UC RUSAL AND THE FIGHT AGAINST EBOLA IN THE REPUBLIC OF GUINEA
Ebola virus has become a global challenge with a total of 28,616 confirmed, probable and suspected cases reported in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, with 11,310 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation. Its economic and social impact was huge and brought losses of billions of dollars.
Guinea has been one of the three most affected countries by the Ebola outbreak. The epidemic has become a real challenge for the country affecting all spheres of life of its citizens. A total of 3,358 cases have been reported with 2,088 deaths. The country faced serious social and economic problems as a result of the outbreak.
Thanks to the support of the partners, Ebola virus transmission has been put under control. Russia and RUSAL played a significant role in this.
Centre for epidemic and microbiological research and treatment (CEMRT)
As one of the largest investors in the Republic of Guinea, RUSAL reacted immediately to support the Guinean government in their fight against the spread of the Ebola virus.
In 2014, the company invested in the construction of the Centre for epidemic and microbiological research and treatment (CEMRT) in the Kindia administrative region.
50 days to build
The Centre was designed and constructed by RUSAL specialists with the assistance of Rospotrebnadzor (the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing) scientists using up-to date Russian engineering and medical equipment. All of the recommendations of the international aid organizations were taken into consideration.
CEMRT was built in record 50 days. CEMRT is located at the former Soviet-Guinean Institute Pasteur in Kindia and is among the most modern centers to combat viral diseases in West Africa. Its primary focus is to conduct research on infectious and highly dangerous diseases and their detection, treatment and prevention.
US$10 million invested
The Company’s investment in the construction of the Centre amounts to over USD10 million.
The Centre’s premises include an infection hospital, a provisional hospital, a mobile laboratory and a blood and plasma transfusion department with a laboratory. The Centre initially served as a hospital for the treatment of those infected with the Ebola virus.
The opening ceremony took place on 17 January 2015 and was attended by President of Guinea, Alpha Conde.
e are very grateful for the generous contribution of the Russian Federation, its President and UC RUSAL. It is a great honour to accept this valuable contribution, which will significantly help us in the fight against Ebola. On behalf of the people of Guinea, I offer my sincere thanks'.
President of Guinea
The Centre was commissioned as a medical institution of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Guinea and was included in the Guinean national system of preventing the spread of Ebola.
Over the course of the EVD epidemic period, the Centre witnessed the best survival rate in Guinea: 62.5% of the Center’s patients diagnosed with EVD have recovered.
Modern lab facilities
In 2017, on the premises of CEMRT, RUSAL in cooperation with Rospotrebnadzor establised modern laboratory facilities, which are designed to ensure a high degree of security when performing laboratory research (Biosafety Level 3 according to international classification). The work was done in conjunction with the Institute of Biological Research of Guinea (IRBAG, Kindia).
This lab is unparalleled in the region of West Africa in terms of its application of high technology and its system of biosecurity. This new lab makes it possible to expeditiously carry out diagnostics of particularly dangerous infections, propelling the national system of health security in the Republic of Guinea to a whole new level.
RUSAL completed the work on redevelopment of the premises in the shortest possible term and in accordance with all international sanitary and epidemiological standards and recommendations made by Rospotrebnadzor’s top engineers. RUSAL has also provided support for the delivery and installation of high-precision equipment designed for the lab, with a total weight of more than 50 tonnes.
Russian government support initiatives to assist Guinea in the fight against Ebola
RUSAL supports all Russian Government initiatives, aimed at helping Guinea to combat Ebola.
Field military hospital
In November 2014, RUSAL was actively involved in deploying a 200-bed hospital for the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, which was donated to the Republic of Guinea in accordance with a decision by the President of Russia (field military hospital, FMH).
RUSAL organized and funded the training of the qualified military medical staff operating FMH. During the epidemic, FMH provided more than 4,500 people with free and qualified medical aid.
RUSAL organised the unloading of three Russian aircrafts, which delivered equipment for the mobile hospital to Guinea, as well as ensuring the safe transportation of the cargo under escort to its place of storage. RUSAL prepared the site for the hospital, provided accommodation for Russian military medics and provided them with the required resources.
RUSAL supported delivery of 39 tonnes of humanitarian relief and organised the system of the sanitary posts in the Conakry sea port.
Research and scientific work
RUSAL organised research and training seminars in Guinea featuring leading Russian scientists: Viktor Maleev, a member of the Academy of Sciences of Russia, and Professor Konstantin Zhdanov (Ministry of Defence, Russia), and also facilitated the participation of Russian representatives in international scientific forums (Malabe, Conakry, Kindia, Moscow, Geneva).