying, isolating and monitoring contacts of the confirmed cases, strengthening infection prevention and disease control measures and stepping up community outreach.
More than 100 contacts of the confirmed cases have been identified in Liberia and placed under voluntary medical observation. Affected households have been offered food, water, hygiene supplies and counselling. Preparations are underway for vaccination of contacts with the Ebola vaccine to prevent potential spread of the virus.
Liberian and Guinean authorities, with support from WHO, are organizing a meeting in the coming days to share information and more closely coordinate emergency response efforts and cross-border surveillance.
Vaccination of Ebola contacts in Guinea
A large-scale government-led response continues in Guinea’s prefectures of Nzérékoré and Macenta, where there have been 9 Ebola cases since the flare-up began in late February. Eight people have died and one 11-year old child remains in treatment in an Ebola care centre.
To date, over 1,400 people who may have been in contact with the confirmed cases and contacts of theirs have been vaccinated with the Ebola vaccine.
Ebola flare-ups anticipated
Tests from blood samples of the confirmed cases indicate the source of the virus is from a single and known transmission chain – suggesting exposure to infected body fluids from a survivor – rather than a re-introduction of Ebola virus from the wild animal population.
WHO has stressed that flare-ups of Ebola like this one are likely to occur for some time, due to virus persistence in some survivors. WHO says Ebola-affected countries must remain ready to respond and maintain strong prevention, surveillance and survivor care programmes.
WHO and Ministry of Health teams in Liberia and Guinea are investigating the origins of transmission in Liberia’s latest flare-up after learning that a woman who died from Ebola in Liberia last week had recently travelled from Guinea with her three young children.
Liberian health workers receive refresher training to remain prepared for Ebola.
Liberian health authorities report that the woman arrived with her children on 21 March 2016, shortly after her husband died in Guinea from unknown causes. She stayed with relatives in Monrovia, where she developed symptoms over the following week. She initially sought care in local clinics and died en route to a Monrovia hospital on 31 March 2016.
One of her boys has since tested positive for Ebola virus disease, bringing the number of cases in this flare-up to 2. He is being treated at an Ebola care facility in Monrovia. Her two other children, plus her sister, are being closely observed by medical staff.
Liberian health authorities quickly reactivated the country’s emergency response mechanisms and with support from key partners, immediately set to work tracing, isolating and monitoring contacts of the confirmed cases, intensifying infection prevention and disease control measures and stepping up community outreach. Teams plan to initiate vaccination of contacts with the Ebola vaccine to prevent potential spread of the virus.
Eighty-four contacts of the cases have been identified in Liberia as of today and have been placed under medical observation. Affected households have been offered food, water, hygiene supplies and counselling.
These latest cases in Liberia mark the country’s third flare-up of Ebola virus disease since its original outbreak was declared over on 09 May 2015. The previous flare-up in Liberia began in November 2015 and ended 14 January 2016.
Last week, WHO said the Ebola epidemic in West Africa no longer represents a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, asserting that Guinea, Liberia and Sierra now have the detection and response capacities to effectively manage small outbreaks when they occur.
While the risk of flare-ups is declining, WHO reiterated that more must be expected, largely due to virus persistence in some survivors. Nearly 1,000 WHO specialists remain in the region—ready to contribute to emergency response operations when needed, and in the meantime, working to recover and strengthen health systems in the three countries.