Following the dramatic evolution of the Ebola Crisis in West Africa, Belgium and Luxemburg have offered a contribution to the national and international stakeholders (WHO, West African countries authorities, etc.) requiring assistance. A joint deployment of a light fieldable analytical capacity and a logistic chain of support for providing rapid diagnosis of EBOLA viral disease was considered as the best support, which could be used by the local Ebola treatment units. At the request of the government of Guinea, a B-LiFE (Biological Light Fieldable Laboratory for Emergencies) “Ebola mission” was organized with the support of the Belgian Civil Protection and the Belgian Defence.
The B-LiFE / B-FAST (Belgian First Aid and Support Team) mission was deployed in N’Zerekore, Forest Guinea from December 20th 2014 until March 22nd 2015. This mission actively contributed to the international fight against the spread of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa. The Belgian B-LiFE / B-FAST intervention was performed in three rotating shifts of teams consisting of three biologists and a medical doctor in charge of the mission, from the Applied Molecular Technology Center (CTMA / IREC / UCL) and a logistical support cell with 4 people (a decontamination expert from civil protection, an officer in charge of security and safety aspects, a military expert in satellite communication and a military nurse.
The mission was supported by B-FAST during the first two months and then jointly by the Belgian Technical Cooperation and the European Commission (DG ECHO) afterwards.