The Ebola hemorrhagic fever claimed thousands of victims in the West African states of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone between 2013 and 2016. The disease paralyzed societies and killed as many as 50 per cent of the victims. The dangerous epidemic was defeated through international cooperation, which also involved Finland. An effective vaccine against the disease was also developed.
Finland supported the work of the World Health Organization WHO as well as the efforts of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in the epidemic area. With the support, a clinic for treating Ebola victims was established and people were provided with information about how to prevent the disease and how to recognize the symptoms. During the most acute phase of the epidemic, Finland granted substantial additional funding to the UN’s international Ebola fund.
International support for the region helped to prevent the spread of the disease to neighboring countries. By mid-2016, WHO was able to declare that the epidemic was stopped, first in Sierra Leone, and then in Guinea and in Liberia.
Photo: Lehtikuva/AFP/Francisco Leong, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta