WHO continues to monitor the evolution of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea. The current epidemic trend of EVD outbreak in Sierra Leone and Liberia remains serious, with 67 new cases and 19 deaths reported from 15 – 17 July 2014. These include suspect, probable, and laboratory-confirmed cases. The EVD outbreak in Guinea continues to show a declining trend, with no new cases reported during this period. Critical analyses and review of the current outbreak response is being undertaken to inform the process of developing prioritized national operational plans. Effective implementation of the prioritized plans will be vital in reversing the current trend of EVD outbreak, especially in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
WHO has been working with national authorities and partners in the affected countries to analyse and review the current outbreak response. An assessment of the outbreak response conducted in Liberia identified several gaps and challenges. Some of the gaps identified include low coverage of contact tracing; persisting denial and resistance in the community; weak data management; inadequate infection prevention and control practices, especially in peripheral health facilities; and weak leadership and coordination at sub-national levels. Underpinning these challenges were limited financial resources and human technical capacity. Comprehensive mapping of the financial, logistics, and human resource needs will be articulated in the national operational plan under development. This exercise of developing prioritized operational plans is also being conducted in Guinea and Sierra Leone.