I have just returned from West Africa, on a visit to Sierre Leone, Guinea and Liberia, where more than 170 of CDC’s top staff are focused on stopping the current Ebola epidemic and leaving behind stronger public health systems that will be better able to prevent the next epidemic and protect the people of West Africa, the United States, and the world.

Today I’m posting the first of an occasional series highlighting our work. These photos are from our International Infection Control Team and their work in N’Zérékoré and Macenta, Guinea. They’re supporting infection control improvements in health facilities by providing infection control and prevention training to front line health care workers.

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To date, Guinea has had over 2,557 confirmed Ebola cases, 135 of which have been among health care workers.

The initial training is planned to reach the nearly 2,000 health care workers in three of Guinea’s prefectures with the highest rates of Ebola — N’Zérékoré, Macenta, and Kerouane — before expanding to other parts of the country.

Every day, CDC staff members and their colleagues across West Africa are hearing, “Thank you for helping us protect ourselves and not be afraid.”  

CDC staff will be in West Africa continuing to fight the Ebola epidemic until the last spark is extinguished. The vulnerability of any country is our vulnerability as well.

Tom Frieden, M.D. is the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Follow him on Twitter@DrFriedenCDC. To like the CDC on Facebook, click here