Rapid Response Teams
International Medical Corps is operating two Rapid Response Teams (RRTs) in Guinea. The teams consist of specialized personnel who are able to quickly contain a potential flare-up of Ebola. This includes identifying, isolating, referring, and transporting suspected cases as well as taking specimens for testing, contract tracing, and safe burials. The RRTs work with government officials, community leaders, and other humanitarian organizations to ensure that reports are investigated and a swift, effective response follows.
Screening and Referral Units
International Medical Corps is helping health care workers to safely identify and isolate potential Ebola cases in health care facilities through screening and referral units (SRU). Located at the entrance of health facilities, SRUs are staffed with trained health professionals who check people’s temperatures and symptoms before they enter the building. Our teams have built 12 SRUs in eight different locations across the country, including at Donka Hospital in Conakry, the largest in Guinea. Where needed, International Medical Corps also built isolation units where health facilities can hold any suspected cases before they are transferred to an ETU for testing and possibly treatment. At all of these sites, International Medical Corps trainers are providing on-the-job training to staff on infection prevention and control (IPC) and water, sanitation, and hygiene.
To fight Ebola transmission in households, International Medical Corps is running awareness-raising campaigns about the virus and how it is transmitted. Our 25-member community outreach team goes door-to-door in communities and organizes group workshops and discussions. The teams employ a participatory approach that starts a wider conversation about the virus in which people can ask questions and express their fears and concerns. The community outreach staff also work at SRUs to orient patients and visitors on the screening process. They have also involved various groups, including women’s, youth, religious, civic, among others.
Specimen Referral and Transport
International Medical Corps is collaborating with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and George Washington University (GWU) to support the surveillance operational plan developed by the Guinean Ministry of Health. The project aims to strengthen specimen transport and referral processes with the long-term goal of developing a tiered, integrated laboratory network in Guinea.
Adapting best practices from successful projects in Haiti and Sierra Leone to the Guinean context, International Medical Corps is working to guarantee the safe collection and transport of specimens between health facilities and laboratories in Conakry, Coyah, Kindia, Dubreka and Boké. International Medical Corps has conducted a comprehensive assessment of the laboratory network in these areas, which includes a review of current specimen collection, storage, security and transportation protocols and an examination of the overall quality of existing transportation methods between facilities.
With 3,807 confirmed, probable and suspected cases of Ebola in Guinea, there are an estimated 1,274 survivors country-wide. International Medical Corps is delivering a comprehensive survivor care package in Guinea. The project focuses on improving survivors’ access to psychological and medical care, supporting survivors as they face reintegration challenges, training health workers on the specifics of Ebola survivor care, and reducing the risk of the sexual transmission of the Ebola virus.
The project aims to improve access to appropriate health care for Ebola survivors by strengthening the capacity of the supported health care facilities. The project helps improve communities' and survivors' awareness of Ebola risk and Ebola sequelae follow-on complications or conditions as a result of Ebola by increasing health promotion, education, and engagement in Guinea.
International Medical Corps leverages our existing work in health facilities with screening-and-referral units (SRUs) in Conakry to deliver survivor care. At all of the facilities, we train medical staff on potential complications survivors can face and make appropriate care and referral pathways available to them. These activities complement International Medical Corps’ existing efforts to get to zero in Guinea, which include the training and deployment of Rapid Response Teams to address outbreaks and provide locally-based IPC training.