Given the scale of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, France has decided to strengthen its international and national response mechanisms.
The Prime Minister appointed Professor Jean-François Delfraissy, director of the National Agency for AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Research (ANRS), to coordinate all international and national responses to this crisis. He will be supported by three officials working in three major areas: Diplomat Christine Fages will oversee international actions; Professor Thierry Debord will be responsible for monitoring, preparedness and health response programs as well as scientific actions and research; and Prefect Pierre Lieutaud will be in charge of operations on French soil.
Internationally, France will do everything it can to help African countries dealing with Ebola, particularly Guinea. Additional treatment centers are being built in partnership with NGOs, and technical capabilities and expertise are being provided to that country. This program will be ramped up quickly, in keeping with the President’s commitment. It is designed to be part of an enhanced coordinated effort that also involves our European partners.
Nationally, the healthcare system and all government agencies have been mobilized to protect the population and prevent epidemic-related risks. In particular, agencies are prepared for the possibility of an Ebola case on French soil. So far, there have been no confirmed cases. The healthcare system is on alert to swiftly identify and provide treatment for anyone with Ebola. Airport screening of passengers arriving on direct flights from the relevant countries will be accelerated on Saturday.