In March 2014, viral haemorrhagic broke out in southern Guinea, near the city of Guéckédou. The virus was quickly identified as Ebola haemorrhagic fever and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) deployed a team to assist the existing programme staff with the response. MSF Switzerland (MSF-CH) has been running a malaria programme in the area since 2010.
In support of the epidemiological team, MSF-CH deployed a dedicated Geographic Information Systems (GIS) officer seconded by CartONG. While MSF staff have been using maps and GIS technology for many years, the use of dedicated GIS staff in the field is still very uncommon.
The decision to send a dedicated GIS officer to Guinea was informed by a study on the use of GIS within MSF, which had identified epidemiology as “the domain where GIS can bring the most positive evolution”. It was, furthermore, based on the newly developed GIS Strategy for MSF-CH (see also 3 Strategic ).
Since the ebola crisis, deployments of GIS officers have become more common in MSF, CartONG managed the roster and deployed GIS officers for MSF up until end of 2015 when the deployments have been internalised. In total, nearly 30 GIS officers have been deployed for MSF over a period of 1 1/2 year.
 “State of art and opportunities using Geographic Information Systems in MSF” (2013) – referred to as “GIS Study” in this document
 GIS-Study, p. 34
 “Development of the Geographic Information System in MSF-CH” (2014) – referred to as “GIS Strategy” in this document