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France takes action to combat Ebola

France takes action to combat Ebola

Published on September 28, 2014

Meeting with Professors Delfraissy and Levy

Published February 4, 2015

President Hollande received Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, who heads the Ebola Task Force and Professor Yves Levy, Chairman of INSERM (France’s National Institute for Health and Medical Research), in the presence of Ms. Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights, Ms. Geneviève Fioraso, Minister of State for Higher Education and Research, and Ms. Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, to discuss Ebola treatment prospects.

INSERM has conducted an early clinical trial in Guinea aimed at assessing the effectiveness of an antiviral drug, favipiravir, in the treatment of Ebola. This trial was conducted in partnership with Guinean researchers and authorities, MSF (Doctors Without Borders), the NGO Alima, and the French Red Cross. The drug was provided by the Japanese laboratory, Toyama Chemical.

The trial began on December 17, 2014. The treatment was given to 80 infected adults and children. The results have been encouraging. They show a decrease in the number of deaths among adults and teenagers, with slower virus multiplication. Recovery was accelerated.

This is the largest clinical trial of an Ebola treatment ever conducted.

All partners share the realistic hope offered by these results. The results must be validated in trials involving a larger number of patients. These initial results open up new possibilities for finding a treatment to combat the disease. These points will be discussed on February 5 during the meeting between President Alpha Condé and Professors Delfraissy and Levy.

President Hollande welcomes this substantial progress achieved in the context of close collaboration between France and Guinea.


Inauguration of a new Ebola Treatment Center for Caregivers (CTS) in G’Bessia

Monday, January 19, 2015

a - The day’s major event was the inauguration of the CTS by the French minister for veterans’ affairs and remembrance. This ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Mohamed Said Fofana, deputy defense minister Kabèlè Abdoul Camara, and the health minister, who arrived in the late afternoon.

b - Everything proceeded according to schedule and the event in fact wrapped up an hour early, allowing the veterans’ affairs minister to leave for Niamey an hour earlier than planned.

c - The inauguration ceremony went very well, and participants were impressed by the facilities set up by the French armed forces. This point had already been stressed at Saturday’s symposium for those who will be using the center (NGOs, MSF, the French Red Cross, the Guinean Red Cross, Alima, Waha, etc.).
Apart from the flawless military organization, what particularly struck people was the concept of individual rooms developed by the Army Central Health Department (DCSSA) and Chief Medical Officer Henry Dampierre, which received unanimous support. This concept is unique in the three countries affected by the epidemic, and demonstrates that it is possible to curb contamination by isolating patients.

d - The bilateral meetings following the inauguration were characterized by excellent cooperation, and the Guinean deputy defense minister touched on all the subjects that had been submitted to the offices of the defense minister and the secretary of state.

e - All in all, the tone of this inauguration was very positive, as we see in the attached photos taken by the Defense Ministry’s very efficient communications team.

f - To conclude, the IL-76 bringing equipment to the treatment center landed in Conakry with perfect timing, just before the departure of the veterans’ affairs minister.

Arrival of the delegation at the G’Bessia airbase
Inauguration of the CTS by the French minister for veterans’ affairs and remembrance and Guinean deputy defense minister Kabèlè Abdoul Camara

Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesperson

Paris, December 23, 2014

Visit by Ban Ki-moon to the healthcare worker treatment center in Conakry (December 20, 2014)

France welcomes the visit by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Guinea during his tour of the countries most affected by the Ebola epidemic.

On this occasion, Mr. Ban Ki-moon visited the healthcare worker treatment center that France is setting up in Conakry. This center, which is being financed by France and operated by the Army Health Service, is designed to treat Guinean and international personnel if they become infected by the virus. It will be fully operational at the beginning of 2015.

The visit took place in the presence of Guinean President Alpha Condé, Ms. Margaret Chan, Director General of the World Health Organization, Mr. David Nabarro, UN Special Envoy for Ebola, and Mr. Antony Banbury, Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response. It reflects the support of the UN and the entire international community for France’s mobilization against the epidemic in Guinea.

Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, at Conakry International Airport

Conakry, November 29, 2014

Mr President, cher Alpha Condé,

I wanted to be here, in Guinea, to show France’s solidarity in the ordeal your country is going through. It isn’t the only one experiencing this situation, because there’s also Sierra Leone and Liberia. But we’re bound by the ties between our two countries, Guinea and France.

I want to begin here by paying tribute to members of the government – the Health Minister, the Development Minister – who have shown willing, not just for today’s visit, but from the first few days, when we learned of this disease.

There’s the mobilization of our military personnel – I want to pay tribute to them – through various actions: a centre to care for medical staff, several centres to train medical staff, and treatment centres. I want to pay tribute to the organizations dedicated to this, to provide care for the people of Guinea.

I’ve also come with a certain amount of essential equipment in order for you to face up to this challenge. You yourselves have also put in place a number of structures with your own resources, which are limited. We are duty-bound to support you.

I’m going with you to the OIF [international Francophone organization] summit tomorrow and will make a fresh appeal for international mobilization. But France must set the example. An example, firstly, on the financial front: we’ve released €100 million. But beyond what we can do to provide material assistance, it’s human assistance which is most significant.

With me today on this visit are doctors and the Director of the Institut Pasteur, because we also want to contribute to the research effort so that tomorrow we can find vaccines, tests and any other solution to soothe, treat and prevent.

We’re all making a fine gesture together – and I mean together, because France is here, in Guinea, to provide a number of capabilities, resources, personnel etc.

But Guinea, through its own prevention and care effort, is sparing the whole world – and thus Europe and France – from being contaminated by this terrible virus.

We are together in this fight and in this battle. It was very important, 15 years after a French president last visited, for me to be here with you to display friendship, solidarity and hope.

Thank you, Mr President./.

Official visits to Guinea and Senegal

Paris, November 21, 2014

President François Hollande will visit West Africa from November 28 to 30.

He will pay an official visit to Conakry on Friday, November 28, dedicated to the the implementation of action plans against the Ebola virus in Guinea.

On Saturday, November 29, and Sunday, November 30, he will pay an official visit to Senegal on the occasion of the Francophonie Summit.

Introductory remarks at the press conference given by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic

Brisbane, November 16, 2014


One subject also forced itself onto the agenda, namely Ebola, because this scourge, affecting countries in Africa, may affect the whole planet unless we guard against it. Consequently – in addition to what a number of countries have already announced, including France for Guinea, the United States for Liberia and the United Kingdom for Sierra Leone –, other large countries have also decided to get involved in this process.

$300 million will be released by the G20 member countries, as well as what Europe itself is already doing. Cooperation by individual countries will make a number of additional resources possible. During the meeting I had with President Putin, he confirmed to me that a Russian hospital could be set up in Guinea, and we’ll ensure this is done in full cooperation with France. (…)./.

Speech by Mme Annick Girardin, Minister of State for Development and Francophony, at the inauguration of the treatment centre (excerpts)

Macenta, Guinea, November 14, 2014


Since the beginning of this crisis, France has stood alongside Guinea and Guineans in this ordeal.

Coming two months after my first visit to Guinea, this trip to Macenta is all about action, with the opening of this Ebola treatment centre. On 18 September, President François Hollande annonced that France would establish a new Ebola treatment centre in Guinea’s forest region, in response to the appeal by President Alpha Condé.

That’s been done. France is thus honouring its commitment in Macenta.
Of course it’s not doing so alone, and nothing would have been possible without the commitment of Médecins Sans Frontières and the French Red Cross.

Your action is outstanding. Your Guinean and expatriate staff command respect. And it’s your ability to work hand in hand, respecting everyone’s role and traditions, that makes our presence here today possible. Our ambassador, who visited Macenta three weeks ago, made that very encouraging observation. (…)

I also want to thank the Guinean government, which has become very heavily involved at all levels to make it possible to open this treatment centre, an important element of the national plan to respond to Ebola.

I’d like to thank the World Food Programme, whose support was decisive when it came to building this centre. In addition to this achievement, that UN agency must be congratulated on the quality of its commitment and the spirit in which it’s managing to work in partnership with the countries involved in bilateral actions.
France, for its part, has played its full role.

It’s raised the essential funds: first of all, €5 million out of the Debt Reduction-Development Contract budget, in agreement with the Guinean authorities; President Hollande has decided to add an extra €6 million to this.

We’ve dispatched teams of experts, as well as doctors from EPRUS [Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Agency], and we’ve called on the skills of our embassy in Conakry. The French Development Agency has been playing a very active role.

All in all, the opening of this centre exemplifies a new way of moving forward in which the countries of the North shoulder their responsibilities, but in a different way, making all the links in the chain of international solidarity work together. (…)

As President François Hollande announced, we’re going to do more, and we’ve made a start on this.

French sécurité civile (1) teams are ready to get down to work on fitting out the two new treatment centres in Kérouané and Beyla; they will also help consolidate the centre in Forécariah, in the Basse Côte region;

France’s sécurité civile team is also going to renovate Manéah’s NCO school, in the suburbs of Conakry, which will accommodate the training centre for Guinean medical and non-medical staff involved in the fight [against Ebola];

In France, we’ve decided to open an Ebola patient care training centre for international staff before they go to the region;

We’ve increased the capacity of the team of advisers under the responsibility of Dr Sakoba Keita since the arrival of the Chief Medical Officer [of the armed forces], Professor René Migliani, whose presence here I welcome;

The armed forces’ medical branch arrived in Conakry last week to build a treatment centre for medical staff;

The Institut Pasteur is expanding its activities – which will ultimately be long-term in Guinea – by creating a Pasteur expertise centre in Conakry.

No other country is committed to Guinea like France, through financing, advice and the active efforts of women and men, both on the ground and at the heart of the decision-making process.

The time hasn’t come to relax our combined efforts, and we’re counting on you, just as you can count on us.

For France is committed to going all the way in the battle against Ebola, along with all of you, who are committed to this battle.

Long live Guinea, long live France, and long live Franco-Guinean solidarity and friendship!./.

(1) emergency services including rescue, firefighting and medical services.

Ebola Task Force (10/14/2014)

France’s action

France, which is providing almost €40 million in bilateral aid (€75 million if we include multilateral aid), is focusing its efforts on Guinea. France is helping to strengthen the international response to this serious epidemic. It is taking action with its European partners and international organizations to help countries in the region contain the epidemic.

1. Main actions undertaken by France in Guinea

- Opening of an Ebola treatment center in Guinea’s Forest Region (€5 million); this project constitutes a key component of our contribution. The ministers of health, foreign affairs and international development, and defense are tasked with implementing the project, which will be operated by the French Red Cross. The center is scheduled to open in November;
- Support for the establishment of a Pasteur Institute in Guinea (€4 million) to diagnose hemorrhagic fever and train Guinean biologists;
- Supply of medical and personal protection equipment to Guinea;
- Deployment of experts and healthcare personnel to help care for patients and boost laboratory capabilities;
- Strengthening of basic healthcare services in Guinea’s Forest Region (€10 million);
- Strengthening the coordination of the response to Ebola, notably by making an expert available to the Guinean government;
- Support for food security in Guinea, through a contribution to WFP (€500,000).

2. Actions undertaken by France in West Africa

- Support for laboratories in 7 West African countries (€5 million);
- Strengthening of the health system in Liberia (€4 million);
- Financial contributions to the Ebola response plans of Côte d’Ivoire (€9 million) and Cameroon (€400,000)

3. France is also leading European efforts

France was responsible for organizing the high-level meeting on September 15 which notably resulted in the Commission’s commitment in support of a European mechanism to coordinate medical evacuations and hospital care.

This instrument, which was proposed by France, is deemed essential by the NGOs in order to allow them to continue their work in the region. Intense discussions with respect to its implementation arrangements are under way in Brussels.

4. France is mobilized within the international coordination structures

- Assignment of experts to UN teams;
- Exceptional financial contribution to WHO (€500,000)
- Participation in the funding of institutions involved in the fight against Ebola (World Bank, European Commission, African Development Bank)./.

Related articles

- Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, at Conakry International Airport Conakry, November 29, 2014

- Official visits to Guinea and Senegal Paris, November 21, 2014

- Introductory remarks at the press conference given by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic Brisbane, November 16, 2014

- The Government strengthens interministerial cooperation in the face of the Ebola crisis
Office of the Prime Minister, October 17, 2014

- Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic
Paris, 15 October 2014

- Conversation with Mr Ban Ki-moon
Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic
Paris, October 14, 2014

- Telephone conversation with President Obama
Communiqué issued by the Presidency of the Republic
Paris, October 13, 2014

- Reply by Mme Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights, to a question in the National Assembly
Paris, October 8, 2014

- Statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development Spokesman
Paris, October 8, 2014

- Joint statement by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Mme Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights
Paris, October 2, 2014

- Press conference given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development
New York, September 26, 2014

- Adoption of resolution 2177
New York, September 18, 2014

- Preliminary remarks by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, at his press conference
Paris, September 18, 2014

- Sending of French healthcare reinforcements to Guinea
Joint statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and the Minister of Social Affairs, Health and Women’s Rights
Paris, September 4, 2014

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