While world attention has gone elsewhere, Ebola Deeply has continued to provide solid, useful reporting. Here's the latest: Ebola, The Weekly Summary: July 29, 2015. Click through for numerous links.
To give you deeper insight into what’s happening in the Ebola outbreak, we’ve organized the latest developments in a curated weekly summary.
Ebola Cases in Four Guinean Prefectures, as Weekly Total Falls
Four of Guinea's 33 prefectures still have active Ebola cases, according to the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER). The active prefectures are Conakry, Fria, Coyah and Forecariah. Boké, previously an Ebola hotspot, has reached the end of its contact tracing period.
Of the active cases, four new patients were diagnosed during the week to July 26, according to new figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday. In comparison, 22 new cases were recorded in Guinea during the previous week.
Three of the new cases are in Conakry, while the fourth is in the prefecture of Coyah. One of the four new cases is a health worker, WHO says.
The prefecture of Coyah has been subject to emergency measures since June. Messages shared by community mobilizers were not initially well received, and suspicion still runs high.
"People still deny that Ebola exists," Ibrahima Dioubaté, a community mobilizer in Coyah, told Ebola Deeply. "They think it's a money-making scheme. We're seen as being out to get money. That makes us afraid," he said.
In late June, a Coyah imam even took to the airwaves, spreading messages of Ebola denial, Dioubaté said.
Sierra Leone Launches Ebola Recovery 'Battle Plan'
Sierra Leone's President Ernest Bai Koroma has launched an official Ebola recovery program designed to revive critical infrastructure.
According to UNMEER, the program includes two components; a nine-month surge on health, education, economy, agriculture and social protection, followed by a two-year plan that will tackle road networks, water/sanitation and the private sector.
As Agence France-Press reports, the program has been dubbed "a battle plan" and will be funded by more than $804 million earmarked for Sierra Leone at the recent U.N. Pledging Conference on Ebola.
"We will work to reinvigorate the private sector as a source of growth, create jobs and livelihoods in our economy," Koroma said.
New cases are still being recorded in Sierra Leone. According to the country's Ministry of Health, three new cases of Ebola have been recorded in the past eight days, including two in Freetown. The third patient tested positive in Tonkolili district, which had previously gone 150 days without a case.
While the two cases in Freetown were recorded contacts under quarantine, the new Tonkolili case is, according to WHO, "assessed as posing a substantial risk of further transmission."
WHO says the patient traveled to Tonkolili from Magazine Wharf, Freetown, and died in a community hospital. He only tested positive for Ebola following a post-mortem oral swab.
Trust Gap Linked to Ebola Crisis in Liberia, Report Finds
Deep-rooted trust issues between authorities and communities in Liberia may have exacerbated the Ebola crisis, and bonds should be repaired, according to a report released this week by International Alert.
The report, Surviving Ebola, looks at the experiences and perceptions of Liberians after the country was initially declared Ebola-free in early May. It draws on a survey of 200 Liberians, as well as focus-group discussions in heavily affected communities.
Among the key findings is "a sentiment of anger at the government’s initial efforts to combat the outbreak, mostly due to delayed and ineffective early measures." Some interviewees "also questioned the international community's delayed response," the report says.
It also highlights the "vital role" that grassroots and community organizations played, suggesting their work was "critical in reducing transmission rates." Over half of those surveyed said they had lost income as a result of the outbreak.
The report suggests a number of measures to strengthen peacebuilding and trust, including multi-stakeholder dialogue and civil society engagement.