Conde declares Guinea Ebola free

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Conakry – 30 December 2015
1. Woman singing while others dance at celebration to mark Guinea as ebola free
2. Audience including diplomats and humanitarian workers
3. SOUNDBITE (French) Alpha Conde, Guinean President: ++AUDIO AS INCOMING++
“People of Guinea, for the past two years our country was attacked by a virus which tore apart our country and affected our communities. Ebola has cost us a lot of human lives and turned our lives upside down, threatened our way of life, and destroyed our economy. Our people have paid a huge price, and I offer my condolences to the families of those who lost their loved ones, and I pray for their souls to rest in peace.”
4. Officials watching including US Ambassador to Guinea, Dennis B. Hankins (middle; beige blazer and trousers, blue shirt and tie), and French Ambassador to Guinea, Bertrand Cochery (left; navy blue blazer and trousers, white shirt and pink tie)
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Jamila Aboulhab, special advisor for Global Health, West Africa Division of National Democratic Institute: ++AUDIO AS INCOMING++
“We are very pleased to declare the end of the epidemic. Everyone has worked so hard. It’s been an intense two years. All the partners, including Ministry of Health, WHO (World Health Organisation) and international and bilateral partners. And it was an amazing effort, collective effort, and now it’s time to celebrate, but it’s also time to remind everyone that now we have to revive and rebuild the health system, that we have still to keep an eye on surveillance, and to have an enhanced surveillance, because we have still to make sure our system is picking up if there is any new case.”
6. Guinean traditional musicians UPSOUND singing
7. SOUNDBITE (Malinke) Mory Kouyateh, Guinean traditional musician: ++AUDIO AS INCOMING++
“Ebola came to our country and killed a lot of people. Ebola took away our jobs, education, people couldn’t go to Mecca for the Hajj, but today Ebola has gone. We say thanks to God for driving Ebola out of the country with the help of the international community and President Conde.”
8. Traditional musicians UPSOUND singing (Malinke) “Ebola is gone”
9. SOUNDBITE: (Sousou) Mabity Soumah, vegetable seller:
“I am very happy that Ebola has gone. I think we are going to get employment for our children, thank God for giving strength to the people who helped kill Ebola, like the way Ebola killed our people. Ebola has killed our friends and family. Thanks to God today, our hospitals were all empty as people fear going to the hospital.”
10. Wide of People’s Palace
11. Mabity Soumah selling potatoes
Guinea was celebrating on Wednesday after the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the country Ebola-free, a huge step in the fight against the world’s largest epidemic.
The country’s President Alpha Conde, speaking in the capital Conakry, lamented the human cost of the outbreak, and offered his condolences to families who had lost loved ones.
The WHO on Tuesday hailed an “incredibly important milestone” in the fight against Ebola, as it made the declaration.
It marked the first time there were no known Ebola cases anywhere since the outbreak began in Guinea two years ago.
Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three West African countries at the centre of the epidemic, have now stopped the original chains of Ebola transmission, a top WHO official said.
Liberia is on a countdown to officially become Ebola-free on 14 January 2016, which could mark a final end to the epidemic.
Sierra Leone, the third country to be hammered by the virus, was declared free from transmissions on 7 November.

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