A delegation of Russian doctors and experts will go to Africa to assist in fighting the Ebola outbreak, head of the Pasteur Epidemiology and Microbiology Institute's Immunology and Virology Laboratory Alexander Semyonov told reporters in St. Petersburg on Wednesday upon the return from Guinea.
In his words, Russian specialists had negotiated assistance with the Guinea authorities.
"The choice of the Guinea Republic was not accidental: the epidemic started there. We sought to establish official relations with the Guinea Health Ministry, to receive an official request for help and to begin our practical assistance to the fight against Ebola," Semyonov continued.
Russia will send a number of mobile labs mounted on KamAZ trucks to Guinea.
"Russia is capable of assisting African countries. Our Rospotrebnadzor has a wonderful and super-modern mobile laboratory and our trip has resulted in understanding and a request of the Guinea Health Ministry for a field expedition of our specialists and their assistance to local and international organizations in the most complex part of epidemiological work, laboratory diagnostics of the fever," the expert said.
It will take about five months to end the Ebola outbreak, he said. "In fact, the situation is under control. But they will have to work hard; the period for controlling the outbreak is estimated at approximately five months. Relevant efforts are being taken and our specialists are controlling and monitoring the situation. (…) The epidemic is basically under control. It has not shifted to an uncontrolled phase," Semyonov noted.
In his words, Soviet-era cooperation is being restored with Guinea. "We are taking very serious steps towards real medical assistance to local healthcare bodies. We should do credit to the African partners who are very enthusiastic about this help. We did a lot in that country in the Soviet period so we are not newcomers, we are restoring Russia-Guinea cooperation. A task of our trip was to negotiate the reopening of a Russia-Guinea laboratory, which had been transformed into the Guinea Pasteur Institute. The negotiations were successful," the expert said.
"I am going back today to organize a meeting of our specialists. Mobile laboratories are mounted on KamAZ trucks and they will be delivered by a heavy-lift cargo plane. This is a big logistic effort to make. Moscow specialists are dealing with it and it will be a matter of several days," Semyonov said.
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